The following may frighten you, but I promise that thousands of people make soap every day without mishap. You need to know all the dangers present in order to avoid trouble. If you can get past the following warnings – you are destined to make soap!
Look where drain cleaners are sold and buy 100 % lye. Don’t bother looking at liquid drain cleaners and don’t try Draino (it contains metal). If you aren’t sure the product is 100 % lye, then order lye from a soapmaking or chemical supplier.
Most good soap recipes list lye by weight for accuracy: lye in granular form (drain cleaner) measures differently than lye in flake form (the form of lye from laboratory chemical suppliers, pool chemical suppliers, etc). Scales are a necessary part of successful soap making and allow you to use any type of lye. Lye can be nasty if handled improperly. Lye (sodium hydroxide) is also known as caustic soda.