Friday, February 13, 2009

Is anyone out there unfamiliar with Red Devil Lye? It's been sold at my local Safeway since the memory of man runneth not to the contrary. I frequently use it to clean such things as kitchen dishrags, clothing that has such cleaning problems as other products are unable to touch (have you ever discovered a pillow case that has a pronounced yellowing from a lifetime of facial oil? Boil that sucker in lye.) So I don't use much but I like to have it around for occasional needs.
It's not being made anymore. It's not that Safeway isn't carrying it - it's not being manufactured any longer. In my Googling after being denied at the store, I learned that lye is one of the chemicals that's used in the production of methamphetamine. Of course it's also used in the making of soap and even some cooking (hominy anyone?) so if you're a regular person who might have reason to use a chemical that can be made from wood ash, you now have to adjust your use to the prohibitionist tactics of the "war on drugs." Let's just declare we've won and move on, okay? Like the Democrats wanted do with Iraq.
As it turns out, the making of lye itself is not banned but instead of going to my local grocery and purchasing a little plastic bottle of the stuff, I find it on Amazon for $1.99 with a shipping cost of $10.49. Not that it's "lye" that I'm buying but "100% Lye Drain Opener." Yeah, okay, right. Whatever. Now I'm probably on the DEA's watchlist for being a potential meth chef. "No, officer! I wanted to clean some pillow cases! Honest!"
Stangely, the Amazon page doesn't explicitly state the amount the container holds. But since the shipping weight is 12 pounds, I'm going to assume that I've just bought myself a lifetime supply of lye. If you come for a visit, I'll share. Bring a jar.

On The Other Hand: Skittles flavored vodka. I may have to try that. Where do I get those cool bottles?


Enigmatic Misanthrope said...

You are correct.. Red Devil (straight) Lye (great drain cleaner) has been banned by the FDA for a couple of years now..thanks to Meth-heads. BTW I now have to show ID to buy Sudafed at the Safeway for the same reason...
Why anyone in their right mind would ingest this shit as their “drug of choice” is beyond my understanding.(HAHAH...yeah ..right!!) I say bring back Red Devil Lye and any other dangerous substance that these spores want to get high on and let natural selection thin the herd. Whooops..seems cigarettes aren’t too good for you either..hey when did that happen??Why didn’t I get the memo?

Here are some of the common ingredients used in cooking meth and some contained in cigarettes….hmmm..similar eh?
Alcohol -
Gasoline additives/Rubbing Alcohol
Ether (starting fluid)
Paint thinner
Camp stove fuel
Anhydrous ammonia
White gasoline
Rock, table or Epsom salt
Red Phosphorous
Toluene (found in brake cleaner)
Red Devil Lye
Drain cleaner
Muraitic acid
Battery acid
Lithium from batteries
Sodium metal
Cold tablets
Diet aids
Energy boosters
Iodine crystals

Ammonia: Household cleaner
Angelica root extract: Known to cause cancer in animals
Arsenic: Used in rat poisons
Benzene: Used in making dyes, synthetic rubber
Butane: Gas; used in lighter fluid
Carbon monoxide: Poisonous gas
Cadmium: Used in batteries
Cyanide: Deadly poison
DDT: A banned insecticide
Ethyl Furoate: Causes liver damage in animals
Lead: Poisonous in high doses
Formaldehiyde: Used to preserve dead specimens
Methoprene: Insecticide
Megastigmatrienone: Chemical naturally found in grapefruit juice
Maltitol: Sweetener for diabetics
Napthalene: Ingredient in mothballs
Methyl isocyanate: Its accidental release killed 2000 people in Bhopal, India in 1984
Polonium: Cancer-causing radioactive element

XMBD NMSE said...

I do remember that your solution to any laundry problem involving white clothing was "boil it in lye." I believe you used chopsticks to swirl it around as I recall...

BlogDog said...

Boiling in lye can cause shrinkage but it cleans what other products won't touch.
Well, the ozone bleaches are awfully good too but I don't Billy Mays was pimping Oxi-Clean when we were doing laundry.

Anonymous said...

I do feel your pain! I am a beginner soapmaker... moving away from melt and pours trying to make my own.. I have been to 4 hardware stores and can't get lye to even start the "new hobby"! Frustrated!
And yes, I get frustrated trying to purchase sudafed too...I recently had to fill out a form with my age and other information purchasing a list that my doctor told me to get for my sick son. He had the cold I had the 3rd degree! I thought this was a free country!