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Premade Lye Solution

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Mothi

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So, how does one go about doing this?

I am assuming you mix even amounts of lye to liquid. For example 1 oz lye with 1 oz liquid, to make a 50% solution.

How does one go about using this for recipes though? If a recipe called for 1.5 oz of lye, do you pour out 3.0 oz as your lye solution (which means you have 1.5 oz liquid as well). So if the recipe called for 3.7 oz liquid, you subtract 1.5 oz from the lye solution, and have a remainder of 2.2 oz to add (like goat's milk)?

Does that mean you mix with the oil mixture at a lower temperature as well? Do you need to reheat the lye solution? For example, if room temperature was 75F. Mix the oils only to get it to melt then mix?

If you use aloe juice for the lye solution, should you refrigerate? Or must the solution stay at room temperature?
 

soapbuddy

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This depends how familiar you are with making soap with a stronger lye solution. If the recipe calls for 1.5 ozs of lye and you want a 50% solution, you would add 1.5 ozs. of water. This would be your total lye/water amount for that particular batch.
Be aware that with a solution as strong as this you might get a separation or a seize with difficult to with with FO.s

Irena
 

mar8613

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i would like to know the answer to this. i am interested in doing Rtcp in the future and i had the same ? aftep the solution is mixed how much of it would you add to the oils to equal x amount of lye?
 

Soapmaker Man

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I make a premix lye solution of 50% strength. This is equal amounts by weight of liquids (I use aloe vera juice) and lye. I usually make batches of 25 ounces each, let cool, then store in a bleach container with the built in pour spout. Here goes how to figure how much is needed.....

Say your recipe calls for , lets keep this simple, 10 ounces of lye and 30 ounces of water. With a 50% strength solution and a recipe calling for a 30% solution, needing the 10 ounces of lye, you figure it like this;

I know that my 50% is 1/2 liquids and 1/2 lye. I weigh out 20 ounces of 50% solution, or 10 ounces of aloe vera juice and 10 ounces of lye. The recipe calls for 30 ounces of water. I take 30 ounces minus the 10 ounces that is in my 50% solution, knowing that I need to add 20 ounces of liquids, aloe vera juice in my case, to the 50% solution to get it to a 30% solution. This is where I add my goat milk to bring it down to a 30% solution to soap with.

That is it, very simple basic math! I love having everything ready in two containers...my master batch of oils/butters, my favorite recipe, and my jug of 50% lye solution. I just shake the crap out of each one before pouring them out!

Hope this helps you understand. I've been doing this for a year now!

Paul... :) :wink:
 

perfectsoap

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How long would a premix of Lye solution last?
How about mixed oils, I would guess as long as the oils normally would last?
Thanks!
Jeff
 

itsmeroro

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I have been thinking about trying this, so glad the topic came up - what are the benefits over using dry? Do you mix oils and lye at room temp - and how is this done with butters and such (its cold here in CA!) :) .. Also, hubby is freaking out that I want to mix this stuff and store it -- he tells me that meth labs blow up because of this stuff -- is this really true, or is he pulling my leg???? :oops: I really dont know about these things! lol.

Also - could someone explain the solution percentages to me? I have my soap maker.ca program at a lye solution of 29% -- and none of it make sense to me! Does this need to change?? Lol -- (HELP)!

Cheers! RoRo
 

morsedillon

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First, a couple definitions :)

Sodium Hydroxide: a white, deliquescent, water-soluble solid, NaOH, usually in the form of lumps, sticks, chips, or pellets, that upon solution in water generates heat: used chiefly in the manufacture of other chemicals, rayon, film, soap, as a laboratory reagent, and in medicine as a caustic.

Potassium Hydroxide: a white, deliquescent, water-soluble solid, KOH, usually in the form of lumps, sticks, or pellets, that upon solution in water generates heat: used chiefly in the manufacture of soap, as a laboratory reagent, and as a caustic.

Lye: a highly concentrated, aqueous solution of potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide.

So taken literally, we don't go buy 'lye' off the shelf. We buy NaOH or KOH. When either of these are put into aqueous solution (mixed with water), we then have lye.


Now that that's out of the way...

