how did I get a little burned on the face ?

SoapMakingForum

Help Support SoapMakingForum:

max_ime

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2014
Messages
65
Reaction score
5
Hi, I did my first batch of hot processed soap bars on the night of the 24th (this april) and did not realized until the next day I got a little burned on the cheeks and nose and my eyes are a little drier than usual. Now almost 72 hours after it is not getting worse, actually it's better but it still feels close to a sun burn on the face pretty much. I rinsed with cold water many times and at one time for over 20min when I realized I had the burn. I put vitamin E cocoa butter and jojoba on it.
I don't know how I got burned. It could be 2-3 things:

is lye still volatile when mixed with the oils WHILE it is cooking ? I got my faced irritated, it feels like a sun burn. I did not realize it until about 24 hr after making my 1st batch of soap bars. I am trying to figure out wether this happened while I was on the floor of my tiny balcony mixing the lye with room temp water though I had a dust mask + goggles on or when I started mixing the soap in the crock AFTER trace when it became solid about 1 inch thick on top 2 min after heavy trace (I thought I had to mix it back in together with the gel at the bottom at that point I had taken off my goggles and mask) Now I understand I should have let it do it's thing with the cover on. I also put some freshly hardened soap in a pot with water and boiled it a little to dissolve to test ph which is 9.3-9.4. So I thought oh that means it IS safe. I was wrong the soap dried my hand pretty bad. Before I make a second batch I want to know how I got burned to take better precautions. My kitchen fan doesn't pull enough so I think if my tiny balcony is not aerated enough I won't be able to make some soap in my condo.

Also soap was very hard to mix, not liquid enough even though temp was 140-160F the whole time for about 50 min. I used 150g of 99% naoh in 300gr demineralized water

50% coconut
38%PAlm
5%avocado

I SF in the end with
2.6% hemp
2.2%jojoba clear
1.04% Shea virgin
1.0% cocoa deodorized
0.2%Vit E oil
Used 1000g total fats together and it tuners out to be bigger than my 40-44oz mold. I tought the water would evaporate more. but my soap is very hard.
I also did add 1.4 g citric acid + 8 gr fine dead sea salt dissolved in 40g water just before SF.

Do you wash your stirring spatula in between the stirs to provide even saponification, and test all batches with phenol? Thank you
 
Last edited:

AustinStraight

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2014
Messages
291
Reaction score
114
Location
New York
Way too much coconut. Lower it to 30% at most. If you want to use lots of coconut in a bar, make a 100% coconut soap with a 20% superfat. You could try a 90% coconut, 10% shea butter, 20% superfat soap, too. I do think the lye can rise into the air with steam while it's cooking, you should put a lid on the pot when you're HPing it. I used CP soap too early and got a slight rash on my hands, and frankincense oil really helped it to heal. I had the same rash for weeks with no change until I used frankincense three nights in a row, just one drop neat & rubbed into my hands. Disappeared after the third night, I wasn't even thinking of healing my hands with it - I was using frankincense to help me relax.
 
Last edited:

Belinda02

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2014
Messages
161
Reaction score
36
You were on ur balcony, could u hav gotten a sunburn? Might not take much sun if your fair and outside after long winter inside.
 

max_ime

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2014
Messages
65
Reaction score
5
I see, so possibly i got my face burned while stirring it without a mask on my kitchen stove. Usually people only warn you to wear a mask while mixing lye and water. My recipe is 7% super fat. I was trying to guess dr Bronner proportions of coconut and SF. and thank you I'll look into frankincense oil, did not know it was good for skin

Belinda02 No cause it was night time. And where I live I don't get sunburn. It's impossible
 

Kansas Farm Girl

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2012
Messages
518
Reaction score
187
Location
Middle of Kansas
I rarely do HP, but shouldn't your main oils come to 100% and your lye be calculated against that? And the SF not be included when calculating your lye? Otherwise when you cook the soap and it saponifies you end up with lye-heavy soap. After you add your SF oils you will still have lye-heavy soap because the SF oils do not react with the lye. At least that is my understanding of the HP process. When I reproduce your recipe in SoapCalc, based on 1000 g of oils and 5% SF, I can only get this by putting in all your ingredients to calculate the lye & water. SoapCalc results with all the oils included in the batch are:

PH and lye heavy are not the same thing. Did you do a zap test? Does it snap you?
Hopefully someone who does HP on a regular basis chimes in soon and correct me if my assumptions are wrong.
 

max_ime

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2014
Messages
65
Reaction score
5
Kansas Farm Girl I calculated my lye looking at the wiehgt of each oil and calculating upon SAP values. I do not calculate the lye for SF. So I don't think I got the calculations wrong. Yeah ph and lye left in soap are not the samethingit seem you could have a 8.5ph soap and still get lye burned from it if not fully gelled/cooked or cured long enough in case os CP. I am new to soap making, correct me if I'm wrong.
 

