Sea Water for soap.

Discussion in 'Lye-Based Soap Forum' started by KiwiMoose, May 19, 2019.

Help Support Soapmaking Forum by donating:

  1. May 26, 2019 #21

    Mobjack Bay

    Mobjack Bay

    Mobjack Bay

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2019
    Messages:
    583
    Likes Received:
    759
    Location:
    Virginia
    Closing the loop on the potential for seawater bacteria to survive soapmaking. My microbiologist friends have informed me that pH > 10-11 would pretty much kill any bacteria in seawater. My chemist friend never got back to me, but just today, DeeAnna posted that “a 1% NaOH solution has a pH over 13” https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/new-guy-with-questions-lye-and-lard-soap.74924/page-2 (post #31). I think we can safely assume that seawater bacteria are obliterated by the lye bath :thumbs:
     
  2. May 26, 2019 #22

    Zany_in_CO

    Zany_in_CO

    Zany_in_CO

    Saponifier

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2017
    Messages:
    3,580
    Likes Received:
    2,440
    Location:
    SE Denver CO
    :thumbs: Good to know. Thanks!
     
    Mobjack Bay likes this.
  3. May 27, 2019 #23

    Iluminameluna

    Iluminameluna

    Iluminameluna

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2017
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    84
    I'll add here that I live in El Salvador and I recently (like 7 months ago) I used the last of my filtered seawater that a friend had given me.
    He'd collected it from a beach that had no large settlement nearby, and he them passed the water through a water filter meant to make water potable.
    He gave it to me in a glass half gallon jug. It stayed clear for over 5 months, so I'm guessing it was very clean.
    My soap bars were solid and cured in about 6 months (they were all at least 60% olive oil.
     
    TAS, KiwiMoose and Mobjack Bay like this.
  4. May 28, 2019 #24

    KiwiMoose

    KiwiMoose

    KiwiMoose

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2018
    Messages:
    1,550
    Likes Received:
    2,474
    Location:
    Hamilton, New Zealand
    You’re in El Salvador? How cool! I met a bunch of folk from there when they were working in New Zealand. Lovely people.
     
    Iluminameluna likes this.
  5. May 28, 2019 #25

    Rsapienza

    Rsapienza

    Rsapienza

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2017
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    100
    Location:
    Florida
    I live in Florida so am obviously surrounded. I have thought of using water from the gulf of Mexico. It would be great label appeal if nothing else. I could swear that someone on this forum stated that if you put fresh sea water in a jar and put it in a dark area overnight, somehow anything living dies. Sounds kinda strange, but I swear I read that here. I was thinking I'd run it through a water filter. I need to get out on a boat and collect water far from shore. Tampa Bay doesn't sound as appealing as the Gulf of Mexico.
     
    Iluminameluna and Zany_in_CO like this.
  6. May 28, 2019 #26

    Mobjack Bay

    Mobjack Bay

    Mobjack Bay

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2019
    Messages:
    583
    Likes Received:
    759
    Location:
    Virginia
    You will absolutely not kill everything by holding the water in the dark overnight. If you stored it in the dark for a few days, you might succeed in killing the microscopic plants, but that would only provide Thanksgiving dinner for the bacteria. No worries though, the lye bath is going to kill everything :thumbs:. I agree that you wouldn’t want to use water from Tampa Bay, which receives stormwater runoff from the highways and city streets, golf courses and lawns that have been treated with herbicides, etc. If you can get out on a boat, look for the clearest water you can find. When you get home, you can pour it through a coffee filter and then a charcoal filter (e.g. a Brita type filter). Or, if you have a funnel, take the coffee filter out with you and do the first filtering step when you collect the water. That way you won’t end up with any bits of stinging nettles/jelly fish in your container!
     
    Rsapienza likes this.
  7. May 28, 2019 #27

    KiwiMoose

    KiwiMoose

    KiwiMoose

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2018
    Messages:
    1,550
    Likes Received:
    2,474
    Location:
    Hamilton, New Zealand
    You can call your soap 'Agua de Mar' :)
     
    Rsapienza likes this.
  8. May 28, 2019 #28

    Rsapienza

    Rsapienza

    Rsapienza

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2017
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    100
    Location:
    Florida
    I can, that is after I hopped on google quick to see what that meant....lmao
     
    KiwiMoose, Mobjack Bay and Zany_in_CO like this.
  9. May 28, 2019 #29

    MGM

    MGM

    MGM

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2019
    Messages:
    453
    Likes Received:
    550
    Location:
    Canada

    In this case, though, it's no longer salt water, so did you use it just for label appeal?
     
