Acceleration pre adding EO

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DMack

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I made a batch of soap today using a recipe I have used for over a year now. I hand whisk to avoid too thick a trace and today stopped at emulsion as I wanted a thin trace to try a faux column pour pattern out. I added the batter using a ladle into jugs with mica and it thickened right up before I added EO. Of course on adding the oils it meant I was dolloping the batter in rather than pouring it 😂. I used a lemongrass, grapefruit and tea tree blend so I was expecting it to thicken up and was ready to work fast but the acceleration before adding oils surprised me. It generally behaves itself, in fact I made a floral blend last week and I was twiddling my thumbs waiting for it to thicken!
I soaped warmer today to try avoiding soda ash but my oils were 150 and lye was 125 degrees
any suggestions why this could have happened?
 

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I made a batch of soap today using a recipe I have used for over a year now. I hand whisk to avoid too thick a trace and today stopped at emulsion as I wanted a thin trace to try a faux column pour pattern out. I added the batter using a ladle into jugs with mica and it thickened right up before I added EO. Of course on adding the oils it meant I was dolloping the batter in rather than pouring it 😂. I used a lemongrass, grapefruit and tea tree blend so I was expecting it to thicken up and was ready to work fast but the acceleration before adding oils surprised me. It generally behaves itself, in fact I made a floral blend last week and I was twiddling my thumbs waiting for it to thicken!
I soaped warmer today to try avoiding soda ash but my oils were 150 and lye was 125 degrees
any suggestions why this could have happened?
Soaping at 150 is pretty warm and will accelerate trace. Generally I soap at room temperature or when the oil container and lye solution container are just warm to the touch.
Are you open to feedback on your recipe?
 

DMack

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Soaping at 150 is pretty warm and will accelerate trace. Generally I soap at room temperature or when the oil container and lye solution container are just warm to the touch.
Are you open to feedback on your recipe?
Absolutely 😊

Soaping at 150 is pretty warm and will accelerate trace. Generally I soap at room temperature or when the oil container and lye solution container are just warm to the touch.
Are you open to feedback on your recipe?
i do usually soap cooler after I had a volcano but I’ve been gettimg soda ash and read on brambleberry that soaping warmer could potentially eliminate that happening. do you have an opinion on soaping temps? I definitely do appreciate constructive feedback. I’ve learned so much from users here
 
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Here is how I have successfully avoided soda ash: Pour batter into loaf mold, spray with alcohol, cover with plastic and cardboard and a pile of towels to gel 24 hours. For single cavity molds, I leave soap in there for 3-5 days. And you know soda ash is just a cosmetic issue.

In general, I like to soap at a lower temperature to give me time to make designs and swirls. I masterbatch frequently so everything is already at room temperature.

As for feedback on your recipe, here's my 2 cents. In general, adding an oil at less than 10% isn't worth the trouble and additional dirty dishes -- just my opinion. I do know that professional soap makers will include a small amount of an ingredient just for "label appeal." Also, note that the one exception is castor oil which I use at 4-6%.

And this is just FYI on a helpful article, https://www.modernsoapmaking.com/blog/the-most-popular-fatty-acid-profiles-in-soapmaking . As I was perfecting my basic recipe, it helped me to learn if I was in the average range for specific fatty acids.

And lastly, where are the photos of your column pour??!!
 

DMack

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Here is how I have successfully avoided soda ash: Pour batter into loaf mold, spray with alcohol, cover with plastic and cardboard and a pile of towels to gel 24 hours. For single cavity molds, I leave soap in there for 3-5 days. And you know soda ash is just a cosmetic issue.

In general, I like to soap at a lower temperature to give me time to make designs and swirls. I masterbatch frequently so everything is already at room temperature.

As for feedback on your recipe, here's my 2 cents. In general, adding an oil at less than 10% isn't worth the trouble and additional dirty dishes -- just my opinion. I do know that professional soap makers will include a small amount of an ingredient just for "label appeal." Also, note that the one exception is castor oil which I use at 4-6%.

And this is just FYI on a helpful article, https://www.modernsoapmaking.com/blog/the-most-popular-fatty-acid-profiles-in-soapmaking . As I was perfecting my basic recipe, it helped me to learn if I was in the average range for specific fatty acids.

And lastly, where are the photos of your column pour??!!
Oh wow i really had to spoon it in so I’ve no idea what it will look like. I’m ordering more tea tree tonight and going to make more later this week. I will definitely post photos though. I was planning to post some pics as I feel so proud of my soapy achievments this year. My new yr res was colour colour colour 😆 so I will put up pics and will not shy away from the ugly lol. I’ve still so much more to learn so I hope the feedback I get will be as helpful as usual
I’m going back to cooler soaping though!
The castor oil is low I appreciate, I think I just wanted more bubbles but no more coconut oil as when I upped it itched. Also I have this huge bottle i am slowly working my way through which is why I’ve not changed it yet. It I up the % to 6% which oil would you suggest to reduce?
 
