If you are careful and sensible you need not be nervous about using any of the substances required for soap making.
Please note: Sodium Hydroxide (Na0H) and caustic soda refer to the dry pearl-like substance and the word 'lye' refers to the water and dry Sodium Hydroxide mixture once it has been combined. In many soap making recipes these terms are often interchangeable. In mine, you will find I use Sodium Hydroxide and Caustic soda when referring to the dry raw ingredient and the word 'lye' only when it has been mixed with water. I do not use ready made liquid caustic soda solutions in any of my recipes or instructions.
Sodium Hydroxide (caustic soda) is highly reactive in its dry form or when mixed in solution. One bead of Sodium Hydroxide can burn through layers of skin in the presence of even a hint of sweat. A splash of this solution can burn or blind. If accidentally swallowed it causes severe internal injury and can be fatal. NEVER BE COMPLACENT WHEN HANDLING SODIUM HYDROXIDE.
When Sodium Hydroxide is mixed with water it gives off toxic fumes which can overwhelm you within seconds. Ensure that you do this part of the procedure in a very well ventilated room or outside if you can. It is a good idea to hold your breath for the short time it takes to pour and stir the caustic soda.
Always wear your safety goggles, rubber gloves, apron and long sleeves during the soap making process.
Always pour the dry caustic soda into the water and NOT the other way around (water poured onto caustic soda can produce a volcano effect).
Rmember homemade soap cannot be made without using Sodium Hydroxide (lye, caustic soda). It is therefore very important that you understand and follow all the homemade soap safety precautions.
I LOVE SOAP MAKING AND I WOULD LIKE OTHER PEOPLE TO ENJOY THIS WONDERFUL HOBBY TOO, SO PLEASE PAY ATTENTION TO THE SOAP SAFETY PRECAUTIONS, AND GO ON TO MAKE SAFE SOAP!