IL GLS How long to stir KoH?

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HappyBeeSoapCo

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I'm trying to make IL's GLS recipe from this site today. But, the lye and glycerin won't turn clear. I stirred it for 30 mins on med-hi and I could still feel gritty stuff and it was a white paste. So I thought maybe it needed more glycerin so at 30 mins I added 10g more glycerin. After 10 mins, still gritty and not as thick but still white paste. So 10g more of glycerin and stirred another 10 mins. After this I am at almost one hour of stirring and I still have white paste. I took it off the heat and gave up at this point. What's going on? Did this happen to anyone else? What did I do wrong?
Recipe:
159g CO
91g CB
23g SB
136g Castor
45g OO
99g KoH
296g Gly

And now what do I do with this probably quite caustic white paste? Can this recipe be salvaged? I thought I was following IL's recipe almost exactly but....
 

Susie

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If you can describe exactly what you did from weighing out the KOH and glycerin to now, we can probably help you better.

Also, did you start with 296 g glycerin, or finish with that much?

It really sounds like you don't have enough liquid, but where did you get the KOH and glycerin at, and does the KOH mention the purity?
 

HappyBeeSoapCo

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If you can describe exactly what you did from weighing out the KOH and glycerin to now, we can probably help you better.

Also, did you start with 296 g glycerin, or finish with that much?

It really sounds like you don't have enough liquid, but where did you get the KOH and glycerin at, and does the KOH mention the purity?
I started by weighing the 296g of glycerin into a stainless steel pan. Then I weighed the KOH into another container, then stirred the KOH into the glycerin. I turned on the heat to med-hi and began heating and stirring. The longer it cooked the thicker it got. It seemed like the glycerin was evaporating.

After 30 mins I stirred in an additional 10g of glycerin which loosened it up for awhile but it thickened up again. I cooked for 10 more mins because that was what IL described for an approximate time. When it hadn't cleared or thinned at the 10 min mark, I added another 10g of glycerin and cooked that for 10 minutes longer. When there was still no change I just turned it off and decided to ask advice.

So, I ended up with 316g of glycerin and 99g of KOH. Everything I've been reading has said a 3:1 ratio of glycerin to lye should be right so I was surprised this didn't work.

My lye container just says 85-100% potassium hydroxide. When their customer service couldn't clarify that further, I obtained the MSDS for it but even that just states the 85-100% potassium hydroxide with no statement even of what the remaining ingredients might be.
 

HappyBeeSoapCo

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Sorry I forgot to say I got the glycerin from a soap supplier here in Finland and I got the KOH from a hardware store here which is what the soap supplier told me to do. She said it was likely the only place to find it here.
 

IrishLass

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Hi HappyBee! I'm sorry I didn't see your post sooner....

Wow- that KOH should have dissolved within 10 to 12 minutes on medium-high. Was the glycerin boiling for you? I ask because it needs to be at a boil in order for the KOH to dissolve in it properly.

If you had it at a steady boil and it was not dissolving, then I would call into question the quality of your KOH, especially with the somewhat vague wording of the label, which could mean either of two things: it could be either 100% KOH but with some flotsam & jetsam type of impurities that make it 85% to 100% pure (which would be okay), or it could be that there are other active ingredients in it besides KOH, namely other kinds of chemical cleansers (which are not okay).

Can you respond back to confirm whether or not you had the glycerin at a boil?


IrishLass :)
 

HappyBeeSoapCo

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Thanks both of you for responding. I also am convinced there is a problem with the lye. I live in a foreign country which has a very difficult language to master so even though I can get by in daily life in Finnish I can't understand many labels, etc. I asked two of my suppliers here (who don't sell KOH) and they said they get all their NaOH from the UK so I will make an order to get my lye from there and then try again.

When I thought back, every single recipe I tried using that lye was a complete failure. I've been making CP for awhile now and have only had one epic fail before so I admit I was confused why I could not successfully make a shave soap, liquid soap or cream soap! So, I had a lightbulb moment and started researching the lye.

I will try again when I get the new KOH and I think I will use the modified method Susie refers to because I live in a very old log farm house and I don't think I can really rely on the ancient exhaust system to be effective. I wore a respirator type of face mask that I use when heat stripping old paints when I tried to melt the lye but I was worried about my dogs who I had shut into the bedroom. I appreciated the discussion on the other thread started by DeeAnna about the cautions to be used when using that method. And it also sounded like you had success with the use of water first as well IL and you are the guru of the recipe :)

I am quite determined to make liquid soap and cream soap so I am impatiently waiting......
 

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