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Lye Question

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Suds

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Hello, I am new to soapmaking. I have been wanting a quality product which is reasonably priced, or a way to offset costs. I have tried melt and pour, but the olive oil soap base that I decided upon has the typical downside of olive oil soap, which is the odd feel which took me three months to get accustomed to. Obviously, the feel is then no problem for my own use. OTOH, new users may be turned off by it if I attempt to sell.

I found a liquid drain cleaner whose material safety data sheet says sodium hydroxide, water, and potassium hydroxide. The first question would be whether sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide could both be used. The second question is that the exact proportions are not listed, but the approximate proportions listed are 45-55% sodium hydroxide, 45-55% water, and 0-10% potassium hydroxide. From the looks of the MSDS, these are the ONLY ingredients.

Suds
 

Becky

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Hi Suds, Welcome to the addiction :lol:

I wouldn't recommend the liquid drain cleaner for soap making, for a couple of reasons:
1. Sodium hydroxide is used for making solid or bar soap. Potassium hydroxide is used for making liquid soap. Cream soap is made using a combination of the two, but I wouldn't start with cream soap!! It's fun to make, but I would recommend that you have a basic knowledge of soapmaking from scratch first.
2. You are going to want to have more accurate measurements than what the MSDS is giving you. A 10% variance is pretty large!!

If you are in Australia, Mechanix brand sodium hydroxide can be found in Woolies. If you aren't, you'll have to wait for someone else to chime in to tell you where you can get pure sodium hydroxide.

If you are in the US, try looking for TOG soapmaking tools on Etsy - I'm pretty sure he sells it.

Becky.
 

Soapmaker Man

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Becky said:
Hi Suds, Welcome to the addiction :lol:

I wouldn't recommend the liquid drain cleaner for soap making, for a couple of reasons:
1. Sodium hydroxide is used for making solid or bar soap. Potassium hydroxide is used for making liquid soap. Cream soap is made using a combination of the two, but I wouldn't start with cream soap!! It's fun to make, but I would recommend that you have a basic knowledge of soapmaking from scratch first.
2. You are going to want to have more accurate measurements than what the MSDS is giving you. A 10% variance is pretty large!!

If you are in Australia, Mechanix brand sodium hydroxide can be found in Woolies. If you aren't, you'll have to wait for someone else to chime in to tell you where you can get pure sodium hydroxide.

If you are in the US, try looking for TOG soapmaking tools on Etsy - I'm pretty sure he sells it.

Becky.
Thanks for the referral, Becky, I do sell American made Sodium Hydroxide at my Etsy store. I can only ship VIA UPS Ground to the lower 48 States though.

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?li ... d=12822919
 

Eyad

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Thanx everyone for reply;
Acctually its good info. that you provided to me and to everyone read this topic.


This formula I am trying to make it I found it on a soap lable:

Code:
Water
MPG 
Rapeseed oil
Sunflower oil
Coconut oil 
Sodium Stearate 
Sodium Palm Kernelate
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Perfume
but as you discribed Sodium Palm Kernelate as an oil mixed with water and sodium hydroxide (that means its a detargent) why they add Sodium Lauryl Sulfate which is also a detargent?
 

happyday

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OK, it's all starting to make sense now! The label you're reading is most certainly not from a hand-made soap. If I were a bettin' girl, I'd lay my money on it being mass-manufactured. It appears to be part real soap and part synthetic detergent ingredients. I'd also bet that if you would back up, do some reading about basic soapmaking and pick a recipe with easily obtained ingredients, you could produce something yourself that is far more satisfying than that particular soap. What does that soap do that you like so much? Perhaps we could point you toward a process and ingredients that would be a lot more do-able.
 

cdwinsby

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Eyad said:
but as you discribed Sodium Palm Kernelate as an oil mixed with water and sodium hydroxide (that means its a detargent) why they add Sodium Lauryl Sulfate which is also a detargent?
Sodium Hydroxide, water and Palm kernel oil is soap not detergent.
 
G

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And when you mix them together they undergo a chemical reaction (called "saponification") that uses up all the lye and turns the oil molecules into soap molecules.
 

happyday

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Suds, I'm looking at this on a fresh day with a latte in hand, and the brain is working much better! First, it looks like the post that Eyad accused somebody of deleting in the Sodium Palm Kernalate thread was posted in this thread by mistake, and we all followed it down the rabbit trail. Sorry!

To get back to the business of finding lye, if you have an Ace Hardware nearby, they carry a 1-lb container of 100% sodium hydroxide beads for about $3.50. It's usually on the top shelf in the plumbing aisle with the other drain cleaners and septic enzymes. I also understand that Lowe's carries a 2-lb container under the "Roebic" label.

There are so, so many things that can go wrong when you're learning to make soap! You really want to make sure you are working with carefully chosen ingredients so that the surprises are less likely to happen. Working with a solution of both sodium and potassium hydroxide without knowing the exact concentration will only get you results that range from disappointing to downright dangerous.
 
G

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Yes, Lowe's carries Roebic's lye, about $7-$8 per 2 lb. container.

You use sodium hydroxide to make solid soap, potassium hydroxide to make liquid soap. You'd end up with some weird mess half way if you mixed them, and you wouldn't know how much to add anyway.
 

Suds

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Re: Lye Question replies

Thank you for the answers. I will use the liquid drain cleaner for drains. I was fairly certain that I would get that answer. I did find Roebic's lye at Lowe's, although I left most of my change in the self serve dispenser :(. The local small ACE didn't have any sodium hydroxide or any idea when I looked before I found this site and other good sources.

Now I will start a new thread asking about oils.

Suds
 

IrishLass

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Eyad said:
Thanx everyone for reply;
Acctually its good info. that you provided to me and to everyone read this topic.


This formula I am trying to make it I found it on a soap lable:

Code:
Water
MPG 
Rapeseed oil
Sunflower oil
Coconut oil 
Sodium Stearate 
Sodium Palm Kernelate
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Perfume
but as you discribed Sodium Palm Kernelate as an oil mixed with water and sodium hydroxide (that means its a detargent) why they add Sodium Lauryl Sulfate which is also a detargent?
Not to hijack, but just wanted to mention to Eyad that I posted to her thread about sodium palm kernelate a few days ago, but I don't know if she was able to read my post yet. I'm still listed as the last one that posted on it.


IrishLass
 
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