Undissolved lye? Rebatch a second time?

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SudzNDudz

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Hello all! My cold processed turned into a disaster.
1. While pouring in my lye, I notice the mixture spilled onto the counter.
2. It was transferred to another bowl, and I put what was on the counter back in the bowl (this is my personal batch)
3. I mixed all of my other ingredients, it eventually seized in bowl.
4. I threw everything in crockpot to hot processed...2 days after cut I believe what I see is undissolved lye.
Is this correct? Can I hot process a second time?
 

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When you say that "the mixture" spilled onto the counter, did you mean to say that some undissolved lye crystals or chunks fell onto the counter? If so, then those should not have been put back into the batter without dissolving them first in water. They will not dissolve on their own in your batter. Nor can you be positive that all of them will dissolve if you rebatch, even with additional water.

If you put any amount of undissolved lye straight into your soap batter, then I strongly recommend tossing out the whole batch - for safety reasons. A single speck of undissolved lye can cause a severe burn on your skin, or worse, your eye! It's not worth taking a chance.

But I'm still not sure that putting undissolved lye back into your batter is what you really meant, since you said "mixture." Can you clarify?

Also, I don't see anything in your picture that looks like undissolved lye. I see some white spots that look like typical overcooked bits of HP soap that were scraped off the crockpot sides into the batter. You can zap-test them to be sure. If it feels like touching your tongue to a battery, then it's lye. Any other feeling - not lye. And in that case, your soap is fine. And pretty, too :)
 

SudzNDudz

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The lye water mixture and my batched oils spilled on the counter. I'm hoping it's not undissolved lye and just the scrapes of overcooked batter...will test. Here is another picture.
 

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Was the lye fully dissolved in water before you added it to your oils? If so, I imagine that you have either a lye-heavy batch, or an over-super fatted batch, depending on what spilled. Or was it already emulsified?

To me, it looks like you cut through something hard. I have never had any lye undissolved before. But if you really think thats what it is, or even just unsure of it, throw it away and start over and make a new batch.

Is it in all bars or just this one?
 

SudzNDudz

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Was the lye fully dissolved in water before you added it to your oils? If so, I imagine that you have either a lye-heavy batch, or an over-super fatted batch, depending on what spilled. Or was it already emulsified?

To me, it looks like you cut through something hard. I have never had any lye undissolved before. But if you really think thats what it is, or even just unsure of it, throw it away and start over and make a new batch.

Is it in all bars or just this one?
The lye was fully dissolved in the water. As I poured it down shaft of stick blender, the batter dripped down the sides of my bowl and onto my counter. The batter wasn't blended yet. When I poured into a bigger bowl and added rest that spilled, it was blended to trace.
 
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If the lye was fully dissolved in the water, then you don't have lye crystals in your soap. :) And those definitely look like overcooked bits of soap. I had a lot of experience with those in my early soaping days so I know 'em when I see 'em. 🤣
 
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SudzNDudz

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When you say that "the mixture" spilled onto the counter, did you mean to say that some undissolved lye crystals or chunks fell onto the counter? If so, then those should not have been put back into the batter without dissolving them first in water. They will not dissolve on their own in your batter. Nor can you be positive that all of them will dissolve if you rebatch, even with additional water.

If you put any amount of undissolved lye straight into your soap batter, then I strongly recommend tossing out the whole batch - for safety reasons. A single speck of undissolved lye can cause a severe burn on your skin, or worse, your eye! It's not worth taking a chance.

But I'm still not sure that putting undissolved lye back into your batter is what you really meant, since you said "mixture." Can you clarify?

Also, I don't see anything in your picture that looks like undissolved lye. I see some white spots that look like typical overcooked bits of HP soap that were scraped off the crockpot sides into the batter. You can zap-test them to be sure. If it feels like touching your tongue to a battery, then it's lye. Any other feeling - not lye. And in that case, your soap is fine. And pretty, too :)
Soap didn't zap!! Thank you all
 

earlene

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What appears to be fully dissolved lye can re-crystalize when too cold or frozen, in which case NEVER use it 'as is' in soap because what you can get are horribly zappy lye rocks that actually look like crystals in the finished soap. I know because I did it once. And I have the pictures to proove it.

Plus, don't ever lick soap you think is lye heavy and NEVER lick what you think might be a lye crystal in your soap! OMG, it took my tongue weeks to heal! As a new soapmaker without a lot of sense, yes, I did that. For future reference and for anyone else who reads this, here is the proper way to test soap for zap: How To Properly/Safely Conduct The Zap/Tongue Test

See also: Zap test | Soapy Stuff

But it doesn't sound like that's what you did, and I agree with the others that those are NOT lye crystals at all assuming you are talking about the white spots.

What I do wonder about are the orange looking fiber I see in both pictures. It looks like on the top surface, they are calendula petals, which is fine. But in the bottoms of the soap, it appears like they were mixed into the batter? Is that what they are?
 
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What appears to be fully dissolved lye can re-crystalize when too cold or frozen, in which case NEVER use it 'as is' in soap because what you can get are horribly zappy lye rocks that actually look like crystals in the finished soap. I know because I did it once. And I have the pictures to proove it.

