Is lye easy to find?

ChickenPotPie

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My son wants to make soap with his goat's milk. I'm willing to help him but not sure of where to get the lye.

Does lye have to be ordered online or is it easily found in stores? I'd prefer going to a store, of course. Where have you found it in your neighborhood? Grocery store? Drug store? Hardware store?

How 'bout the oils? Regular grocery store? Whole Foods? Only online?

Any help is appreciated. :D
 

keljonma

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I was just reading on another website that in some areas lye can only be found at the drug store behind the pharmacy counter. You have to show id and tell why you want it. I guess it is used in meth production, so a lot of stores are pulling it from the general shelves.
 

freemotion

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I used to get it in the grocery store with the drain cleaners. They stopped stocking it, then I got it in the hardware store with the drain cleaners. They stopped stocking it, so I recently had the hardware store order a case for me, which is a LOT of lye! So now I have to make some soap to sell.

You can order it one canister at a time online at soapmaking supply places, but shipping will get ya.

I've used Costco cheaper olive oil in the past. I rendered beef suet into tallow and added that as well. This past batch of soap I made with just home-rendered tallow and lard, with a bit of chicken fat left from making broth in one batch! And goat's milk, of course, and the lye.....Rooto, it is called.

I put a basket of the soaps, cut very roughly and unscented and not colored, in a basket at my office a couple of weeks ago to test market them. I had my first returning customer today, raving about it. I have only two bars left! So I will be going into the soap business, to cover (at least defray) goat feed costs.
 

hennypenny9

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You probably don't want to start me talking about soap making but.... :hide

I just made my first batch of soap. I got my olive oil at Costco, my coconut oil at the grocery store in the health food section, and my palm oil and lye at a soap shop. Look in your yellow pages for any soap making supply stores in your area. I tried to order my lye online, and it turns out that I have a great store located in my own town! If not, try here. http://www.brambleberry.com/

Freemotion- I hope everyone doesn't start making soap- then who will buy mine?? :lol: (If I sell any!)
 

lupinfarm

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I'm sure you can get it in stores, in FightClub he buys it in the grocery store LOL I know...a reliable source right
 

Carolyn

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If you have a Menards in your area, or they say that Lowes has some also--go to the drain cleaning aisle and look for a brand called Rooters, 100% lye. No drain cleaner, not even 97% or 98 % lye, it has to be 100 % lye. thats where we got our lye to start with, now we have a processing plant in our area that we can buy it from in bulk, another soapmaker gave us the information. We just had someone pick up 90 bars of soap for a little gift shop, she would have take more, but we have other stores waiting for soap also. You can get oils at Walmart or grocery store, we were going to Walmart for coconut oil, until we happened to get it in a 50lb bucket, we get the lard in 25 lb buckets at either Walmart or grocery store, then use either sunflower oil or safflower oil or olive oil at the grocery store, for us it is just as cheap to buy it this way when considering the shipping. We do have a 50lb box of palm kernel flakes to use now, it can be subbed for coconut oil. Be sure to check a lye calculator to be sure that you have the right proportion of your oils to lye. Carolyn
 

Carolyn

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Ok I just looked at the bottle, it is Rooto :rolleyes:. Some weeks we can't keep up with the soap. We have several gift shops that handle it and hopefully will go to the state fair with soap--don't know if we can make enough though. We start the fall season with no less than 1000 2 oz bars and 1000 4 oz bars, a few 6 ozers, sachet bags made with scraps of the soap, ornaments, cut outs, gift packages, etc. We have done bridal showers, had a 1 oz bar in a little bag from Walmart with a card with the bride and grooms name on it to baby showers. We have about 50 fragrances, we try to keep on hand at least 30 fragrances. But right now we only have about 300 bars on hand and after we have another store owner come to pick up an order, I dont' know how much we will have left. When we get this busy, we use the hot process- have fun Carolyn
 

sylvie

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I use lye to make my own paint remover. It was funny timing reading this topic right after I inventoried my materials for making the paint stripper. I need lye and now I learn that it will be a challenge to find it.
 

freemotion

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hennypenny9 said:
Freemotion- I hope everyone doesn't start making soap- then who will buy mine?? :lol: (If I sell any!)
Fortunately for all of us kitchen entrepreneurs, people are sweaty, smelly, dirty creatures (socially unacceptable) with a constant need for more soap! :lol:
 

ChickenPotPie

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Hey, thanks for all the suggestions. I'll check the drug store and hardware store but I think I'll also go check out Lowe's since we have one close by. The suggestions are great. :)

Wow, Carolyn, sounds like you've got quite the soap business goin' on. :bow It sounds fun.

I can't wait to see how our first batch turns out. :D
 
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