24 hr soft soap, am I in trouble? check my recipe...

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Oct 9, 2009
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I didn't expect for my soaps to be so soft today when I cut it at the 20-24 hr mark today.

My first was a coconut milk soap with cornmint/peppermint eo
75 lard
15 CO
5 Coco butter
5 Castor
800g total oil weight
24g fragrance (first time I actually used the soapcalc this but most of mine in the past have faded badly, so I figured I need to use more then I do)

The second was really soft too...but I think that might be the oils I chose.

Lard 60
CO 10
5 Coco butter
5 Castor
20 avocado
Used aloe as water replacement, SF 5%
800g total oil weight
24 grams of Mixed EOs (Lav, Rosemary, Lemongrass, peppermint)
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Can not tell if there is a problem with the lye, or the water amount because those figures are not listed. There is no problem as far as your oils are concerned.

Remember the more water you add the longer you will need to cut. Lye heavy soap tends to be hard and crumble when cut so I don't think it is lye heavy. You may have used full water or have a higher superfat than intended.

I would just leave the soap another day, I have recipes that I leave more than 24 hours.
I did 35% instead of the full 38 on soapcalc. for water weight % of oil

The lye and water should be right--unless I had a some terrible weighing accidents....I print off the soap calc recipe and follow it and save it

I expect I will have a pretty high superfat on the first one, cause it was full Coconut milk....

I guess it will just be a wait and see how they harden up in the next few days--weeks...

If you are able to place a finger on the soap without any soap getting on your finger, meaning it is soft but not gooey, I believe it will just need a bit more time. If it is still gooey, then there is a problem.
35% water could be part of the reason. It is a fine number to use if you need it, but if you want firmer soap and your FO/EOs and swirling techniques can handle it, next time you might try further reducing the water, say to 2 water : 1 lye (33.33% lye solution). Play with a lye calculator to see what happens to water content when you base your recipe on water:lye ratio or lye concentration as opposed to water as a percent of oils.

Other things to consider: ungelled soaps and soaps made in silicone molds typically take longer to lose water and will be relatively soft after 24 hours. It sounds like you've cut yours, so now that they're exposed to more air they should firm up pretty quickly.
Trace can also make a difference. I almost always soap with 33% lye concentration, but if I pour a very thin batter I sometimes have to leave it in my hdpe molds a couple of days. It will stay to soft to remove about denting the soap
I have every confidence your soap will be fine. :) It just needs time to air out because of the high amount of water you used.

I typed your first recipe into SoapCalc using your your 35% water as per oils amount and it showed me that your soap had a lye:water concentration of 28.479% (what I consider to be a 'full-water' amount). Soaps with that much water will be softer to start no matter what the recipe.

And your second recipe with a 35% water as per oils gave your soap a 27.945% lye:water concentration (actually more water than what I consider to be a 'full-water' amount), so a softer soap to start is to be expected. But no worries, all should be well as it cures out.

Just to further expound on what CaraBou said, there are 2 different ways to calculate water for your batches on SoapCalc: 1) the "Water As% of oils" box, and 2) the "Lye Concentration" box, and both are very different from each other. When you read of soap-makers using a 33% lye solution or lye concentration, such as what Carolyn and CaraBou use (and me, too!), we are using the Lye Concentration box instead of the "water as % of Oils' box to figure our water, which will give very different results than if you were to type the same % amount into the 'Water as % of Oils' box.

Many experienced soap-makers prefer using the 'Lye Concentration' box because the results are much more predictable/consistent when basing the water amount on the lye amount instead of the oil amount. For a more in-depth discussion about the 2 different ways to calculate water on SoapCalc, please see this thread (start with posts 10 and 11): http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=51908&highlight=concentration+water

IrishLass :)

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