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Whisperkat: Since you are using a lye calc, adjust your OILS up or down to use the 4 oz. of lye. The calc is figuring according to what lye concentration you will be using. In this case, we are guessing it's 50%. The calc should have a spot where you input this information for liquid Lye concentration. Everything should be weighed.

I need to try this stuff out for myself before dispensing anymore information. I'm just telling you what I know about soapmaking basics in general using commercially made ingredients. We don't know if this stuff will really work or not yet. I went looking for the ingredients yesterday, but can't find the pH UP anymore. It's the end of the swimming pool season here, so there's none to be found.
 

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Discussion Starter #44
lathermaker
I agree it is necessary to make a batch and try it out before we can advise any further.
As to the lack of pool chemical, you can look for washing soda in some stores. It's not easy to find but it is out there. Or, as it has been suggested, heat regular baking soda (NOT baking powder) then use it as the soda ash. I'm not sure how long to heat it, as I have not tried that method, but chemically it's correct.
I will try a baking soda mix if I get a chance to see if that is a good option.
 

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Discussion Starter #45
UPDATE
Between all the other chores and working on the waterglass experiment, I haven't gotten around to the lye/lard soapmaking test yet. But all other tests still confirm the lye solution to be 13 on the scale, and probably in the 50% range for lye. More later.
 

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Discussion Starter #46
UPDATE Due to the disruption in normal routine caused by Sandy's visit (lol) I have not been able to try the Baking soda / lime alternate lye experiment. As soon as I reasonably can I will do the same as I did before but this time with common baking soda and lime and check the results. We dodged the bullet here as Sandy was farther south and west. If you are interested in how that went , see my log/journal thread in the Prepping section.
 

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BFB ... got a direct link to your log/journal in the S&EP forum??

Is it in the general Oct prep journal & to-do list, or do you have a separate thread??
 

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lathermaker
I agree it is necessary to make a batch and try it out before we can advise any further.
As to the lack of pool chemical, you can look for washing soda in some stores. It's not easy to find but it is out there. Or, as it has been suggested, heat regular baking soda (NOT baking powder) then use it as the soda ash. I'm not sure how long to heat it, as I have not tried that method, but chemically it's correct.
I will try a baking soda mix if I get a chance to see if that is a good option.
So, you are saying that I can use the regular Arm & Hammer WASHING Soda? If so, I have a bunch of that stuff already on hand.
 

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Discussion Starter #49
Mullers It is a seperate thread entiled I am going to keep a log
Lathermaker Yes, the arm and hammer washing soda IS the Sodium Carbonate and can be combined with the lime as i have indicated. Because it's hard to find, I have looked for alternatives for those out there. The pool chemical is one. Baking soda is a "cousin" to the washing soda. I believe it can be used, but i'll need to test it first.
If you try this method, I will be interestedin your results.
 

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Barefoot boy; now that Christmas is over I can try this out. The problem I'm having right now is finding Lime. Any idea's on that one?
 

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so....did anyone successfully make soap with this method? i was able to get sodium hydroxide at lowes recently, and it was 15 USD for 2 lbs. that makes a lot of soap, but i would be willing to spend the time on this if it is cheaper even if it does take longer. it's not exactly constant work, it would be just be adding one more step in the soap process. plus you could do some and come back and exposure to air overnight won't hurt the chemicals. i bet that calcium precipitate would be good for the sandy garden here.
 

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Anyone could make successfully a soap from this. However, just Cold Processing is not fitting for this kind of lye solution as you can not meassure the lye concentration accurate enough. You have to take into use the method used in past. Still today this method is in use for making commercial soap.

For this kind of lye solution you need to make a very rough estimate of the amount of lye and then provide some excess of lye. You can then either do a fully boiled soap, as they did in the past (which takes a lot of work to stir), or make a temporary CP soap.

I recommend to make a temporary CP soap. So, do a lye heavy CP soap! Put the soap into oven to gel.

Once it has been fully gelling, put it into a kettle with a lot of warm water. Let the soap fully dissolve. You will have just soapy water now diluting the excess lye. This water you saturate with salt. The soap will separate out of the water and float up to the surface. Once this has been setting for some time, strain the crude soap you have and throw away the brine which now also contain most of the excess of lye we had.

Repeat this salting out until you have done it trice. Alway add fresh water to the soap and once it is fully dissolved add the salt. After the third time you have washed away all the excess lye. Very gently rinse the soap inside of a strainer to get some of the salt away. Don't over-do or you will rinse away the real soap.

Leave the soap in a strainer and let the brine drip off. Put the soap into a textile bag and centrifuge the bag with highest speed in a laundry machine to get the rest of the brine out. Now you have a soap mass you can press to soaps. I did it in a PVC-pipe with wooden pistons inside of plastic bags.

Now you have a nice soap with no excess lye anymore.

EDIT: I attached a picture of some soap I made with this salting out method
 

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Irish Hurricane Barbie
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From: A Treatise on Chemistry Applied to the Manufacture of Soap and Candles: Being a Thorough Exposition, in All Their Minutiae, of the Principles and Practice of the Trade, Based Upon the Most Recent Discoveries in Science and Art, 1856.

soda ash is now commonly called washing soda. :)
 

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Mullers It is a seperate thread entiled I am going to keep a log
Lathermaker Yes, the arm and hammer washing soda IS the Sodium Carbonate and can be combined with the lime as i have indicated. Because it's hard to find, I have looked for alternatives for those out there. The pool chemical is one. Baking soda is a "cousin" to the washing soda. I believe it can be used, but i'll need to test it first.
If you try this method, I will be interestedin your results.
Yes - baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) can be baked in the oven at 200F for about an hour which will break the carbon bond and drive off carbon dioxide gas & water, leaving dry washing soda/soda ash (sodium carbonate). Unfortunately, naturally occuring sodium carbonate is really only found in arid regions and the bottom of dry lake beds.

