But what about outside of the USA? Shipping regulations differ all over the world, but here are some online stores that sell sodium and/or potassium hydroxide. (Note: I have not ordered from any of these companies; I buy my lye locally. So I cannot attest to the reliability or customer service of any of these vendors.)
Some other ways to get lye for soap making:
- Get together with other soap makers in your area and "go in" on buying a bag of lye from a local chemical supply house - (or one of the online vendors above), carefully splitting it between you. Lots of soap makers buy their lye in bulk. Most large cities have a solvent or chemical company that will sell lye (Sodium Hydroxide) in 35 or 50 lb. bags. You'll pay a fraction (per pound) of what the Red Devil cost, but, you've got to be able to safely store that much lye. Remember the cautions you go through with a 12 oz. jar of lye, now imagine 35 lbs. of it!
- Buy a whole bag yourself, knowing that it needs to be stored in an airtight container, safely away from children, pets or other unknowing people.
- Check your local hardware store - Depending on the regulations where you live, some hardware stores may sell 100% sodium hydroxide as a drain cleaner.
Be sure to check out (and add your comments to) the Lye Suppliers thread on the Candle and Soap Making Forum.