  10. May 28, 2019 #30

    DeeAnna

    DeeAnna

    DeeAnna

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Messages:
    10,993
    Likes Received:
    14,462
    Location:
    Northeast Iowa, USA
    Potable water filters don't remove dissolved salts, like table salt. The ions are too small to be trapped by the filter. Even activated carbon won't do the job. Desalinization is done by distillation or the right kind of reverse osmosis purification.
     
    Iluminameluna, Arimara and Zany_in_CO like this.
  11. May 28, 2019 #31

    Mobjack Bay

    Mobjack Bay

    Mobjack Bay

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2019
    Messages:
    583
    Likes Received:
    759
    Location:
    Virginia
    What DeeAnna said! Carbon filters will do a pretty good job of removing dissolved organic compounds, including pesticides, herbicides and petroleum products (for example, oil from boat engines), which is what I would be most worried about if I was collecting water near a city or suburban area, or a marina. They don’t necessarily trap metals, but some of the metals in the marine environment are stuck to an organic particle and can be filtered out mechanically or with a carbon filter. In all areas, including rural areas, you can add bacteria to the list of things you don’t want in your soap. The pH of the lye water solution (>11 or 12) used in making soap will kill bacteria. I finally found a good web resource on how pH affects bacteria. Bacteria that like high pH are called alkaliphiles. A species called Natronobacterium, which is found in the soda lakes of the African Rift Valley, may hold the record for high pH tolerance. It can grow at a pH of 10.5.
     
    Arimara, Zany_in_CO and KiwiMoose like this.
  12. May 30, 2019 #32

    Primrose

    Primrose

    Primrose

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2017
    Messages:
    551
    Likes Received:
    762
    I was actually planning on going and getting some sea water to try tomorrow, so this thread is interesting.

    I have a stovetop pressure cooker - how exactly would you go about pressure cooking it?
     
    Arimara likes this.
  13. May 30, 2019 #33

    Mobjack Bay

    Mobjack Bay

    Mobjack Bay

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2019
    Messages:
    583
    Likes Received:
    759
    Location:
    Virginia
    I don’t think sterilizing the water is necessary given the very high pH of the lye water solution. If you want to try it, there are lots of articles about sterilizing baby bottles and canning jars online, as well as recommendations for boiling water after a hurricane, here. Sterilizing with a pressure cooker would be the ultimate home sterilization, capable of killing things that are super tolerant, but those microbes would not be very common in “swimmable” seawater. Although I mentioned it above, it’s probably overkill for soapmaking, especially given the lye water step. If I was going to sterilize seawater, I would probably fill canning jars, set them on a rack in the pressure cooker, and put some fresh water into the bottom of the pressure cooker, but I would first check the directions for my pressure cooker or a reliable website for guidance. I would not put the seawater directly into the pressure cooker because it will interact with the metal unless the cooker is made of marine grade stainless steel (highly unlikely in a pressure cooker :)).
     
  14. May 30, 2019 #34

    Primrose

    Primrose

    Primrose

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2017
    Messages:
    551
    Likes Received:
    762
    Hmmm I would be terrified of putting jars inside a pressure cooker. I dont have canning jars anyway

    I thought it would be just putting it directly into the pressure cooker but maybe I should just filter it and call it good. I figured if it was easy enough to do at home and i already had the tool to do it, why not
     
  15. May 30, 2019 #35

    Mobjack Bay

    Mobjack Bay

    Mobjack Bay

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2019
    Messages:
    583
    Likes Received:
    759
    Location:
    Virginia
     
  16. May 30, 2019 #36

    Primrose

    Primrose

    Primrose

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2017
    Messages:
    551
    Likes Received:
    762
    I'm kind of terrified of my pressure cooker as it is hahaha

    There were a few faulty ones that exploded here in Oz just before I was given mine as a Christmas present lol
     
    Mobjack Bay likes this.
  17. May 30, 2019 #37

    earlene

    earlene

    earlene

    Grandmother & Soaper Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2016
    Messages:
    6,281
    Likes Received:
    5,665
    Location:
    Western Illinois, USA
    So, have you ever used it?

    My mom used to use her pressure cooker fairly often as I was growing up. When she died, I kept it, but never used it. I finally donated it to the Goodwill because it was just taking up space. I had my own, too, when I first married, but in spite of my mom's example, I rarely used it, not even for canning.
     
    Iluminameluna likes this.
  18. May 30, 2019 #38

    Primrose

    Primrose

    Primrose

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2017
    Messages:
    551
    Likes Received:
    762
    Oh lol yes I do, not often though

    It makes excellent rice very quickly, and I've done some lamb shanks and roosters in it
     

Share This Page