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Zing has given you great advice here. I'll chime in to say that castor oil doesn't create lather; it only supports or stabilizes the lather created by other oils, such as CO. When you can't up the CO, other ways to actually increase lather include:

1. Replace some or all of the water with AVJ.

2. Add some form of sugar that is pre-dissolved in the water before adding NaOH. My favorite is sorbitol at 1-2% of oils, but you can use plain ole table sugar, powdered sugar, and even honey or molasses. The last two are heaters and need some special handling; search this forum to learn more. Many milks and other starches can also help with lather.

3. Use a dual-lye solution. Even as much as 5% KOH can help the soap lather more easily. Search "dual lye" on this forum to read more about that.

4. Add a chelator such as citric acid or sodium citrate to your recipe. I recommend reading this article to learn how to use those, and why a chelator helps improve lather in areas with hard water.

5. Lower your super-fat to 2-3% max. Unsaponified oils can inhibit lather.

6. Limit your use of salts, including table salt and sodium lactate. Salt inhibits lather, and each salt that you add to the recipe will increase that effect. If you are using table salt or SL to harden your bars, consider reformulating to use oils, fats, and butters that make a harder bar, and CPOPing the soap.

HTH! :)
 

DMack

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Zing has given you great advice here. I'll chime in to say that castor oil doesn't create lather; it only supports or stabilizes the lather created by other oils, such as CO. When you can't up the CO, other ways to actually increase lather include:

1. Replace some or all of the water with AVJ.

2. Add some form of sugar that is pre-dissolved in the water before adding NaOH. My favorite is sorbitol at 1-2% of oils, but you can use plain ole table sugar, powdered sugar, and even honey or molasses. The last two are heaters and need some special handling; search this forum to learn more. Many milks and other starches can also help with lather.

3. Use a dual-lye solution. Even as much as 5% KOH can help the soap lather more easily. Search "dual lye" on this forum to read more about that.

4. Add a chelator such as citric acid or sodium citrate to your recipe. I recommend reading this article to learn how to use those, and why a chelator helps improve lather in areas with hard water.

5. Lower your super-fat to 2-3% max. Unsaponified oils can inhibit lather.

6. Limit your use of salts, including table salt and sodium lactate. Salt inhibits lather, and each salt that you add to the recipe will increase that effect. If you are using table salt or SL to harden your bars, consider reformulating to use oils, fats, and butters that make a harder bar, and CPOPing the soap.

HTH! :)
Thank you ☺️
 

Sandiebrown65

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i do usually soap cooler after I had a volcano but I’ve been gettimg soda ash and read on brambleberry that soaping warmer could potentially eliminate that happening. do you have an opinion on soaping temps? I definitely do appreciate constructive feedback. I’ve learned so much from users here
I soap at room temperature. The only time I found soda ash to be a problem is when I increased the water in my recipe. I have gone back down to a 2:1 ration for water/NaOH and like magic, no more soda ash.
 
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Sorry to hear about your acceleration issue. I agree about the temperature being a potentially significant contributing factor. How much water and lye are you using or do you know the lye concentration? I have reduced ash problems significantly by using a higher lye concentration in my recipes.
 

DMack

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Sorry to hear about your acceleration issue. I agree about the temperature being a potentially significant contributing factor. How much water and lye are you using or do you know the lye concentration? I have reduced ash problems significantly by using a higher lye concentration in my recipes.
2.1 lye ratio . I’m using 211: 205 water /lye
 

DMack

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Are you sure those are the right numbers? The ratio you gave of 211: 205 is close to a 50-50 ratio or 1:1
I’ve possibly got the ratio wrong. I’m using 211 g water and 105 grams lye with a 5% super fat

I use the soapmaking recipe builder on this site
 
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Okay, I see what you did. You used 2:1 water to lye, which is 33.3% lye concentration. That’s not a particularly high lye concentration, so it’s much more likely that the high working temperature is at the root of the acceleration problem.
 

DMack

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Okay, I see what you did. You used 2:1 water to lye, which is 33.3% lye concentration. That’s not a particularly high lye concentration, so it’s much more likely that the high working temperature is at the root of the acceleration problem.
Thanks. I had much more success repeating this at room temp but have ended up with soda ash. I need to start covering to force gel, or try isopropyl spray maybe. Looks good though and I can clean it up just for aesthetics
 

DMack

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I cut both blocks this morning and I am really happy. I thought the first batch was going to look dreadful and on the top it does but that’s fine. I’m can see the pattern I wanted it just needs refining and a thin trace will hopefully solve that issue. The second batch I went for a simple faux column pour and it looks good. I’ve shaved off a lot of the soda ash. I need to be braver with allowing gel to really get the colours brighter next time. All of this is an experiment with colours and patterns so I’m playing, having fun and I’m pleased so far. First 2 pics show basic faux column pour batch, the others are my more ambitious partition faux column pour including the ugly top 😂
 

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