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adverse effects of sodium lactate?

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beckylinley

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Hi all,

I have been trying to find ways to harden-up my soap recipe without using palm oil or lard, so I recently made a batch with sodium lactate, which I'd never used. The soap got nice and hard, but there were a couple other changes. The top of the soap ended up having a strange cracked texture (see photo). Also, I feel like maybe the sodium lactate also affected the fragrance of the soap. I used grapefruit essential oil for half of the batch, and it came out smelling a little minty/chemical-y. (The other half of the batch was lavender/tea tree and I didn't notice any odd fragrance ... maybe because those are more dominant fragrances.) Has anyone experienced either of these things when using sodium lactate?

Thanks for your thoughts!
Becky

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KiwiMoose

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That looks like overheating to me - not caused by sodium lactate but more likely caused by one or some of your ingredients - typically an FO will do it, but I doubt grapefruit would. Maybe the environment was too hot? Did you CPOP? Overheating can also change the fragrance because it can 'burn' it.
 

zanzalawi

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i've not had any issues when using sodium lactate, what was your usage rate?
the smell can definitely change during the curing process, hopefully in a few weeks it'll smell delicious :)
it almost looks like it developed a skin on the top and then the mold was disturbed and the batter underneath gave it a brain texture?
 

Jennifer Horne

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I add salt to my water before i add the lye and it works fairly well however i use mostly soft oils so how hard does it actually get.
 
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shunt2011

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How much SL did you add. SL doesn’t really add hardness to the soap. It just makes it hard enough to get out of the mold sooner. I’ve never noticed any other effect to the soap. As others said it looks more of an over heating issue than the SL.
 

lsg

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Sodium lactate has never seemed to affect the scent of my soap. I think Soap Queen recommends 1 tsp. of sodium lactate per pound of oils.
 

Theresa_c64

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Hi all,

I have been trying to find ways to harden-up my soap recipe without using palm oil or lard, so I recently made a batch with sodium lactate, which I'd never used. The soap got nice and hard, but there were a couple other changes. The top of the soap ended up having a strange cracked texture (see photo). Also, I feel like maybe the sodium lactate also affected the fragrance of the soap. I used grapefruit essential oil for half of the batch, and it came out smelling a little minty/chemical-y. (The other half of the batch was lavender/tea tree and I didn't notice any odd fragrance ... maybe because those are more dominant fragrances.) Has anyone experienced either of these things when using sodium lactate?

Thanks for your thoughts!
Becky

View attachment 42631
I use sodium lactate with every loaf I make, and the soap comes out fine.. I know that's not much help, sorry!
 
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dibbles

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I use sodium lactate at 1 tsp PPO in all my soaps with no issues. The texture on the surface looks like overheating to me too.
 

beckylinley

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Thanks for all your responses! It sounds like maybe the recipe overheated. Any ideas why that would happen or how to mitigate it?

This is the recipe I used:

coconut oil 80 oz
olive oil 40 oz
avocado oil 8 oz
shea butter 15 oz
sodium hydroxide 22 oz
water 50 oz
sodium lactate 9 teaspoons

I also added a lot more shea butter than I usually use in an attempt to make the soap harder.

Thanks!
Becky
 

Nona'sFarm

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I am new at this, but some of the best advice I've gotten is to try new recipes in small quantities and use the SoapCalc or SoapMakingFriend program to see what qualities the ingredients are giving your soap.
That being said, I agree with everyone above that it looks like overheating and that the SL at that amount shouldn't be causing it.
 

cmzaha

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Coconut Oil tends to heat up and you used a high percentage of coconut oil and quite a lot of water. Your lye concentration was around 30.5% many of us use around 33% lye concentrations which would have lowered your water to approx 44 oz instead of your 50 oz. Higher water also adds to higher heat. I have to ask why you use a 4% superfat with such a high CO which gave a 37% cleansing value in such a large batch of soap. Just curious. That is a big waste if you hate the soap especially with the amount of shea used.
 

TheGecko

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Hi all,I have been trying to find ways to harden-up my soap recipe without using palm oil or lard, so I recently made a batch with sodium lactate, which I'd never used.
Agree with others, your soap overheated. Sodium Lactate, at 1 tea PPO, it simply helps with unmolding.

My suggestions...when trying a new receiver start with 16oz of oil/butter; that way if it’s a disaster or not what you are looking for, you’re only out 16 oz, not 143 oz. I bought a couple of 1lb molds for just that reason...recipe, new color, new scent. While higher amounts of Coconut Oil will give you a harder bar, it will also strip all the natural oils from your skin unless you use a high Superfat. I would suggest less CO or more SF. Another thing, you can try a higher lye concentration. With the weather change, I’ve gone from 30% to 35%.

My recipe is 35% Olive, 20% Coconut, 20% Palm and 5% Castor Oils, 10% Cocoa and 10% Shea Butters. Instead of Palm, you could use Babassu, but it’s a little speedy.
 

Relle

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@Jennifer Horne I don't have SL on hand and thinking of using table salt as well, can you please advice on ratio? How much do you add it to the water? Thank you in advance.

Sas
Jennifer has not been in for 5 months, so may not see your quoted post to her.
 
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shunt2011

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@Jennifer Horne I don't have SL on hand and thinking of using table salt as well, can you please advice on ratio? How much do you add it to the water? Thank you in advance.

Sas
You can try by dissolving 1tsp ppo in your water before adding the lye. Salt works pretty well.
 
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