100% Coconut oil soap takes a long time to thicken.

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Oct 22, 2023
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First time making 100% coconut oil cold process soap and it turns out nice. I got the recipe from Elly’s Everyday YouTube channel (Link). In the VDO clip, she used just a whisk and spent only 20 mins to stir until the oil and the lye water combine and reach a very light trace but I need to stir my mixture for about 1 and a half hours. It didn't even reach a very light trace. It was just a stable emulsion when I poured it into my mold. (I was tired 😅)

So, I am kinda confused. I thought 100% CO soap should trace fast.

Here is the recipe:
420g coconut oil
117g water
57g sodium hydroxide / NaOH
25% superfat

I used the same recipe EXCEPT I added 10 silk cocoons (about 2-3 g) into the lye water to make my soap yellow. Was it possible that the silk cocoon slowed down the trace?

I also added 8 g. of lavender and rosemary EO but after emulsion.



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What was the temperature of the soap batter when you were working with it? Was it pleasantly warm to the palm of your hand or warmer? Or was it cool to cold?

Everyone thinks (and usually with good reason) that coconut oil soap traces fast and gels hot and hard. But if the soap batter is too cold, even coconut oil soap won't trace very fast, especially if you're using a whisk rather than a stick blender.

Under the circumstances you describe, I would not have whisked for as long as you did before changing what I was doing. Don't keep dancing the same dance if it's not working for you. I probably would have warmed the batter to encourage the rate of saponification to pick up a bit and see how it responded.

Cold soap batter may not gel while saponifying in the mold either, which will cause the soap to be unusually soft after saponification is over. Using individual molds will make it more likely the soap will stay cool enough so it is more likely to not gel. Not saying you did anything wrong really, just that