A little white lye.

Is all I need to fix my drain, it is the only thing that ever works. So why can’t I find it anywhere? I am tired of spending $$$ on Liquid Plum’r and Drano. The only thing those things plumb or drain is my wallet. So have the liability lawyers put the kibosh on Lye?

Actually, a Google search indicates that soap making hobbyists are having trouble obtaining it. RIP, sodium hydroxide, we hardly knew ye.

No worries. Get yourself a bowl of water and a big honkin’ lump of metallic sodium, and you’re good to go. :smiley:

I have a feeling that the sodium would be easier to obtain than my Lye.

And a tip of the hat to old Shel Silverstien for the atrocious pun in the thread title. ;j

I know I’ve seen it as grocery stores. The brand is something like “Red Devil”.

According to this Red Devil Lye has been withdrawn from distribution. Apparantly, it is used in the production of meth.

Been to Ralphs, Vons and Sav-On so far. Nada. Lot’s of liquids and gels and none of them are worth a damn. Like I said, the soap hobbyists are having to order it from chemical supply houses :eek:

It must be a combination of trial lawyers and Darwin award candidates. In other words, those who conspire through respectively greed and stupidity, to remove every potential hazard from our lives and bubble wrap our children. Never mind that my toilet is backing up through the bathtub and spreading human waste all over, at least I can’t sue anyone :dubious:

No, it’s the meth in this case.

You could save your oven ash and drip water through it. That’s what my grandmother did.

Mind you, my grandmother had a lot of time.

Oddly enough, my cousin was out fixing my toilet yesterday and went off on me about using Drain-o and said I need to get myself some stuff called “organic release”…which I’m pretty sure is lye (he said it was sulfuric-somethingorother).

I tried Googling it to see if I could buy it online (I am guessing no…cuz of the meth labs) and actually did not find one thing about it. So it MAY be just a local product that is made by this hardware store he told me to go to.

He says the only place he can find it around here is a local hardware store in a nearby town. Not a grocery store or a “big box” hardware store like Home Depot or Sears. Got any of those around?

“organic release” sounds like one of those septic additives, or enzymes that supposedly attack grease or whatever. After several huge jugs of Drano or whatever and a lot of boiling water, the clog has cleared. I spent all night on this damned crap. One bottle of Lye would have bought me a night’s sleep. Thanks, meth-heads. May you lose all your teeth!

/the irony that I was up all night with the meth-heads is not lost on me.

I try to avoid using corrosives in my drains. You or any plumber you call can get burned if you don’t undo the clog and are later forcerd to mechanically unstick it. Better to mechasnically undo it from the start, either using a “snake” or undoing the U-joint and cleaning it out. If your problem’s farther down, use the snake or get a plumber or rooter guy. Odds are something there is causing hangups and it’s better to completely free it than using Lye and maybe not getting it all.
Bummer about the lye, though. The latest issue of Scientific American confirms that lye is a major constituent in crystal meth lab chemistry. It’s bad enough this epidemic has pushed the Sudafed behind the counters, but this is a pain for chemistry types. I used to use NaOH all the time in my home lab .

We have tried to use snakes with little success. These units were built in the '20’s and the plumbing has too many bends and crap. This was a hair clog. I had already fished a bunch of my roomie’s daughter’s hair out of it with a bent coat-hanger (how can a four year old have so much hair!) and now it is clear. We have been through this before. I just feel that it is better to use a little Lye and get it over with than pouring $30 worth of Drano. I have bought a hair trap for the bath and this $1.99 item should end our troubles. An ounce of prevention and all that…

Thanks for all the help. And as far as the meth-heads, let them choke on it. Let them have all the meth it takes. I want my Red Devil and I want my God-Damned Sudafed, and the quicker the meth-heads take their poison the better. Arrgh.

I’m not asking for the recipe or anything, but I wonder what other common household chemicals are going to be banned next. Maybe they will ban Diet Coke, because too many people mix it with Bacardi. :rolleyes:

Happy, I used to have the same problem with Drano and stuff you get att he grocery store. I have long hair and my drains clog every couple of months…

Then I found at Home Depot Zep Commercial 10 Minute Hair Clog Remover. This stuff works wonders. It usually takes 2-3 applications, 10 minutes apart (duh), and flushed with hot water.

Without lye, how are people going to prepare lutefisk! Oh, the humanity!

Isn’t lye made by packing hardwood ash (or soapwort ash) into a barrel, and letting water drip through slowly? What comes out the bottom is lye, no? I would think if you knew how to set up a meth lab, you could manage that.

Here at Hardwood Ash Meth Labs, we make our Lye the Old-Fashioned way, carefully dripping through ashes from fires built of hand-hewn timber. We then cook it along with pre-indictment Sudafed in alembics made of hand-thrown pottery in our North Woods hideout. Because it shows in the Quality of our product. Crystal Meth, like Grandpa used to use.

Washing soda might work as an alternative to lye for cleaning you pipes. It’s like baking soda turned up to 11 (literally, the pH is 11, much more caustic/alkaline than baking soda).

Looking at Material Safety Data Sheets, Zep “10 Minute” is not significantly different from Drano. The closest thing you’re going to find to your beloved lye crystals is crystal drain cleaner from Drano or Zep; these are mostly potassium hydroxide, with some other agents mixed in.

The only “organic release” I’ve ever heard is an asphalt release agent for cleaning trucks and equipment; it might be effective for grease clogs in drains, but I can’t imagine it would do much for hair clogs.

Finally, acid drain cleaners might be effective against hair, but not so much against grease, and I don’t know of any on the market anyway. Acid toilet bowl cleaners are available, and might – conceivably – help with a hair clog if your poured it down the drain. Since it’s not intended for that use, I can’t recommend it.

:smiley: 10 points!