Should I throw away soap that has too much lye?

by Ella
(Lafayette, LA)

I think I failed miserably at my first attempt at making soap.


I used 16oz of ROOTO lye to 1 quart of water and 1 quart of different oils (melted tallow, olive oil, coconut oil) and 1 oz. of lemongrass oil.

The product came out choppy and flaky. It smells real good, but could that much lye be harmful to use on skin or should I try to use your rebatching method, or just throw it all out?

Thanks,

Ella

Answer:

I would definitely throw the soap out...sorry! Do not under any circumstances try to use the soap on your skin.

It is important to weigh out all your ingredients when making handmade cold process soaps and to not use liquid measurements like quarts or liters.

Try using one of my basic recipes and be sure to read up on the process of soap making before you start.

Read through my site....you'll find it's full of useful information on how to make great handmade soaps.

Good luck,
Cathy

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Lye Calculator
by: Debbie

When ever you have a recipe that requires lye, always run it through a soap calculator to make sure there are no mistakes in the formula. Here's a link to a lye calculator.
http://www.thesage.com/calcs/lyecalc2.php

Good luck on your next batch of soap!! : )

~Debbie

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never waste soap
by: Vinithta

You need not throw soap that has too much lie. You could use it for laundry. Laundry soap requires to be a bit more alkaline than bath soap.
look for instructions on how to make laundry soap gel.

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Just a suggestion
by: Anonymous

The Sage.com have a recent entry on rebatching soap. I would ask them about it, since they just posted an article about it on their blog. I've heard of two different ways that it might be saved...one adding oils and another adding water and heating it in the oven... I've heard of many success stories. I actually just messed up my first batch yesterday! But mine turned solid instantly cause of too much milk and not enought time to put it in the mold... I will be rebatching mine for ulgy free gifts for customers. Good luck!

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Throwing away lye heavy soap
by: Debbie

This soap is too lye heavy to use on clothing, it's going to eat the fibers. If you are using too much lye, it will saponify your oils, but it will still be lye heavy. That is the reason that we use the lye calculator. When you are making laundry soap, you take no lye discount.... thus the lye will saponify your oils 100%, but you still use a lye calculator.

When I make soap, I like to add a little tussah silk fibers to the lye water. The lye in the water dissolves the silk....if it can dissolve silk, it can dissolve your clothing.

After lye and oils have saponified, the lye is no longer in the soap, but if too much lye is used (as in this recipe) your soap is going to be lye heavy. When using any caustic chemical, you have to be precise in the measurements. Always use a soap calculator.

Better safe than sorry : )

~Debbie





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silk fibers in lye water?
by: Donna

Debbie,why exactly do you like to add tussah silk fibers to the lye water? And why tussah rather than domesticated? Thanks.

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Adding Silk to Soap
by: Debbie

Donna~ The silk fibers add a luxurious soft feel to the lather of the soap.

I've used regular silk fabric, and the results were good but not quite as dramatic as the tussah silk. If you have some silk at home, cut it into small pieces & add it to your lye water. I love the difference that silk makes. You only need a small amount. The recommendation for tussah is a thimble sized piece per 3 pound batch.

HTH
~Debbie

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Flake lye vs. beads
by: Anonymous

I used a Lye calc. for my recipe and it said to use 6.08 oz of lye which would have been a 5% discount. However the flaked lye i am useing seemed like so much when i weighed it out.

I think my scale might be off by .1 of an ounce but that shouldn't make that much of a difference should it especially figuring in a lye discount.

I was trying to unmold my cold precess soap last night after 24 hours and i didn't use gloves. I couldn't get it out and decided to leave it in another 24 hours and leave it in the freezer for a day as well...however my hands are extremly irritated today.

I know I shouldn't have touched it without gloves but I only came in contact with a little and my hands are extremly irritated.

Is there a chance there is way too much lye in my soap..or will I only know for sure with a ph test after 6 weeks or longer?

Answer:

I'm guessing that you are making a batch of soap that has an oil weight of approx. 40 ounces. That's about what you would need for 6.08 ounces of lye.

There is a chance that your soap has too much lye in it but I think it would be a weighing error and not if the scale is out by a very small amount. I don't think being out by .1 ounces out of 6.08 ounces with a 5% lye discount should cause the soap to be lye heavy. If anything it would only reduce the superfat to about 4% or so.

I would first make sure that the scale is only out a little. Try weighing something that has a known weight.

If the scale is out by a lot or if your batch isn't using anywhere near 40 ounces of oil in it, I would scrap the soap.

If it's not out by any large amount, I would give the soap some time to cure. Perhaps you are particularily sensitive to the raw soap. My hands will feel quite dry if I handle it too soon. If you are still irritated by the soap after the cure, then you may have made a weighing error.

