Newby Question

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Well-Known Member
Nov 29, 2007
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New Jersey
Ok - I just read online that it's not necessary to bring the oil and lye solution down to the same temp before combining them.

However, Kathy Miller's instructions say they should be the same temp before mixing.

Confusing! Someone help me out, please.


So I guess this would only apply when using a "Master Batch" recipe.

But I'm assuming that I can get my oils melted and lye solution prepared for a single batch - I can let both go to room temp before mixing and not have any problem?

So the idea that they had to be at a certain temp before mixing was inaccurate when "home soaping" began.
At the time, I imagine warm oils helped to speed trace. Back when they stirred with a stick. So the process probably stayed that way because that's the way it was always done.

There are soapers who say the oils and lye water must be EXACTLY the same temp. I can't see that, because it would mean that conditions would have to be too "perfect" to make some soap.

There are those who say there is an acceptable range (to minimize problems, and increase the probability of your mixture turning into soap), and if the oils and lye water are in that acceptable range, you'll be fine. I started with this theory, and it's worked for me, so far.

I'm a newbie too. I read all the stuff online, The Soapmaker's Companion (the supposed "bible" on soapmaking) and a lot of opinions. Too much conflicting info, from folks who all make good soap.
I'm a room temperature CP soapier! I used to use the ole candy thermoter, but threw that thing away 18 months ago. I love RECPing. You need to have your oils and lye solution close to the same temperature, I don't care if that is room temperature, all the way up to 110 to 120 degrees! One being hot and the other too cold, is not a good combination, and you'll have trouble. Keep the temperatures no more than 10 to 215 degrees apart. You'll be fine. The cooler the temps, the longer you can play! 8) :)

Paul.... :) :wink:
When I grab a container of room temp liquid it seems quite cold and uncomfortable. Especially now that winter is here.

When my liquids are mildly warm to the feel and close to the same temps I mix them. So far it has worked every time. Sometimes trace in 30 seconds, sometimes 5 minutes or more depending on the oils.
Im like Paul, I am a room temp soaper. I havent used a thermometer for a long time now. But I do heat up my lye. I put it in the freezer or ice water to cool it down.. but thats the only thing I wait for.

So yes, if you are just learning.. get that way down first and then adventure off the room temp cold process. This way if something goes wrong, you may be able to save the soap.
Ive heard that they dont have to be exactly the same tempurature as long as the lye solution is cooler than the oils you will make soap, Its probably not entirely right but its worked for me... so far.
Thermometer- what's that? LOL- J/K! I'm like Paul and Smelli, I think if you were to try for the lye and oils at the exac temp for that "perfect soap" you would make yourself crazy- at least I would! :)
The beauty of soaping is that once you get the hang of it- you have a lil more room for error and can eyeball it and know that your ready to go!
Ok I'll quit rambling now!
On an opposite note, I do use a thermometer and mix when my solutions are between 120-140. It is easier to manage when either of the solutions is in that range. Just my input.

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