Plus, don't ever lick soap you think is lye heavy and NEVER lick what you think might be a lye crystal in your soap! OMG, it took my tongue weeks to heal! As a new soapmaker without a lot of sense, yes, I did that. For future reference and for anyone else who reads this, here is the proper way to test soap for zap: How To Properly/Safely Conduct The Zap/Tongue Test

See also: Zap test | Soapy Stuff

But it doesn't sound like that's what you did, and I agree with the others that those are NOT lye crystals at all assuming you are talking about the white spots.

What I do wonder about are the orange looking fiber I see in both pictures. It looks like on the top surface, they are calendula petals, which is fine. But in the bottoms of the soap, it appears like they were mixed into the batter? Is that what they are?
How did the zap test ever get converted to licking the soap? And logically how would it even work. After all no one is licking the entire surface of a soap bar. The whole licking process makes no sense. Just a rant, sorry.
 

earlene

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How did the zap test ever get converted to licking the soap? And logically how would it even work. After all no one is licking the entire surface of a soap bar. The whole licking process makes no sense. Just a rant, sorry.
Soap Queen has been quoted as one source. (see this link and this one.) But prior to that, I have no idea, however when I was new, I saw it mentioned lots of times in various places; I know better now, but back then, I did not.

Strangely, while searching for some history on 'licking soap' I found some interesting tidbits. Apparently licking soap it is not an uncommon pregnancy craving (not at all surprising to me). Some cats, ferrets, dogs & other animals also lick soap (also not particularly surprising, but I sure am glad Kitty Baby doesn't). I am wondering if it has to do with salt cravings. Hmmm, I prefer salt to sugar; maybe next time I crave salt, I'll lick a bar of soap & see if it tastes salty. ~~ Joking. :cool:
 
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Probably because someone in trying to explain the "zap" compared it touching your tongue to a 9-volt battery.
Also, the correct zap test does involve putting a bit of soap on your finger and then touching your tongue.

No doubt some folks thought, "Why not shortcut that process by putting tongue and bar together directly?" Earlene's experience is a great example of why that's not a great idea.
 

SudzNDudz

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What appears to be fully dissolved lye can re-crystalize when too cold or frozen, in which case NEVER use it 'as is' in soap because what you can get are horribly zappy lye rocks that actually look like crystals in the finished soap. I know because I did it once. And I have the pictures to proove it.

Plus, don't ever lick soap you think is lye heavy and NEVER lick what you think might be a lye crystal in your soap! OMG, it took my tongue weeks to heal! As a new soapmaker without a lot of sense, yes, I did that. For future reference and for anyone else who reads this, here is the proper way to test soap for zap: How To Properly/Safely Conduct The Zap/Tongue Test

See also: Zap test | Soapy Stuff

But it doesn't sound like that's what you did, and I agree with the others that those are NOT lye crystals at all assuming you are talking about the white spots.

What I do wonder about are the orange looking fiber I see in both pictures. It looks like on the top surface, they are calendula petals, which is fine. But in the bottoms of the soap, it appears like they were mixed into the batter? Is that what they are?
My oils and lye were at 91/87.6 before they were mixed. Perhaps I should have said pockets of lye instead of undissolved lye (basically the white chunks in my soap). Thanks for Lye link. I really don't like the zap test either. However, I use the litmus paper too and I'm at a 9. I used calendula only on the top. Some may have fallen to bottom while cutting.
 

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SudzNDudz

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Has anyone ever used those ph tools to see if lye heavy or not? Debating whether or not those are more effective than using litmus or zap?
 
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PH testing doesn't necessarily tell you whether you have a lye-heavy soap. I recommend reading this article on @DeeAnna's Soapy Stuff pages of her website. Be sure to scroll down and read the part that starts with this heading:

I want to use pH test strips to check if my soap is safe or lye heavy. How do I do that?
Measuring pH with test strips, even high quality strips, cannot tell you if your soap is skin safe or lye heavy for two reasons.
 
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Soap Queen has been quoted as one source. (see this link and this one.) But prior to that, I have no idea, however when I was new, I saw it mentioned lots of times in various places; I know better now, but back then, I did not.

Strangely, while searching for some history on 'licking soap' I found some interesting tidbits. Apparently licking soap it is not an uncommon pregnancy craving (not at all surprising to me). Some cats, ferrets, dogs & other animals also lick soap (also not particularly surprising, but I sure am glad Kitty Baby doesn't). I am wondering if it has to do with salt cravings. Hmmm, I prefer salt to sugar; maybe next time I crave salt, I'll lick a bar of soap & see if it tastes salty. ~~ Joking. :cool:
SoapQueen is wrong on many things. Using glass for her lye solution is another that is crazy.
 
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PH testing doesn't necessarily tell you whether you have a lye-heavy soap. I recommend reading this article on @DeeAnna's Soapy Stuff pages of her website. Be sure to scroll down and read the part that starts with this heading:

I want to use pH test strips to check if my soap is safe or lye heavy. How do I do that?
Measuring pH with test strips, even high quality strips, cannot tell you if your soap is skin safe or lye heavy for two reasons.
Hi @AliOop, I tried and get an error code when going to the article.
 
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