Best Place to buy Lye

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Whitegas Extraordinaire
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Best Place to buy Lye

#1

Post by Whitegas Extraordinaire »

Good evening
For some reason I have been unable to source powdered Sodium Hydroxide aka lye locally.
Liquid is available but appears expensive.
Amazon offers it for 11$ a pound which seems to be comparable to eBay.

Where is the best value in lye sold?

Perhaps it’s liquid? Maybe powder?

Thank you!
Kevin

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To me a lamp without a shade is creepy!

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Tgarner01
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Re: Best Place to buy Lye

#2

Post by Tgarner01 »

Following as I'm cheap and like lye myself 😁
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Rubing
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Re: Best Place to buy Lye

#3

Post by Rubing »

Draino
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Gunhippie
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Re: Best Place to buy Lye

#4

Post by Gunhippie »

Automatic dishwasher detergent is largely lye.

If you're friendly with a local brewery, see if they'll give you some. Very common cleaner in breweries, dairies and wineries. They'll buy it by the 55gal drum.
It's priceless until someone puts a price on it.
Walk a mile in a man's shoes before you criticize him--then you're a mile away, and he has no shoes.
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Re: Best Place to buy Lye

#5

Post by zoomkat »

One does not see red devil lye around much anymore in grocery stores. I may have seen some lye at a true value hardware not long back.
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Re: Best Place to buy Lye

#6

Post by sourgasjohn »

I bought 32 pounds of pure food grade lye in 16 2 lb. plastic bottles awhile back. More than I will ever use but it was a good price. I'd sell a few bottles if anyone is interested. How about 8 bucks for a 2 pound bottle + actual shipping. I'll post this in the classified as well.
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Re: Best Place to buy Lye

#7

Post by Mister_Wilson »

I buy it at an Amish store. $7.99 for a 2 pound jar.
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Whitegas Extraordinaire
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Re: Best Place to buy Lye

#8

Post by Whitegas Extraordinaire »

Mister_Wilson wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 11:16 pm I buy it at an Amish store. $7.99 for a 2 pound jar.
John, that’s a good price. I need to head slightly northwest of my current location.

Thank you!
Kevin

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To me a lamp without a shade is creepy!

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Whitegas Extraordinaire
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Re: Best Place to buy Lye

#9

Post by Whitegas Extraordinaire »

sourgasjohn wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 10:06 pm I bought 32 pounds of pure food grade lye in 16 2 lb. plastic bottles awhile back. More than I will ever use but it was a good price. I'd sell a few bottles if anyone is interested. How about 8 bucks for a 2 pound bottle + actual shipping. I'll post this in the classified as well.
John, thank you let me investigate the semi local Amish markets.

Thank you!
Kevin

I may frighten easily!
My current shade is Coleman!!
To me a lamp without a shade is creepy!

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Whitegas Extraordinaire
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Re: Best Place to buy Lye

#10

Post by Whitegas Extraordinaire »

Rubing wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 9:34 pmDraino
Greg
I see that it’s only roughly 50% lye. Unless you’ve done a cost benefit analysis?

Thank you!
Kevin

I may frighten easily!
My current shade is Coleman!!
To me a lamp without a shade is creepy!

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Whitegas Extraordinaire
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Re: Best Place to buy Lye

#11

Post by Whitegas Extraordinaire »

Gunhippie wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 9:39 pm Automatic dishwasher detergent is largely lye.

If you're friendly with a local brewery, see if they'll give you some. Very common cleaner in breweries, dairies and wineries. They'll buy it by the 55gal drum.
Timm I’ll take a look at those two options too.

I can tell I’ve used 6# in the past year.

Thank you!
Kevin

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My current shade is Coleman!!
To me a lamp without a shade is creepy!

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Whitegas Extraordinaire
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Re: Best Place to buy Lye

#12

Post by Whitegas Extraordinaire »

zoomkat wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 9:39 pm One does not see red devil lye around much anymore in grocery stores. I may have seen some lye at a true value hardware not long back.
Kat
I should probably drive the five miles to try tru-value.

Thank you!
Kevin

I may frighten easily!
My current shade is Coleman!!
To me a lamp without a shade is creepy!

