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What do you use to mix your Lye and Water?

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Happy2018

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OH, I just thought of a question, after melting my oil, I pour it into a glass measure cup, ( I've been making small batches and experimenting until I find something I like), as the contents in the pot are shallow, and I've had a few splashes on my face with the stick blender. (on that note, I bought a safety face protector) Back to the measure cup, the oil is in it, then when the stick blender is going, I pour the lye in. Is there any danger then of the glass breaking?


Thank you!
 

earlene

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OH, I just thought of a question, after melting my oil, I pour it into a glass measure cup, ( I've been making small batches and experimenting until I find something I like), as the contents in the pot are shallow, and I've had a few splashes on my face with the stick blender. (on that note, I bought a safety face protector) Back to the measure cup, the oil is in it, then when the stick blender is going, I pour the lye in. Is there any danger then of the glass breaking?
Thank you!
Stop doing that! First, yes, there is a danger. Stop the glass and stop the stick blender! Stop too shallow!

Second, don't pour the lye in while the stick blender is turned on! No. Keep your finger OFF that button! In fact, if that's your habit, REMOVE the SB before you pour the lye in and use a spoon or other stirring tool instead. Pour the lye slowly into the oils, which should be in a lye safe container that is not too shallow.

Here s a video that shows how to safely add lye solution to the oils. Notice the SB is not turned on. You can do this with a silicone spatula or stainless steel spoon as well. Also notice the container is not shallow.
 

Happy2018

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WOW,

There is really a lot of mis information on the internet. I am so glad I found this site!

T. H .A. N. K..... Y. O. U !.!.!
 

DeeAnna

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"...Back to the measure cup, the oil is in it, then when the stick blender is going, I pour the lye in. Is there any danger then of the glass breaking?..."

You're wanting to find an exception to the rule about not mixing glass and lye. There aren't any exceptions.

Even if you don't believe lye can etch glass and cause it to break more easily, then think about a simple accident --

Think about simply dropping a glass container with lye solution or soap batter in it, then picture yourself being cut by a shard. If that's not enough incentive to not mix glass and lye, then I don't know what is. :confused:
 

Steve85569

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Glass + soap.
What could go wrong?

Just use your imagination. Glass and soap mix as well as explosives and alcohol.
Don't ask. It's a long story...
:shakinghead:
 

dibbles

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Happy2018, a lot of us use these. They are lye safe and not too shallow, and a stick blender fits well. Inexpensive and found at most hardware stores - the big box ones at least. quart.JPG
 

Happy2018

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Thank you everyone,

I went through all of my soap supplies, and got rid of all the glass.

Thank you I'll look for those HDX quarts, next time I'm the "city", I'm in a rural town. In the mean time, I'm planning a thrift store shopping spre! :):D
 

IrishLass

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WOW,

There is really a lot of mis information on the internet.
You hit that nail right on the head! :) The internet truly is a dangerous minefield for new soapmakers, no ifs, ands, or buts about it! Some (but not all) soap-making books contain misinformation as well.

There are a good handful of threads lurking about here on the forum opining the abundance of misinformation about soapmaking that gets propagated out there on the net (FB, especially). You came to the right place to help you separate the soapy facts from all the myth-information. :p


IrishLass :)
 

MorpheusPA

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Technically, borosilicate glass would be fine for soap making.

However, Pyrex is no longer borosilicate and went with the cheaper tempered glass many years ago. At this point, I wouldn't trust any glassware at all.

I also don't trust the thinner plastics. Over time, they'll crack a bit and eventually fail, and it's not always obvious when they're about to do so.

I use a thick-walled plastic pitcher to mix my lye, and throw it out once the plastic shows signs of hazing or cracking.
 

Zany_in_CO

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It really is a personal preference, based on knowledge and experience. Do what works for you.

I, along with many experienced soapmakers, use Pyrex cups to mix lye and soap; also borosilicate glass beakers for lotions & potions as needed. I have several sizes. For me, it's just easier to see what's happening. I use the microwave a lot... both to melt fats and, more recently, to cook the soap. But my batches are small (16 bars) so I do what works for me.

I had a bad experience with both #2 and #5 HDPE plastic... one crumpled under hot lye over 150°F; the other literally degraded plastic into the lye water, which I then had to pitch. While it's true that "glass breaks", plastic can slip out of your grip. So it's a moot point, to my mind at least. In either case, just be careful. Both glass and plastic degrade over time. In both cases you need to be aware and replace when needed.
 

Serene

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Here is what I use. These are both #5 and can be found at the dollar store. 2 and 3 qt. Please do your own testing to figure out if it will work for you.
 

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Lin19687

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That is funny, I have the Blue one and it has DE for the Chicken coop hahaha
I didn't even think to look on the bottom !
 

DianaMoon

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Glass + soap.
What could go wrong?

