Since lye is a very strong base (pH 13), there is always a certain danger in working with it; it can cause deep scars and chemical burns. It is very reactive with water, even water pulled from humidity in the air, and such reactions will create a lot of heat. In addition to water, it reacts with sugars, aluminum, tin, brass, bronze, and other metals in a way that is potentially harmful to people.
If you must mix lye with water, it is best to wear plenty of protective clothing and goggles, and pour the lye into the water rather than the other way around. This helps to prevent splashing. You should avoid letting it come into contact with bare skin, and never ingest lye or breathe in fumes from a reaction. It should be stored in airtight plastic, never glass.
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