Too much Lye??

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Big J

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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!!!
 

DeeAnna

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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/
 

Big J

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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.
 

shunt2011

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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.
 
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Weety

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zap test or PH strips when checking soaps???

Zap test sounds unhealthy...lol
 

Dawni

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Yep. Guess my question is if the Zap test is the best way to test the PH in your soap?
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.
 

Obsidian

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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.
 

DeeAnna

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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

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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.
Thanks folks!! Zap test it is :)
 

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