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Cast Iron Cleaning and Seasoning Help With and Tips & Techniques For Cast Iron Cookware Restoration

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Old 12-23-2020, 05:13 PM
Mike_M Mike_M is offline
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 65
Default Lye Bath

I typically strip CI with electrolysis but was thinking of introducing an initial first step in a lye bath. Any benifits to the lye not achieved thru electrolysis?
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Old 12-23-2020, 08:31 PM
Jody M Jody M is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 408
Default Re: Lye Bath

For several years, I used nothing but electrolysis, since it cleans everything. The past 2 years I've started to use a lye tank first. It allows me to stack multiple pieces in the lye tank for extended periods of time, until I can get to them. All of the carbon build up comes clean and it makes the etank work so much easier and efficiently. Where I really notice the difference is with the pieces with a heavy carbon build up. Sometimes they take some elbow grease and multiple attempts in the etank to completely clean. After removing the heavy duty crud in the lye tank first, they clean up nicely in the etank on the first try, with no "elbow grease" required.
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Old 12-28-2020, 07:09 PM
StanG StanG is offline
Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 16
Default Re: Lye Bath

I'm like you and have only ever done pans with electrolysis, but after reading about how well lye takes 'crud (but not rust) off a pan I realized the think I hate about my electrolysis baths are that the tank gets gunked up in no time flat. If I can get the majority off with a lye bath, and let the electrolysis (yes, I'll still do that step) only handle any rust or whatever, then I'll be able to get more use of the electrolysis bath, and the sacrificial anode won't be as cruddy, as quickly. Today I did my 1st piece (the mess attached) and a few hours in, the 'crud' is falling away. If I'd done this in the E-bath, it would have made the whole tank very gross. I bought lye crystals off of Amazon and am very happy with it so far.
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Old 12-28-2020, 07:37 PM
Ed Grabski Ed Grabski is offline
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 91
Default Re: Lye Bath

The Lye works great.
I use a 30 gallon blue barrel with the top cut off and flipped over for a cover.
All the blue barrels are HDPE and will not be effected by the lye.
Most times you can pick them up for free.
A place with a big boiler or a hotel with a pool would be a good place to start.
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