Curing some foods is impossible without lye. There would be no Chinese noodles, zongzi, pretzels, century eggs, lye rolls, hominy, canned oranges, green olives, and lutefisk if there is no lye. Even soap-making will be impossible without lye. Unfortunately, the famous Red Devil brand for lye products is long gone, making buying some lye a challenge.
Where to Buy Lye?
Although a bit difficult, buying lye is not impossible. You just need to know where you can possibly buy some lye.
- Manufacturers. Only few retailers are selling lye. Manufacturers are selling this in bulk orders for businesses that need to use lye. If you will have a big order, better contact a lye manufacturer immediately. Small order is okay if you can negotiate that with the manufacturer.
- Online sellers. On eBay, many users are still selling the long-gone Red Devil. You might want to use their unused can of the product. Some also sell lye in small packages.
- Soap-making suppliers. As mentioned, lye is an important ingredient in making soaps. It is almost impossible to make soap without lye. That is why soap-making suppliers are expected to have some lye. This usually comes with other soap-making ingredients. Try to negotiate if the supplier can sell only lye to you. This is possible but do not expect to buy in big amounts.
- Lye online depots. Lye Depots, Texas Natural Supply, Essential Depot, and Chemistry Storeare just some of the online depots that are selling lye. Visit their website and see if you can get the lye that you've been looking for.
- Hardware store. Some hardware stores include lye to their product offers. Check in your local hardware store if they have bags of lye.
Lye may not be available in your local variety store. At least, you can try to look for it in the places mentioned above.
Precautions When Buying Lye
Improper use of lye can cause corrosion and degradation of organic tissue. This could lead to chemical burns caused by chemical reaction. That is why you should not just buy any lye.
Check the seller's documents. Lye sellers should have proper documentation stating that they are allowed to produce and sell lye. This is not applicable to individual resellers, though, especially on eBay. Remember that dealing with them is at your own risk, so, check everything before you buy lye.
More Lye Buying Tips
- Buy in bulk. Some manufacturers will only sell in bulk, so, you don't have any other choice. Even if you can buy in small amounts, buying bulk is still a money saver.
- Buy with some users. Do you know some people who also need lye? If you can't afford to buy in bulk, then ask them if they are willing to share a big bag of lye with you.
- Buy from experienced sellers. Most people think that inexperienced sellers give the best deal. Actually, it's not always the case because most of the time, experienced sellers are safer to deal with. They know all the rules and they get their supplies directly from manufacturers. That is why they commonly offer lye in cheaper price.
Once you already have some lye, make sure that you always prioritize safety when using it. Excessive exposure to the material can cause irreversible harm.