Soap making is a lot of fun, but it can be dangerous specially when working with lye. To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience, it’s important to follow a few safety guidelines:
Always store lye in air-tight containers. Label the containers appropriately. A label with “DANGER! – Sodium Hydroxide” and a skull and crossbones or a big red X in a circle is not overkill.
Keep containers out of reach of children and pets.
When working with lye, you’ll need to wear safety goggles, rubber gloves, a long sleeved shirt, long pants,andsocks and shoes.
It’s a good idea to wear a disposable face mask while working with lye.
When mixing your lye with water, remember ALWAYS add the alkali to the water, and not the water to the lye. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. Add it slowly while stirring the liquid slowly with your other hand. It will get quite hot, so be sure to always start out with cool water, never warm or hot water.
Prepare the lye and water solution in a well ventilated area. If I use the kitchen sink, I make sure that the stove vent is on and that the window above the sink is open. I actually prefer to mix it outside if it isn’t windy and the air temps are comfortable. I have an outdoor sink near my potting table that works well for this.
If you do get some of the lye solution on your skin, rinse well with lots of cool water, then spray some vinegar on your skin. I keep a spray bottle handy for just such emergencies