Cabbage ph test on my soap samples

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Mango5

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I hope my picture attachment comes on here! I need everyones opinion if my soap is ok to use. My pink soap i knew i probably couldn't use, i accidently added 3/4 of an ounce to much lye. Do they other soaps look ok to use? Thanks everyone!

IMG_20151117_155109.jpg
 

shunt2011

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Have you zap tested it. That is the only way to make sure it's okay.
 
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IrishLass

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I agree with the others- I would zap test them, because pH doesn't tell us the whole story. Zap, on the other hand, will.

Your pink soap that shows yellow with the cabbage juice might look like it's in the danger zone, but the actual fact of the matter is that it might very well be safe to use if it does not zap. To explain- there are some commercial soaps on the market that have been tested with sophisticated pH meters which have a pH of 12.35, and they are perfectly safe to use. And to top it off, dermatological studies were conducted that showed that the pH 12.35 soap actually rated very low on the Irritability Index Scale compared to other commercial soaps with a lower pH.


IrishLass :)
 

TeresaT

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What did you SF at? Your 3/4 ounce "too much" lye may be "too much" with your particular SF, but it may be the correct amount at a lower SF. I always SF at 8% because I'm afraid of getting lye heavy. But if I use the same recipe and adjust the SF to 5% (or 3%) it ups the NaOH by a tiny bit. When I'm playing around with the SF on my SoapCalc for a new recipe, I check the lye amounts for 0%, 2%, 5% and 8%. Just because I want to see (with my incredible math skills) what the max and min NaOH would be for a particular recipe. (Basically, if I'm off by 5 gm, how is that going to mess up the saponification values and do I need to rebatch?) You may only be off slightly, so rebatching won't be as difficult to do. You may only need to throw in a few oz of a "luxury" oil or butter to react with the extra lye. In my regular recipe, the lye at 0% SF is 4.63 oz (131.15 gm), at 2% it is 4.53 oz (128.52), at 5% it is 4.39 oz (124.59 gm) and at 8% it is 4.26 oz (120.65 gm). Since I never want to go below 2% SF, my personal margin of error is .27 oz (7.87 gm). If I was 5 gm off in my goal weight of 120.65 gm, I would still have what I personally deem a "safe" soap, because the 125.65 gm doesn't exceed the 128.52 gm. It would just have a lower SF and wouldn't feel the way an 8% SF batch does.

BTW: I started master batching my lye specifically so I wouldn't run into this issue. When I add the water and lye amounts together in the recipe, that is the amount of solution I need. If it is "4.86 oz" I can round up to 4.9 and be minisculely lower in SF or round down to 4.8 be minisculely higher in SF.

(The responses from the "pros" about my methodology should be pretty interesting. Bring it on. Tell me why this doesn't sound like as good an idea as I think it is. :lol:)
 
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Mango5

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I didn't realize that the cabbage test wasn't good enough. So if i don't get a zap they will be fine to use? The pink soap had 2/3 cup olive oil, 2/3 cup coconut oil, 1 oz jojoba oil, 1 oz grapeseed oil, 1 oz castor oil, and 2 1/4 oz sunflower oil. The water was 5.20 oz and the lye was supposed to be 2.094 oz lye but i accidently put in almost 3 ounces so about 3/4 of an ounce to much. I put all this in on the bramble calculater! I can't remember if i put the superfatting at 5 or 8 percent! I only eye it all when i put the ingredients in my measuring cup i should get a scale and weigh it like i have read people doing. I do run my recipes through the bramble calculater to get my lye and water amounts. Is there any do's and don'ts that i should go by from you guys? I guess what i mean is rules or guidelines for cold process that i should go by?
 

notapantsday

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Do:


  1. buy a scale
  2. weigh your ingredients and use the same units for all of them (I'm biased, but I think grams are the easiest unit to work with)
  3. weigh the lye in a separate container from the water, so you can put some of it back if you accidentally pour in too much
  4. wear safety equipment (goggles and gloves)


If you do end up with too much lye and you can't put any of it back, just add more oil. You can use your soap calculator to figure out the correct amounts.

Zap test or not, I'm not sure if I would use this soap as it is. You used a lot more lye than calculated and the superfat is not enough to cancel it out.
 
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IrishLass

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I didn't realize that the cabbage test wasn't good enough. So if i don't get a zap they will be fine to use?
Correct. Whether you actually like the soap or not will be a different story, but it will be safe to use if it does not zap.

i should get a scale and weigh it like i have read people doing.
A thousand times yes! I'm very glad you are using a reputable online lye calculator, but please never, ever use volume measurements when it comes to soap-making.

The problem with using volume measurements is that all of the online lye calculators are based on using weight amounts, not volume amounts. This is very crucial since oils come in all types of varying densities, meaning that an 8oz cup/volume of any given oil may not necessarily equal 8oz in weight. Depending on the oil's individual density, it may weigh much more or much less than that, and since the weight of lye a soap-maker needs for their formula is based on the oil weight, I agree 100% with Notapantsday that you absolutely need to get a scale..... a good digital scale that can weigh accurately down to at least 1 gram and that can accommodate the weight of your biggest batches.

Here are some good 'beginner' CP threads that will help to get you started on the right foot:

http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=56473

http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=31739

http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=28350


If you have any question, please don't hesitate to ask! :)


IrishLass :)
 

Mango5

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I did the zap test and my pink soap did start stinging my tongue. Is it right that i put water on my finger then rub the soap and rub some on my tounge or just varely touch it to my tounge? I zap tested my other 3 soaps first and they seemed fine then the pink soap but now after getting the stinging feeling i tried one of my other soaps again and it stings. I think the stinging feeling from the pink soap is giving me false zap readings when i do my others. Should i wait a day and try my other 3 soaps again? My tounge feels like i have burnt it with a hot beverage. I forgot to ask if i can do the zap test at any point during soap curing or do i need to wait until it's totally cured? Also i read the other links suggested and read that people use glass and others use plastic pitchers. I use a glass canning jar for my lye water mixture, should i not? What kind of plastic pitcher should i get? I don't know how to tell the different plastic pitchers! Also, i read some use there glass measuring cups for everything as long as it is washed good, should i not use my equipment for food and others to? Or should i never use my soap making equipment for anything else?
 

houseofwool

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You definitely got zapped by the pink soap. How long ago did you make it? If it is only a few days old, it may need a bit more time. If it is over a week, it is likely lye heavy. Because you didn't weigh all of your ingredients, it will be hard to guess how much extra oil would need to be added when rebatching.

So, as was explained above, please get a scale that measures to a gram.

When mixing the lye solution, glass is a bad idea. The solution is very strong and will etch the glass, microscopically. Over time, the etching, combined with the thermal stress of the hot solution will weaken the glass and it may break. I cannot imagine cleaning up shattered glass that is coated in lye solution.

Plastic or steel are the best choices. For plastic, look for a #2 or #5 in the recycling triangle. Both are okay for lye.
 

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