Potassium hydroxide is the active ingredient in lye made from wood-ashes. If you are not going to make your own, this is the next best thing. It doesn’t get too slippery like Red Devil Lye does (the stuff you get in the store), and is more effective than hydrated lime. Its easier to use and less messy than home-made wood ash lye, but then of course, its not as interesting or natural as making your own. One pound is enough for 8 deer hides (44 cents a hide).