Cathy

PS...if the scale is out even a little bit, be cautious when it comes to small batches as that small amount can definitely cause the soap to be lye heavy when working with little numbers.

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White specs
by: Anonymous

Hi everyone please I need help with my soap I am a newbie and made a pumpkin soap yesterday.I did put it in the fridge straight after putting it in the mold.I took it out today and found it has some spots now I am confused if this are lye pockets or stearic spots.I used palm kernel oil which was room temperature n didn't bother to heat it up as it was in liquid form(my kitchen is quite warm).I don't know how to add a picture.Should I wait a couple of days later to notice any difference or should I just throw it out?Thanks,confused

Answer:

Your first step is to determine what the white specks are.

If they are hard and slippery they might be lye chunks. Dig one out and place it on a piece of damp paper towel for 5 minutes. If it leaves a brown burn mark on the paper towel then it is lye. Should this be the case, I would through out the soap.

If the bits are greasy then you know that they are hardened oil chunks that did not incorporate into the soap.

Next you will need to check the soap for it's pH level. Ideally the soap should be between 7 and 10 on the pH scale. You can use litmus paper for this.

Cathy

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Ph level
by: Anonymous

How do you check the ph level on the soap?

Answer:

Use pH strips to test the soap. They can be purchased from a soap supplier.

Cathy

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lye heavy soap
by: Vinitha

when soap is too alkaline you need not throw it out. Dissolve one cup of soap in 5 cups of warm water. grate the soap and pour in the water. leave it in the pot for a day. It will dissolve.
Add washing soada spoon by spoon and stir till it turns to a gel.
You can use one cup of this gel for a wash load of clothes.
See you need not throw it out.

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Brand of Lye
by: Peggy

In general, is Rooto Crystals of Household 100% Lye Drain Opener safe to use for soap making?

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Lye Heavy ph at about a 9.
by: Traci

I made some cp soap about a week ago. I expected it to be such a nice batch. I used 29.4 oz water and 11.2 oz lye to make a 5.5 lb batch of soap and after a week it is still dark blue on the ph and it has a white dusting on the top of it. I don't understand why I used the calc and followed the recipe to the T. After a week shouldn't the ph much be less by now. I wonder if the FO I used could cause this? I had about 7 months. I've been making soap intermittently for about a year and a half now and this is the first time I've had this problem with my soap.

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Beginners mistake
by: Anonymous

I made my 2nd batch of siap today and totally forgot to add the coconut oil, which was 40% of the oil! After trace it separated and had lots of extra clear liquid. Once I realized what I did, I added the coconut oil. Now I have a super soft almost sticky looking batch. Not sure if I should let it cure more or just toss it out. It is Hot process btw.

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Beginners mistake
by: Anonymous

I made my 2nd batch of siap today and totally forgot to add the coconut oil, which was 40% of the oil! After trace it separated and had lots of extra clear liquid. Once I realized what I did, I added the coconut oil. Now I have a super soft almost sticky looking batch. Not sure if I should let it cure more or just toss it out. It is Hot process btw.

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Should I throw away soap that has too much lye?
by: Anonymous

It is necessary to use a digital weighing scale to get your soap right. However if it has gone wrong by miscalculation you can try this and not throw it away.
Soap gel made from lye heavy soap.
grate the solid soap.
dissolve 150 gm in 500 ml warm water. if the soap is not lie heavy it will turn to liquid. if it is alkaline it will turn to gel. add 2 galons of water to this concentrate. Add washing soda spoon by spoon and stir till it becomes as thick as honey. When you add a cup of this in your washload it gets diluted with the water in the tub. it will not destroy the wash load. Normal detergent is also very alkaline. try using it on your hand and you will find how lie heavy it is.

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Forgot 1 oz of oil
by: Anonymous

Will forgetting one oz of oil from a recipe and superfatting at 5% make the soap lye heavy?

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Forgot 1 oz of oil
by: Anonymous

Will forgetting one oz of oil from a recipe and superfatting at 5% make the soap lye heavy?

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soap recipe
by: Anonymous

1000gm oil
325 gm water
175 gm caustic soda
25 gm essential oil or fragrance oil
weigh all ingredients.
mix lye and water. Heat oil till melted and warm. add lye water mixture and stirr till thickened like cake batter. add fragrance and pour in mould. cover with plastic sheet to avoid white soda powder forming on the top. after 24 hours unmould and cut to bars. cure for 6 weeks and use.

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What do I do?
by: Pam

Please help! I made a batch of the same recipe to go into 3 different soaps with different fragrances, additives etc. When I was clearing up I noticed that I had forgotten to add my castor oil. Which now means that I have 1.3 oz of extra lye and 3.3 oz of extra water in 7.5 lbs of soap. I superfatted at 5%. Please tell me I don't have to throw it all away!! Pam

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