Being new to soap making, I’ve been terrified of being burnt by lye, so much so that I wear my gloves to unmold the soap. I know once I’ve got the process down, it won’t be necessary to wear the gloves but for now, that’s what I’m doing. So you can imagine how shocked and, once again, terrified I was to learn that the best way to test for undissolved lye in soap is to do the Zap test. This test is carried out by licking the soap. Ay, Dios Mio. If you get a zap, similar to licking a 9 volt battery (yes, I’ve always been too chicken/too smart to try licking a battery), then the soap is lye heavy. If all you get is a mouthful of that delicious soap taste, you’re good to go.
My husband, being the oh-so-amazing man, super supportive, and a little bit of a daredevil, volunteered to lick a bar from my first batch of soap. No zap! You should’ve seen the faces he made after he got that soapy taste in his mouth.
Feeling braver, I decided to Zap test my second batch of soap…and wouldn’t you know, I got zapped. My tongue is still tingling! A bit freaked out, I rinsed my mouth out with milk. I’m fine, but I have some deadened tastebuds now. Whomp whomp.
I can wait a day or so and then retest the soap. It could just need a bit longer to cure, but if I get zapped again, I’ll know it’s no good. While I’m disappointed that my soap currently isn’t usable and I’m not sure what I did wrong, I’m not too upset because I was considering rebatching anyway. Because my son was so sick yesterday, I had to put off unmolding batch #2 and, by the time I got to it, it was quite hard. It splintered and split all over the place when I tried to cut it so it’s anything but pretty. I’ll probably save one hunk of it to let cure a bit longer to see if it improves, but the rest I’ll rebatch through a hot process. I’ve been researching rebatching all day and it seems fairly simple (hopefully that won’t bite me in the butt) but the appearance of the soap should be a bit different. We’ll see! Wish me luck!
I am a bit bummed about the second batch because the color is so beautiful! The first batch looks more…oily and less pretty from the later attempt.