Making up lye water ahead of time and storing?

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AshleyR

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I've started doing my batches at room temp. Would it be okay for me to make my lye solution ahead of time and store it in a big plastic jug (old laundry detergent jug)?

I've read about people making a 50% lye solution and storing it, then adding the extra water when they're ready to make soap. But, why couldn't you make the full solution?

I'm a little worried about it being full strength and possibly eating through the container or leeching chemicals out of the plastic.

So, does anyone know if this is safe to do? I've been making about 2-3 batches of soap a day and will only get busier (I'm hoping!) so it would be so much easier/faster for me to be able to get things ready ahead of time like this.

TIA!
 

DottieF.

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Storing lye solution in a container like that is just asking for trouble. I make my soap in 12# batches usually 3 to 5 batches a day. I mix up my lye solution for each batch in a Rubbermaid pitcher the night before I need it. Then it's cooled off and ready to use. BUT, I do not have small children and I have a very safe place to keep it. Also, all pitchers have a skull & crossbones with LYE written on them in big black letters. Dottie
 

Deda

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Ashley, I always keep a bottle of lye/water mixed and ready to go in the fridge in my soap room. Usually a gallon or two. I like to have it handy for whipped soap cupcakes and soap that I don't want to gel.

I've never had a problem with it leaking.

One precaution would be to store it in something sealed if you are going to leave it more than a couple hours. You want it sealed to prevent evaporation. Even a few grams of the water evaporating could cause your lye ratio to be off and possibly result in a lye heavy batch.
 

ChrissyB

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I have made up a pre-made lye solution, you can store it in any plastic container that is marked HDPE, laundry bottles with the tight fitting caps are perfect.Make sure you mark it.
If you use the same lye solution for all your soaping I don't see why you couldn't mix it up all at the same time, I mix mine 50/50 because I change my recipes around and doing it that way gives me the freedome to do that.
 

georgiastray

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Pre-mixing your lye solution is VERY time saving and so convenient! I do a 50/50 mixture for the same reason that Chrissy stated. :)
 
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I was reading a thread on another forum where the soaper that did this started having trouble with her usual recipes and the consensus was that the solution had weakened over time. Does your soapmaking insurance cover the premade liquid lye to be stored in your home ? I was asked about this subject when I was talking to an insurance agent on Monday.

kitn
 

IrishLass

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I've been making and using 50/50 prebatched lye solutions for the past few months and it is so time saving. I can't see myself doing it any other way now. Just make sure to use the right type of plastic container. Both PP #5 and HDPE #2 (with tight fitting lids) are the best plastics to use for lye solution storage. Whatever you do, never, ever use PETE #1 (ask me how I know! :shock: )

IrishLass :)
 

IrishLass

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ChrissyB said:
Irishlass, I can't help myself, I have to do it...HOW DO YOU KNOW????

:lol:

Well...... since you asked :wink: .......my 50/50 lye solution ate right through my PETE #1 container and leaked out onto my concrete floor where I store my soaping supplies and equipment. Thankfully, I don't have any pets or small children (just a 15 year old son who is very lye savvy), and the leak was still small enough when I caught it and had not spread to any of my soaping things stored nearby.

To make a long story short, after cleaning the spill up to the point that my whole house reeked with the wonderfully tangy scent of vinegar, I spent most of the rest of the day educating myself on the different grades of plastics and how they rate in comparison to each other in terms of lye solution storage (what I should have done in the first place!). That's when I found out to my absolute shame that PETE #1 was the worst possible choice I could have used (no kidding Sherlock!). I've chalked that ill-fated choice up to being the dumbest soaping mistake I've ever made to date, as well as being a lesson well learned that just because something is plastic and seems sturdy enough, it does not mean that it is good for storing lye solutions in. :oops:

I now store my solution in HDPE #2 and all is well. :)

IrishLass
 

xyxoxy

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I think it's already been covered but I'll add my vote to making and keeping a 50/50 mix in an HDPE container and soaping at room temp. Paul the Soapmakerman explained it to me (and many others) and it just makes so much sense.

Like Paul I use 50% lye and 50% aloe juice.
When it comes time to soap I always use a 33% lye concentration (2 parts liquid to one part lye) so that just means adding one more third of whatever liquid I like at the time. That makes it simple for us math challenged folks. I could explain that further but I'm not sure I could do so without making it sound more confusing than it is.
:?
 

Carla G.

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:lol:

Well...... since you asked 😉 .......my 50/50 lye solution ate right through my PETE #1 container and leaked out onto my concrete floor where I store my soaping supplies and equipment. Thankfully, I don't have any pets or small children (just a 15 year old son who is very lye savvy), and the leak was still small enough when I caught it and had not spread to any of my soaping things stored nearby.

To make a long story short, after cleaning the spill up to the point that my whole house reeked with the wonderfully tangy scent of vinegar, I spent most of the rest of the day educating myself on the different grades of plastics and how they rate in comparison to each other in terms of lye solution storage (what I should have done in the first place!). That's when I found out to my absolute shame that PETE #1 was the worst possible choice I could have used (no kidding Sherlock!). I've chalked that ill-fated choice up to being the dumbest soaping mistake I've ever made to date, as well as being a lesson well learned that just because something is plastic and seems sturdy enough, it does not mean that it is good for storing lye solutions in. :oops:

I now store my solution in HDPE #2 and all is well. :)

IrishLass
What about glass?
 
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I, too MB my lye solution. I do a 50/50 and I store in a screw top lid rinsed (thoroughly) laundry jug. A few months ago I actually found a jug hiding in the back of my closet that had probably been there a year or so. I have since used it all up and it was fine. I do know you want to stay away from the ones with the push to pour type spouts (sorry…not sure what they’re called). #2 or #5 should be fine.
 

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