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Soap Making Forum > Soapmaking & Candle Recipe & Tutorials Forum > Recipe Feedback > Need some help identifying a soap issue
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Old 09-15-2017, 12:48 PM   #41
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I will call around and see what I can find out.
Never thought to check out hardware stores for canning supplies. My local CO-OP might have some.
I live in Snohomish County, near Everett. 45 minutes north of Seattle.
Just to make sure you're 100% clear, I was talking about using sodium citrate, NOT citric acid.

If you add citric acid, it will use up some of the lye and create sodium citrate on its own in the batch. But you have to calculate and account for how much lye the citric acid "uses up" while doing so.

By contrast, prepared sodium citrate has already taken care of the reaction ahead of time and you just have to add it to the water before adding lye. You don't have to change the lye calculations at all.

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That is a good suggestion.
This bar so far is feeling a bit drying and tight on my hands about 45 minutes after washing, but feels good right and the lather is freakishly nice.
Just made it the day before, so I will still give it a couple weeks before fully judging it. But I'm starting to think the problems I'm having are the Coconut % or the Castor..
Or ignore those issues and wait 2 weeks and wash again.
I'm impatient
You're going to have to be patient before you make judgments about this stuff. There are really massive changes in the quality of soap in the first few weeks of cure. The advice to wait is not us telling you "best practices" because of tradition or whatever. You just have to wait because days-old soap is absolutely nothing like it will be in 3-4 weeks. They ALL suck when they're new, and trying to make comparisons and change recipes so soon is just flailing in the dark. Seriously. Three weeks, dead minimum. It will be pretty close to what it should be by then, and four weeks is even better.


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Old 09-15-2017, 01:04 PM   #42
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Three weeks, dead minimum. It will be pretty close to what it should be by then, and four weeks is even better.
And then six months later... pure heaven.


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Old 09-15-2017, 01:13 PM   #43
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And then six months later... pure heaven.
Depending on what oils are in it, of course.

But I don't want to discourage him by making him think he needs six months or a year. I think the rate of change is REALLY fast in the beginning, but that rate slows down. So while a six month (balanced recipe) bar IS better than one that's 8 weeks old, the differences are a lot less pronounced from those four months than the differences in the first four weeks of cure.
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Old 09-15-2017, 04:26 PM   #44
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Depending on what oils are in it, of course.

But I don't want to discourage him by making him think he needs six months or a year. I think the rate of change is REALLY fast in the beginning, but that rate slows down. So while a six month (balanced recipe) bar IS better than one that's 8 weeks old, the differences are a lot less pronounced from those four months than the differences in the first four weeks of cure.
Unless you are using olive oil in your soap - then 6 months and a year make a distinct difference.
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Old 09-15-2017, 08:08 PM   #45
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Just to make sure you're 100% clear, I was talking about using sodium citrate, NOT citric acid.

If you add citric acid, it will use up some of the lye and create sodium citrate on its own in the batch. But you have to calculate and account for how much lye the citric acid "uses up" while doing so.

By contrast, prepared sodium citrate has already taken care of the reaction ahead of time and you just have to add it to the water before adding lye. You don't have to change the lye calculations at all.



You're going to have to be patient before you make judgments about this stuff. There are really massive changes in the quality of soap in the first few weeks of cure. The advice to wait is not us telling you "best practices" because of tradition or whatever. You just have to wait because days-old soap is absolutely nothing like it will be in 3-4 weeks. They ALL suck when they're new, and trying to make comparisons and change recipes so soon is just flailing in the dark. Seriously. Three weeks, dead minimum. It will be pretty close to what it should be by then, and four weeks is even better.
Thank you for clearing that up for me. Sounds like Sodium citrate would be a better option. Can it be added with Sodium Lactate to the water before adding lye? I will do some search on the subject to see what it's all about.
Is it worth messing with or is there not much of a noticable difference?

I'll start waiting 3 to 4 weeks for now on. Will just keep making batches and get them on the rack so I will have a new one to try at least once a week once cured.
It's like baking a cake, but not being about to eat it until it's been sitting on the counter for a month But it's how it has to be.
Thank you for clearing all that up for me, that's very helpful it's making my soap journey a more successful experience.
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Old 09-15-2017, 08:23 PM   #46
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Thank you for clearing that up for me. Sounds like Sodium citrate would be a better option. Can it be added with Sodium Lactate to the water before adding lye? I will do some search on the subject to see what it's all about.
Is it worth messing with or is there not much of a noticable difference?

...
Yes, you can add both of them to the water, but you MUST do it before adding the lye or the citrate will not dissolve.

As for whether they're worthwhile, that's one of the things you should test both ways and decide for yourself. I will say that I use them both, even though I have softened water and don't strictly need the citrate. I use citrate anyway so the soaps are better prepared for gifting to people who don't have water softeners.
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Old 09-15-2017, 08:23 PM   #47
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It's like baking a cake, but not being about to eat it until it's been sitting on the counter for a month But it's how it has to be.
That's an awesome analogy! I kind of felt that way with my first few batches. Here are all these lovely soaps, sitting right there on the racks, and I can't use them yet! Arrrgh! Making soap is teaching me LOTS about patience, that's for sure.
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Old 09-16-2017, 09:54 AM   #48
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Thank you everyone for all your responses to my questions.
So much good info that I'll be sure to read it all again and do a bunch more reading and research from all the suggestions from everyone.
There was alot of direction here to put me on the right path to creating a good bar of soap.
Everyone was very helpful and I really do appreciate all the help.


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