The advantage of premixing lye is primarily convenience. If you spend time batching a large amount of lye, you save the additional time it would have taken to batch a bunch of smaller amounts. Generally, you should batch lye at the concentration in which you intend to use it. Many soap recipes call for 2 parts water to 1 part lye (some call this a 33% or 30% lye solution), so most people batch to this concentration. Remember - ALL measurements are by weight! As Paul mentioned, if you add liquids later in the process you may want to batch to a different concentration.

As an example, let's say you get a shipment of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) in, and it comes in 20 oz (567g) containers. To batch a container's worth of lye, first measure out the NaOH in the container (even though it says it contains 20 oz, this is rarely accurate). Let's say for the sake of this example that the guys at the factory did a great job and the container did in fact contain 20 oz of NaOH. Then, go ahead and measure out twice that - which is 40 oz (remember, WEIGHT not volume!) of water. Then in a heat-resistant container slowly add the NaOH to the water (for safety's sake, never the other way around), stirring as you go.

Once the lye has cooled, you can decant it to a convenient storage container. Generally speaking most plastics will be able to handle storage of room-temperature lye including HDPE and polypropylene. Generally speaking, the bleach bottles that Paul suggested will do though I wouldn't recommend using milk jugs or the like as they are too flimsy. SEAL THIS CONTAINER TIGHTLY!

NaOH and the resultant lye solution are very hygroscopic, which means that they will readily suck any moisture from the surrounding atmosphere. If you don't keep the containers closed tightly then you will wind up with more water than you intended.

Of course, it goes without saying that lye and other caustics should be stored in a safe area...but I'll say it again nonetheless. "Lye and other caustics should be stored in a safe area." There :)
 

Soapmaker Man

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Well guys, while I'm not a fancy worded person like our new friend morsedillon, :) :wink: I do know a few things about the saponification process and related methodologies of preparing the various soap making ingredients.
First, I master batch my 2 favorite recipes, for a couple reasons. First, as I don't have a lot of free time to sit around and wait for my lye solution to cool or the oils in my respective recipe to cool, I thus make up (+-) 50 to 80 ounce master batches and seal them in very large detergent bottles. Why I do this a little more later on.
I also, for the same reason. premix my sodium hydroxide with lye, always adding the sodium hydroxide to the liquid, my preference is aloe vera juice. I make a 50% lye solution, meaning exactly X amount of sodium hydroxide weighed out down to the last 1/10 of an ounce, on my digital scales. I then weigh that exact amount of aloe vera juice. I add my needed amount of silk fibers to the aloe vera juice and let soak for abut 15 minutes. I then slowly add my sodium hydroxide to my aloe vera/silk mixture. I do this in my stainless steel Kitchen Aide bowl. I stir all the time with a stainless steel wire whisk. I then let the lye mixture cool. Then I carefully, using a stainless steel funnel, place this mixture into my HDPE safe container with a built in pour coller and tight fitting cap. I have this plainly marked with a skull and cross bones as LYE SOLUTION....DANGEROUS! and store on a shelf that is anchored to my wall that is 6 foot off the ground. We don't have children, but do have a dog, and never know when someone will stop by. I do have a dedicated soap room that I keep the door closed on all the time, that is off limits to visitors unless I accompany them.
The reasons I like soaping at room temperatures besides the time restraints I have due to my other business, is the time I have to "play" with the cooler oils, butters, and premixed lye solution. I use goat milk in all my soaps. After measuring out the lye solution which is 50%, I add my goat milk to the slurry to bring the lye solution strength down to the 29 to 33% range in my soap batter. I add extra dried goat milk powder to the amount of aloe vera in the batch, that would normally be goat milk, so I can honestly say I make a 100% goat milk soap. My fingers are tired for tonight. More info on how I arrive at the correct rates tomorrow. It is basic elementary math. Very, very simple to calculate. The oils/butters do not go rancid as I don't wait months to use what I have in stock before I make new. I also add T-50 to each master batch as a antioxidant to prevent rancidity.
OK, that is it, no more typing for now. I'll explain more later!

Paul... :D
 

morsedillon

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Soapmaker Man said:
Well guys, while I'm not a fancy worded person like our new friend morsedillon
Yeah...you know, if I get going like that too much - just give me a good kick :)

Such is the blessing/curse of being an engineer :)
 

Zenobiah

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This is fascinating stuff!