Also, for those hardcore DIY folks who want to make it without the grocery store...

You can grind limestone or seashells (calcium carbonate) and then heat it in a kiln/bonfire (1200F) until it calcinates and forms quicklime (calcium oxide), then soak the quicklime in water to create slaked lime (calcium hydroxide).

You can also burn kelp/seaweed to create soda ash (sodium carbonate) instead of heating baking soda. Soak your soda ash with water and filter to leach out the carbonates, and mix that solution with our calcium hydroxide water solution to form Sodium Hydroxide (and dry calcium carbonate again).

Or burn wood to create potash (potassium carbonate) and a small amount of soda ash (sodium carbonate). Soak the ashes with water and filter to leach out the carbonates, and mix that solution with your calcium hydroxide water solution to form Potassium Hydroxide (and dry calcium carbonate again).

Either Sodium Hydroxide or Potassium Hydroxide can be used to make soap. You can even make soap with just calcium hydroxide, but it takes a lot of lime since it's not very soluble. OR you can skip the whole calcium/lime component altogether and just use the highly soluble sodium/potassium carbonates in water solution. All the calcium really does is make it a stronger and more stable base.
 

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Irish Hurricane Barbie
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I have bought lime and washing soda, but have run into a technique problem. When I mix the washing soda with water, it absorbs the water quickly and turns into a block of concrete in the bottom of my jar. the lime behaves, in comparison. Am i misunderstanding how much water needs to be added to dissolve the washing soda properly? Maybe i used only half what the recipe needs, and need to double it...?
Will try again soon with the next disposable container i get. had to toss the jar i was using.
also bought 95% hydrated lime from sears.com(4 lbs for $13 USD free shipping), but found 90% hydrated lime at rural king (50 lbs for $4 USD local store). the difference in percentage might make it much more impure, maybe only good for laundry. but if i can get this method working, it still cussing cheap!
i might have to try the seashell method if the end of the world does come about. no shortage of those around here. :)
 

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I see this conversation thread has had no activity for awhile but I figured I'd add a few things about this method that might be helpful in having success with it. This reaction works best when the solution is dilute. So it's best to use water in excess. Also, the the reaction progresses much quicker with boiling. Try to maintain a constant water level during the process and boil the two chemicals together for a good hour. After filtering this can be tested for purity by adding a small amount of the filtrate to a dilute solution of Muratic/Hydrochloric Acid. If you get a lot of bubbles and fizzing then it still has a lot of sodium carbonate that has not converted to lye. Add more lime to it and continue to boil to increase purity of the lye solution. It can be concentrated by boiling after filtering and evaporated to obtain the solid sodium hydroxide crystals if desired. Hope that information was helpful.
 

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@barefootboy, Everyone:
Thank you so very much for coming up with all this information in this thread. It could not have come at a better time!

Your discovery is meaningful on many levels.

Due to the restrictions being placed on
There are far more valid reasons for the method you guys presented here; the TOXICITY of commercial lye is atrocious to say the least. It is the ultimate reason for avoiding commercial lye if you ask me.

As a cancer survivor of melanoma, I made countless attempts at finding non-toxic hygiene products, be it a soap, a toothpaste or anything. What a disappointment this was! In the end, I resorted to making my own cosmetics.
1. SHAMPOOS contain an unbelievable amount of toxic chemicals, one of the most prevalent ones being sodium laureth sulfate (SLES). It is toxic, but good luck finding a shampoo without it. Solution: Make your own shampoo.
2. Virtually all TOOTHPASTE contains fluoride, which is a known carcinogen that is also responsible for testosterone reduction and fluorosis, and osteoporosis, and countless other health issues in our modern society. While you can admittedly find a toothpaste without fluoride when you put your mind to it, there is not one toothpaste without **glycerin**, which has no place in a toothpaste unless you have no teeth. Glycerin blocks the natural remineralization of enamel, sending the victim/user to the dentist with cavities sooner rather than later. (My preliminary solution: I'm using mined baking soda, which is also aluminum-free: Bob's Red Mill from iHerb, decent shipping)
3. most commercial soaps contain EDTA, which is a broad-spectrum, toxic chelator that causes skin aging and de-mineralization. While you can find a soap without it, there is not a soap that hasn't been in contact with commercial lye. Why is that a problem? Because none of the soap makers I asked was able to provide an analysis certificate for the lye they were using. They are all using DRAIN CLEANER-quality lye, full of toxic metals. Their argument? "There is no lye in the final product". Really? How about the heavy metals that the commercial lye is contaminated with? While the lye saponifies, the toxic metals—cadmium, mercury, lead, antimony, barium, and aluminum particles that were present in the commercial lye—do NOT disappear. They end up absorbed by the skin of the victim that washes themselves with it.

This is my rationale for making my own lye the way the Creator of the Universe had intended, by using rock (limestone -> quick lime -> hydrated lime [plus] washing soda).

Thank you so much, all of you, for spending time on it. As you can see, it's not just about the $$ value, it's about the incredible health value of your idea.
(I did run into some technical hiccups, will report in a separate post. This is just to say THANK YOU to all of you!!!)

Thank you!!!
 
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