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Old 04-01-2014, 04:13 PM
JRPerry JRPerry is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Irving, TX
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Default Inquiry re: lye use indoors


I live in an apartment and I don't really have a private outdoor area to call my own, so although I'd love to setup an electrolysis tank, this really isn't possible for me. Thus far I've stuck to using oven cleaner and vinegar methods to clean my CI but I'd like to explore lye. Is it necessary to keep a lye bath outdoors due to fumes/toxic stuff from the lye? I live alone, and I have no pets so there's zero risk of a kid or animal getting into my lye bath if I keep it inside - I'm just worried about environmental hazards (air, fumes, etc.) - please advise, thank TIA!


Last edited by JRPerry; 04-01-2014 at 04:14 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 04-01-2014, 04:26 PM
Doug D. Doug D. is offline
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Default Re: Inquiry re: lye use indoors

Although my tank is outside, I do note an odor when I remove the lid. The odor is mildly acrid, but not what I would call volatile or irritating. Having said that, I also wouldn't want to stand over it inhaling for an extended period of time. Although outdoor use is recommended, I think with the observance of due precautions and an airtight container, you might be OK. The problem will be finding a container substantial enough, with a tight-fitting lid, but with a way of removing the lid that does not represent a spill or splash hazard. Standard five gallon plastic buckets will hold most size pieces, and tight-fitting lids with seal rings are available for them. There is a special tool, made of heavy plastic, for prying open the flanges of such lids for easier removal. Placing the bucket, say, in a bathtub, and leaving the bath vent fan running to address any odor might be an idea. That way, too, if there is a splash, it can be easily rinsed down the tub drain. You could also safely drain the tank down the tub drain as well, following it with a few minutes of cold running water.
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Old 04-01-2014, 05:06 PM
JRPerry JRPerry is offline
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Location: Irving, TX
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Default Re: Inquiry re: lye use indoors

thanks. food for thought. my apartment is very small and actually has no bathroom ventilation. sigh. i might be stuck w/ other methods.
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Old 04-02-2014, 07:37 AM
Alan B Alan B is offline
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 16
Default Re: Inquiry re: lye use indoors

My lye bath is indoors, in my first floor laundry room. The container sits on top of my dryer. Never had any problems or concerns.

I only really notice an offensive odor when first mixing a fresh batch of lye water, but after placing the lid on, the smell is no longer around. It's NOT a sealed container, but the latches hold the lid on securely enough for me.

There is no mechanical ventilation in the room (though I do have a drafty old house so it always has some "natural" ventilation). I have no human children - the cats don't bother the lye bath either. I'm sure they can smell the odor so they stay away.

In my opinion, just keep the lid on your container, keep the door to the room open so it doesn't fill up with lye smell, and call it a day. I know this may go against what the experts recommend, but that's my experience. Once it warms up consistently above freezing, I'll probably move the setup outside to my shed just to get it out of the way.

This Sterilite latching storage box is what I use:
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