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Super soft soap...help wanted!

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sassylady

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I hadn't soaped in months and yesterday the spirit moved me. DH has been grousing about being made to use manly scented soap, and he prefers unscented. So. I made my usual recipe using masterbatched lye water that's been around for several months. I mixed it up before measuring it out and adding water to make it 38% instead of the 50% it was.

I ended up with very soft soap. It's so soft that I had a hard time slicing it today. I ended up slicing it and putting it in the oven on 170F. I plan on checking it every 15 minutes or so. I'm hoping it'll harden up some.

I have double checked my measurements, everything was perfect. I'm thinking maybe I didn't get the lye mixed well enough and therefore didn't have enough to fully saponify all of the oils. It is soap, just very soft.

Any ideas?

ETA: I just checked the stuff in the oven, it has dots of liquid all over it. I'm leaving it in for another 15 minutes. I guess this is now an experiment. Any help with what I can do to save the batch would be appreciated. TIA.
 

IanT

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How long can lye stay in solution before it goes bad?? maybe the solution lost some of its 'potency' or something?? no expert but thats my two cents...also was it exposed to light/heat?? could have denatured some of the molecules... and Im sure lye has a half life (not sure if your into science..but basically half life is the amount of time it takes for the solution/molecule to degrade to half of what it was before), so it might have been a weaker solution than you expected??
 

sassylady

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Could very well be that the lye wasn't as potent anymore, Ian. That hadn't really crossed my mind. It's in a clear/frosted plastic jug on the top of my refrigerator. I've decided to get rid of the rest of it. Now I need to dispose of it. I had read that it can be diluted and rinsed down shower and sink drains, so that's what I'm gonna do.

I'd rebatch and add lye, but I don't know how much. Don't want lye heavy soap. Anyone have any ideas on how to say this 64oz batch of soap? That's alot to throw away.
 

sassylady

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Well, now I know not to put soft cut soap in the oven, it MELTS!

I glopped it back into the mold and put it back into the oven. It looked like CPHP does when it's done and ready to go into the mold. Hopefully, a little time in the oven will help.

It is soap. No zap and my hands feel kinda tight like when I wash with new soap. Who knows, it may turn out all right!
 

IanT

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DONT PUT RAW LYE SOLUTION DOWN YOUR DRAIN!!!! I dont even pour down the drain Ill neutralize and put in a glass jug and throw it away...this way it doesnt get back into our water that we drink (they reclaim alot of water nowadays...and like the old addage says, what goes around comes around (literally...look in the general discussion forum under "Doesnt this make you sick/scared...)


I think your supposed to neutralize it first with vinegar, this way it wont eat at your pipes thus creating a huuuuge problem with plumbing etc...

hope you saw this before you did anything!!!


you may be able to re-batch it...which is pretty much what you started doing, only you will most likely need to add more lye...but this is not my area of expertise since i only have two batches under my belt..havent done a rebatch yet so Im not the one to look to for advice on that!!!


Hope I helped a bit!


you may want a few more opinions before you do anything because like i said i am by no means an expert!!


EDIT: if it doesnt zap...thats a good sign, you may just want to leave it to let the water evap out of it...then test it in a few days once it mellows out a bit!...like you said, it may turn out ok!!
 
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I have never heard of sodium hydroxide going bad. However, many solutions do change pH with temperature. I am not sure if this happens with sodium hydroxide (NaOH) though. Was the NaOH fully dissolved in the water? If not that could have made the soap soft.

You should probably dispose of the NaOH solution at a hazardous waste drop of site in your area.
 

Neil

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did you shake or stir up the lye solution that had been setting?

and about pouring into the drain, thats the best place for it. As a former water treatment expert you'll be helping the plant, they use hundreds of gallons of the stuff each year to raise the Ph for treatment. Low ph (acid) not high PH (caustic) is the enemy of water systems. It will clean your pipes (I was also a plumber for years) it wont hurt your pipes just use plenty of water. If you have a private septic tank just use more water, this wont harm the bio of the septic either.
 

sassylady

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I used this mixture to make soap with last December and no problems.

There was a film on top that I broke up and mixed in a bit, but not thoroughly. That's probably the problem.

As for disposing of the lye solution, sodium hydroxide is drain cleaner. If I dilute it and then pour a bit down the shower or sink drain and let the water run for 10 minutes or so, that should probably do it. I'm gonna get the lye container out and read the directions!!!

Just back from reading the instructions for using as a drain cleaner. It's just a matter of waiting till DD is in bed, so as to keep her out of the equation. She's 5 and wants to do whatever I'm doing. You know how kids are!

Anyhow, my soap is still soft. I really don't know what I'm gonna do with it yet, but I'm not ready to throw in the towel yet and chunk it into the trash.

Any soap Masters dropping in feel free to comment on what YOU would do in my situation.
 

Soapmaker Man

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Red Devil used to be nothing less than 100% sodium hydroxide, and was used as a drain cleaner, ditto to Drano, used to be 100% sodium hydroxide, today at Lowe's, Roebic Heavy Duty Drain Crystals, still is 100% sodium hydroxide and is still a drain cleaner. And Neil is correct, the city I live in, Springfield, uses and buys tons of sodium hydroxide to use in the waste water plant. I use it still to clean out hair and soap residuals in my shower drain at least once a month to keep it draining right. Pour away down the drain like Neil mentioned, it is OK. :wink:

I keep my mixture of 50% solution in a white HDPE marked jug with a pour spout (White Tropicana OJ gallon jug or a detergent bottle, large Gain Sams size) with a tight fitting lid on it. As long as no additional moisture can enter or escape, like liquid Drano, it has a shelf of years I would expect. I have left some in a container for 6 months as a test controlled batch experiment when I first started master batching my recipes and using the premixed 50% solution. Made the exact size batch with solution only days old, and a batch with the 6 month old solution, no difference noted in the two logs. Cut the same, cured out the same, hardened up the same, sudzed the same. I can personally say that it is absolutely OK to use for up to 6 months when kept in a light diffused container like HDPE, with a tight sealed lid. :wink:

ETA: I always give the container a vigorous shake for 15 or 20 seconds to make sure all is thoroughly mixed before pouring it into a container for weighing on my scales.

Paul
 

IanT

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glad some experts dropped in here to help! taught me some lessons as well!, I forgot lye was used as drain-o!!!
 
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