Lye question

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zzzma

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Hello. I bought lye recently from the lye guy and it says the KOH is 84.5-90.5%. I want to make liquid soap and want to make sure I use the proper calculator. With this range would you suggest I click 90%? Or type in the lower percentage at 85%? Thank you for any suggestions as my brain is toast after reading these threads for weeks! Lol Kim
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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If you choose the higher percentage, it would be the safest option of the two - it would reduce the amount that you use compared to the 85% setting. If you use the 85% setting and you have closer to 90%, you'll use more actual lye than you think.
 

Susie

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^ Craig is exactly right. Better to have a tad more superfat than you typed into the lye calculator than lye heavy soap. If you stick with 0-3% superfat, you should still get clear soap. If not, we can fix it with a tiny bit of KOH mixed with water.
 

zzzma

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Thank you for the quick replies so early on the morning! I'll use 90%. Wish me luck!
 

DeeAnna

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From The Lye Guy? At http://www.thelyeguy.com/store.php?crn=210 ? I'm a long-time customer of his, and I definitely don't recall his KOH purity has ever been listed as being that low. Here's what I just saw on his website: Potassium Hydroxide - 96% to 100%
 

zzzma

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It was on the MSD sheet that was in the box? I also want to say that I made a 1lb batch of the liquid soap IL posted the tutorial and it did exactly as described! I have 4 jars that we're diluting now with different percentages to find the sweet spot. Thanks again!
 

DeeAnna

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Hmmm. I'm really mystified now! Not that this is anything new! :)

I hope the dilution goes well -- pics are always nice!
 

zzzma

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Ill take a pic of the sheet when I get back today
 

DeeAnna

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The MSDS and what's on his website are definitely not agreeing. A year or so ago, I asked him about his KOH lye purity, and he confirmed that the purity is 96% minimum. Maybe something has changed? I'm not sure what's going on, but Jim (the Lye Guy) is the only one who can figure this out.
 

galaxyMLP

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Is that the Certificate of analysis or the MSDS? Because an MSDS will not say the actual percentage of a specific lot. Usually the certificate of analysis will give you that.

A lot of times, the CAS number for a chemical, encompasses a range of concentrations and that is how the product is sold. Then, the true percentage is given on the CoA. I remember we got in some hydroflouric acid into our lab once and I freaked out because it said "40% hydroflouric acid" on the MSDS. I was told it was supposed to be <10%. It was actually only 4.91% as per the CoA. This was due to the fact that the CAS number corresponds to a range of percentages but appears as "40%" on the MSDS.

I don't know if that's what's happening here, but it might be!
 

DeeAnna

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Point taken, Galaxy -- I really appreciate your sharp eyes! The document in the pic has a section headed "first aid measures" so that's got to be an MSDS, not a CoA.
 

Steve85569

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Yup! Those are two small parts of the MSDS for the product in general. NOT to be confused with a Certificate of Analysis.
I used to have to have those for things like furniture polish. There's a head ache I don't miss.
 

zzzma

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I guess because it was included with the lye it was for that batch sold? I bought both types of lye so there were both sheets included. I zap tested my soap base (using the 90% button) and all was good. So, should I call lye guy and ask, or use what's posted on website?
 

topofmurrayhill

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I would call Jim and ask. Then you know.
Maybe Jim doesn't know. Even experts can operate under some misconceptions. Maybe the product is 96-100% pure not counting moisture. I only say this because it seems way more plausible that it's 90% KOH and 10% water. I imagine truly anhydrous KOH is uncommon and expensive, and probably not uniquely sold by The Lye Guy while all our other suppliers carry some lower grade. I might be mistaken though.
 

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