Food Grade vs Tech Sodium-Hydroxide

by Cuqui

Recently I purchased Sodium-Hydroxide-Lye-Tech-Grade.


It was cheaper than the food grade, although it states that both can be used for soap making I notice a difference in the outcome of my soaps.

I don’t know what is causing the difference. My soaps lack fragrance that I add and the smell is horrible when I try to make goat or coconut milk soap.

Can you tell me if there is a difference in calculations when using the tech grade vs. food grade?

I purchased them from Essential Depot. Previously I used Rooto® Crystals of Household Lye purchased @ ACE Hardware.

Answer:

Hi Cuqui...I've moved your question from "Making Mango Butter" to it's own place.

I've never heard of having to use different calculations when using tech grade lye but then again I've only ever used food grade.

Soap makers tend to buy the food grade for the most part and I feel it to be better. My thoughts are that tech grade probably contains impurities that could have adverse effects in the soap making process...not sure about this of course...I'm simply guessing.

Good luck,
Cathy

Comments for Food Grade vs Tech Sodium-Hydroxide

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inspiration
by: Bill_the_baker

Hello everyone, well i have a bunch of left over lye and i wanted to make some soap with it, a nice square bar would be sufficient but i wanna put a bit of creativity in my soap, anyone have any good recipes or ideas that might inspire me?

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sodium hydroxide in Costa Rica
by: Karen

Does anyone know where or how I can get food grade sodium hydroxide in Costa Rica. Thank you!

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Tech vs. Food on smell
by: David

I make all my soap with Technical grade Lye. It comes out smelling fine when I use distilled water and Fragrance or Essential oils. I made Coffee soap with coffee instead of the distilled water for the lye solution. It was rather stinky and smelled burned. I tried to mask it with some vanilla and now it smells like chocolate... But given that experience, I've concluded that the lye reaction and heat actually burned the coffee (should have let it cool more after brewing) and my guess is the lye reaction might be burning your milk and causing the stink. This is a guess though, I've personally never made milk soap yet. But I doubt you should blame the stench on the grade of lye.

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side note
by: beth

David...brew your coffee cold process. I only drink iced coffee so I use a French press with cold water in the fridge. It keeps it from getting bitter that way. So, cold brew your coffee then there should be no problem with it burning. Hope this helps!

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Technical Grade Lye
by: Anonymous

I prefer food grade. The impurities in the technical grade are metals. What kind and how much are not told. I found this out by calling a well know household supplier of lye and they told me that.

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My Two Cents
by: Mara

I've used both technical grade and food grade lye and all my soaps are fine. The real question I have is are you freezing you milks before adding the lye to them? That's one of two ways you can avoid burning your milks. The other way is by doing the 50/50 method, which means diluting your lye in the same amount of water (by weight) so you have 1 part lye and 1 part water. the rest of the recipe's liquid, if milk is used, is added to your oils.

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No problems with lye
by: Anonymous

I've been making soap for almost 20 years and have been using the lye I purchase in the hardware store. I' ve never had a problem with it and soaps are famous for their excellent quality and good smell. I think this food grade v. tech grade is bull. Lye is lye, 100% sodiem hydroxide. Call it "food grade", but it's still the same thing.

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