Help - Soap Seized Immediately After Adding The Lye

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Newbie H

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The only thing that measures the same by weight and volume (fl oz) is water. You need a digital scale to weigh all your ingredients…oils, water, lye. Measuring cups are okay to separate your batter for color or to mix is, but you don’t “measure” your ingredients

Oops my bad! My first language is french, so my english is not really good. I meant ‘weigh’. Sorry!
 

DeeAnna

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...the olive oil is a little bit old - maybe 2 or 3 years old....

The other thing that hasn't yet been discussed is this older olive oil. Fats naturally break down into fatty acids and glycerin as they age and with exposure to warm temperatures and light and perhaps moisture, bacteria, metal contamination, etc. This means the "free fatty acid" (FFA) content naturally gets higher with time as a fat ages. Some fats age slower (coconut oil being an example), and some age faster (the liquid oils).

Eventually these free fatty acids will oxidize further into smelly chemicals called ketones and aldehydes and the fat will then be rancid. BUt you can have a fat that has high FFAs yet not be rancid, which may be the case with your olive oil.

If you use an oil with a high amount of free fatty acids to make soap, these FFAs react with the lye almost immediately. The end result is your soap batter will trace a lot faster than if you'd used the same oil with a low amount of FFAs.

As far as measuring by volume rather than by weight -- If you use a recipe based on weights but measure the NaOH by volume (fluid ounces), you'll end up with a LOT more NaOH in your soap than you want. Vice versa -- if the recipe is based on volume and you measure by weight, you'll end up with a lot less NaOH than you want.
 

earlene

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So even if I measured everything with ‘fl oz’ it’s not the same ratio/pourcentage as if I would’ve measured everything with ‘oz’? I didn’t know that. I will try again with grams, it would be better. Thank you so much.
Oops my bad! My first language is french, so my english is not really good. I meant ‘weigh’. Sorry!
You are not wrong to use the English word, 'measure', when you are talking about weight. Generally it is a correct use of the word. However, to be more specific so as to avoid confusion when talking about soap making, it is better to use the word 'weigh' but it is NOT grammatically incorrect to use the word 'measure'. I do it myself sometimes, mostly because I was raised to vary words with the same or similar meanings within the same paragraph or even the same sentence. It is quite common to do so when dealing with the written word. But you will find that soap makers can sometimes be very literal in choice of words in certain cases, and this is one of those cases.

To clarify the meaning. Measure has various meanings in English as can be found here: measure

Also see this as it pertains to how weight is a unit of measure: Measurement: Weight and Mass

Regarding the scale you are using, I have no experience or knowledge of the Starfrit brand other than that there are more than one to choose from and none of them have many reviews on either the Walmart site or on Amazon, so it's hard to determine if they are reliable. If you could read up on how to calibrate accuracy of your scale, that may help you to know if it is accurate enough.
 

TheGecko

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Oops my bad! My first language is french, so my english is not really good. I meant ‘weigh’. Sorry!

No worries hon, English is my first language and I still get it wrong.

Here in the US, we typically use volume as opposed to weight in just about everything. I had never weighed an ingredient until I started making soap, I had always used measuring cups and measuring spoons. So my concern wasn't so much the word "measure", but that you were using volume (fl oz) as opposed to weight (oz).
 

Newbie H

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Hello everyone!

So I did everything you suggested, separately, to see what’s the real problem so we can all avoid it in the future.
I started by weighing in grams with the same material, seized again.
I then decided to change the oils, and it worked! The feeling was amazing! My first soaps! I was getting really emotional. I guess the old oil was a really bad idea and I’ll never do it again.

I can’t thank everyone enough. You really helped me understand more about this subject and I’m really grateful.

@DeeAnna, you were right! Thank you so much!

Have a good day everyone and thank you again! Xx
 
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amd

I then decided to change the oils,
You used new oils or changed which oils were used? If you changed the oils used, did you run it through a calc? Just a reminder for newbies that oils aren't 1:1 replacements and need to be run through the calc to make sure lye usage is correct.
 

Newbie H

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You used new oils or changed which oils were used? If you changed the oils used, did you run it through a calc? Just a reminder for newbies that oils aren't 1:1 replacements and need to be run through the calc to make sure lye usage is correct.

Yes yes, don’t worry! I bought some olive oil and some coconut oil (same oils), but I’m pretty sure the old olive oil was the issue here. Thank you for the reminder I really appreciate it! :)
 
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