lye ate through metal, ruined my soap?

mywaltonMarch 16, 2007

I am still fairly new at making soap and made the dreadful mistake of using some metal molds. When I took the soap out, the lye had eaten through parts of the metal. Is my soap ruined? Or can I still use it? I wasn't sure if the metal leeches into your soap so you shouldn't use it anymore? Can you just wash off the outside layer of soap? Any advice would be appreciated!

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Hi, I did the same thing when I was new at making soap. I poured my lye water through a metal strainer which disolved the metal right into the middle of my soap oils. I had no choice but to throw my entire batch away. In your case, I am not 100% sure but here's what I would try. I would slice the sides and bottom of the soap off -- everywhere it touched the metal. If there are no signs that metal has leeched into the middle of the soap, I would let it cure for 3 - 4 weeks. If it doesn't look odd or have an odd smell after curing, I would test a bar on a small patch of skin. If there's no reaction, you may be able to use the soap. On the other hand if there is anything unusual about your soap in the middle, I would throw it away. I've probably tossed out several batches of good soap that I was uncomfortable with for various reasons. If it looks and smells OK inside, then it probably is OK. Trust your feelings and don't worry. Every soaper makes many mistakes in the process of learning. Best of luck. Jan

    Bookmark   March 17, 2007 at 5:46PM
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Using a metal mold can be frustrating at best. A metal mold can not be flexed enough to help release the soap easily , therefore you will have to dig out the soap in many cases.

If you had used an aluminum mold, which lye will react with, = not good, I would just toss it and chalk it up to experience.

I, at times, use hard plastic hearts which performs like a metal mold; I/we like the shape that these give us, be, like I said above, like metal molds, they are hard to get the soap out. I will wait until the soap shrinks a bit and then try to get the soap out. If that doesnÂt work, IÂll try to heat the bottom of the mold, to get the soap to melt a bit, and then try again to remove the soap.
Or, the freezer method, by putting the fresh soap into the freezer for a few hours, then slap the mold upside down on a counter-top, and hope that the soap will just drop out.


    Bookmark   March 17, 2007 at 6:04PM
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