Lye didn’t dissolve completely

Discussion in 'Beginners Soap Making Forum' started by Alg587, Dec 15, 2017.

Help Support Soapmaking Forum by donating using the link above.
  1. Dec 15, 2017 #1

    Alg587

    Alg587

    Alg587

    Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2017
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    2
    I have just made a goat milk soap. I added the lye to the frozen milk and noticed it turning brown and didn’t want it to burn so I quickly added it to the oils and that’s when I noticed chunks of lye still in the bottom of the container. I’m sure some of the chunks would have gone into my soap. I stick blended until it traced and poured it. I put it in the fridge after so it wouldn’t gel.

    Will the saponification process dissolve the grains of Sodium Hydroxide? Or will I have to throw the lot away?
     
  2. Dec 15, 2017 #2

    toxikon

    toxikon

    toxikon

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2016
    Messages:
    1,358
    Likes Received:
    1,693
    Location:
    Canada
    You'll probably want to take a very close look at the bars after you cut them to see if you notice any pockets of crystallized lye. If not - give the bars a week to cure then give them a zap test to make sure. If you do see chunks of lye in it - you will need to rebatch or toss it.

    For future batches, you may want to try the split-lye method instead of the frozen milk method - it's WAAAAAY easier!

    You would make a 50/50 solution of lye and distilled water, then add your milk separately at your preferred Lye Concentration.

    So in your favourite Lye Calculator, you can calculate your regular Lye Concentration (33% for example) - lets say that it gives you 260g liquid and 128g lye. You can make a 128g water and 128g lye solution (50% Lye concentration), then reserve the remaining 132g of liquid for your milk.

    You can add that reserved milk directly to your oils or at trace, whatever you prefer.

    You can also use powdered milks in your recipe which is even EASIER - just add a couple tablespoons PPO directly to your melted oils or batter.
     
  3. Dec 15, 2017 #3

    Alg587

    Alg587

    Alg587

    Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2017
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    2
    Thanks Toxikon :) I will try those methods instead. I don’t usually use milk but was trying something new for sensitive skin or babies. :)
     
  4. Dec 15, 2017 #4

    cmzaha

    cmzaha

    cmzaha

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2011
    Messages:
    7,463
    Likes Received:
    5,842
    Location:
    Southern California
    I do not usually say to chuck a batch of soap, but I think even I would start over. If you have chunks of lye leftover the bars will be high superfat and what it the chunk in inside the bar where you cannot see it when cut? If you try to rebatch them you will not know how much more lye to add and no the undissolved lye will Not dissolve in the the batter. It is water soluble.

    If I do not use the split method, which I usually do my method of dissolving the lye in frozen purees or milks is as follows. I do use frozen milk or puree, I put it into a pitcher that I can really stir in without splashing and put the container into an ice bath in the sink. I then add the lye a spoonful at a time or sprinkle small amounts stir this until it no longer has lye stuck on the frozen cubes. I keep doing this until all is stirred in a dissolved. It a little tricky since you cannot see through the milk or puree, but if stirred well enough it should be dissolved. With milks you can get some saponification started and will see specks of soap. Doing it this way will cool it down considerable so still very well. You can then run it through a strainer while pouring into the batter, but you very well may just strain out some little soap bits. Of course the safest, if you are not comfortable in knowing if all is dissolved is use the split method as Toxikon explains above. The 50/50 method does not necessarily mean the batter will not darken when the lye heats of the batter, but it will not burn. Soap as cool as you can still keeping the oils clear.
     
    Alg587, penelopejane and Susie like this.
  5. Dec 15, 2017 #5

    Alg587

    Alg587

    Alg587

    Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2017
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    2
    I didn’t even think about the super fat being high. Thank you cmzaha!
     
  6. Dec 16, 2017 #6

    Susie

    Susie

    Susie

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2013
    Messages:
    9,022
    Likes Received:
    8,134
    Location:
    Texas
    I would chuck it and start over, also.
     
    Francie4boys likes this.
  7. Dec 16, 2017 #7

    The Efficacious Gentleman

    The Efficacious Gentleman

    The Efficacious Gentleman

    Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2013
    Messages:
    8,726
    Likes Received:
    8,555
    Location:
    Austria
    I agree. Short of grating the soap up, you'll never know what is inside a bar until it wears down. It's a shame, but by far the only sure option. Everything else will have question marks over them, and when it comes to lye it's best to be sure
     
    Susie likes this.
  8. Dec 16, 2017 #8

    cmzaha

    cmzaha

    cmzaha

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2011
    Messages:
    7,463
    Likes Received:
    5,842
    Location:
    Southern California
    Also rebatching will not dissolve any lye that may be remaining in the soap. Years ago I had a plastic SB lose a tooth in my expensive shea batter soap batch and ended up chucking the 6lb batch since I could not be sure there would not be any slivers of plastic in it. I know we all say do not use plastic but I do still use one because it is my SB that does not kick up a lot of bubbles, but I am always in danger of chucking another batch if this one decides to lose a tooth.
     
