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Quick question about master batching lye

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gigisiguenza

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So, I've finally got an empty laundry detergent bottle I can use and I have a question or two...

1) I've rinsed this bottle within an inch of its life but I can still smell the fragrance of the detergent in it. Should I rinse it with something else or is it ok as is?

2) Do I make this 1:1 ratio batch in the laundry bottle itself, or do I make it in a separate pitcher and, once cooled, pour it into the laundry detergent bottle?

3) Are there any major important things that I need to be aware of regarding storing this bottle of frightening liquid? I already have an HDPE #2 bucket from Home Depot that inland on sitting the master batch bottle o' death in, so that in the event of any leakage from the laundry bottle, it will simply collect in the lye safe bucket and not do something hideous, like eat thru my cabinet bottom or a shelf or the party's core etc.

4) how much is a safe volume of this solution to store?

Ok, I've run out of questions for now lol. I'm a worrier, sorry, and I research the flaming heck outta things that might be dangerous before I do them.

TIA :)
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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I rinsed mine with apple vinegar and hot water. Was then a slight vinegar smell but I rinsed it after with a lot of water.

The 1:1 solution will get hot. Stupidly hot - for a long time. I am glad I didn't do it in the plastic bottle.
 

DeeAnna

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Also if your bottle is opaque, you can't always tell if the lye has completely dissolved. You might not think too much about it, but when you're making a 50% concentration, you are pushing the limits of solubility, so the lye doesn't dissolve as easily as when you use a lower concentration. Someone wrote about having that very problem some months ago and the lower-than-expected lye concentration caused problems with her soap not saponifying properly. Not to mention the unpleasant surprise when chunks of lye that fell out unexpectedly when the lye container was almost empty.
 

cmzaha

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No do not make it right in the bottle, as EG stated it will get extremely hot, plus you cannot properly stir the lye and will have a lot of undissolved lye. It takes quite a lot of stirring to get a 50/50 solution dissolved. I use hdpe buckets, Rubbermaid pitchers also stand up to the heat, for mixing my master batch 50/50 and transfer to the jug after it is cooled. This I do in the sink for obvious reasons. LOL, DeeAnna must have been typing at the same time!! Please store it out of the way if you have kidlets around. Mine all have childproof caps but I do not trust it so my bottles are stored outside on my service porch, keeping them out of reach of the grandkidlets
 
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DeeAnna

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You also asked how much is a safe volume to store. My answer is however much you feel comfortable with. I've worked in chemical plants that had huge tanks of the stuff. In my home, it would be whatever volume I could store safely and use up in a reasonable amount of time.
 

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As with the others, I mix my 50/50 solution in a separate pitcher (made of PP#5). I let it cool down first before pouring it in my HDPE laundry bottle. I weigh everything beforehand, too- the empty pitcher and cover, etc.... That way, when I take my 'after' weights, I can add back in any water that may have evaporated when I was mixing the solution. Usually, I get a water loss of 6 to 9 grams that needs to be added back in. I mix my lye out in my garage, which right now is very hot (100F +). I had a water loss of 9 grams when I made my latest master-batch a week ago or so. I add the water back in as soon as I weigh my solution just after mixing it.

Lye in solution lasts a very long time if properly covered/stored, so mix up however much of an amount you desire and/or feel comfortable/safe with having around in your house. In my slow times when I'm not making a lot of soap, I mix up enough for 7 or 8 batches at a time, but right now, when I'm getting ready for Christmas gifting, I make up enough for 16 to 24 batches at a time.


IrishLass :)
 

gigisiguenza

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TEG - I will use the cider vinegar. Ty :)
DeeAnna - I hadn't considered that. I'll err on the side of when in doubt, round up on water round down on lye in my weighing to be safe :)
cmzaha - the heat here is triple digits regularly, so storing it outside on my patio or in the patio storage closet isn't going to be safe I think. I plan on putting the laundry bottle, once filled, into an HDPE bucket and sticking the bucket under the kitchen sink where it should be cool and safe. I don't have kids at home and my roommate knows my soap tools and supplies can be dangerous, so she leaves them be.
IrishLass - I hadn't considered evaporation. I'll be sure to weigh my container before and after filling, so I can know if I've got to add back some water after mixing. Is there an issue with evaporation over time with storage after it's cooled?

Ty guys for the help :)
 

LittleCrazyWolf

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Gigi, I'm so happy that you posted this! I usually masterbatch enough lye solution for 4-5 batches which is the most I make in a day but I'm gearing up for holidays also and have been comtemplating masterbatching a larger amount. I would love to not have to sit around waiting for my lye to cool.

Also, I love your signature. I laugh every time I read it.
 

not_ally

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IL, this thread - espec. DeeAnna's comment about the fact that you are full saturation at 50% - made me realize how important it was to check for evaporation at that level, even if the evaporation is just a little bit. It also made me think that when I masterbatch I will probably just do it at my regular 33% lye solution ratio so that (a) I don't have to do any math to reconstitute (yay!) and (b) can worry a little less about saturation/lye crystal formation that I am not seeing. I don't vary from that ratio that much, I'd rather just mix up the lye liquid individually for a given batch when I do.

