Health and Safety

I take no responsibility for any injury/damage caused by following any of the tutorials or recipes on my blog.

Coming from a scientific background I feel confident in using sodium hydroxide (lye), as long as you treat it with respect there is no reason to be afraid. Just take the following safety precautions.

  • Wear appropriate safety clothing, safety glasses are a must and you should wear old clothing that completely covers all your skin including your arms and legs. Also wear a thick pair of rubber gloves.
  • Always add sodium hydroxide to water not the other way round as the resulting reaction causes a lot of heat and can cause an explosion if you do it the other way round. You don't want corrosive chemicals spraying all over you and your work area if you can avoid it!
  • The ratio of sodium hydroxide to fat is a finely balanced chemical reaction so it is imperative to get your calculations right. Each different type of fat you use will require a different amount of sodium hydroxide to fully react with it and produce soap. Never trust a soap recipe without checking it first yourself. Whether you are creating your own recipe or using someone else's, always run your final recipe through a lye calculator. It will confirm exactly how much sodium hydroxide you need to add to your mixture to produce safe soap and it's really easy to do. My favourite is which also has lots of other useful soap making information. There are many others available to use, just type lye calculator into google.
  • In case of contact with skin, even if it doesn't feel like you've been burnt, wash with copious amounts of water and if you experience severe burns then seek medical advice immediately.
  • Never reuse any of the containers or utensils that you have used for soapmaking for food purposes especially absorbent materials like wooden spoons.

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