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Does lye get old?


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When I poured my lye into the water it heated like it normally does but for some odd reason when I went back later it looked like all the lye crystals where on the bottom of the jar. Now I stirred it really well and I have been making soap for over a year and a half but I have never had this happen. Any ideas?

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As long as you keep it in sealed containers, you're fine.

Did you do too deep of a water discount? If you do too deep of a water discount, sometimes the lye will have issues with completely dissolving.

Or is what you are seeing is lye scum? Sometimes if you don't mix it in a very clean bowl/pitcher, you'll get (what I call) scum that forms. For example, if I use the bowl that I have mixed my oils in before and I didn't make sure to really scrub the bowl after the last time I used it, the oil left on the side of the bowl will mix with the lye and form this scum.

I did have an entire lye mixture I ended up putting down my drain after the first time I washed my soap dishes at the house I am in now. The water is so hard that it left a coating on my bowls and I actually had floaties in the lye mixture. They were so bad I dumped it and started over. This time making sure I dried my dishes after I washed them.

I hope this gives you some ideas.

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I don't know if there is a shelf life on lyw but I am sure that this stuff sat on the shelf at the store for sometime. The reason I say this is because when I bought it was about 6 months ago and there is the same amount of lye on the shelf as there is today.

No I don't think that I used too much of a water discount because the recipe said 7-11 oz and I put 9. No it isn't scum that I saw it was actually lye.

Now to correct this problem & don't laugh I hit it with my stick blender. That seemed to make it completely disolve. I figured it was worth a try to mix it up again. So I mixed it several times. That seemed to do the trick.

Now when I made my batch the lye and oils together seemed to be the same.

Could it be a possiblity that because it was humid that day, it made my lye funky? I keep it in air tight containers so the only moisture that it would get is, when I open the container. Crazy huh?

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