  9. Dec 16, 2017 #9

    toxikon

    toxikon

    toxikon

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2016
    Messages:
    1,358
    Likes Received:
    1,693
    Location:
    Canada
    What about rebatching into a laundry soap? Would that work with a milk soap?
     
  10. Dec 17, 2017 #10

    Susie

    Susie

    Susie

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2013
    Messages:
    9,022
    Likes Received:
    8,134
    Location:
    Texas
    No, you still have the mystery of how much lye is where. Also, I would not make any soap with a superfat into a laundry soap.
     
    cmzaha, Arimara and MullersLaneFarm like this.
  11. Dec 17, 2017 #11

    cmzaha

    cmzaha

    cmzaha

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2011
    Messages:
    7,463
    Likes Received:
    5,842
    Location:
    Southern California
    ^^^ Just Suck it up and Chuck it. Then make a proper batch of soap
     
    Susie and jcandleattic like this.
  12. Dec 17, 2017 #12

    Susie

    Susie

    Susie

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2013
    Messages:
    9,022
    Likes Received:
    8,134
    Location:
    Texas
    ^^^^That, unfortunately. We have all had one batch (at least) that had to go in the trash can. Think of it as growing pains, and a lesson for the future.
     
    penelopejane, Skatergirl46 and cmzaha like this.
  13. Dec 17, 2017 #13

    Skatergirl46

    Skatergirl46

    Skatergirl46

    Soaper on wheels Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2013
    Messages:
    749
    Likes Received:
    327
    Location:
    Huntington Beach, Ca.
    IMO it’s not worth the risk of burning yourself or someone else. This batch is not safe. Please chuck it and start again.
     
    cmzaha likes this.
  14. Dec 18, 2017 #14

    shunt2011

    shunt2011

    shunt2011

    Staff Member Admin  

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Messages:
    9,873
    Likes Received:
    5,273
    Location:
    Michigan
    Another vote for just chucking it. Not worth the risk. As other's have stated, we've all had that batch that couldn't be saved. Better safe than sorry.
     
  15. Jan 9, 2018 #15

    isha

    isha

    isha

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2017
    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    124
    Location:
    India
    My lye didn't disolve completly in water!!!! Happened to anyone before???
    I've use the same distilled water n same lye for my previous batches but not able to under why..
    I did chuck out the batch n then made a new one. Even that didn't dissolve at 35% lye concentration..

    Please help what do I do??
     
  16. Jan 9, 2018 #16

    Arimara

    Arimara

    Arimara

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2015
    Messages:
    2,134
    Likes Received:
    1,265
    This where I say whip out the thermometer. One trick I use is to use my thermometer to see if the temperature of the lye is stll rising as I'm mixing. once the temperature remains the same, the lye is ready and fully dissolved... At least from my experience.
     
    Susie likes this.
  17. Jan 9, 2018 #17

    isha

    isha

    isha

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2017
    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    124
    Location:
    India
    So should I just throw the undissolved lye bits...?? It was about 1 gram or so.
    Or can I use plain RO purified drinking water??
     
  18. Jan 9, 2018 #18

    shunt2011

    shunt2011

    shunt2011

    Staff Member Admin  

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Messages:
    9,873
    Likes Received:
    5,273
    Location:
    Michigan
    I would be sure to strain it. There has to be a reason why the lye isn't dissolving properly. I'd be more concerned about that. I've never had lye not dissolve except in a milk soap once. I use distilled water or aloe juice to make my lye. I do strain it sometimes if it sits too long and gets a little crusty on top. The problem with it not all dissolving is you are using less lye than required to make your soaps. In turn increasing your SF.
     
    Susie likes this.
  19. Jan 9, 2018 #19

    isha

    isha

    isha

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2017
    Messages:
    299
    Likes Received:
    124
    Location:
    India
    I've been using distilled water. I had bits if undissolved lye. In the lye water solution it was as 2:1 water lye ratio
    So I'm still confused on why it didn't dissolve.
    I had stirred it well for about 5-10 minutes.
    N kept it to cool for about 4 hours

    Yes, Shari... I didn't strain the lye -water mixture before use.
    My concern is what it didn't mix??
     
  20. Jan 9, 2018 #20

    Susie

    Susie

    Susie

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2013
    Messages:
    9,022
    Likes Received:
    8,134
    Location:
    Texas
    Is it floaty bits on the top, or crystals on the bottom? If it is floaty bits on the top, it is lye lint (your 4 hour wait is what makes this possible) and not to worry. If it is lye crystals on the bottom, I would pitch the bottle this came out of, and start over with new NaOH.
     
    cmzaha and Arimara like this.

Share This Page