Too much Lye??

Discussion in 'Beginners Soap Making Forum' started by Big J, Oct 15, 2019.

Help Support Soapmaking Forum by donating:

  1. Oct 15, 2019 #1

    Big J

    Big J

    Big J

    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2019
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Michigan
    just curious?? What would happen to your bar soap, if one were to add too much lye to a batch of soap? How would one tell?? I’m new to this and am looking for any info!!!
     
  2. Oct 15, 2019 #2

    DeeAnna

    DeeAnna

    DeeAnna

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Messages:
    11,400
    Likes Received:
    15,148
    Location:
    Northeast Iowa, USA
    Sometimes the soap will be unusually brittle if there is a lot of excess lye, but that's not necessarily true if the lye excess is small. A small amount of excess lye will usually dissipate as time goes on.

    The best way to confirm if a soap is lye heavy is to do a cautious zap test. https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/how-to-properly-safely-conduct-the-zap-tongue-test.63199/ That said, I suggest you not do a zap test if there is any chance the soap is lye heavy. The zap test is a good thing to do, however, if you're pretty confident about how you made the soap -- it's a good double check that the soap is skin safe.

    Are you learning how to use a soap recipe calculator? If not, learn to use one. This is your first line of defense to ensure your soap is not lye heavy.

    Next time it might be best to ask questions like this in the Beginners forum -- https://www.soapmakingforum.com/forums/beginners-soap-making-forum.47/
     
  3. Oct 15, 2019 #3

    Big J

    Big J

    Big J

    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2019
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Michigan
    Thanks for the info. The reason I asked the question was that I did my first 50/50 lye batch! I’m confident I did the formula correct, however the doubter in me wants to just make sure. I make soap for my family only and I am not in business to sell. Just a father watching out for his family. I really appreciate the response. Thank You.
     
  4. Oct 15, 2019 #4

    shunt2011

    shunt2011

    shunt2011

    Staff Member Admin

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Messages:
    13,239
    Likes Received:
    7,579
    Location:
    Michigan
    As DeeAnna stated, if you're pretty sure you did things right then do a zap test. That's the best way to find out if it's lye heavy. I would wait a day or three to do that. There is a little learning curve when doing 50/50 master batch.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2019
  5. Oct 16, 2019 #5

    Big J

    Big J

    Big J

    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2019
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Michigan
    Thank you so much for that!
     
  6. Oct 19, 2019 #6

    Weety

    Weety

    Weety

    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2019
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Midwest
    zap test or PH strips when checking soaps???

    Zap test sounds unhealthy...lol
     
  7. Oct 19, 2019 #7

    Dawni

    Dawni

    Dawni

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2018
    Messages:
    2,504
    Likes Received:
    3,325
    Location:
    Philippines
    But then ph strips aren't very reliable apparently..
     
    Weety likes this.
  8. Oct 19, 2019 #8

    Obsidian

    Obsidian

    Obsidian

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2013
    Messages:
    8,921
    Likes Received:
    6,120
    Location:
    Idaho, USA
    Zap test are safe when done properly. Ph strips just aren't accurate with soap.
     
    Weety likes this.
  9. Oct 19, 2019 #9

    Weety

    Weety

    Weety

    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2019
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Midwest
    Yep. Guess my question is if the Zap test is the best way to test the PH in your soap?
     
  10. Oct 19, 2019 #10

    Dawni

    Dawni

    Dawni

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2018
    Messages:
    2,504
    Likes Received:
    3,325
    Location:
    Philippines
    Not the ph. For that you'll need something more complicated than the strips.

    The zap is, for example in my case, coz I HP, to verify that my soap is fully saponified before molding. It's more or less the same for CP but you zap test after molding, after the hours or days required for your recipe to saponify. In both cases, if it doesn't zap it's safe to use but would still need curing time to be at its best.
     
    Weety likes this.
  11. Oct 19, 2019 #11

    Obsidian

    Obsidian

    Obsidian

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2013
    Messages:
    8,921
    Likes Received:
    6,120
    Location:
    Idaho, USA
    High PH in soap doesn't mean it has excess active lye in it. Soap by nature has a high PH so its best to just stop worrying about what the ph is and just make sure there isn't excess lye left.

    If you have excess lye in your soap, there will be a slight chemical burn felt, this is the zap.
    Only test soap that is a least a week out of the mold. It needs time to complete the process.

    To safely do a zap test, dampen your finger, run it across the soap then touch your finger to your tongue. If a zap or sharp tingle is felt, there is excess lye.
     
    Weety likes this.
  12. Oct 19, 2019 #12

    DeeAnna

    DeeAnna

    DeeAnna

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Messages:
    11,400
    Likes Received:
    15,148
    Location:
    Northeast Iowa, USA
    Even a small amount of excess alkali is enough to really bother your skin, even normal skin. If you want to know simply if there is excess alkali or not, the quickest and most accurate "yes or no" test is the zap test.

    If you want to know exactly how much excess alkali there is, a person would need to do a free alkali test. This analysis is a LOT more sensitive and precise than a simple pH test. There is no way a simple pH check can do this job.
     
    Weety likes this.
  13. Oct 19, 2019 #13

    SoapySuds

    SoapySuds

    SoapySuds

    The Suds Master Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2019
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    201
    Location:
    Washington State
    How to properly conduct a zap test!
    FDB29B8B-62E3-4743-A344-A12FE0BA4B23.jpeg
     
    Gaisy59, Millie, Mobjack Bay and 2 others like this.
  14. Oct 21, 2019 #14

    Weety

    Weety

    Weety

    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2019
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Midwest
    Thanks folks!! Zap test it is :)
     

Share This Page