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milky

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I started to make a soap two days ago. I combined the oils and slowly mixed the lye and frozen milk. And then life happened and I didn't get to proceed until the next day. The milk+lye turned orange overnight but I still used it. It's too early to cut but the surface looks like it's going well. I'm worried because when I did the dishes today, the residue seemed more oily than soapy. Could the lye have reacted too much overnight and left too little in the batter?
Edit: Rephrasing my question: Does a lye solution react much with air/humidity if left open? I remember reading about taking extra measures for protecting lye in storage and wondered if that could be a problem.
 
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CaraBou

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The lye would have reacted a bit with the milk and the air too if you didn't have it covered. Did the lye seem sludgy when you added it to the oils? That would be why. However - I'm sure you have soap. In fact, it's the perfect time of year for a nice superfatted soap. Keep good notes on it through time. Then someday you'll be the best adviser to someone else whose soaping intermingles with the rest of life :)
 

Hazel

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There isn't anything wrong with milk turning orange. It just means the lye scorched the milk. I have a terrible time not getting goat milk to turn yellow or orange since I add lye too fast and I usually don't keep the pitcher in ice water.

For your other question, lye is hygroscopic* which is why you want to store it in an air tight container. Over time, it will absorb moisture from the air which means it will weigh heavier and you may not have enough lye for your recipe. A lye solution which is left over a period of time will also absorb moisture so you will end up with more liquid in your batch. (Ask me how I learned this :roll: ) However, I don't believe leaving the lye solution over night would be a problem. Any absorption of moisture would be minimal unless you lived in a climate with really high humidity. Now, if you had let it sit uncovered for a week, I'd be a little more concerned about extra water. But it wouldn't affect saponification since you still have the same amount of lye. It just would be extra water which isn't needed added to the batch.

I'm not surprised you had oily residue the next day. Saponification is a process and can take up to 48 hours to complete. I've noticed when I RT and set the mold into a frig to prevent gelling, it can take longer than 2 days to finish saponification. Someone (I wish I could remember who so I could give credit) mentioned she wiped the residue with an old dishcloth and then washed everything. The cloth with soap residue she let finish saponifying and later tossed it in with a load of laundry. I sometimes do this or I set everything into a bucket with a snap on lid. I let the residue saponify (2 days unless I'm lazy and leave it longer) and then I wash everything with Dawn dish liquid.

*DeeAnna could explain this better.
 

milky

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Thank you CaraBou and Hazel! Great explanation! I think the last time I did soap dishes I had been supremely lazy and let them sit for a week or so.. yeah.
 

mrsserena

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Yep, my soap dishes are always oily if I wash them within a day or two of soaping. I think a week is about right to let them sit and finish becoming soap. Then it rinses right off.
 

Steve85569

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Soap dishes can last up to a week at my house since I do not soap in our kitchen ( man cave).
Wen I soap with milk yellow orange is very common and any fats in the milk will become soap. Quickly.
That seems to slow the rest of the process down a bit but then again I have time to wait on the process and cure.
 

TBandCW

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Even though I wash my soap dishes right after I soap, (small house no room for anything to sit around) my plastic bowls from dollar store are always greasy feeling. I started using Dawn instead of the cheap stuff and it helped immensely.
 

amd

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I'm not surprised you had oily residue the next day. Saponification is a process and can take up to 48 hours to complete. I've noticed when I RT and set the mold into a frig to prevent gelling, it can take longer than 2 days to finish saponification. Someone (I wish I could remember who so I could give credit) mentioned she wiped the residue with an old dishcloth and then washed everything. The cloth with soap residue she let finish saponifying and later tossed it in with a load of laundry. I sometimes do this or I set everything into a bucket with a snap on lid. I let the residue saponify (2 days unless I'm lazy and leave it longer) and then I wash everything with Dawn dish liquid.
Hazel, that might have been me!

I use cut up old sheets to clean up all my soapy messes and dishes. Sometimes I wash dishes right away, but sometimes they sit a few days. Either way, after a few days they still have a greasy film on them - not soapy feeling at all. I did try leaving them sit until they made soap, but clean up was such a hassle (by "hassle" I mean it was gross and I was draining and cleaning the sink and running new water after each sinkful of dishes), I went out and bought 6 more mixing bowls just to avoid doing the dishes and still be able to make soap! So back to wiping out everything. I keep my rags in an empty beer box under my soaping table until it gets full, then throw it in the washer with about half of the usual detergent. I did try it once without detergent, but my rags were still so greasy I was worried about them catching fire in the dryer and what the stuff that had washed off was going to do to a) the next load and b) the plumbing.
 

redhead1226

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TBandCW - I have the same dollar store bowls but more importantly I bought a bottle of dawn from the dollar store and when I used it I thought to myself this dawn isnt working like dawn should. So then I thought is it because I bought it at the dollar store??? How can that be?? It was a super thin consistency. Sure enough I look at the label and it says "not concentrated" That's why it was a dollar! Just a consumer warning! lmao!
 

earlene

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When I need to clean my soaping equipment immediately, I wipe off as much as possible using paper towels or rags (depending on what is on hand at the time). This is important to avoid washing that stuff down the pipes! Spraying the oily surfaces with alcohol helps in some cases, to decrease the oily residue. Then I wash with dishwashing liquid.

At home, I started leaving my soaping dishes in the shower in our small bathroom for a day or two (so I don't have a big mess to look at every time I walk into the kitchen.) But when traveling, that's usually not an option, and even at home, I absolutely will not leave my stick blender unclean for even a few hours. It gets cleaned immediately. So some things get cleaned right away at home, and I find the paper towel or rags method works best for me.

But, to address the oily residue one day later... I believe that the specific recipe and method used (CP vs HP, for example) will definitely have an impact on how much oil residue you have the next day. Some reasons I think I get more oil sometimes vs other times may relate to the percentage of SF; which oils I used; if I used lanolin or beeswax or shea butter with a lot of unsaponifiables; if I somehow miscalculated or mismeasured something; if I did CP rather than HP. But even with HP, and the lanolin, beeswax or shea, clean-up can still be a bit on the 'greasy' side.
 

Hazel

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@ amd -

It could have been you. I'm embarrassed to say it's been so long that I just don't remember. Sorry!

@ earlene -

Good point about differences in process, SF, oils and unsaponifiables especially since I didn't even think of them. :lol: There is definitely going to be a re-learning curve for me.


I think a week is about right to let them sit and finish becoming soap.
......
 

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