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Crystallized Lye Solution

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HorseCreek

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This is a 50/50 solution like I mix up all the time. Approx 3 weeks old, 2 weeks ago was still fluid.
No change in Lye, temps, or method of mixing. Closed container. Can I fix this or is it trash?

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IrishLass

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Wow! That is freaky! I have never, ever had that happen to mine. What kind of container are you storing it in, and how air-tight is the lid....and when you mixed it, did you add back any of the water that may have evaporated? And/or did you mix any other additives in it?

This is just me and my own curiosity speaking, but I wonder what would happen if you added a little water to it?


IrishLass :)
 

HorseCreek

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I store it in a rubbermaid pitcher that is lye safe. ... Same thing I've used for the last year. I would consider it pretty air tight. I've had lye set in it for months at a time with nothing happening before. I did add back the difference in water after evaporation. It's distilled water. No other additives, just ED lye and water.

So my curiosity got the better of my patience. I tried stirring, did nothing. Tried a hot water bath, did nothing. Added about 2 ounces of warm water and it all dissolved. Then I got this scum that came to the top right away. I just dumped it as I couldn't guarantee anything with this, lol.
I added a pic of the crystals and the "scum".

Oh, also, the solution never got clear, it was completely cloudy after I added water and dissolved the crystals.

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IrishLass

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Wow! That first pic in your latest post is the wildest looking thing. It looks like a spoonful of tiny icicles.

The floaties sitting on the top in the second pic look like typical soap scum. That used to happen to me if I washed my lye container out with soap and didn't rinse the beejeebees out of it. Nowadays I just don't wash my lye mixing container out with soap at all. I just rinse with water since lye solution is a cleanser all on it's own. Ever since I started doing that, I have no more problems with floating scum.

I'm glad you mentioned where you got your lye. When did you buy the ED lye? I ask because last year there was a big fiasco with ED lye, with lots of people reporting serious issues with certain lot numbers (soft soap, lye not dissolving normally, etc..). For what it's worth, I myself have some ED lye, but thankfully it wasn't one of the problem lot numbers and it has been behaving fine (at least the bottles I have used so far). For what it's worth, here's a list of the problem lot numbers that were reported. Do you have any of them?:

289394
608943
537423
652608
557452
289422
584623
289388
298389


IrishLass :)
 

froggybean37

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My guess would've been water evaporating so the lye is re-crystallizing, but not sure what the scum is! Let us know if you have one of the faulty batches of lye!
 

rparrny

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This is just me and my own curiosity speaking, but I wonder what would happen if you added a little water to it?IrishLass :)
I would be concerned of a reaction similar to pouring water on dry lye...might be dangerous. Glad nothing bad happened.
 
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not_ally

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My immediate reaction to your post was "oh my goodness, that is some bad lye", from dealing w/it myself recently. Yours was kind of pretty in those first pictures, though :)

I don't even think mine was from a bad supplier batch, the first few soap batches from that bottle were fine. The last three were *terrible*, and the lye looked weird. I do not remember having any kind of mishap, but assume that I introduced moisture into the bottle somehow. Although the fact that you got yours from ED does make it worth it to check the batch numbers, so many folks had problems back then.
 
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coffeetime

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I've had that happen when I didn't stir my solution for long enough. It looks like it's dissolved but you have to stir it long enough so that it doesn't settle out like that. Mine wasn't a 50/50 solution but I also added a bit of water and got it dissolved. Made fine soap. I suspect the scum might be soap residue as a previous poster suggested. I've had that happen too!
 

TVivian

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Yes, I've had that exact thing happen. It looks like ice when the top freezes over. I dump the whole thing in a stainless steel pot and heat it over low with the remaining water. It should dissolve right up.
 

TVivian

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Yes, I've had that exact thing happen. It looks like ice when the top freezes over. I dump the whole thing in a stainless steel pot and heat it over low with the remaining water. It should dissolve right up.



*the first pictures, not the second set.
 
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