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Mister_Wilson
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Re: Best Place to buy Lye

#13

Post by Mister_Wilson »

Before I started buying it at the Amish store I got it at my local True Value. They don’t keep it on the shelf but they would order it for me.
John
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Re: Best Place to buy Lye

#14

Post by BSAGuy »

I get Red Devil lye at local ACE Hardware in pound plastic jars.
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Re: Best Place to buy Lye

#15

Post by ecblanks »

Drain cleaner crystals, Ace
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Re: Best Place to buy Lye

#16

Post by Ridge Runner »

x3 on Ace Hardware. Ours keeps the Rooto brand 100% Lye crystals for drain clearing in stock.
— L.J.
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Wanted: 10/2015 & 1/2020 Bday Lanterns
I love the smell of naphtha in the morning!
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Re: Best Place to buy Lye

#17

Post by Jeepstircrazy »

Wayne signing off...

What's the lowest you'll take for this lantern?                                                

          Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.

"I'm not sure if I actually have freetime or if I just keep forgetting stuff!"
( Thanks for that one Uncle Sidney!) :D

And oh... I don't flip GPA's... I have gifted several though. :D
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Re: Best Place to buy Lye

#18

Post by Jeepstircrazy »

Try it , you'll like it......
Wayne signing off...

What's the lowest you'll take for this lantern?                                                

          Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.

"I'm not sure if I actually have freetime or if I just keep forgetting stuff!"
( Thanks for that one Uncle Sidney!) :D

And oh... I don't flip GPA's... I have gifted several though. :D
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jacobsdad
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Re: Best Place to buy Lye

#19

Post by jacobsdad »

Lowes used to carry it but haven't shopped for it recently.
Brian

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Re: Best Place to buy Lye

#20

Post by ecblanks »

Does anyone keep "bench lye" in their work area? I keep a jar of vinegar for de-rusting on the bench, but would be handy to also have a jar of lye ready to go for check valves and other small parts that I need to de-goo. Just curious what a good ratio would be , using the drain cleaning crystals.
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Re: Best Place to buy Lye

#21

Post by sleebus »

I've been looking for some as of late for the septic. this is the best price I've found.
Check out my channel at GasUnderPressure
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Stovie
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Lye

#22

Post by Stovie »

I'm certainly no Trailer park chemist, but iirc the reason it isn't on the shelf like it once was, it is used in the illegal production of methamphetamine (along with Coleman fuel, incidentally).

If you stock up on Lye, coffee filters, and CF at Wally World you will likely invite unwanted scrutiny. Be careful out there.
Madness takes its toll. Please have exact change ready...
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Re: Best Place to buy Lye

#23

Post by Ridge Runner »

ecblanks wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 1:43 pmDoes anyone keep "bench lye" in their work area?I keep a jar of vinegar for de-rusting on the bench, but would be handy to also have a jar of lye ready to go for check valves and other small parts that I need to de-goo. Just curious what a good ratio would be , using the drain cleaning crystals.
I’ve wondered that myself. I’ve shot things with oven cleaner over the trash can, but thought it would be nice to just place something into a pre-mixed container.
sleebus wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 2:11 pm I've been looking for some as of late for the septic. this is the best price I've found.
Are you using this in your tank or leach/drain field?
— L.J.
In the foothills of the Berkshires, Western Massachusetts

Wanted: 10/2015 & 1/2020 Bday Lanterns
I love the smell of naphtha in the morning!
"Ain’t no need to watch where I’m goin’; just need to know where I’ve been" -Tow Mater
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Re: Best Place to buy Lye

#24

Post by sleebus »

Ridge Runner wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 2:21 pm Are you using this in your tank or leach/drain field?
Clearing the main line under the house. About every 2-3 years it starts to slow down. 1# of NaOH does the trick to get it running right again. It also saponifies any grease and oil in the tank and keeps that from becoming a problem.
Check out my channel at GasUnderPressure
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Re: Best Place to buy Lye

#25

Post by SteveRetherford »

i get mine at Ace hardware for 3.99 a LB

https://www.acehardware.com/departments ... rs/4239216
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Re: Best Place to buy Lye

#26

Post by Whitegas Extraordinaire »

Wayne, that does not appear to be dangerous enough. I see one active ingredient Sodium Metasilicate on the msds.

Thank you!
Kevin

I may frighten easily!
My current shade is Coleman!!
To me a lamp without a shade is creepy!

