Lye is simply sodium hydroxide, a very basic-as in high pH, not every day-chemical... Available through most chemical/scientific companies. They may have really cracked down on what is ordered and delivered recently.
You don’t need to go to a specialty company - Lye is available at
any grocery store (Kroger, Walmart, etc…) as good old Red Devil Lye
Drain Opener in the household cleaner section. 100% lye in a 12oz
can is about $3. My wife has been making her own soap and my
shaving cream with it for years, but I will now have to try it as a
jewelry cleaner as well. VERY caustic stuff - read the warnings on