I understand how Paul does it now with the lye solution. Great idea!
 
G

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Paul - where do you get your GM powder? I was hoping to find some locally if possible.

Marr
 

Soapmaker Man

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Marr said:
Paul - where do you get your GM powder? I was hoping to find some locally if possible.

Marr
I buy mine at a local health food store. It is the Meyenberg dried powder.
It is around $10.00 for a 12 ounce can. I add it to my regular goat milk to make up for the amount of aloe vera juice I use, so I can honestly claim the soap is 100% goat milk. :wink: There are several online sources and at soap supply sites.

Paul... :wink:
 

pjb31apb

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Here's a question for you Paul...Does your solution get hot again after you add the GM and GM powder?
 
G

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Thanks Paul! I'll have a look at the health food stores here to see if they carry it. So far all I have found is Meyenberg concentrated GM. I can get Palm oil at a good price in a pinch at one of the health food stores here too.

Marr
 

Soapmaker Man

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pjb31apb said:
Here's a question for you Paul...Does your solution get hot again after you add the GM and GM powder?
The solution doesn't but the soap batter does. It is normal soaping, just using a room temperature premixed lye solution. In my TOG Molds, I get perfect gel every time, but my TOG Molds have a nice tight fitting lid with a lip on the side to help hold heat in. The wood is a full 3/4" thick too. My liner system also holds heat well and acts like a insulator. I don't know about the Kelsei's like you just ordered :?

Paul
 

itsmeroro

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morsedillon said:
First, a couple definitions :)

As an example, let's say you get a shipment of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) in, and it comes in 20 oz (567g) containers. To batch a container's worth of lye, first measure out the NaOH in the container (even though it says it contains 20 oz, this is rarely accurate). Let's say for the sake of this example that the guys at the factory did a great job and the container did in fact contain 20 oz of NaOH. Then, go ahead and measure out twice that - which is 40 oz (remember, WEIGHT not volume!) of water. Then in a heat-resistant container slowly add the NaOH to the water (for safety's sake, never the other way around), stirring as you go.
:) (I LOVE THIS PLACE) Ok - I read this and my first thought is "am I doing this wrong?" I am using a soapmaking program - and when I mix my lye and liquid, I measure out in ounces each amount - I think it is all jive-ing because tonight's goatsmilk batch is looking great -- (first time with goatsmilk, second batch total!) I did not find it challenging at all... super easy!! I used an ice bath and kept the temps low as I mixed... I also am using the oven method to cool my soap - great idea - but I do so want to "just take a peek" - resist the urge! Argh!

So am I reading this properly - to premix a lye batch, you would DOUBLE THE LIQUID (??) in weight, is this different that what Paul does?? -- I just went and bought my aloe juice tonight and plan on pre-mixing tomorrow - Thanks and I will let you all know how it goes!

:) Soggy in CA - roro
 

PhillipJ

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I am going to make this recipe with premade lye solution

Lard 16 oz
Lye 2.10 oz
Water 5.30 oz

I weigh out 4.20 oz of my 50-50 lye solution. That gives me the 2.10 oz of lye that I need for the recipe, and 2.10 oz of water.

5.30 - 2.10 = 3.20 oz of extra water that I need to make my soap at 33% water to oils.

In Paul's case, I think he would add 3.20 oz of goats milk + about .26 oz. of powdered goats milk for a 100% goats milk recipe. The .26 oz of powdered GM would make up for the 2.10 oz water / aloe vera juice in the premade lye mixture.
 

Soapmaker Man

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PhillipJ said:
I am going to make this recipe with premade lye solution

Lard 16 oz
Lye 2.10 oz
Water 5.30 oz

I weigh out 4.20 oz of my 50-50 lye solution. That gives me the 2.10 oz of lye that I need for the recipe, and 2.10 oz of water.

5.30 - 2.10 = 3.20 oz of extra water that I need to make my soap at 33% water to oils.

In Paul's case, I think he would add 3.20 oz of goats milk + about .26 oz. of powdered goats milk for a 100% goats milk recipe. The .26 oz of powdered GM would make up for the 2.10 oz water / aloe vera juice in the premade lye mixture.
You have it figured out perfectally! :wink: It is so simple once you grasp the idea! :D

Way to go Phillip! 8) :wink:

Paul... :wink:
 
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