Just use your imagination. Glass and soap mix as well as explosives and alcohol.
Don't ask. It's a long story...
:shakinghead:
Please, but with all due respect, "just use your imagination" doesn't help. I don't consider myself stupid. I am totally clueless with respect to science. Sorry. I studied languages and I am a Civil War buff. But I'm a total ignoramus when it comes to chemistry, and if I had not discovered this forum, I shudder to think what I would have done because when I think "nonreactive," I think glass.
 

jcandleattic

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Please, but with all due respect, "just use your imagination" doesn't help. I don't consider myself stupid. I am totally clueless with respect to science. Sorry. I studied languages and I am a Civil War buff. But I'm a total ignoramus when it comes to chemistry, and if I had not discovered this forum, I shudder to think what I would have done because when I think "nonreactive," I think glass.
Glass can etch and become weak, and shatter with the use of lye. Now imagine that happening with a glass vessel full of lye solution. Lye solution + glass shards while holding the handle in your hand = highly dangerous.
 

Zany_in_CO

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Glass can etch and become weak, and shatter with the use of lye.
While that's true, I've been using Pyrex & borosilicate since 2003 and that still hasn't happened! LOL That being said, I picked up a heavy glass 4-cup pitcher at a garage sale early in my soapmaking journey. It must have belonged to a soapmaker because it was etched so badly it looked like frosted glass. I cherish it thinking about the happy soaping journeys it must have had.

On another note, I was browsing through Delores Boone's book, "Handmade Soap" today. It's a beautiful book with lots of colored pictures and oodles of excellent information for beginners. I like to page through it for inspiration. FWIW, in the section on equipment I saw this statement: "Glass is better than plastic for mixing lye because lye crystals will stick to plastic." and there was a picture showing just that. Funny I never noticed that before, but that may be just another reason why I prefer Pyrex.

In any case, to each his own, I say. No one should be put down because they prefer one to the other and nervous Nellies who try to scare Newbies into using plastic should soften the prosyltizing maybe?
 

IrishLass

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Zany, you may not have had your Pyrex shatter on you while soaping, and I hope you never do, but other soapers have, and it was a pretty scary and messy experience for them- one they do not care to ever repeat. I for one do not consider cautioning those against using it as a container for mixing lye as scaremongering, but rather being a responsible soaping mentor to those new to the craft, especially when there are much less potentially dangerous lye mixing alternatives available.

Here are some examples of folks here on the forum who have experienced adverse reactions with their Pyrex. I'll begin with a former modmin of mine and a very experienced soaper who you may or may not remember (carebear). She had her Pyrex mixing container explode in her sink just a few minutes after mixing her lye solution in it. Thankfully, it was in the sink (not on her counter) and she wasn't standing right over it when it happened.

From forum member Raha from 2010:
Raha said:
Dear Soap Makers,
Today I write for your support. I always try to be so careful when dealing with lye--as I have read a few horror stories. Well, I made a big mistake today...while making my green tea soap, I poured hot green tea in with lye...I feel so horrible for making such a big mistake...the lye bubbled up like a volcano and I stepped back and then the whole glass jug exploded. I am so so so grateful that I didn't get hurt (except for a minor burn on my thumb). I just finished cleaning the minimum and plan in a half hour or so to continue the mass clean up.
Anyways, thank you for your support and just let me share my frustrations...
Gratefully yours,
Raha
From forum member Deda from 2010
Deda said:
Earlier this week I had a Pampered Chef glass batter bowl [which is made from tempered glass] explode just sitting, clean, dry and unused on the shelf. I didn't use it for soap, only pancake batter. Can you imagine the havoc wreaked if it had been filled with lye/water.
Forum member Paillo from 2011:
Paillo said:
i would be scared to death to use a glass or pyrex container for my main mixing bowl. i use glass for my smaller containers -- swirl colors, milk mixtures, etc. but last week we had a large pyrex container shatter in the sink. mercifully it wasn't soap, but there were scary sharp shards of glass everywhere, and one of us or one of the pets underfoot could have been seriously hurt.
Forum member Candybee from 2013:
Candybee said:
From my own personal experience I had a large pyrex measuring cup shatter on me one day. I wasn't using it for CP at the time. I had been making M&P soap in that glass for about 5 yrs before it finally broke. I was so surprized and had not imagined that such a sturdy popular brand of glassware would shatter on me but it sure did. So when seasoned soapers tell me that lye can etch the glass that tells me it weakens the glass and yes it will eventually shatter. Could take a few weeks or a few years but I would not want to be there if it shattered with a lye mixture in it.
Forum member BlueberryHill from 2015:
BlueberryHill said:
I just had my Pyrex glass measuring cup explode as I was pouring lye into it! Thank goodness it was in my laundry sink, where I always mix my lye water, and I was all safety geared up! I'm shocked because I used it last week for the first time and it was fine. I thought I was being safer using the Pyrex than the plastic container from the dollar store. I hadn't read the article in this thread before. Beware everyone.
Forum member Newbie from 2016:
Newbie said:
I am one of the people who has had pyrex shatter. Thankfully, it shattered while in the dishwasher instead of all over my kitchen. Lesson learned.
There are also a good handful of soapers over at the Dishforum that have had it happen to them as well, but I'm not about to copy/paste their testimonies here. You'll have to go searching for them over there.