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Re: Best Place to buy Lye

#27

Post by Whitegas Extraordinaire »

SteveRetherford wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 3:28 pm i get mine at Ace hardware for 3.99 a LB

https://www.acehardware.com/departments ... rs/4239216
Steve, we had a giant Ace a mile and 1/2 away but they shut down. I actually think there was some money laundering going on there. Now I am in the burbs, have to head to the city or out in the country to pick it up. $4.59 a pound here.
I just realized I pass a country Ace a couple times a month. Actually will be passing by there late this afternoon.

Thank you!
Kevin

I may frighten easily!
My current shade is Coleman!!
To me a lamp without a shade is creepy!

ICCC # 1865

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Whitegas Extraordinaire
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Re: Best Place to buy Lye

#28

Post by Whitegas Extraordinaire »

ecblanks wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 1:43 pm Does anyone keep "bench lye" in their work area? I keep a jar of vinegar for de-rusting on the bench, but would be handy to also have a jar of lye ready to go for check valves and other small parts that I need to de-goo. Just curious what a good ratio would be , using the drain cleaning crystals.
I do keep lye in a 1 or 2 gallon container in my shop sink. I finally started measuring it after I created a super saturated solution. I will take a look at the container size this evening.

Thank you!
Kevin

I may frighten easily!
My current shade is Coleman!!
To me a lamp without a shade is creepy!

ICCC # 1865

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Re: Best Place to buy Lye

#29

Post by SteveRetherford »

[DrSteve2]    Steve , Keeper of the Light !!!
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Re: Best Place to buy Lye

#30

Post by Whitegas Extraordinaire »

SteveRetherford wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 3:40 pm best place i think is here ?

https://colemancollectorsforum.com/view ... 13&t=25112

:D

Thank you!
Kevin

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My current shade is Coleman!!
To me a lamp without a shade is creepy!

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Re: Best Place to buy Lye

#31

Post by Stovie »

Whitegas Extraordinaire wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 3:38 pmI do keep lye in a 1 or 2 gallon container in my shop sink. I finally started measuring it after I created a super saturated solution.


Is that a bad thing? Should I have not done that?
Madness takes its toll. Please have exact change ready...
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Re: Best Place to buy Lye

#32

Post by Whitegas Extraordinaire »

Stovie wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 5:43 pm
Whitegas Extraordinaire wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 3:38 pmI do keep lye in a 1 or 2 gallon container in my shop sink. I finally started measuring it after I created a super saturated solution.


Is that a bad thing? Should I have not done that?
I probably put 1/3 of a pound in 64 oz of water one time as I was shaking it in out of the jar.

Solution was saturated so there was still powdered lye on the bottom of the container. I started to stir the mix when I realized this. At some point I think I added water and that appears to be when the second exothermic? reaction occurred.
It could have resulted in loss of vision and maybe disfigurement at those concentrations.

Thank you!
Kevin

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My current shade is Coleman!!
To me a lamp without a shade is creepy!

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Gunhippie
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Re: Best Place to buy Lye

#33

Post by Gunhippie »

Lye dissolving in water is a highly exothermic reaction--it releases a LOT of heat. I typically use concentrations of a tablespoon to 1/4 cup of dry lye to a gallon of water. This is little enough that the rest of the water damps out the exothermic reaction. Making high concentration solutions can be scary. The worst thing to do is to add the water to a quantity of dry lye--this will often result in a violent reaction.

"Do what you oughter, add chemicals to water!"
It's priceless until someone puts a price on it.
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Re: Best Place to buy Lye

#34

Post by Mister_Wilson »

Whitegas Extraordinaire wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 6:33 pm
Stovie wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 5:43 pm
Whitegas Extraordinaire wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 3:38 pmI do keep lye in a 1 or 2 gallon container in my shop sink. I finally started measuring it after I created a super saturated solution.


Is that a bad thing? Should I have not done that?
I probably put 1/3 of a pound in 64 oz of water one time as I was shaking it in out of the jar.
Wow, and I thought I mix mine strong! I use 2 pounds to 5 gallons water. At your concentration it would be 3.3 pounds to 5 gallons.
John
H.C. Lanterns dealer
Coleman 275 Appreciation Syndicate #2001 A Turd's Odyssey
Canadian Blues #028
Coleman Slant Saver #31
Looking for 6-56 and 6-58 Birthday lanterns.
There's been an alarming increase in the number of things I know nothing about.
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Re: Best Place to buy Lye

#35

Post by Whitegas Extraordinaire »

Mister_Wilson wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 7:28 pm
Whitegas Extraordinaire wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 6:33 pm
Stovie wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 5:43 pm
Whitegas Extraordinaire wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 3:38 pmI do keep lye in a 1 or 2 gallon container in my shop sink. I finally started measuring it after I created a super saturated solution.


