KOH/Potash - Norwegian name confusion

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MySoapyHeart

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I am sorry to bother you good people, but I have for months now been searching in stores for this KOH - so I could try my hand at liquid soapmaking in adition to the bars.

Now I am confused about what is in Norway considered to be the stuff that you call KOH.

The people who sell me the regular lye do not know what I am talking about. I do of course know the alternate name is Potash - or what we call 'Pottaske' in norwegian.

So - before I hit the 'buy' button, I am not 100% sure is the stuff I can use for making liquid soap, so if you could please help me out taking a look at it?

THIS link (in Norwegian) says 'kaliumkarbonat (K2CO3)' is the same as potash. It is a substance that can be used in the soil as plants like it, it can be used as an raising agent in baked goods, and as an mild antiacid.

And it says: "Potash is an approved food additive, and has E number: E501"

Is this really the stuff I should use for liquid soapmaking? Something that can be used as an antiacid?

I know you can get food grade lye that they use to put in the pretzel water to get the deep brown color. But I just need the final confirmation if what I have finally have found available, is indeed what I need for liquid soap.

Thank you in advance!
 

galaxyMLP

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Nope! It's not the same. Pot ash is K2CO3 though. So that supplier is correct in saying that is pot ash.

The problem is that what you're actually looking for (I think) is called caustic pot ash and has the chemical formula KOH which stands for potassium hydroxide.

Don't get that as its not a strong enough base to complete saponification with triglycerides.
 

MySoapyHeart

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Thank you for the reply!

I had a bad feeling about it. I mean, a potash that can be used as antiacid wouldn`t really be suited for soap - and vice versa! o_O

I have spent so incredibly much time trying to find this stuff, and I find it baffling that you guys can get it so easily, and I can`t get a hold of it at all.

Oh well, back to the drawing board then...
 

DeeAnna

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Galaxy is right -- caustic potash is KOH. Potash is potassium carbonate (K2CO3).

It is technically possible to make soap with potash (K2CO3), but it's not something I'd recommend -- it's not nearly as easy or simple as making soap with caustic potash (KOH).
 

MySoapyHeart

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I appreciate the help, Navaria : )
But they are not for someone like me that just needs a small batch. And they do not let you know the price of the KOH + they state in their information that price of the item and shipping is not visible to me as a buyer untill after I place my complete order (I don`t even... o_O )

Other vendors don`t ship internationally because of the hazmat issue. I checked out ebay, but as I can`t be sure of the purity of the product from those who ship internationally I have decided to throw in the towel and give up. I have soent so much time on this so I won`t bother with this anymore. Shame though, I really wanted to try this, especially reading IrishLass excellent thread : D

Anyway, thanks so much people for helping <3
 

Navaria

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Well shoot. I was hoping it would work for you :(
 

Seawolfe

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Is there a University nearby or a chemical supplier for universities that could help?
 

DeeAnna

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Or even a high school chemistry teacher?
 

TeresaT

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MySoapyHeart, I don't know if you have access to it, but try www.alibaba.com. The majority of the companies that do trade via alibaba are in China and ship to the US. I just looked on it and there are a lot of companies that ship potassium hydroxide (KOH) to the US; however, only 2 will ship a small (1 kg) quantity. (The rest have a 1 ton minimum.) Maybe they ship to Norway, too. The worst that can happen is you find out they don't. But, it might be worth a shot.
 

topofmurrayhill

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Try to google kjøpe kaliumhydroksid and see what you get. Also if you can find any forums or suppliers for biodiesel production, that would be a good place to ask. It's getting to be a popular hobby.
 

MySoapyHeart

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Is there a University nearby or a chemical supplier for universities that could help?
Or even a high school chemistry teacher?
Thanks for popping in, guys!

I actually emailed a company yesterday, that deliver all chemical related items to all schools in Norway. I got a reply from them an hour ago, and they said in no uncertain terms (as in not really polite...) that my question was a HUGE no-no. They would not sell to any private customers, only to the official schoolsystem through official channels. Because, and I quote: "We can`t be responsible to how people use the chemicals we provide."

I think perhaps the same thinking will be aplicable to chemistry teachers or school in general. They may be afraid of some legal issues involved if they start to re-ditribute their stash of highly dangerous chemicals to a private person they have no precious knowledge of. Especially since we had a huge incident of 22 july in 2011 - where a massmurderer hoarded stuff like this, to use to demolish a building full of people in it.

But since you guys mentioned schoolrelated ideas I actually have a neighbour who is a schoolteacher (not science though) perhaps I could at least ask him, it is worth a try. I mean, all that can happen is really that I get a no. (or the police on my door, but then I can just show them all the bars of soap I have made, lol)
I`ll report back when I know more : )

MySoapyHeart, I don't know if you have access to it, but try www.alibaba.com. The majority of the companies that do trade via alibaba are in China and ship to the US. I just looked on it and there are a lot of companies that ship potassium hydroxide (KOH) to the US; however, only 2 will ship a small (1 kg) quantity. (The rest have a 1 ton minimum.) Maybe they ship to Norway, too. The worst that can happen is you find out they don't. But, it might be worth a shot.
Hi Teresa!
I have access to Amazon, Ebay and Alibaba. I only found 1 on Alibaba that had the 1 kg. minimum when I tried it now, so that was at least promising, thank you!
The payment options was a bit strange, and no paypal. They had western union as an option - which we don`t have here I live. But I will check it out some more for sure.