Kansas Farm Girl

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2012
Messages
518
Reaction score
187
Location
Middle of Kansas
I believe that since you calculated the lye for each oil but only added a portion of the oils to your pot at first, then added your lye/water mix, cooked it and added your SF oils you had more lye in your pot than you did oils. What % did you plan to SF at?
If I had made this recipe I would have used
Coconut: 500 g
palm 380 g
avocado oil 50 g
144 g lye and 340 g water
This is already calculated at 5% SF.
Then, after the cook I would add the other oils. Which would have raised the SF by another 8% giving a total SF of 16%. I do not know if this is the correct way to do it, it's just the way I would calculate for HP.
I could calculate all the SAPs manually, but I let the tools do it for me, much less chance I forget to add one into my total, I know me too well. I zap test almost every batch, but specially when doing something new so I can make sure I didn't mess something up. HP is definitely not in my comfort zone
 

DeeAnna

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
12,305
Reaction score
16,857
Location
Northeast Iowa, USA
Your recipe looks okay for lye content based on 8% superfat and all of the oils you listed. The water at 300 g for 150 g of lye is fine for cold process, but it's not enough for hot process. I'm not surprised to hear it was very thick and hard to stir -- use a 25% lye solution next time so there's more water in the batter and keep the soap pot covered unless you're actually doing something to the soap.

If your face is not burned where your mask and goggles sat, then you got burned at the point when you mixed the lye. If your face is burned all over, then you got exposed to the lye during the cook, unless you wore the mask and goggles during the cook too.

"...is lye still volatile when mixed with the oils WHILE it is cooking?"

Yes, it could, although lye is more likely to cause the type of burn you describe when a person mixes the lye and water solution. There is often a caustic mist that evolves from the hot lye-water solution.

That said, if you hung your face right over the soap pot a fair amount of time during the cook, you might get a face full of the vapors. Did you notice any unusual irritation or burning in your eyes and nose when making the soap? That's where you should have felt it during the soap making process and it would be very hard to ignore. If you didn't feel anything in your eyes or nose at that time, I wonder if the problem is something other than the lye. Hard to say.

A comment on your recipe -- it is a strongly cleansing, low conditioning recipe, so the soap will be drying to the skin even at 8% superfat. If you are at all sensitive to coconut oil, that can also cause skin irritation. Shea can be a sensitizer too. I would eliminate any fat/oil under 5% -- tiny amounts of any fat might add some "label appeal", but it is not likely to have any effect on the quality of the soap.
 

max_ime

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2014
Messages
65
Reaction score
5
Dear Kansas Farm Girl, I only calculated lye for 3 oils coconut, palm, avocado which is 93% of the fats the other oils and butter are my SF 7%. I guess you must have different SAP values
mine are :

Coconut 0.1780 so 80gr
Palm 0.144 so 54.72gr
Avocado 0.1330 so 6.65gr
for a total of 150.37 lye and my lye is 99% pure.
I wanted to saponify these 3 oils fully or up to 99% and SF with my selected oils and butter.
I was under the impression that my SF oils and butter were so good that at 7% it would be sufficient to make a soap kinda like dr Bronner. I replaced the olive oil by Avocado because i'm also under the impression that olive oil gives off more smell to the final product.
 

max_ime

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2014
Messages
65
Reaction score
5
Dear DeeAnna, Thank you for the info. I'll try a 25% solution next time. What KOH ratio do you suggest for clear liquid soap making and would this ratio be for 90% or 100% KOH?

