Security is the most important thing to know when making soap. This is just some general informations and I encourage you to look at some videos and tutorials before starting the adventure of soap making. This blog is not covering the details of soap making but only a general understanding of the safety precautions when working with lye.
Be aware of cautions on the ingredients you are using and ensure you have the right safety precautions ...
Sodium Hydroxyde or Lye (NaOH)
or Potassium Hydroxide (KOH)
are the most used alcali in soap making to create the saponification reaction.
Always use goggles, gloves and a mask when you are working with Lye.
Wear long sleeves and pants and shoes. Les less skin is uncovered, the less risks you take ;)
Remove safety protections only when you are done with the washing of your tools and your soap is in the mould.
Use a heat-proof plastic or stainless steel container.
No glass. No aluminium (this will react with the caustic ingredients)
ALWAYS add lye to water... so...
NEVER add you liquid to the lye powder or solution.
Add lye slowly to water. This will bring the temperature of the water really high. Some people prefer to use ice cubes instead of water. Then wait for your lye solution to cool down before making a cold processed (CP) soap. Depending of the recipe you are making, there's different ways to adjust the temperature, it's a simple suggestion.
If you aren't following a recipe ,always work with a lye calculator to know the amount of required lye witch is different for each oils you are saponifying. Browse your google friend to get some calculators links , you'll find the one you prefer !
I suggest this simple one : http://soapcalc.net/
You need to know that the sodium hydroxide (Lye) will NOT stay in your soap! It will take about 4 to 6 weeks to a CP soap to cure. There is no lye in the soap at the end. What is left behind is saponified oils only.