It's not been a good soaping day :(

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Bamagirl

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So, my day starts out with me going to the carport to turn my soaps. When I turn the Salty Charcoal batch I made a couple weeks ago, I notice what I am assuming is soda ash all over the top of every single bar, not on sides or bottom, just the top (the top is a light/ashy looking color while the rest is dark so I think it's soda ash). Ok, no big deal, it's just cosmetic and it's only going to be used by us anyway.:-| Then this afternoon, I get geared up and start to make another batch of mechanic soap since I have just enough lard and coconut oil for another small batch. Everything is measured and going good. I go outside to mix and as I am walking, I notice a couple tiny, tiny pieces of what look like plastic in my lye water. I proceed anyway. I mix the kerosene in with my oils and think "what if that's undissolved lye? better get it out, afterall it's only sitting on top of the water and shouldn't be a problem" I then take my spatula and dip the pieces out with my right hand as apparently my elbow bumps the container with oils and pours it all over my leg and foot. My first reaction is of course "Thank God that wasn't the lye bowl" but quickly followed by "Dangit everything was ready and now I can't soap cause I am out of oils :evil::evil:" Now the dilemma of what to do with my mixed lye water------ after much deliberation I decide to leave it in the carport today and pick up more oils in the morning. But, I refuse to let this get me down, so I will count my blessings:

1) Only oil was poured on me, not lye
2) It wasn't expensive oils
3) The oils had cooled down and weren't super hot
4) I can make this soap tomorrow
5) I can vent on here

Ok, thanks for letting me vent! Hopefully tomorrow goes better!
 

Obsidian

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Could have been so much worse, glad it was only oils. Make sure you cover your lye water tightly, it will react with air and start to loose potency. If you did want to dispose of it, dilute with cold water and pour it down a drain while running cold water. After all, lye is used to clear clogged drains.
 

HoneyLady

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I'm so sorry the gremlins found your house! Yes, you do have some silver lining to your clouds, and kudos to you for looking for them!

I also applaud you for having the sense to recognize when it's time to just walk away -- and doing it.

Being red-headed Irish myself, I tend to grit my teeth and try to power through. Hard headed and soft hearted. :mrgreen:

Tomorrow is another day!

~HL~
 

Bamagirl

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Could have been so much worse, glad it was only oils. Make sure you cover your lye water tightly, it will react with air and start to loose potency. If you did want to dispose of it, dilute with cold water and pour it down a drain while running cold water. After all, lye is used to clear clogged drains.

Actually I haven't decided to keep it, I would hate to have it loose it ummph and then my soap not turn out right, but at the time, I was frustrated so I needed to just get away lol
 

Bamagirl

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Being red-headed Irish myself, I tend to grit my teeth and try to power through. Hard headed and soft hearted. :mrgreen:

Tomorrow is another day!

~HL~
Honestly, I probably would have done this myself if I had any oils left :)
 

skayc1

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Since I add tussah silk to my lye water I always use a sieve to pour my lye water through. good luck soaping tomorrow!
 

Bamagirl

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If I added vinegar to the lye solution would it neutralize the lye, so that I can just dump it outside? We are on a septic system and just had to have it re-done, so I am kind of leary about pouring it down the drain.
 

topofmurrayhill

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If I added vinegar to the lye solution would it neutralize the lye, so that I can just dump it outside? We are on a septic system and just had to have it re-done, so I am kind of leary about pouring it down the drain.
To neutralize it completely, you would need almost a quart of vinegar for every ounce of sodium hydroxide in your lye. The end product would be sodium acetate. If there is a spot where you don't need plants to be growing, you can pour out the lye as is and it will be neutralized by atmospheric carbon dioxide before long. It's not poisonous, just caustic because it's such a strong base. The end product would be washing soda, so that spot would remain somewhat alkaline.
 

Seawolfe

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If the lye concentration is correct, why not save it for the next batch? Lots of people masterbatch or make their lye solution ahead of time.
 

DeeAnna

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I have a septic system and occasionally have to deal with this problem too. Pour it slowly down the drain with lots of COLD water. Let the cold water run for another few minutes after all the lye is down the drain. If you are planning to do laundry or have the family take their evening baths, you might try to discard the lye right before you do the other work -- that will put plenty of fresh water into your septic system to mix and dilute the lye.

If you have to discard soaping lye only once in a blue moon, the septic system will handle it fine. The septic system's holding tank is hundreds of gallons in size and is constantly being diluted by all the water coming from your home, so the lye will be well diluted and mixed with normal household water by the time it reaches the soil in your drain field.
 
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Bamagirl

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If the lye concentration is correct, why not save it for the next batch? Lots of people masterbatch or make their lye solution ahead of time.
I was going to save it for tomorrow, but I don't have a lid for the container and only have it covered with a plastic bag, so I was wondering if it would loose strength before I can soap tomorrow.
 

topofmurrayhill

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I was going to save it for tomorrow, but I don't have a lid for the container and only have it covered with a plastic bag, so I was wondering if it would loose strength before I can soap tomorrow.
I think you could use it, but that's not based on hard facts. It's not unusual for room-temp soapers to prepare lye the evening before soaping. Solid sodium hydroxide would lose a significant amount of strength in 24 hours but lye might hold up better.

You have already weighed the sodium hydroxide, so there's no real issue with its picking up moisture from the air. The only consideration is reaction with carbon dioxide but I'd guess you're okay for the next day.
 
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IrishLass

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Right here, silly!
I'd have no qualms using the solution myself, as long as the plastic bag was rubber-banded over the opening of the container. I've used lye solution in this way a couple of times before- because life interrupted after I had everything measured out and I wasn't able to make my soap until a couple of days later- and everything came out fine. I had my lye solution container covered with plastic that was rubber-banded down.


IrishLass :)
 

Bamagirl

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I am thinking that today when I am in town, I think I will stop by the dollar store and pick up a container that has a lid to use when mixing lye. Then, next time something like this happens, all I have to do is put the lid on :) What aggravates me is last week I was in there and *almost* picked one up for soaping, but didn't because I already have soaping containers and haven't figured out a way to store everything yet!
 
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