Is it okay to Pre-mix lye solution ??

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Is it safe to pre-mix batches of lye solution to keep on hand??
Waiting for the lye-water solution to cool down is reallyyyyyy working my patience muscle!
 
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Yes, many of us do this. Look for posts about "masterbatching" and you'll find lots of advice.

Tooting my own horn, here's an article I wrote about masterbatching lye solution -- Masterbatching lye | Soapy Stuff
Thank you so much! This is the first I’ve heard of masterbatching… definitely gonna dive into the topic & your link!
I made my 3rd batch today and found myself thinking “there has to be a more efficient way to do this” lol Thanks for sharing😊
 
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Definitely try the master-batching! It is a total game changer. I enjoy making soap so much more not that I don't have to measure and mix the lye solution each time. :)
Thanks Ali! I can only imagine the time you’ve saved. I’m still trying to grasp the math but may be overthinking it.. if the avg lye to water ratio is 1:2 or 1:2.3 would a 50% MB be a 1:1-1.3 ratio?
 
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Thanks Ali! I can only imagine the time you’ve saved. I’m still trying to grasp the math but may be overthinking it.. if the avg lye to water ratio is 1:2 or 1:2.3 would a 50% MB be a 1:1-1.3 ratio?
Well, so I don't get confused (happens way too easily), let's use water to lye ratio and not lye to water. It is usually stated in that order, both in conversations and in the soap calculators. Being consistent about that helps us avoid potentially tragic errors. ;)

The most typical options for master-batching lye solution are:

1. Make a 50% lye solution, aka 1:1 water:lye ratio, aka equal parts water and lye. This means that you most likely will need or want to add some additional room temp distilled water, or other liquid, when you make the soap. This has the advantage of having non-lye water available for dissolving additives such as citric acid, sodium citrate, sugar, salt, etc. It does require a little extra figuring, unless you use the SoapmakingFriend.com calculator which will calculate the extra water for you (assuming you select all the correct options).

OR

2. Make whatever water:lye ratio you like to use when making soap. For instance, maybe you like soaping with 33% lye solution (aka 2:1 ratio). You can make your masterbatch in that exact ratio. This has the advantage of being ready to go as-is, with no extra figuring. However, you won't have any extra liquid for dissolving additives. The lye molecules are selfish and don't like to share the water molecules with others, so it can be really hard to dissolve additives into your premade lye solution, depending on how much or little water you used, as well as how much and what you are trying to dissolve.

HTH. There are some really good YT videos and other threads here that do a lot better job of explaining that I did here. Just be sure to measure carefully, wear PPE, mix well, keep the solution tightly covered, and store it in a lye-safe container that is easy to handle and pour. A recycled laundry jug with a pour spout (not a spigot) makes a perfect container!
 
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Well, so I don't get confused (happens way too easily), let's use water to lye ratioiand not lye to water. It is usually stated in that order, both in conversations and in the soap calculators. Being consistent about that helps us avoid potentially tragic errors. ;)

The most typical options for master-batching lye solution are:

1. Make a 50% lye solution, aka 1:1 water:lye ratio, aka equal parts water and lye. This means that you most likely will need or want to add some additional room temp distilled water, or other liquid, when you make the soap. This has the advantage of having non-lye water available for dissolving additives such as citric acid, sodium citrate, sugar, salt, etc. It does require a little extra figuring, unless you use the SoapmakingFriend.com calculator which will calculate the extra water for you (assuming you select all the correct options).

OR

2. Make whatever water:lye ratio you like to use when making soap. For instance, maybe you like soaping with 33% lye solution (aka 2:1 ratio). You can make your masterbatch in that exact ratio. This has the advantage of being ready to go as-is, with no extra figuring. However, you won't have any extra liquid for dissolving additives. The lye molecules are selfish and don't like to share the water molecules with others, so it can be really hard to dissolve additives into your premade lye solution, depending on how much or little water you used, as well as how much and what you are trying to dissolve.

HTH. There are some really good YT videos and other threads here that do a lot better job of explaining that I did here. Just be sure to measure carefully, wear PPE, mix well, keep the solution tightly covered, and store it in a lye-safe container that is easy to handle and pour. A recycled laundry jug with a pour spout (not a spigot) makes a perfect container!
My mistake ! Water to Lye implies something completely different than Lye to Water… I’m still getting used to all the verbiage. Thank you again, Your explanation did help a lot tho! The 33% solution seems more fitting for my noob soaping level, I just have to get in there and try it! (Safely of course) 😊
 

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Yeah...I disliked having to wait for my Lye Solution to cool down or having multiple containers of Lye Solution cooling on my dryer when making multiple batches.

I mix a 33% 'ready-to-use' just so I don't have to do the math with a 50/50...not that it's hard, it's just that I do math all week and just want to make soap on the weekends. Using the mixing bowls from my local Dollar Tree, I mix up a couple of batches (44.89 oz Distilled Water, 22.11 oz NaOH) and then set them lightly covered in the sink and fill the sink to equal height of the Solution in the bowls with cold water. Drops the temperature pretty fast and then using a funnel, I pour into a one gallon HDPE jug. Fills it about 2/3s full.

You want to make sure you wipe off the spout and rinse the lid every few uses because you will have drips and the NaOH will start to crystalize and you won't get as tight of a seal when you screw the cap back on. I have my jugs well labeled...CAUTION. DO NOT DRINK. DANGER. Not that anyone in my house messes with my stuff and it's generally on the bottle shelf of my soaping cart...but all it takes is one time.
 
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Yeah...I disliked having to wait for my Lye Solution to cool down or having multiple containers of Lye Solution cooling on my dryer when making multiple batches.

I mix a 33% 'ready-to-use' just so I don't have to do the math with a 50/50...not that it's hard, it's just that I do math all week and just want to make soap on the weekends. Using the mixing bowls from my local Dollar Tree, I mix up a couple of batches (44.89 oz Distilled Water, 22.11 oz NaOH) and then set them lightly covered in the sink and fill the sink to equal height of the Solution in the bowls with cold water. Drops the temperature pretty fast and then using a funnel, I pour into a one gallon HDPE jug. Fills it about 2/3s full.

You want to make sure you wipe off the spout and rinse the lid every few uses because you will have drips and the NaOH will start to crystalize and you won't get as tight of a seal when you screw the cap back on. I have my jugs well labeled...CAUTION. DO NOT DRINK. DANGER. Not that anyone in my house messes with my stuff and it's generally on the bottle shelf of my soaping cart...but all it takes is one time.
Thanks Gecko! This is really helpful… I especially like the tip of setting your solution in the sink, cooling with surrounding cold water. That’s clever! I don’t like waiting for the lye-solution to cool down either so even if I didn’t MB, that’s an awesome tip.

May i ask, do you use vinegar to wipe down your bottle or surfaces?? I’ve seen some tutorials that mention it’s good to clean hard surfaces with since it neutralizes lye.
 
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