Lye heavy soap?

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DaKakashi

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When I only started making soaps, all the guides that I read said that you have to be prepared and accept the fact that sometimes you can fail. too much lye, too much oils, a soap that don't gets into the gel phase... the options of failure were endless, so I was so sure that one day I will have a unsuccessful batch of soap that when it didn't arrived, I was worried :p
so now, 30 batches of soap after, finally I have my first unsuccessful soap! I tested the ph of a batch that I made (with phenolphthalein), and it showed me the infamous pink color. And now I'm trying to figure out what I did wrong. This is the third time that I make the exact same soap, and it never happened to me before. I'm pretty sure that I didn't put too much lye in, I always check twice to be sure. This soap is made with dead sea mud, pine essential oil and a bit of orange essential oil. Does anybody have an idea if one of the ingredients have a high ph and may affect the soap? maybe if I let the soap cure more (I made it two weeks ago) the ph may change? And also, what can I do with 2 kilos of lye heavy soap? if it wasn't made of dead sea mud I would have made laundry detergent out of it, but now I don't think it's such a good idea :p
thanks for your help!
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Susie

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Soap is going to test pink with phenolpthalien. If you zap test it, then you will know.
 

DaKakashi

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So, I zap tested the soaps, and they didn't zap :D
hmm... until now my soaps never tested pink with phenolpthalien, probably because I use oils with very low ph (the olive oil is 0.2) and with a high superfat (between 5-6 normally), so I never used the zap test before, only phenolpthalien. I didn't know that the zap test was specific for tracing lye, as I thought it is helpful to make mistakes sometimes :)
 

DeeAnna

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Don't confuse the pH of the ingredients with the pH of the end product. If you decide your soap will have a low pH because your olive has a low pH, then how do you reconcile that idea with the fact that lye has an extremely high pH? Can't pick and choose.

In fact, soaps high in oleic acid (the main fatty acid in olive oil) will have higher pH values compared with low oleic soaps.

In any case, phenolphthalein solution and pH strips are not reliable tests for lye excess in bar soap, despite what you read on the blogs and in books. Zap test is the easiest and quickest for handcrafted soapers. A titration method for free alkalinity is the industry standard, but this test not something most handcrafted soapers are set up to do.
 

Seawolfe

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^^^ This, so much this.
Quit with the pheno, zap test!
And wow I love your soap - what did you use for colors?
 

DaKakashi

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Thanks for the tips! i'll definetly start doing the zap test from now on :)

And I use only natural colorants for my soap. In this case, it's dead sea mud for the black part (which is very cheap here in Israel), and for the orange part I use sweet paprika. The color is amazing, but after half a year it start to fade. But I find it part of it's charm :)
 

Cactuslily

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Your soap is lovely! The mud, and sweet paprika compliment one another beautifully!nothing like that here in this desert. We have friends and family there, and my husband lived for awhile on a kibbutz...one day soon, we hope to return.
 
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