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This article is about the current version of DF.
Note that some content may still need to be updated.

Lye is a liquid used to make soap, and can also be used to make potash (Although potash is more easily made directly from ash, which is also the precursor to lye). Lye is made by a lye maker at an ashery, and requires 1 bar of ash and an empty bucket; ash is made from wood by a wood burner at a wood furnace.

Lye is moved from buckets into a barrel if you have a food stockpile with "lye" enabled and a spare barrel. One barrel can hold 100 units of lye.

Lye can be ordered in trade agreements. Each barrel of lye brought by a caravan contains 10 units.

Frozen lye[edit]

Lye freezes in cold weather – you'll have to wait until it thaws in order to make soap. Lye can be moved to a warmer underground location to thaw it. Alternatively, careful application of magma may be used. However, there is no entry for frozen lye in stockpile menus, so dwarves will not haul a frozen lye barrel to any type of stockpile.

Barrels containing frozen lye can be moved underground to thaw by dumping them to a garbage dump, but if you use the Designations Menu to mark the barrels, the frozen lye stack will be marked for dumping separately, and when it is hauled inside, it will melt into a useless puddle on the floor. Instead, select the barrel and click dump Dump option icon.png on it to mark just the barrel for dumping, and its contents will stay inside.

If your trade depot is outdoors in freezing weather, frozen lye (or milk) barrels will appear as empty barrels in the Trading screen. They can be distinguished from empty barrels by having a price 20☼ higher than the price of the barrel, or by viewing their contents. If purchased, these will also have to be dumped to thaw the lye, or will have to wait for better weather.

Handmade soap made with pure lye.
More: GemsMetalsStones
BloodBoneCartilageCheeseChitinEggFatFeatherHair (WoolYarn) • HoofHornIchorLeatherMilkMeatNailNervous tissueOrgansParchmentPearlScaleShellSilkSkinSpitSweatTallowTearsToothWax
Fiber (PaperSlurry) • FlowerFruitLeafOil • Plant powders (DyeFlourSugar) • Seed (Press cake) • Wood
AmberAshCoralFilthFuelGlassGrimeIceLyeMagmaMudPearlashPotashSaltUnknown substanceVomitWater
See also: Material science