The Zap Test: A Visual Guide

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AlchemyandAshes

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In reference to the following posts, I've decided to post a "Visual" on "The Zap Test".
(Thanks for the "encouragement" <read : DARE> HausFrau, Hazel and Lindy!)
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=34190&p=302100#p302100
search.php?keywords=Sanitary+zap+test

What exactly is a "zap test"? Is it safe, you ask? Is it sanitary, you ponder?

Well, it is quite literally TASTING your soap to test for lye heaviness or a very high pH. By either placing the tip of your tongue on the soap in question, or for the faint of heart, rubbing your wet finger on the soap and then placing said finger on your tongue, you will either get the somewhat salty/bitter taste of "soap" (those of us with smarty pants mouths know this taste all too well), or you will get a "zap" or "tingle" or "burn". It's not really a big deal, but it is a quite accurate way of checking for lye heaviness. Even the great Professor Kevin Dunn (Scientific Soapmaking) thinks so!

The zap is like what you got as a kid (or, um, "adult") when you stuck the end of a 9 volt battery to your tongue. I believe the reasoning behind this is that Sodium Hydroxide is alkaline in nature, and a 9 volt battery is also alkaline (alkaline batteries?), hence you get a similar result. Maybe I'm making that up, but it sounds plausible. My older sister forced a 9 volt in my mouth after telling her "she wasn't the boss of me", so I learned at an early age what a "zap" was. I also learned that it wouldn't kill me, no matter what my sister told me, though my mom thought I might get some weird germs from licking things I shouldn't. (She was probably right, but don't tell her...it would ruin my street cred.)

So kids, you're in safe hands with me! I've licked a few batteries and tons of soap in my time, and here I am...alive and well to bring you this Public Service Announcement!

THE ZAP TEST - STEP 1:
SELECT YOUR SOAP
[attachment=4:36q9nt64]zaptest_1.jpg[/attachment:36q9nt64]

STEP 2:
TONGUE APPLICATION
[attachment=3:36q9nt64]zaptest_2.jpg[/attachment:36q9nt64]

STEP 3:
"ZAP!" OR "ICK! THIS TASTES LIKE SOAP!"?
[attachment=2:36q9nt64]soap in mouth.jpg[/attachment:36q9nt64]
[attachment=1:36q9nt64]battery.jpg[/attachment:36q9nt64]

STEP 4:
RINSE AND REPEAT (This one's for you HausFrau, Lindy, and Hazel!)
[attachment=0:36q9nt64]zaptest_3.jpg[/attachment:36q9nt64]

If you got a zap, reevaluate your recipe, run it through a couple lye calculators, and check your scales accuracy. If all seems as it should, leave your soap alone for a few weeks and zap test again. It may just be a bit high, as fresh soap usually is, and will come down a bit during cure. If you have visible crystals of lye or weeping pockets of lye (sounds like some creepy medical condition), then it will not sort itself out and will need to be rebatched.

Well my soapy friends, I hope this Visual Guide to the Zap Test has brought you enlightenment. I leave you with these words of wisdom...feel free to use them in your marketing:

TONGUE TESTED - SKIN APPROVED!

IF IT'S GOOD ENOUGH FOR MY TONGUE, IT'S GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOUR SKIN!

I LICK EACH BAR TO ASSURE YOUR SAFETY!
 

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AlchemyandAshes

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chicklet said:
. . . but now I have this image in my head of you and Gene Simmons in a soap licking contest . . .
My husband is a HUGE Kiss fan...for his 40th birthday I hired a Kiss Tribute band to play. His office is decorated in Kiss memorabilia. "Forever" by Kiss was our wedding song...
And as for Gene Simmons - I can touch my nose with my tongue and tie a cherry stem with my tongue. Both great party tricks, though touching my nose just seems a bit wonky :oops: . The cherry stem trick seems much cooler, and is a great free-drink-getter at a bar. 8)
Alas, not that this cherry-stem-tying-tongue has been to one of those establishments in a long while... :lol:
 

judymoody

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I can do the cherry stem thing too! But haven't had the opportunity to show off that trick in a good long while.

Love the tutorial! :D
 

Pepsi Girl

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That was great!! I got to tell you I just cannot bring myself to do the zap test. My mom use to wash my mouth out with soap when I was young and mouthy! The memory of that is still to vivid in my mind and my mouth!!! :sick:
 

cerelife

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What a hoot!
I choose a bar from the middle of the loaf for "my bar" as well.
My adult nephew was staying with us for a couple of weeks this summer between acting gigs and he was interested in how I made soap, since he uses mine all the time. So he watched me make a couple of batches and acted as my "assistant"...very cool and fun for us both! Then the next day he helped me pull them from the log molds and cut them. He was fascinated by the whole process, but when I zap tested "my" bar, he was like WTH...you made ME wear gloves to handle this stuff...so did you SERIOUSLY just lick that bar of soap??? Beyond funny!
 

2lilboots

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Awesome! I somehow knew this thread was coming....lol! My view is if I licked it......it is mine!
 

dyclement05

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Thanks for the awesome tutorial! I've not made a whopping three batches of soap and the first two, I waited a full 24 hours before doing a zap test, so my stuff was good. This last batch, however, has been done maybe 12 hours, probably less, and I have had my first zap! EWWWWWWW. I think I'll wait 24 hours from now one.
 

Hausfrau007

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Shawnee, you're too goofy for words, you know that? LOL!!!!
 
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