Is that a bad thing? Should I have not done that?
I probably put 1/3 of a pound in 64 oz of water one time as I was shaking it in out of the jar.
Wow, and I thought I mix mine strong! I use 2 pounds to 5 gallons water. At your concentration it would be 3.3 pounds to 5 gallons.
This was entirely by mistake, good news is I wasn't injured. Though it works very well at those concentrations!!!
We will not do that again now that I am measuring Vs. shaking.

Thank you!
Kevin

I may frighten easily!
My current shade is Coleman!!
To me a lamp without a shade is creepy!

ICCC # 1865

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Re: Best Place to buy Lye

#36

Post by ecblanks »

Thanks, guys ,I think I can scale down my solution from these notes. I'm using a quart pickle jar so probably just add a half teaspoon?
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Re: Best Place to buy Lye

#37

Post by sourgasjohn »

I have a 2 gallon plastic jug of lye water in the lantern shop that I use. I mix about like Timm stated above. I don't know how long the stuff stays potent after mixing. I started dumping my leftover small batches into the 2 gal. jug and now just use the leftovers. They still seem to work well after several months. Every so often when I pour out a quart or so to use I put in a little fresh lye powder. It makes a very effective paint stripper too. I submerge a bare fount into the lye soup overnight and they are grey metal clean inside and out. Not as fast as aircraft stripper,but simpler and less messy and the leftovers get filtered back into the jug.
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Re: Best Place to buy Lye

#38

Post by Gunhippie »

sourgasjohn wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 9:34 pm I have a 2 gallon plastic jug of lye water in the lantern shop that I use. I mix about like Timm stated above. I don't know how long the stuff stays potent after mixing. I started dumping my leftover small batches into the 2 gal. jug and now just use the leftovers. They still seem to work well after several months. Every so often when I pour out a quart or so to use I put in a little fresh lye powder. It makes a very effective paint stripper too. I submerge a bare fount into the lye soup overnight and they are grey metal clean inside and out. Not as fast as aircraft stripper,but simpler and less messy and the leftovers get filtered back into the jug.
A lye solution shouldn't loose potency through sitting around in a sealed container. CO2 will combine with the lye to form washing soda--NaCO3, but there's only a trace amount of CO2 in most air. When NaOH and CO2 react, it uses up all the CO2 present. Putting a lye solution in a brewery vessel full of CO2 is a classic mistake that results in a collapsed vessel--costing tens of $K. One of the reasons all of our vessels are fitted with vacuum relief valves.

If you're really concerned about getting the maximum use out of your lye solution, you can buy some pH test strips like these:

I'd add more lye when the pH dips down below pH 12. That's enough tests to last for many years. I just cut off about 1/8-1/4" and use a pair of forceps to dip it.
It's priceless until someone puts a price on it.
Walk a mile in a man's shoes before you criticize him--then you're a mile away, and he has no shoes.
Texan's last words: "Y'all--hold my beer--I wanta' try sumptin'."
Timm--Middle of nowhere, near the end of the road, Oregon.
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Re: Best Place to buy Lye

#39

Post by Mister_Wilson »

Whitegas Extraordinaire wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 7:42 pm
Mister_Wilson wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 7:28 pm
Whitegas Extraordinaire wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 6:33 pm
Stovie wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 5:43 pm
Whitegas Extraordinaire wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 3:38 pmI do keep lye in a 1 or 2 gallon container in my shop sink. I finally started measuring it after I created a super saturated solution.


Is that a bad thing? Should I have not done that?
I probably put 1/3 of a pound in 64 oz of water one time as I was shaking it in out of the jar.
Wow, and I thought I mix mine strong! I use 2 pounds to 5 gallons water. At your concentration it would be 3.3 pounds to 5 gallons.
This was entirely by mistake, good news is I wasn't injured. Though it works very well at those concentrations!!!
We will not do that again now that I am measuring Vs. shaking.
Good new for the impatient among us! :lol:
John
H.C. Lanterns dealer
Coleman 275 Appreciation Syndicate #2001 A Turd's Odyssey
Canadian Blues #028
Coleman Slant Saver #31
Looking for 6-56 and 6-58 Birthday lanterns.
There's been an alarming increase in the number of things I know nothing about.
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