How To Get Caustic Soda or Lye
Caustic soda is one of the common names for NaOH, also known as lye. Its common name is derived from its chemical identity as sodium hydrate and because it is caustic or corrosive. In pure form, caustic soda is a waxy white solid. It absorbs water easily and forms aqueous solutions. Commercially available caustic soda or sodium hydroxide is generally sodium hydroxide monohydrate, NaOHH2O.
Key Points to Consider: Caustic Soda
- Caustic soda is one of the common names for NaOH.
- It is also known as lye, although it can refer to potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide.
- Pure caustic soda is sold to make candles or soap.
- Pure caustic soda was found in the drain cleaner. Since ovaries are used to make illegal drugs, buying large quantities is more difficult than in the past. However, small containers are available in stores and online.
Caustic soda or Lye uses
Lye is used for making soap, candles, homemade biodiesel, frosted glass, making various foods and for chemistry experiments.
How to get caustic soda or lye
Getting to bleach is more difficult than in the past. The main source of caustic soda was Red Devil Lye, but this product is no longer on the market. Why is it difficult to bleach? The reason is that it can be used to control pH while producing methamphetamine. There are still a few ways to obtain the chemical. Ensure that the product contains 100% sodium or bleached hydroxide or caustic soda. This is especially important if you are preparing food, because an impure product can contain dangerous contaminants. Bleaching sources include:
- Drain Cleaner (check mark) – for example, Roebic Crystal Drain Cleaner, sold in Lowes
- Sodium hydroxide from an online chemical supply store.
- Soap shop
- Candle shop
- Biodiesel supply store
Please note that when purchasing caustic or bleached soda, you may need to sign a statement that you are not using it for illegal activities. Or, you may not need to sign anything, as a credit card provides almost all the details needed to find you if the authorities believe you are a growing drug trafficker.
- Because this chemical is relatively difficult to obtain, you may need to purchase in large quantities. You might be able to find other people who need the chemical to help split the cost. It’s not an expensive item, but you probably don’t need several pounds.
- Keep the container closed and away from moisture. Caustic soda absorbs and interacts with water.
- Keep bleach out of reach of children and pets. Touching or swallowing it can cause serious chemical burns.
- Wear gloves or tools to handle caustic soda.
- Implement reactions involving this chemical in a well-ventilated or outdoor room. The reaction produces harmful heat and fumes.
Caustic soda or Lye substitutes
Depending on the purpose, you can replace a strong, chemically similar base, potassium hydroxide (KOH). This is a chemical that, if you are very loyal, you can prepare by dipping the wood ash in water. To do this, soak a large amount of ash in a small amount of water. Wait about a week for the water to wash off. Filter liquid containing potassium hydroxide, filter and boil to alkali concentration. Be careful and wear gloves when handling liquid. The project should be carried out only in the open air or in a well-ventilated place.
- Brodale, G. E. and W. F. Giauque (1962). “The freezing point-solubility curve of aqueous sodium hydroxide in the region near the anhydrous-monohydrate eutectic.” Journal of Physical Chemistry, volume 66, issue 10, pp. 2051–2051. doi:10.1021/j100816a051
- Deming, Horace G. (1925). General Chemistry: An Elementary Survey Emphasizing Industrial Applications of Fundamental Principles (2nd ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- Haynes, William M., ed. (2011). CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (92nd ed.). CRC Press. ISBN 1439855110.