Still I cannot be sure cause my mask was only 2 white dust masks one over the other, the kind that is not chemical proof. This mask covered my nose but I'm a little burned on the nose.
I wonder how long these kind of burns take to heal. I just keep putting cocoa butter on it and some other oils. I could not see any fumes when mixing the lye, although lighting was not strong at night and i was very hot and there was some condensation inside my protection goggles, + one of my contacts was getting too dry before I started making soap so vision was not optimal. I was feeling very hot before mixing the lye so I did not notice when I got burned. still unsure when it happened, could have been there probably but this would mean that the mask was not efficient. I did not notice burning in eyes or nose when making anything that had to do with the soap. But I've done a lot of research and never heard of anyone getting burned by being close to HP soap while stirring/cooking, in fact people seems to only wear a mask when mixing the lye/water. Also, I never red about getting burned while opening the oven after a CPOP or irritation because soap cooking is emanating lye vapours. I red that lye cause a problem at 2mg / square meter ! 2mg that is nothing ! (http://nj.gov/health/eoh/rtkweb/documents/fs/1706.pdf) with my recipe 150gr mean 150 000mg meaning that a 10mg evaporation is only 0.000066% of the lye used ! How much of this stuff can evaporate once mixed with oils and water. So I don't know what to believe.

Would you say that jojoba at 2% won't change much? I guess liquid dr Bronner must have less than 2% jojoba, I red that more than that makes a cloudy liquid soap. I was under the impression that these oils and butter were so powerful, I thought it was ideal to saponify my base oils pretty much completely and Sf with my select oils. So it seems a lot agree that such a recipe should have around 15-20% SF. I guess I could discount some lye. Since I'm new to soap making I'm not sure what oil will have what feel and effect in what proportion. All I can tell is that I want to make it as good as dr bronner or better.
 

soap_rat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2009
Messages
449
Reaction score
176
Location
Chicago
Where was your head/face while you were stirring the lye into the water? It should have been arm's length away. If you were leaning over the container that's definitely when you got burned, although I would also expect you to breathe in the fumes through your mask and cough and realize you were exposing yourself. (although I too use a paper mask, a good dust and mist one with two bands, single layer, when I mix my lye indoor and at arm's length, and it makes a difference over not wearing it all--maybe your double layer would be pretty effective )

You should not be wearing contacts if you may expose your eyes to chemical fumes. there are goggles that will protect from splashes but I don't believe they protect from fumes. I don't know what lye may do to contacts but let's just play it safe.

Reading your description it seemed you only wore the eye protection while mixing the lye? You should also keep your eye protection on until the soap does not zap and until you have washed up the lye container and any raw soap batter, sometimes things splash during cleanup. Some people do leave batter on containers until the next day when it has hardened, but keep it in a safe place, not in the sink where you may cause it to splash onto you. If you're doing cold process, leave the goggles on until the soap is in the mold and all tapping is done (tapping can lead to splashes) and it's all covered up.

Do you have an aloe plant? I find its gel amazingly soothing when I have a burn. If you've never tried it before, try just a tiny spot at first, in case you're allergic!
 

max_ime

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2014
Messages
65
Reaction score
5
I had an arm of distance while stirring. Perhaps I should dress just like this when soap making : http://i.imgur.com/AVm9Ikj.jpg

the goggles i used : http://www.saffireblue.ca/shop/equi...king-goggles/soap-making-goggles#.U13TYdzrfRo

My balcony is tiny and my only access outside. I'm on 3rd floor and wind can be unpredictable in Montreal. So actually wind in your face is worse than no wind.
I though of using a fan but not sure how well this would work.

I don't know for contacts, maybe they act as protection maybe they worsen it?

I'll go buy an aloe leaf tomorrow and probably that frankincense oil I was suggested earlier
 

navigator9

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2014
Messages
2,713
Reaction score
3,087
Location
New England
Don't know about the facial burns, but as far as the dust mask goes, that's strictly a particle mask, good for mixing micas, which easily become airborne, but does not protect your lungs against the strong lye fumes. I mix my lye water indoors, and I don't wear a mask. What I do is hold my breath while I stir the lye into the water. I'm an ex-smoker, in my 60s and I have asthma, so I figure if I can do it, almost anyone should be able to. I hold my breath, stir the lye into the water, leave the lye pot in a safe place, and walk away for about 10 minutes or so until there are no longer any fumes, then I stir again. I've been using this method for many years, and it works well for me. Don't assume your lungs are protected by a dust mask. This warning came from my pulmonologist, who I spoke to when I first started making soap. He suggested a gas mask for the lye fumes, but I'm too cheap, so I just hold my breath! lol
 

judymoody

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2010
Messages
4,979
Reaction score
1,267
Location
US Southwest
I hold my breath when mixing my lye also. I do this in my garage. No mask but I do use wrap around goggles until my soap is in the mold and insulated.