When I logged in to my Amazon I could not find anyone who was shipping KOH to Norway, but I have found KOH on ebay, lots of it. Only 3 will ship internationally. My issue with them though, is that I have no way of knowing how pure the stuff is, and the information lacking in their info is not very reasuring. And the KOH only comes in fragile plastic baggies...

But thank you so much for stopping by and help me out you guys, I apreciate it more than you know. Even though it won`t work out in the end, it is so nice to know you took time out of your day to help me.

As mentioned, I will get back to you and let you know what my neighbour says.

Thanks again! : ) <3
Try to google kjøpe kaliumhydroksid and see what you get. Also if you can find any forums or suppliers for biodiesel production, that would be a good place to ask. It's getting to be a popular hobby.
Hi!
Yes, that was the first thing I searched for ; )

I spent a full 2 hours yesterday googling this, and in my search I found a norwegian forum for biodiesel, a forum for boats and forum for cars. They all referred to KOH for diferent things. Do you know what their problem was? They didn`t know where to get the stuff either. And they talked about how they used to be able to get a hold of it way more easily before, even at gas stations and boat supply stores (sorry, don`t know what else to call it). So I am actually starting to suspect that there have been a shift in regulations regarding this stuff, but not towards regular lye - which I get at my local supermarked....

Who knew my wish for making liquid soap would end up being so difficult to make happen!? *sigh*
 
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topofmurrayhill

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Hi!
Yes, that was the first thing I searched for ; )

I spent a full 2 hours yesterday googling this, and in my search I found a norwegian forum for biodiesel, a forum for boats and forum for cars. They all referred to KOH for diferent things. Do you know what their problem was? They didn`t know where to get the stuff either. And they talked about how they used to be able to get a hold of it way more easily before, even at gas stations and boat supply stores (sorry, don`t know what else to call it). So I am actually starting to suspect that there have been a shift in regulations regarding this stuff, but not towards regular lye - which I get at my local supermarked....

Who knew my wish for making liquid soap would end up being so difficult to make happen!? *sigh*
Well good luck. We would be happy to send you some if it was possible.
 

MySoapyHeart

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Well good luck. We would be happy to send you some if it was possible.
Thank you so much, that was very sweet of you to offer!

I have tried one last thing today, and if that doesn`t work, or me speaking to the teacher I have as a neighbour I will let this go.

Things may change in the future, so there`s always that.

Anyway, today I emailed one of my ebay-suppliers I have shopped from several times. They handle chemicals and I have purchased all my bathfizzie/bathsalt ingredients there (pure food grade citric acid, baking powder and epsom salts) as they have have given me such great customer service every time (http://stores.ebay.com/Hexeal-Chemicals?_trksid=p2047675.l2563)

Today I emailed them and asked if they could please consider taking in KOH - as they are used to handle and ship hazardous materials anyway.

So now I just have to wait for the reply...
 

MySoapyHeart

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Hello from Finland!
I order almost everything I need from The Soap Kitchen in UK http://www.thesoapkitchen.co.uk/acatalog/potassium-hydroxide-caustic-potash.html#SID=58
Yes, it would be great to order from them : ) I tried to register with them last year, but hit a snafu with the registering form that I didn`t know how to fix. It was the part with vat-number. I don`t have one as I am not a business. It was marked with an * so it had to be filled out. Did you fill it out?

But I see now I can actually check out as a guest, that was neat, problem solved. I didn`t notice that last time. I must have missed it, or it is feature they have added since my last visit.

Anyway, made a small mock order for only 1 pound of KOH, and nothing else just to see the shipping. It was $32 in shipping alone.
Ooops, that was a bit steep for me. But at least it is an option if I ever get that kind of money to spend one day.

Thanks for the reminder Johanna, I`ll keep it as my back-up plan : )
 

Johanna

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Anyway, made a small mock order for only 1 pound of KOH, and nothing else just to see the shipping. It was $32 in shipping alone.
Ugh! That is a lot! Shipping 1 kg KOH to Finland (UPS Europe Road Zone 5) is £14.99 and you are closer to them than I am! I usually order between 150-200 kilos, shipping that much is about £40-80. Yes, I do have a company :)

I hope you'll find it somewhere with a reasonable price!
 

MySoapyHeart

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Ugh! That is a lot! Shipping 1 kg KOH to Finland (UPS Europe Road Zone 5) is £14.99 and you are closer to them than I am! I usually order between 150-200 kilos, shipping that much is about £40-80. Yes, I do have a company :)

I hope you'll find it somewhere with a reasonable price!
Thank you Johanna! : )

Sometimes I don`t understand how they (websites) calculate shipping. Everytime I check out shipping estimates Norway always seem to get the bad end of the stick.

I still haven`t gotten an answer back for the chemical dudes on ebay, so we`ll see how that pans out.

Wow, £40-80 for that much KOH, not bad!
 

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