Posted by Stephen (184.108.40.206) on March 24, 2003 at 23:11:35:
In Reply to: 1st time making soap have problems posted by DEBBIE HOWARD on March 24, 2003 at 17:41:06:
Wow.. sounds like my first disaster!! First, you have to realize that soap making, as much fun as it is, is also a science.. so all measurements will be by weight. You should be able to pick up a kitchen scale fairly inexpensively for future adventures. If you used 18 oz (by weight) of lye in your batch, it will be VERY Lye heavy. I wouldn't recommend cleaning the floors with it as it will be hard to rinse.
These are my recommendations -
First.. get Litmus paper and test the PH of the soap. You want it to be under 10, preferrably under 9. I don't know how much tallow was in your recipe, but if it was less than 8 pounds of tallow.. you are probably gonna be pretty high on the PH.
You CAN let the soap "age" for a long time. Eventually, the PH level may drop down low enough for you to use it as bath soap. (This may take YEARS to complete though)...
Another option is to rebatch the soap. Chop or grate it up and use 1/2 cup of milk per pound of "soap". Let the soap chips/bits soak in the milk for a few hours, then place in the over on your LOWEST setting to warm up to about 170 degrees. It should be pretty easy to mix up at this point. Now.. you can adjust the ph of the batch. I recommend citric acid or boric acid, neither of which are rough on the skin. Dissolve a little of either acid (start with 1/2 tsp per pound of soap in as little water as you can manage) and blend it carefully into the soap/milk mix. (Use a stick blender if you have one.. it's a good investment.. 10 bucks or so)
Retest the PH. You may need to keep heating the soap to keep it "liquid". Once you get to 9 or 9.5, pour the soap into clean molds (or whatever you are using to make the bars) and let it sit to cure.
Drop me an e-mail if you have other questions.
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