Hard lump of lye??

Discussion in 'Lye-Based Soap Forum' started by emmalouise1983, Jul 9, 2013.

Help Support Soapmaking Forum by donating:

  1. Jul 9, 2013 #1

    emmalouise1983

    emmalouise1983

    emmalouise1983

    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2013
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Everyone

    I’m a bit stuck on this one and wondered if anyone else has experienced this?
    I was making my cp soap as normal last night and when I poured my lye into my oils I noticed that some of the lye was stuck to the bottom of the container, I chipped away at it and there was a large disc shaped hard block of lye that hadn’t dissolved with the mixture like normal. I didn’t know what to do so I continued making and hoped for the best. I added a little extra water to the lump to try and dissolve it but nothing happened so I left it out of my soap.

    I soap at around 100° usually but it may have been more like 110° as I was getting impatient waiting for everything to cool down in this heat!

    Today, as I thought would happen, my soap is very oily and soft, obviously the missing lye left a lot of unsaponified oils / water in the soap. Will this cure ok do you think or have I lost the whole batch? I’ve managed to unmould and cut though and it seems ok just really oily to the touch.

    It seemed to take much longer to trace than usual too – is this normal if there isn’t enough lye in the mixture?

    I’ve been soaping successfully for about a year now and this is the first problem I’ve had and I can’t find anything online that would explain why the lye set hard at the bottom of the lye solution.

    If this happens again, what should I do?

    Thanks in advance for your help J

    Emma
     
  2. Jul 9, 2013 #2

    juliab86

    juliab86

    juliab86

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2013
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    Manassas, VA
    The same thing happened to me a few weeks ago.

    I assumed it happened to me because I was trying to do too much at once and forgot to stir the lye into the liquid. I was using frozen beer. I went to go pour my lye mixture into the oils, same thing.

    I was actually so disheartened at that point and so many other things went wrong, that I pitched the rest of the project. I tried again the next week when I had a friend over to handle the oils while I concentrated on the lye.

    I just assumed that I didn't stir well enough or something went wrong when using ice. If you were using water and stirring, not quite sure what the problem was.
     
    emmalouise1983 likes this.
  3. Jul 9, 2013 #3

    innerdiva73

    innerdiva73

    innerdiva73

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2012
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    67
    That has happened to me before. So now when I am soaping, I mix at intervals every 10-15 degree drop or until i know for sure everything has been incorporated. Just mix at intervals until you've reached desired temps.:)
     
    emmalouise1983 likes this.
  4. Jul 9, 2013 #4

    emmalouise1983

    emmalouise1983

    emmalouise1983

    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2013
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, I was a bit distracted so maybe i didn't stir as much as i should have then...hmmm.
    Do you think the soap will turn out ok in the end?
     
  5. Jul 9, 2013 #5

    robtr31

    robtr31

    robtr31

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2013
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    54
    Location:
    BC
    its a good thing we all strain are lye water mixture, would hate have someone get burns from the soap.
     
  6. Jul 9, 2013 #6

    DeeAnna

    DeeAnna

    DeeAnna

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Messages:
    10,659
    Likes Received:
    14,061
    Location:
    Northeast Iowa, USA
    Your soap will stay soft and oily because you didn't get all the lye into the batch that you needed to make good soap. The end result is that your batch has a large, unknown amount of superfat. It won't be dangerous to use, but it probably won't be good soap.

    It would have been better to stir all the lye into solution first before you made the soap. Or if you didn't think that was going to work, then mix up a new batch of lye solution to use for that batch of soap.
     
  7. Jul 9, 2013 #7

    Candybee

    Candybee

    Candybee

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2009
    Messages:
    609
    Likes Received:
    336
    Location:
    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    Its possible to rebatch to add in more lye. I'd wait a few more days and see if the oils soak in. If not do a rebatch. You'll have to pour out a similar amount of lye about the size of your 'lump' and weigh it. I would actually use a little less lye than your lump amount. Just make sure you use enough distilled water to dissolve the lye but not too much to water log your rebatch.

    Or it may be easier to shred the soap and add the shreds to new soap batches to use it up. I have done both. I don't like to waste any soap if I can help it.
     
  8. Jul 9, 2013 #8

    MOGal70

    MOGal70

    MOGal70

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    51
    Location:
    Mid Missouri
    I had this happen over the weekend, but noticed before I tried to pour the lye water. I just covered it up and left it and it had disolved when I checked on it a couple of hours later.
     
  9. Jul 10, 2013 #9

    kazmi

    kazmi

    kazmi

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    Messages:
    1,381
    Likes Received:
    466
    Location:
    MI
    what causes this with the lye clumping up? not enough stirring to be sure it's fully dissolved?
     
  10. Jul 10, 2013 #10

    Relle

    Relle

    Relle

    Administrator & Bunny Fanatic Staff Member Admin

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2010
    Messages:
    9,453
    Likes Received:
    2,672
    I don't strain my lye, its not necessary. If you are straining it, that means you haven't dissolved it properly in the first place.
     
  11. Jul 10, 2013 #11

    Relle

    Relle

    Relle

    Administrator & Bunny Fanatic Staff Member Admin

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2010
    Messages:
    9,453
    Likes Received:
    2,672
    Sodium Hydroxide is hygroscopic, more commonly, a hygroscopic material will tend to become damp and "cake" when exposed to moist air, so you will need to stir the lumps well to get it fully dissolved. Try and break up the lumps in the container before you add the water.
     
  12. Jul 11, 2013 #12

    sistrum

    sistrum

    sistrum

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Messages:
    644
    Likes Received:
    244
    Location:
    Oregon
    If your lye was lumpy going in it could be like Relle9 said and is getting moisture from the air. This can really mess with your formula because your lye will weigh more because of the water and your soaps will have a much higher superfat than you intended.
     
    mel z likes this.

Share This Page