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Old 12/06/09, 02:31 PM
FrontPorch's Avatar  
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Indiana
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Shelf life of lye?

Are you putting back lye to make soap with in your preps? Anybody know what the shelf life is? I've been wanting to make my own soap for years and I'm finally going to try it this month.
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Old 12/06/09, 03:16 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: north central WA
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I think it really depends on how well it is stored. If you keep it completely dry, it should last a VERY long time.
Once you get the hang of making soap, you could try making your own lye too, though I would only want to have to do that in a SHTF situation since it is a touchy material.
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Old 12/06/09, 04:38 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
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Homemade lye soap
Homemade lye
How to clarify used grease for soap

It's all here.

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Old 12/06/09, 05:59 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: rural midwest
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great link Lee! I'm going to have to print some of that info out for future reference.
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Old 12/06/09, 06:23 PM
A.T. Hagan
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Lye is strongly hygroscopic so you'd want to keep it tightly sealed in something waterproof. Otherwise it's shelf life is indefinite.

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Old 12/06/09, 07:39 PM
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If it's not tightly closed, it will grow into a monstrous looking white blob, destroying anything it touches... Don't ask me how I know this...
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Old 12/06/09, 10:11 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Blue Ridge Mts, VA
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When I was making soap in the late 90's, I bought a 25 lb bag of lye, and filled up 1/2 gallon canning jars, using the flat lid and rings to close the jars.

I made soap recently using that old lye, and it was fine.
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Old 12/07/09, 02:12 PM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Missouri
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I just made a big batch of soap from lye that had to be ten years old from when we put new floors in the kitchen. Had the can sealed tightly in a Ziploc freezer bag and the soap turned out fine. Now to get a new stash. DEE
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Old 12/07/09, 09:56 PM
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Location: At the foot of Mt Rainier, WA
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Keep it totally dry and it will last indefinitely. I'm a soapmaker and I have a pretty good amount stored up but I do plan on teaching myself how to make a somewhat decent soap using the old methods (grease, ash & water). Mainly because if something DID happen, I have the equipment and whatnot to produce large quantities of soap which would be an excellent trade good once things calm down a bit. But then eventually the lye would run out - what then?
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