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  #1  
Old 02-01-2014, 10:06 PM
JoeAsh JoeAsh is offline
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Default Do I need to use 100% lye?

I have found a few drain cleaners that are 60-80% lye at better prices. Would they work as well? Or should I go for the ones that are 100%?
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  #2  
Old 02-01-2014, 10:28 PM
Doug D. Doug D. is offline
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Default Re: Do I need to use 100% lye?

It's what constitutes the other 20-40% that's the problem, and which you want to avoid. Look for the Rooto and Roebic brands that state 100% sodium hydroxide. Rooto at Ace Hardware is ~ $4/lb.
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Old 02-18-2014, 05:19 PM
JoeAsh JoeAsh is offline
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Default Re: Do I need to use 100% lye?

Thanks I'm about to head out to get some Rooto and gloves! Though, I want to ask, how should I store whatever I use to mix it? I was going to just grab a wooden dowel to use, would it be fine to set outside? Or should I toss it ASAP?
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Old 02-18-2014, 05:33 PM
John E John E is offline
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Default Re: Do I need to use 100% lye?

I just used the gloves to mix it by hand. It'll be a little warm at first from the chemical reaction between the lye and the water (which is exactly why you always add lye to the water and not reverse!) but it's by no means warm enough to cause any harm. Just rinse the gloves with clean water after and store as you wish.

[SIZE=1]---------- Post added at 05:33 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:30 PM ----------[/SIZE]

Also... I had posted this in another thread, but make sure you get the right kind of gloves too. I originally got the really cheap yellow ones and they failed and I got minor burns from the lye. Then I got a heavier black pair meant for chemicals and those work great.
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Old 02-18-2014, 05:34 PM
Doug D. Doug D. is offline
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Default Re: Do I need to use 100% lye?

Dowel, paint stirrer, tree branch, PVC pipe. Just rinse it off with the hose, the small amount won't kill the grass. Not to in any way minimize the amount of caution that should be used, but the solution, at the recommended strength, won't instantly eat flesh from bone. If you were, however, to dip your hand in it and not immediately rinse it off, you'd start experiencing a feeling of irritation like a sunburn. Better to use the recommended precautions, though, especially eye protection. And, yes, always add lye to water, never the reverse.
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:26 PM
JoeAsh JoeAsh is offline
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Default Re: Do I need to use 100% lye?

John, where would I find gloves like that? Was gong to use the yellow kitchen gloves... glad I didn't start!

I have eye protection, I'm not stranger to chemicals, I do a lot of dark room photography and many of the chemicals are REALLY bad when they get in your eyes!
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:50 PM
SteveL SteveL is offline
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Default Re: Do I need to use 100% lye?

Home Depot or Lowes has them.
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:09 PM
JoeAsh JoeAsh is offline
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Default Re: Do I need to use 100% lye?

Looks like I need to wait a little bit... A bit out of my budget for this project right now. Maybe on Saturday .

For now I am doing a trial of some oven cleaner I found under my sink. Didn't have any plastic bags, but have a 5 gallon bucket I put it in and sealed up. Not sure if it will work, but this is my experimental piece.
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  #9  
Old 02-18-2014, 08:41 PM
Steve Stephens Steve Stephens is offline
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Default Re: Do I need to use 100% lye?

If you think you need to stir the lye into the water just use a skillet as a paddle to stir the lye around. I never have used gloves. A coat hanger wire with a hook on one and and a handle fashioned at the other end suffices just fine. No eye protection either. You should know when the lye is likely to splash and look away. I've never in 30 years had any problems but I have put my whole hand into the lye on occasion to retrieve a lid that was upside down or a piece that had no way to hook onto it. Rinsed my hand and arm right away but it's NOT a good practice to do what I did and I'd recommend against it. Always be aware what you and the lye are doing when working around it. Safety gear is great but some people dispense with it and still have no problems as I have mentioned. If you are careless or not aware of your surroundings at all times by all means use the most and best safety gear you can.
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  #10  
Old 02-18-2014, 08:59 PM
JoeAsh JoeAsh is offline
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Default Re: Do I need to use 100% lye?

I have been known to be clumsy, so better to have the precautions in place than end up inured...
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