Glass is pretty strong stuff, but there are four things that are its 'kryptonite (if I can borrow from Superman jargon), i.e., things that aggressively attack it and weaken its resistance, causing it to actually corrode and even dissolve layer by layer:

1) Hydroflouric acid
2) Concentrated phosphoric acic (when hot or when it contains flourides)
3) Hot concentrated alkali solutions of at least 9 pH (lye has a pH of 14)
4) Superheated water

Of the above 4 things, the thing that concerns us as soapmakers of course is #3, alkali. Alkalis affect the surface of glass by directly attacking the silica that the glass is made of, leading to its dissolution, little by little, over time as the surface of the glass is repeatedly exposed to the alkaline solution. And the rate of corrosion increases if the hot alkaline substance is agitated, such as when being stirred.

The above corrosion happens to all glass with the repeated exposure to hot lye solution- even borosilicate. See the following safety sheet on borosilicate glass....scroll down to 3.3 under Chemical Composition:
https://www.scilabware.com/en/glass-types-properties
"Only hydrofluoric acid, hot concentrated phosphoric acid and strong
alkaline solutions
cause appreciable corrosion of the glass." [emphasis mine]

Also this in regards to borosilicate glass: http://www.camglassblowing.co.uk/glass-properties/
"Resistance to alkaline solutions is moderate and strong alkaline solutions cause rapid corrosion of the glass, as does Hydrofluoric acid and hot concentrated Phosphoric acid." [emphasis mine]

See also the following in regards to how glass corrodes: http://corrosion-doctors.org/Household/Glass.htm "Glass is resistant to most acids but is highly susceptible to attack by alkaline materials, especially a concentration of OH- ions giving a pH greater than 9.0. The result is an attack of the network forming silica-oxygen (Si-O) bonds, leading to dissolution of the glass surface." [emphasis mine]

While it's true that borosilicate glass is stronger and more resistant and takes a longer time to weaken than soda-lime glass, its still chemically vulnerable to concentrated alkaline solutions and will dissolve bit by bit with every exposure until it reaches the point of no return, aka, 'kaboom!'. The problem is that it's impossible for any of us to know when the shattering day of reckoning will arrive until it actually arrives. You may be willing to take that risk, and that is your choice, but I for one will continue to 'proselytize' about it so that those who are new to the craft and haven't yet been made aware of this issue will at least be able to make an informed choice.


IrishLass :)
 
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shunt2011

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I too have had pyrex explode. I wasn't making soap but tea. I took it out of the microwave and set it on the counter and it shattered. I think it's irresponsible of anyone to say that using glass with lye is safe or okay. Individuals can feel free to do so if they so choose but should not tell others it's okay. If someone has it happen because another person said it was okay, I would be horrified as that person.

Safety first and always working with lye.
 

DeeAnna

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Irish Lass -- Thank you for taking the time to research and write your post, Irish Lass. It took a lot of time and hard work, and the result is extremely well done! Again, my heartfelt thanks.

Zany -- Your name calling is inappropriate and unworthy of you. If YOU want to use glass, that's your choice and your problem. On SMF, we have a responsibility to the newcomers here to provide the best advice and guidance we can. And the best advice about lye and glass is that lye should not ever be stored or mixed in glass. There are detailed technical data and sufficient anecdotal reports, as Irish Lass' post shows, to prove this to be a blunt fact. I, for one, am not going to change my perspective nor moderate what I say about this matter.
 

DianaMoon

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Glass can etch and become weak, and shatter with the use of lye. Now imagine that happening with a glass vessel full of lye solution. Lye solution + glass shards while holding the handle in your hand = highly dangerous.
My point about objecting to "Just use your imagination" is that those of us who have a zero fact base will not be able to imagine anything. The phrase itself is a substitute for giving facts in a neutral fashion.

I'm not looking to start an argument, and I won't say anything further on the subject because I know the internet and things can get out of hand quickly.

I am simply admitting total scientific illiteracy. I've benefited from great advice in this forum. It's my go-to for soaping myth-busting.

Addendum: here is an example of what an ignoramus like me would have thought before coming here. Plastic is made of chemicals and oils, and perhaps it will react with the lye and give off toxic fumes that are harmful. Glass OTOH is "non-reactive." Use glass. OK, after reading here, I am convinced that plastic is the way to go. But if I hadn't been a advised of that, I would never have "imagined" it.
 
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