Is it possible you're reacting to something else? You said there was a delay between making the soap and the symptoms. You might be having an allergic reaction to something, perhaps? For me, I agree with a previous poster that in order to get that close to the lye vapor to cause a burn, you'd have to be right on top of it and breathing in the fumes. Whatever it is, I hope you get to the bottom of it.

When I first started making soap, my husband made me wear a complete hazmat suit. No kidding. That lasted about 2 batches.
 

DeeAnna

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
12,305
Reaction score
16,857
Location
Northeast Iowa, USA
I don't know anyone else who has gotten burned from lye while making HP soap. I don't wear a respirator when doing HP, but I do wear goggles at all times when around the cooking soap. I also work under the vent hood of my stove, and it's turned on, especially at first, for good ventilation with a nearby window cracked open for fresh air. I don't think I can help you diagnose the problem from a distance, but I hope you figure it out! :)

If it is a lye burn, then the likely reason why your nose is burned (I'm assuming the burn is on the outside of your nose) is that your mask did not fit properly and unfiltered air was entering the mask at the bridge of your nose.

** What KOH ratio do you suggest for clear liquid soap making and would this ratio be for 90% or 100% KOH?

Not quite sure I understand your question, so I'll answer it two ways --

In your original post, I assumed you were making bar soap with NaOH. If you want to make liquid soap, you would use all KOH as the lye, not a mix of NaOH and KOH.

I would make a 25% KOH solution for LS, just like with NaOH. I think some people may use a lower concentration for LS, but you'd have to ask them for the details. I'm not experienced in LS making -- I have just one batch under my belt. I ignore the purity of the KOH when making the lye solution. The water content in a soap recipe needs to be "accurate enough" but it doesn't have to be super accurate, unlike measuring lye and fats.

** Do you wash your stirring spatula in between the stirs to provide even saponification, and test all batches with phenol?

No and no. I wipe off the spatula as best I can, but I don't wash it. I don't pH test my soaps -- I do a zap test.

A pet peeve -- the pH indicator you're talking about is not "phenol" -- a highly toxic chemical that has no place in soap making -- it is phenolphthalein. Call it phenol-p or PhPh if you must, but please not "phenol". I cringe when I see soap makers talk about using "phenol" to mean phenolphthalein, because to a chemist or engineer (I'm a chemical engineer), it doesn't make any sense to use real phenol for soap making. I worked in a chemical plant where a man died from exposure to real phenol. It's an ugly death.
 

cmzaha

Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Messages
10,973
Reaction score
9,684
Location
Southern California
My face will do this quite often but it is actually an allergice reaction to some of my fragrance and some eo's. I am highly allergice with eczema flareups that feel and look just like a sunburn. Actually it really is a burn from the heat of the flareup. Just another avenue to think about. I mix large amounts of lye in buckets for batching and have never had a problem with lye fumes. I do have a very open work space with lots of air movement
 

max_ime

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2014
Messages
65
Reaction score
5
Thank you so much for all your feedbacks. I will let you know how this heals, and I'll just invest some 150$ in a full face respirator protection as I want to be able to wear my contacts. and our faces are priceless, I'll give it 150$ more.
 
Last edited:

max_ime

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2014
Messages
65
Reaction score
5
I had the same rash for weeks with no change until I used frankincense three nights in a row, just one drop neat & rubbed into my hands. Disappeared after the third night, I wasn't even thinking of healing my hands with it - I was using frankincense to help me relax.
I got myself some Frankincense EO and some myrrh EO, been using them few times a day for 5 days and it did help but I'm not back to normal yet, at times my hands look normal but as soon as they run out of oil/moisture they go dryer than before, my face is improving also but still a little dry/ less elastic. These essential oils are amazing, I'm almost glad I got burned so that I could be directed towards these oils! I find it's true they have a positive emotional effect, very soothing, good to put on feet, and chakras. May I ask what kind of frankincense oil you used? indian Frankincense is really different in smell at least, and then there is boswellia carterii (the one I'm using from somalia) and I read the best is from Oman and is boswellia sacra (I just ordered some on ebay)

Thank you!
 
Last edited:
2
Top