I'm sure that this has been asked and answered before, but since you guys are here, do you think it would be OK to MB lye liquid using aloe instead of water w/o ill effect, as long as I use it in a month or so?
 
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IrishLass

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Is there an issue with evaporation over time with storage after it's cooled?
Speaking only for myself, I've never had an issue with evaporation in my master-batch once cooled and in storage.

To make sure of this, I'm in the habit of weighing my container after I make each batch of soap, and writing the weight and date on a piece of tape that I stick on the bottle. The next time I go to soap, I first weigh my container to see if the current weight matches what I wrote on the tape after making my last batch, and so far, for as long as I've been master-batching my lye, it has always matched. :thumbup:


IrishLass :)
 

gigisiguenza

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Gigi, I'm so happy that you posted this! I usually masterbatch enough lye solution for 4-5 batches which is the most I make in a day but I'm gearing up for holidays also and have been comtemplating masterbatching a larger amount. I would love to not have to sit around waiting for my lye to cool.

Also, I love your signature. I laugh every time I read it.
CrazyWolf - I never see signatures in the tapatalk app (which I use for the forum), so I forgot they are there - I had to go look at my signature to remember what it was LOL
 

gigisiguenza

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IL, this thread - espec. DeeAnna's comment about the fact that you are full saturation at 50% - made me realize how important it was to check for evaporation at that level, even if the evaporation is just a little bit. It also made me think that when I masterbatch I will probably just do it at my regular 33% lye solution ratio so that (a) I don't have to do any math to reconstitute (yay!) and (b) can worry a little less about saturation/lye crystal formation that I am not seeing. I don't vary from that ratio that much, I'd rather just mix up the lye liquid individually for a given batch when I do.

I'm sure that this has been asked and answered before, but since you guys are here, do you think it would be OK to MB lye liquid using aloe instead of water w/o ill effect, as long as I use it in a month or so?
Ally - I've been debating the 33% solution since it was first mentioned in the original discussion on the other thread. I understand how to use the 50% solution, but how would I enter the 33% solution in soapcalc if I decided to use a 33% solution for my MB and on all my future batches?

TIA for the help :)
 

gigisiguenza

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Speaking only for myself, I've never had an issue with evaporation in my master-batch once cooled and in storage.

To make sure of this, I'm in the habit of weighing my container after I make each batch of soap, and writing the weight and date on a piece of tape that I stick on the bottle. The next time I go to soap, I first weigh my container to see if the current weight matches what I wrote on the tape after making my last batch, and so far, for as long as I've been master-batching my lye, it has always matched. :thumbup:


IrishLass :)
IrishLash - that's a good plan and I will use it myself for any MB I make. Ty for the help and suggestion :)
 

gigisiguenza

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Yow ask ... How would you enter the 33% solution?

You don't. Make your recipe just as if you were using solid lye. For 50% liquid, then multiply the solid lye weight times 100/50 or by 2. For 33% solution, multiply the solid lye weight times 100/33 or 3.3333.
Huh?? LOL. That was Greek to me, sorry.

I understood using the 50% solution because it was a simple matter of
soapcalc water amount
- lye amount
= amount of additional water need to add to lye solution to make the correct amount to make the proper solution for the recipe.

Example: soapcalc says
14.59 oz water
5.31 oz lye
If using a 50% solution I would subtract
15.36
- 5.31
= 9.28 oz of additional water needed for the batch

So how would that work with a 33% solution? Would I just soap at 33% and set the soapcalc to 33% so it gives me the proper amount?

ETA when I use the recipe above and the amounts listed, following your instructions, I get
5.31
x 3.333
= 17.699823

What do I do with the resulting 17.699? Do I subtract the solid lye amount from that to tell me how much additional water?
17.699
- 5.31
= 17.168

?

I'm sorry if this is confusing, I'm trying to understand, honest

G :)
 
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gigisiguenza

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We must have been typing at the same time LOL

Let me 're read your post and translate it in my head to make sense... I'm working on it here on paper :)
 
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DeeAnna

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I deleted my post, Gigi. I don't think I'm the right person to help you with this problem. I'm sorry for the confusion.
 

not_ally

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Gigi, you just mix up a regular batch of 33% lye solution, like you would normally for each batch, just a much bigger amount (enough to get safely in/out of your master batch container.) So when you go to use it, you don't have to add any extra water - or any water at all - just put the called-for amount of 33% lye liquid straight into your oils (thus avoiding the math!)

Does that make sense? The 50/50 is good for people who MB and want to be able to use it in batches that will have different lye concentrations ratios, ie; they might use 30% one time for a slower tracing mix, 33% for the medium tracing mix the next time, 38% for a faster one the next time. That ratio lets them do the math on changing the water addition in each one more easily. They will almost always have a calculation to do b/c *no one* uses lye at 50% (or almost no one), it is just too high.

I almost always use 33% so keeping the math simple is not important, doing this would let me mix up a big batch of my regular mix of lye and aloe and pour it straight in w/o having to mix/wait to cool each time.
 
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