100% coconut oil soap mess!

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Trinbago27

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Hi everyone,

So I thought I would try my hand at making a coconut oil soap....Here is my recipe:
coconut oil 100%
Lye concentration 40%
Lye 79g
Water 118g
1tsp sugar
No fragrance (because I forgot!)
colors: 2 micas and titanium dioxide

As soon as I added the lye it turned to sludge. I mixed it back to a liquid, but had trouble keeping the oil and lye together. I was soaping at a pretty high temp, which is not my norm, but thought it would be OK. By the time I poured (globbed) into my mold it looked like HP soap. I cut it after 5-6 hrs and most of it was crumbly, especially by color. I am doubt that it is lye heavy, but can't explain what happened. I realize though that had no business using sugar in this recipe :)

What do you guys think happened? was it too little water?
 

KimW

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hmmmm...the only time I've had that reaction with 100% CO, with no accelerating EOs involved, is when I soaped too cool. Not sure what you mean by it was "crumbly, especially by color". I don't think it was the water amount as I usually soap at 50% lye concentration.

How many grams CO? What exactly, or your best guess, were your oil and lye solution temperatures?
 

DeeAnna

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"...coconut oil 100%
Lye concentration 40%
Lye 79g
Water 118g..."

Please use consistent units -- it woudl be nice to know the weight you used for the coconut oil. There's no way someone else can doublecheck your numbers when given percentages for the fats and weights for everything else.

Anyways, it's best to keep it simple when you do 100% coconut. I'd not use sugar because you want to minimize the rate of heating of the soap during saponification and sugar doesn't help you with that. Also you'll get plenty of lather with 100% coconut, so no point in adding sugar to boost the lather.

Likewise, soap on the cooler side for coconut oil soap.

Also I'd keep the lye concentration lower (more water) to control the rate of saponificatoin. 100% coconut oil soap is one case where I'd use 28% lye concentration.
 

Trinbago27

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"...coconut oil 100%
Lye concentration 40%
Lye 79g
Water 118g..."

Please use consistent units -- it woudl be nice to know the weight you used for the coconut oil. There's no way someone else can doublecheck your numbers when given percentages for the fats and weights for everything else.

Anyways, it's best to keep it simple when you do 100% coconut. I'd not use sugar because you want to minimize the rate of heating of the soap during saponification and sugar doesn't help you with that. Also you'll get plenty of lather with 100% coconut, so no point in adding sugar to boost the lather.

Likewise, soap on the cooler side for coconut oil soap.

Also I'd keep the lye concentration lower (more water) to control the rate of saponificatoin. 100% coconut oil soap is one case where I'd use 28% lye concentration.

Sorry about that!

It was 453g of CO

The lye was about 153F and the oil was about 170F. I thought I needed to soap at a higher temp...I usually soap around 80-90F.

So what I meant by crumbly by color was I had three colors to do a swirl, but the soap was so hard all I could do was alternately plop them in the mold to try to get some pattern. When I took it out of the mold, the soap was crumbling by the clumps of color.

I just did a zap test and thre was nothing....i think the soap is still good...I managed to get 4 bars out of it.
 

KimW

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Well, you sure didn't soap too cool! :) When I said cool, I was talking 78F for the CO with a lye solution that was even cooler.
I wonder if you had some sort of "instant" saponification of bits of the CO that appeared as a sludge, that would then emulsify/breakup a bit when mixed? I think the term is "ricing". Forgive me. I soaped for years before finding this fantastic SMF and I'm still getting down the correct lingo. Were you using a stick blender to mix?
I'll watch and let others chime in as the few times I've soaped that warm on purpose (not that I'm saying it's too warm) are the few times I used what I believe is called the Hot Fluid High Temp method.
 

DeeAnna

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Wow! You were using a hot process soap method, however inadvertently -- and a high temp version of HP at that.

I suspect the lower than usual amount of water for HP contributed to the crumbly, dry nature of this soap. I've heard some soap makers use 50% lye concentration (1:1 water:lye ratio) for HP, but most use 25% to 33% lye concentration (3:1 to 2:1 water:lye ratio) for HP. Even at 33% lye conc, I've found the soap can tend to dry out more easily.
 
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earlene

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Agree completely with DeeAnna. Totally too hot with not enough water. CO soap heats up fast enough without the help of sugar. Too much SBing will speed up overheating even more (not saying you did, but new soapers often do.) AND trying to separate for colors and swirls at that! Too much all at once. Plus you waited too long to cut. CO soap is usually ready to cut in a couple of hours (while still warm.)

Start with a no-color CO soap to learn how it behaves. Then advance to a one or two color CO soap. Take it easy; this is like you're going from 0-150 mph on your first day of driving! Thrilling, but too much can go wrong.
 

Trinbago27

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:) :) I agree with you all! Do you think the 4 bars are ok?

I got ahead of myself...I want to try it again tonight, so I just need a few things clarified:
- What is the best temp to work with?
- What is the best lye concentration? is 30% Ok?
- Should I use a stick blender again?

Thank you so much for everyone's help! I love this Forum!:dance:
 

Ford

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Hi. Newby myself. But this is what I have been doing so far.
Temp. Oils about 95+/- . Lye solution room temperature. But not cold.
Water. Soap calc defaults to 38%. Why not start there.
Stick blender. Is a tool. Not an extension of ones hand. Quick burst. 1,2, stir with wand. 1,2, stir, until immullsion.
CO soaps setup fast. I cut my mechanic bar (70% co) at about 4-5 hours. After molding.
Hope this helps.
 

DeeAnna

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"...Water. Soap calc defaults to 38%. Why not start there. ..."

I wouldn't start there because experience has shown me that "38% water as % of oils" results in a recipe that calls for rather less water than is ideal for a 100% coconut oil soap.

"38% water as % of oils" results in a lye concentration of about 32% for a 100% coconut oil soap. My preference is to use 28% lye concentration for this type of soap and a cold process method. That's a lower lye concentration than I normally use for most other types of soap, but a 100% coconut oil soap tends to overheat and a higher water content helps to control that tendency.

A person will get more consistent and controllable results in their soap making if they calculate the water content based on the alkali (NaOH) weight, not on the fat weight. In other words, it's more helpful to use lye concentration or water:lye ratio, not "water as % of oils."
 
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