Possible outcomes of temperature difference

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Nivisoaps

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Hi all,
So what are the possible outcomes of adding lye solution and oil mixture in different temperatures.. we all different in regions having different temperatures.. our room temperature is 33°c. When I mix lye solution especially milk and aloe Vera it will be cold and just below the room temperature but the oils will be slight above the room temperature.. I usually add them together and blend.. is it important to monitor with thermometer all the time ?
 

KiwiMoose

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I never used to check my temperatures and never had problems. However, if using goat or other animal milk you will need to be careful your soap doesn't over heat while saponifying (or while mixing it with lye) because it can scorch the milk.
 

Relle

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Used a thermometer once and have never used it again. So no, it is not important to use a thermometer. I mix my Lye and sometimes don't soap until 2 or 3 days later if I don't get time.
 

ResolvableOwl

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If the lye is so cold that the hard oils in your oil blend start to solidify, then you might not be able to mix them in well (clumps of solidified oils), or get false trace. Either might or might not resolve over the heat liberated by saponification.
If the lye is hotter than the oils, the reaction rate will be higher. You might not notice anything, or you might have less time for swirl designs, or you might be happy to not stick-blend as long, or you might get seizing or soap-on-a-stick.

But IME, it's not quite as dramatic as some soapmakers out there celebrate it, fidgeting with their fancy infrared thermometer. Much more important is that you first can tell apart unstable–stable emulsion and false–true trace, then control it. Everything else comes naturally.
 

Tara_H

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The only other thing I've heard and not seen mentioned here is that apparently if the oils are very hot, the lye can spontaneously boil when it's added, causing a caustic fountain of general unpleasantness. However, that seems unlikely to happen under normal soaping circumstances...
 

earlene

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For me, I still use my IFR thermometer. I rely on it particularly when I CPOP my soaps. My oven is quite old and has had to have the thermostat or thermocouple or whatever part it was (Hubby did it, so I don't recall the exact part) replaced once since we moved here, and I have experience with other ovens that required repair in the past, so I KNOW FROM EXPERIENCE that the number stated on the dial is not necessarily the true temperature inside the oven. I also use an oven thermometer, but the IFR thermometer is easier to read.

In my past life, thermometers were an essential tool in almost every job I have ever held, so I have been using them the majority of my life. In one job, I was even required to calibrate the thermometer prior to use, so perhpas you can understand why I rely on them so heavily.

Also I have learned that some recipes go into gel at lower or higher temperatures, and water content plays a part in when & if a particular soap will gel. So my IFR thermometer is my friend (or oft-used tool.)

As to differences of temperature between oils & lye solution, that matters as well, at least to a degree that they are not significantly different from each other. And the oils involved matter, as do any ingredient that can accelerate heat.

Also lye solution kept too cold can result in a solid precipitate that can be a very real problem when going to make soap. So it helps to use a thermometer to determine if the solution is too cold, as well as ones eyes to determine if there is a layer of crystallized lye sitting on the bottom of the container.
 

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