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  #1  
Old 12-22-2012, 04:55 PM
ExHic ExHic is offline
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Default Potassium vs Sodium Lye for Making Soap

Found a soap making book that mentioned that Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) lye can only be used to make hard soap if you use animal fat (lard or tallow) as one of the ingredients. If you do not use them, you have to use Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) lye or the soap will be liquid soap.

Looked it up and a number of sites say that too. Wonder if that is really true and how hard would the soap be if I used Potassium Hydroxide.

I have a friend who only used Potassium Hydroxide and also uses Milk Fat for her soap.
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  #2  
Old 12-22-2012, 06:04 PM
bookwormom bookwormom is offline
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Is there a difference in quality?
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:29 PM
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Have no idea. Potassium Hydroxide Lye come from hardwood ashes.
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:26 PM
sbemt456 Female sbemt456 is offline
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I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer when it comes to soap making but from what I have read about potassium hydroxide it is used to make soft soap or liquid hand soap whereas sodium hydroxide is used to make bar soaps. This website might help some, http://blog.thesage.com/2009/07/30/h...ye-calculator/ It gives tons of good info on soap making of all kinds. Hope this helps a lil bit.

Have a great day!

stella
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Old 12-23-2012, 04:33 PM
ExHic ExHic is offline
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I confirmed with my friend. She uses only Potassium Hydroxide and makes hard (bar) soap. In fact, the batch she just made used bovine milk. She also said it needs to cure for a month for it to completely solidify
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Old 12-23-2012, 06:31 PM
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Hi,

I'm new to the forum and gravitated to a topic I have some knowledge of. Well, at least until I saw this post, ha! I've never heard of KOH making a hard bar of soap. I make quite a bit of liquid soap with it but aside from coconut oil, I don't use any solid fats with the KOH in order to keep it clear. This concept has me very curious. So do you know how much animal fat would be necessary to make it solid (e.g. 50%, 100%)? My next question would be, what's the lather like? Very interesting post!

Dawn
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Old 12-23-2012, 07:00 PM
ExHic ExHic is offline
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Being new to this subject, I am trying to find that out too.

Being what is called a Distributist (wikipedia has a good definition), I am trying to gravitate towards product that can be obtained from local sources. Also, I am looking at what was used before the commercial conglomerates have gotten their contaminated paws on the market.

This means animal fats (lard and tallow) as one of the main ingredients in the soap.

A friend of mine is suppose to post a soap recipe that uses cows milk. May post it here when she does.
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Old 12-23-2012, 07:33 PM
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Would love it if you would! It sounds interesting. Milk fat is a fat and the milk sugar would contribute to lather so it could be a great recipe to have. I wouldn't know where to start to calculate the amount of KOH needed on milk fat so a proven recipe would be interesting to see. I do know of folks using butter in soap recipes. Can you locally source KOH or are you going to do it from wood ash?

Dawn
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Old 12-23-2012, 08:38 PM
ExHic ExHic is offline
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I actually have an app that calculates both KOH and NaOH based on the combination of ingredients

As for the KOH. In the beginning I will local source if possible. Do plan on making my own once the homestead is established since I will be using hardwood to heat the home.
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Old 12-24-2012, 01:17 AM
sbemt456 Female sbemt456 is offline
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The link I posted above has a lye calculator on the site. All you do is put in how much of each fat you want to use and it will figure the amount of liquid and lye to use. As each fat requires different amounts of lye to soponify(sp). This the calculator I use. I also have a link to a list of properties each fat will contribute to the soap you make so you can customize your soap to your personal needs. This is the oil properties link. http://www.colebrothers.com/soap/oils.html Very interesting info. Hope this helps a bit.

Have a great day!

stella
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Old 12-24-2012, 01:39 AM
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My friend did post the recipe and it is a little different process (cold) than I have seen elsewhere. Also, I want to do some calculation on the amount of lye based on the steps.

I need to decipher her handwriting and determine whether to post it here.
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Old 12-24-2012, 02:15 AM
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Good deal. I do own the program Soapmaker (I make & sell soap and have for years) I guess what I was meaning is that making soap with milk as the only fat and making soap with butterfat is two different things. With milk you have different fat levels and you also have the liquid portion to deal with. How do you determine the amount of fat in say whole milk and how much of that is unfatted liquid. Or what if you're using cream...again different fat content. It would be more prudent to use butterfat which is pure fat. That can be calculated as it's 100% fat but using milk only will be tough to figure. I'm not saying impossible just difficult.

That said, I've never looked to see if my soap making program had milk fat and it does as butterfat. The folks I call customers typically do not like using anything with animal fats and that includes soap. I do not share in this sentiment however and I love soap with a bit of lard in it. It makes for a gorgeously creamy bar of soap.

Dawn
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Old 12-24-2012, 02:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExHic View Post
My friend did post the recipe and it is a little different process (cold) than I have seen elsewhere. Also, I want to do some calculation on the amount of lye based on the steps.

I need to decipher her handwriting and determine whether to post it here.

I can't wait to see what you've come up with. I have heard of cold process liquid soap making (with KOH) and it does work even though it seems impossible. It's so amazing to me what folks come up with and dare to try to see if it works.

Dawn
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Old 12-24-2012, 02:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbemt456 View Post
The link I posted above has a lye calculator on the site. All you do is put in how much of each fat you want to use and it will figure the amount of liquid and lye to use. As each fat requires different amounts of lye to soponify(sp). This the calculator I use. I also have a link to a list of properties each fat will contribute to the soap you make so you can customize your soap to your personal needs. This is the oil properties link. http://www.colebrothers.com/soap/oils.html Very interesting info. Hope this helps a bit.

Have a great day!

stella

Stella,
I've never heard of Cole Brothers. I like the write up on what the different oils do. Have you ever looked at Soapcalc.net? I love that calculator as you can put in different oils to see what they do to the hardness or lather, etc. It's my back-up when I'm not sure my Soapmaker program is working right. Thanks for sharing!

Dawn
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