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marilynmac

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I've been at my Mom's all summer and haven't been soaping at all up here. I got some lye (rooto 100% lye drain opener from the hardware store), lard, CO (crisco organic brand) and some OO.

65% Lard, 15% CO and 20% OO, lye wt from soapcalc. No color, fragrance, or other additives.

About an hour after I added the lye solution to the oils, it hadn't traced at all, and it started separating, with the bottom layer looking like applesauce or cream of wheat. I thought it might be too cold, so I powered on the heat. it never 'melted' the grainy stuff, and continued to be separated. It got plenty hot, was almost boiling.

So, has anyone seen this before? The lye may be suspect. A brand new sealed container, but it looked sort of wet (absorbed from this humid weather?) and there were grey-brown clumps in it. Also used a hand mixer instead of stick blender.

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galaxyMLP

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That soap is separated likely due in part to overheating. Do you have a stick blender? Stick blending after separation will usually bring the mixture back together. You may want to get a stick blender. A hand blender may not be creating enough of an emulsion.

How hot is it at your moms? That may be why it began to overheat and separate from the start. Then when you added more heat, it just got worse.

"and there were grey-brown clumps in it. "

Ive never seen any off colored clumps in my lye and I purchase that exact brand from ace. That may have been some contaminant. Did your lye water go clear or did it stay cloudy?
 
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Jstar

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If the lye is wet, it could lose its strength..not sure what the brown clumps are...might need to take it back and get some new. Are you certain it is 100 % lye?

Also, that looks like separation to me..a hand mixer just doesn't spin fast enough to get those oils and lye to combine.

Have you tried HP?

ETA: Just re-read and you said you added heat to it...what did the lye mixture do as soon as you added the lye..did it heat at all? If not then you have a bad container of lye, or its not pure lye imo
 
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misera

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That looks like when I went to a class and the teacher had told us we didn't need to mix the lye with the water (just combine) and some people mixed to fully dissolve, some didn't and it hardened on the bottom. Then that teacher had us pour our lye mixture to our oils and the ones with the lye sitting on the bottom, she then told them it's ok, they don't need that extra stuff. All of theirs turned out separating and looking exactly like that. I definitely think it's your lye! I've never seen lye that wasn't all white.
 

galaxyMLP

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it's ok, they don't need that extra stuff.
I'm not gonna "lye" (haha) that was a really terrible thing for her to say in a class. "Extra stuff" oy. Some people! I cant believe someone who is teaching a class would even say that.
 

not_ally

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I'm w/everyone else, I think there is a problem with the lye. I've never seen discolored clumps either
 

Obsidian

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I use rooto lye often and occasionally there is a couple dark grains but never clumps. I too think its most likely bad lye. I would probably dump it and get new lye.
 

marilynmac

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--> "The lye is a lie!" i crack myself up.

I've never seen discolored lumps in lye, either. They were like pieces of dirt with the lie clumped to it; I didn;t examine them closely, because it's ... you know.. lye. I took them out with a spoon. -+-- So this is what i did: The lye h2o solution got hot, it got clear. I hit it with the blender and it got opaque, but didn't trace. I don't think the batter overheated because I kept the heat off. When it got grainy like the half-melted coconut oil in the "room temperature" coconut oil jar, I thought it was getting too cold and the lard was going back to solid. Then I turned on the heat, and it didn't really change anything. After sitting a few hrs it is a lightly congealed hunk of grains covered in oil. It zaps. I don't know what to do with it.

Never throw anything out until you ask the people here.... Right?

yah. It's got to be the lye. It's a simple recipe. The oil is just oil, it shouldn't have done that. Is the lye not strong enough? Is that what happens when you don't use enough lye? It is too strong?
 

Obsidian

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If it still zaps then for some reason its not saponifying. I would toss it in a crock pot and take a stick blender to it, see if you can get it to come back together.
 

marilynmac

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I think I may have soap out of this now. My brother is here, too; he put me in touch with his buddy's wife who makes "a lot" of soap. She had the kindness and patience to walk me through hot-process fixing it. It's real ugly but it doesn't zap and it makes a nice smooth lather already.

I am still wondering what caused it to get so strange, what caused all the tiny grains. Hmm. Thanks you for all your help.

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misera

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I'm not gonna "lye" (haha) that was a really terrible thing for her to say in a class. "Extra stuff" oy. Some people! I cant believe someone who is teaching a class would even say that.
I know!! I booked the class mainly as a present for my mom because she wanted to learn. Hers was one of the ones that turned out like OP's. It looked fine after stick blending forever but then it still eventually separated. I swapped hers with mine while we were still in the car so she wouldn't know. She was super happy about her soap lol. I figured the class was still good for overall safety teaching and I could make a few batches with her later.
 

galaxyMLP

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1) I'm really glad the soap finally ended up working out!

2) Misera, that was really nice of you to swap the soaps for your mom like that.
 

not_ally

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Just had my first experience w/lye gone wrong (I am pretty sure). V. irritating, it takes a while/couple batches to figure out, and then you have a bunch of ugly/scary soap to deal with :)
 

hozhed

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I think I may have soap out of this now. My brother is here, too; he put me in touch with his buddy's wife who makes "a lot" of soap. She had the kindness and patience to walk me through hot-process fixing it. It's real ugly but it doesn't zap and it makes a nice smooth lather already.

I am still wondering what caused it to get so strange, what caused all the tiny grains. Hmm. Thanks you for all your help.
Looks to me like you took lemons and made some good lemonade. Good for you.
 

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