Lye is one of the key ingredients
in the production of soap. Through a chemical reaction it converts
oils and fats to what we know as soap. Lye is also one of the key
ingredients in drain openers such as drano and liquid plumber because of
its unique ability to convert greasy buildup into a soluable substance
thus clearing a clogged line. Lye should be handled in the same way
that drain cleaner, bleach or pool chemicals would be handled. If
mishandled it can be a dangerous chemical and can cause harm to you and
others. If handled correctly these kinds of problems can be avoided.
There is no reason why accidents involving lye cannot be completely avoided.
You can substantially reduce
your chances of ever having an accident by remembering four things.
1. Never pour water into lye.
Always pour lye into the water. (slowly) If you pour water onto lye
it can cause a violent reaction.
2. Secondly, be careful not to
splash or spill the lye solution.
3. When handling lye wear goggles, rubber gloves and long sleeves.
4. Keep lye out of the reach
Please read the following safety
information regarding lye.
Warning: Keep children and animals
away from lye. Lye is very caustic and can cause serious injury or even
death if swallowed and can cause blindness if splashed into the eyes. By
all means wear long sleeves and be sure to always wear safety goggles.
Always keep a large cup of fresh water nearby. If you should splash
some lye or raw soap into your eye, IMMEDIATELY pour large amounts of cool
water into your eye continuously for 10 minutes, or longer. Visit your
nearest hospital emergency room or call 911. If you should splash lye or
raw soap onto your skin, rinse immediately with cool water. For more serious
skin burns, seek medical care immediately. If lye is accidently swallowed,
do not induce vomiting, call a poison control center or 911 for further
instructions, get to emergency fast. It is important to have your lye containers
labeled. Again, keep lye away from children and when working with lye keep
children away from your work area.