Crusty Lye Solution

Discussion in 'Lye-Based Soap Forum' started by dibbles, Sep 14, 2018.

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  1. Sep 14, 2018 #1

    dibbles

    dibbles

    dibbles

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    Earlier tonight I mixed my lye solution (all NaOH) for three batches I'm doing tomorrow. When I went to cover them for the night two were normal and one had a crust on the top. There was nothing added to the water in the crusty batch - the other two had sugar added.

    This is the second time this has happened this week, and both times I was using a higher lye concentration. This batch had 132 grams of distilled water and 86 grams of NaOH. The other one was similar. Both of the solutions that formed a crust were left to cool to room temperature, but so were the others that have been fine.

    I stirred the crusty layer back into the solution and I can see floaties in it. Two questions - why do you suppose this happened, and is it ok to use or should I mix up the lye solution again.
     
  2. Sep 14, 2018 #2

    shunt2011

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    I have that happen quite frequently if I don't cover them shortly after being mixed well. It's just a reaction to the air. I stir it up and then just strain it when I add it to my oils. It's never been a problem.
     
  3. Sep 14, 2018 #3

    Lin19687

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    Ditto what Shunt said.
    I have noticed that when I do the sugar and salt in the water I get a little foam on top. It turns to a crust if left to cool over night.
     
  4. Sep 14, 2018 #4

    penelopejane

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  5. Sep 14, 2018 #5

    dibbles

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    Thanks everyone. I thought it would be okay with just straining, but since the other time it happened this week it was when I had a batch fail, so I wanted reassurance.

    @penelopejane Thanks - I do remember seeing that post. I have two dedicated stainless steel lye jugs, and this solution was in one of them. I've made other batches in it this week that were completely clear when cool. This seems to me to be related to water:lye ratio.
     
  6. Sep 15, 2018 #6

    penelopejane

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    Well that’s interesting.

    I’d understand if maybe the lye can’t dissolve when there is sugar dissolved as well but the one that formed the crusty bits was 100g of water to 86g NaOH and nothing else. Wasn’t it? That is weird. It should dissolve in that ok shouldn’t it?
     
  7. Sep 15, 2018 #7

    Lin19687

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    Only thing I can think of is that there were contaminants in the air, Moisture maybe (humidity) ??
     
  8. Sep 15, 2018 #8

    dibbles

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    Well IDK what is going on. I just strained the solution and made soap as planned and it seems to be ok. I'll zap test after it's been cut. The only thing I can think of is that it is just 'lye lint'. There was nothing sitting in the bottom of the pitcher, and it was clear while it was hot. The mysteries of soap making. Might just have to call it gremlins. Thanks for your replies.
     
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