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Lye Freezing?

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SPowers

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I had an interesting experience today - I pulled out my lye/water masterbatch and there was a solid chunk at the bottom. Hard as a rock. A little while ago I had a variation on that theme but it was more the size of an apple slice but look like ice. I put the whole container in another container with hot water and it eventually dissolved and all was well in my soaping world. Today, however, the hot water was not doing the trick so I put it aside and just made a single batch for today's project.

I briefly thought I would put it in the microwave but decided against it... wanted to see 1. if anyone here has experienced such a thing and 2. could I put it in the microwave to melt. I'm not the least bit sciency and I'm quite the fraidy cat when it comes to the unknown of science, physics, etc.

On Friday, I made a 2nd attempt at a CP shampoo bar which was in a cylinder mold. When I took the cap off the bottom a couple of tablespoons of liquid ran out. I'm guessing that perhaps that has something to do with the masterbatch as well... maybe there was already a thin solid bottom which throws off the quantities... I'm just throwing that out there as I have no clue.

On a brighter note, here is the batch I made today inspired on fall which will soon be upon us. It's supposed to be a drop swirl so hoping the cut is nice.

Soap 28 - Autumn Leaves1.jpg
 

DeeAnna

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What is the temperature of the lye masterbatch when the NaOH had solidified in the container? Was the liquid on top thick or thin? What is the NaOH concentration of the masterbatch?

The water in the soap mold tells me the soap isn't properly emulsified and it's separating during saponification. This issue very likely doesn't have anything to do with the masterbatch itself and more to do with technique.
 

SPowers

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The masterbatch is a 1:1 ratio. The liquid at the top was more thin than thick and the block at the bottom was opaque looking. I keep the m/b in my soap supply cupboard so basically it should be room temp. It's hot here and the a/c is on but I keep it between 73 and 74 - bit lower over night. Just looking at it again now, it almost looks like the lye was poured in and not stirred but that is not the case. I did stir it well but perhaps not well enough.

thumbnail.jpg

The batch of soap with the liquid took a very long time to trace... I stick blended for quite some time so I thought it was emulsified - it was definitely a thin trace when I poured but because this is just a plane jane soap for my hair, I thought it'd be ok to pour that thin.
 
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DeeAnna

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I suspect the thin trace is the source of the problem you had with that batch.

I cannot fathom what the problem is with the masterbatch. It's not frozen, because a 50% NaOH solution doesn't start to freeze until the temp drops below 65F / 18C. The liquid on top of the frozen NaOH will be very thick and gelatinous.

You mention the liquid is thin as I'd expect for NaOH in the 70s and 80s F. The white precipitate reminds me more of sodium carbonate crystals -- which is what you get when NaOH reacts with CO2 in the air. I can't say for sure, but I wonder if the container you're using is truly sealing well enough. (I assume the blue lidded jar in your photo is what you're using for the masterbatch?)

Not sure -- I'm guessing here. I'm not with you to see for myself, so I'm mostly rambling and throwing out ideas.
 

SPowers

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yes that's the container for the masterbatch. A ziplock container with a screw top lid. It's possible I didn't tighten as much as I could - I will have to make sure going forward. This is the first time in 3 months (when I started soaping) that this has happened other than when I had that small, what seemed frozen, piece.

I think I will just have to pour off the liquid and dispose of it all. If it''s a mystery to you, then you can imagine where I am in this whole process! lol
 

SPowers

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After a few days nothing changed so I poured off the liquid and ran the 'block' of lye under hot water which dissolved it all! Made a new batch and mixed carefully and watched to make sure it was ok. So far so good.
 

SPowers

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I had an interesting experience today - I pulled out my lye/water masterbatch and there was a solid chunk at the bottom. Hard as a rock. A little while ago I had a variation on that theme but it was more the size of an apple slice but look like ice. I put the whole container in another container with hot water and it eventually dissolved and all was well in my soaping world. Today, however, the hot water was not doing the trick so I put it aside and just made a single batch for today's project.

I briefly thought I would put it in the microwave but decided against it... wanted to see 1. if anyone here has experienced such a thing and 2. could I put it in the microwave to melt. I'm not the least bit sciency and I'm quite the fraidy cat when it comes to the unknown of science, physics, etc.

On Friday, I made a 2nd attempt at a CP shampoo bar which was in a cylinder mold. When I took the cap off the bottom a couple of tablespoons of liquid ran out. I'm guessing that perhaps that has something to do with the masterbatch as well... maybe there was already a thin solid bottom which throws off the quantities... I'm just throwing that out there as I have no clue.

On a brighter note, here is the batch I made today inspired on fall which will soon be upon us. It's supposed to be a drop swirl so hoping the cut is nice.

View attachment 48505
I think the drop swirl turned out pretty good. If I were to do anything different, think I'd have saved some of the plane batter to break up some of the colour. It's just the second time I tried this technique and compared to the first, I think it turned out pretty good. Calling this 'Falling Leaves'.
Soap 28 - Autumn Leaves2.jpg
 

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