Base Dissolution: Using Lye
One of the less discussed, but incredibly effective ways to dissolve a body is to use sodium hydroxide, otherwise known as lye. This product is extremely corrosive, can cause serious skin burns and eye damage with the slightest contact on bare skin. Commonly sold as a powder, when mixed with water, it becomes dangerous. Notable killers to have used lye include Adolph Luetgert, who boiled his wife in lye and disposed of the fragments and Mexican drug cartels who refer to this mix as pozole after the traditional stew. When heated to 300F, a solution of water and lye dissolve a body into a “tan mineral oil-like” consistency in a few hours. As it is hard to heat water above 212F, or the boiling point of water, it would take a few extra hours.
Lye powder is easily purchased, at craft or farm supply stores, as it is used for soap making. Purchases of large quantities of acid are monitored heavily as acid is used in bomb construction. You may need to dissolve the body parts in batches depending on the size of the pieces and the size of your stockpot.
-Large Enameled Stock Pot, Stainless Steel Stock Pot with a lid
-Lye powder (sold as sodium hydroxide powder)
-Candy thermometer with a clip to attach to the side of the pot
-Body parts, cut into small pieces
*Suggested to do this outside or in a well ventilated space
Put on the respirator, safety goggles, protective clothing, and gloves.
In your stock pot, mix cold water and lye in a 1:1 ratio, and fill the pot halfway.
Place over heat source and slowly heat up to 212F, using your thermometer to keep a close eye on the heat.
After the water reaches 212F, you can now start placing the body parts into the Stockpot. Take care not to overcrowd the pot.
Leave the solution to cook for five hours at 212F, checking every now and again to check the water level and keep the boy parts covered with a 1:1 water lye ratio.
After five hours, all the body parts should be dissolved. Let the dissolved lye solution cool.
- Use the sieve to try to collect any bone fragments. These can be crushed along with teeth and mixed into compost.