Looking for lye

Discussion in 'Homemade baits' started by catfishray, Feb 23, 2007.

  1. catfishray

    catfishray New Member

    Messages:
    8
    State:
    texas
    I have a soap recipe that requires lye to melt the lard. The local grocer said that Red Devil lye is no longer avalible for retail. Can someone tell me what commercial use lye has so i might be able to find a source. Thanks.
     
  2. justwannano

    justwannano Active Member

    Messages:
    1,003
    State:
    SE Iowa
    Try another store.
    Our local hardware store sells it. Its in the cleaning supplies.
     

  3. Mr.T

    Mr.T New Member

    Messages:
    2,553
    State:
    MO
    You can make it yourself - all you need is some rainwater and ashes from the fireplace... Google away, my friend...
     
  4. buddah

    buddah New Member

    Messages:
    1,622
    State:
    Pennsylvania Wi
    We used to make lye soap when was a kid at my Great Grandmothers house and just let me say BE CAREFUL WITH THAT STUFF!!!. It can and usually does cause really bad burns. I don't know if you have any previous experience with this stuff or not, But I just had to warn you because I care. please wear eye protection ok?
     
  5. DemolitionMan

    DemolitionMan New Member

    Messages:
    442
    State:
    Tupelo, Mississippi
  6. winston61

    winston61 New Member

    Messages:
    161
    State:
    Texas
    I went out to the local Lowes store for something else and I found sodium hydroxide (lye) in the plumbing department. It comes in a white plastic container with a yellow label. The brand name is Roebic. It is packaged as drain opener, but the ingredients are listed as 100% sodium hydroxide. Two pounds for $7.66.
    I made up a batch of bath soap Sunday and all went well. It think Red Devil Lye is a thing of the past.If you want a source of inexpensive anise oil for bait soap try the Humco Corp. of Texas. If you can't order direct, any pharmacy should be able to get it for you.
     
  7. winston61

    winston61 New Member

    Messages:
    161
    State:
    Texas
    In the old times folks would fill a hopper with ashes and drip water through them to extract 'lye' for soap making. What you get from wood ash however is Potassium Hydroxide. This chemical will make soap but it will stay soft and gel like. The old timers would quite often put some heat under the soap pot and add some table salt (sodium chloride) this would cause the soap to harden into chunks and bars. To completely convert the fat to soap use lye (sodium hydroxide). To keep your proportions correct use a lye calculator. This will tell you exactly how much lye to use for your amount of fat. Just google lye calculator. You can also reduce the amount of lye to keep your soap softer, but you will have unconverted fat in your soap so expect more smell and the fat could go rancid. Good for catfish bait, but not so good for washing the baby.
    Soap making is an old Southern tradition and I am so pleased that I can do it and it makes me happy to see others carrying on with it as well. For a good background go the library and see if you can find the old 'Foxfire' books about life in the old days. Great reading and good for the soap makers.
     
  8. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    For the ones who do not wish to make soap the old way,Colgate's "OCTAGON" is as close as I have found.I have washed in it all of my life as my grandmother used it when she ran out of her home made soap.She also believed that it helped repel chiggers,ticks,bedbugs,lice and fleas off of man and beast.I have always ordered it by the case from my local grocer as it was much cheaper this way.I well remember helping "Grandma" make soap.From the leaching of "Oak" ashes to,"cutting off a chunk" when needed brings back a great time.I surely loved and still love that old lady,and she sure made me feel loved from childhood to manhood.I love you Brothers and Sisters.peewee
     
  9. buddah

    buddah New Member

    Messages:
    1,622
    State:
    Pennsylvania Wi
    So, How'd you make out with that? Did you ever make your soap or whatever you were doing with it? Just curious.
     
  10. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    First,CAUTION!I have scars from Caustic soda burns while working in a chemical plant.Please wear adiquit protection when using the stuff.Lye was often mixed with water to make a slurry or paste and spread on old painted surfaces to remove the old paints.Old furniture was often done this way.Old wood floors in old homes were scrubbed with lye water and corn shucks or "Shuck brooms"then rinsed well.The water ran through the cracks between the boards in the floor,sometimes taking the hair off a dog laying under it.I once watched my grandma scrubbing and cleaning a floor like this as I drawed and fetched water for her out of the well.It left a filthy floor very clean looking.I saw no damage done to the heart wood floors or walls.A spoonful in shower and sink drains over night ate the hair that clogged the P-traps.If you did not have your water temperature right,you would "set the hair"on a hog,and lye was often used to eat the hair off and then the hog washed and rinsed with fresh water before butchering.Lye water was used to clean up after butchering as it disinfected and killed the grease.I love you Brothers and Sisters.peewee
     
  11. justwannano

    justwannano Active Member

    Messages:
    1,003
    State:
    SE Iowa
    Back in the olden days...
    When I was in high school I worked for a while at a restaurant.
    One of the old cooks told me,the night clean up guy,to shake a can of Lewis Lye on the 2" of grease that had collected under one of the grills. He said it would turn it to soap.So I did it.
    A couple of days later I got a shovel and cleaned up the stuff.
    Things were kinda different back then.
     
  12. Bigun

    Bigun New Member

    Messages:
    234
    State:
    Burnet, TX
    Weak lye water made from ashes is used to take the hair off animal hides to make rawhide. This process is used to make drum heads, which with a corse string attached to the middle becomes a dumb bull. You Rosin the string and pull letting it slip through your fingers and it sounds like a bear grouling. You cannot imagine the fun you can have with one of these. Didn't mean to hijack the thread but this came to mind re the lye water.