Jay Green wrote:My grandmother washed all her dishes with lye soap and then gave the dishwater to the pigs and chickens. The soap helped keep them worm free and the water was recycled into something good for the soil. Might be time to consider re-using your water in just such a manner to bring all things into a healthy balance.
I did a bit of research, and found a few reuses that could be beneficial for Permies:
/* Anhydrous sodium hydroxide can be used as a catalyst for preparing biodiesel
because it is cheaper than any other alkalines
/* Food uses
Lye is used to cure types of food
, such as lutefisk, green olives, canned mandarin oranges, hominy, lye rolls, century eggs, and pretzels. It is also used as a tenderizer in the crust of baked Cantonese moon cakes, and in lye-water "zongzi" (glutenous rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves), in chewy southern Chinese noodles popular in Hong Kong and southern China, and in Japanese ramen
. In the United States, food-grade lye must meet the requirements outlined in the Food Chemicals Codex (FCC), as prescribed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Lower grades of lye are commonly used as drain openers and oven cleaners and should not be used for food preparation.
/* recycling Paper
1. Paper industry: Lye finds the greatest usage in the pulp and paper industry worldwide. It is used in the de-inking of waste paper
and water treatment during pulp and paper manufacturing process. It is also a raw material in the pulp bleaching
process. Many manufacturers produce and supply lye only as an essential ingredient for this industry.
I think water drained from dish cleaning could easily be used in paper making... since it de-inks paper, and bleaches it. But, using it as a catalyst for making bio-diesel is probably one of the more intriguing ones.... Washing dishes to make car fuel. Of course you'd need some used oil from somewhere. Oh, and of course Ramen noodles... who doesn't like Ramen from time to time?