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This article is about an older version of DF.

Lye is made by a dwarf with the lye making labor enabled at an ashery, and requires 1 bar of ash and 1 bucket. Ash is made from wood by a wood burner at a wood furnace.

Lye is used to make soap and potash, though potash can also be made directly from ash.

In versions older than 0.31.19, lye has to be moved from buckets into a barrel (which can hold up to 100 units of lye) to make soap. This is done automatically if you have a food stockpile with "misc. liquid" enabled, and a spare barrel. In 0.31.19, a bucket of lye can be used directly; and lye that is in a stockpile cannot be used.

If you order lye from your outpost liaison, lye will arrive in the next trade caravan. The lye will already be in barrels.

Lye freezes in cold weather. You'll have to wait till it unfreezes in order to make soap. Magma helps unfreeze lye.

Lye is located under Food -> Misc. Liquids in the Stocks screen.


  • Sometimes, dwarves will use a bucket that already contains water when making lye. The result will be a bucket containing both water and lye, which cannot be used for any purpose. See soap for workaround suggestions. Bug:1236