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diynewbie

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Greetings!

I’m fairly new to cold process soap making and I’ve been experimenting with a recipe that I got from soapqueen.com. It’s the “Old Faithful With a Twist” recipe and it consists of the following:

25% Coconut Oil
25% Palm Oil
30% Olive Oil
15% Sweet Almond Oil
5% Mango Butter

I make a 5 lb batch which requires 7.7 oz of lye and 18 oz of water. In my opinion, I feel like the batches are coming out pretty good in terms of scent and lather content. However, I’ve noticed these wrinkly patchy looking spots on them. I attached a video below so that you can see what I’m talking about. What could this be? Is it part of the gel phase? I’ve read up on gel phase quite a bit and it doesn’t look like it could be that. Am I doing something wrong her? I would appreciate all the guidance and assistance anyone has to offer as I would really like to become well experienced in soap making.

Thanks in advance!

P.S. Please don’t judge me on my colors and layering techniques. I’m still learning here lol.
 

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dibbles

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I agree with lsg that it is glycerin rivers. It also looks like there are some tiny pock marks on the sides (commonly called silicone rash) which is another indication of the soap getting a little too hot. Both are just cosmetic and your soap is safe to use. Glycerin rivers can actually add an interesting look to soap.

ETA your soaps are very pretty.
 
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diynewbie

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It looks like glycerin rivers in the soap to me.

Thank you so much! I read thru the article you shared and that’s exactly what it looks like. Enjoy your evening!

I agree with lsg that it is glycerin rivers. It also looks like there are some tiny pockets marks on the sides (commonly called silicone rash) which is another indication of the soap getting a little too hot. Both are just cosmetic and your soap is safe to use. Glycerin rivers can actually add an interesting look to soap.

ETA your soaps are very pretty.
Thank you! It was fairly warm in the room I soap in on the day I made the soaps. I read thru the article Isg shared and I’m going to try a few of those tips. I think soaping in a cooler room or maybe at night when the temps are cooler should solve the problem. But I was afraid it had something to do with the lye not fully disolving! And thanks for the kind words about my soap as well. Enjoy your evening. :)
 
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You did a fine job! You'll get no judgment from this forum; even those who've been soaping for years understand that not only does it take lots of practice to develop coloring and swirling skills, but also that often plays by its own secret rules and creates lots of surprises!
 

earlene

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Greetings!

I’m fairly new to cold process soap making and I’ve been experimenting with a recipe that I got from soapqueen.com. It’s the “Old Faithful With a Twist” recipe and it consists of the following:

25% Coconut Oil
25% Palm Oil
30% Olive Oil
15% Sweet Almond Oil
5% Mango Butter

I make a 5 lb batch which requires 7.7 oz of lye and 18 oz of water. In my opinion, I feel like the batches are coming out pretty good in terms of scent and lather content. However, I’ve noticed these wrinkly patchy looking spots on them. I attached a video below so that you can see what I’m talking about. What could this be? Is it part of the gel phase? I’ve read up on gel phase quite a bit and it doesn’t look like it could be that. Am I doing something wrong her? I would appreciate all the guidance and assistance anyone has to offer as I would really like to become well experienced in soap making.

Thanks in advance!

P.S. Please don’t judge me on my colors and layering techniques. I’m still learning here lol.
I have forgotten how to view video attachments like this. I know there is a way, but it has slipped my mind. Anyone have a shortcut how to view them. This is the second post I've looked at today with these kinds of attachments that won't show video. I really don't want to change browsers, but so far I can't watch .mov attachments in any of the 3 browsers I have on my computer. (Firefox, Edge, Chrome)
 
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I have forgotten how to view video attachments like this. I know there is a way, but it has slipped my mind. Anyone have a shortcut how to view them. This is the second post I've looked at today with these kinds of attachments that won't show video. I really don't want to change browsers, but so far I can't watch .mov attachments in any of the 3 browsers I have on my computer. (Firefox, Edge, Chrome)
It might be your browsers settings? They pop up in a new window, so if you don't allow this, it may be blocking it.
 

diynewbie

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Yep - I pretty much always get glycerin rivers in mine, so these are easy to recognise. I don't mind them at all - but you can reduce the water amount which will help. And
So the recipe I’m using consist of the following:

Coconut Oil 13.6 oz
Palm Oil 13.6 oz
Olive Oil 16.3 oz
Sweet Almond Oil 8.2 oz
Mango Butter 2.7 oz
Lye 7.7 oz
Water 18 oz

How much water would you recommend as a way to help prevent glycerin rivers? 16 oz? 15 oz maybe?
 

dibbles

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If you set your lye concentration to 33% in a soap calculator, that would be 15.72 ounces of water (445 grams). I rarely get glycerin rivers at that % and the batter is usually still easy to work with. I would try that before moving to a larger water discount to see how it goes with your recipe. I force gel my soaps and normally don't have any problems with overheating. I don't mind the occasional batch with glycerin rivers, but mostly try to avoid them.
 
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If you set your lye concentration to 33% in a soap calculator, that would be 15.72 ounces of water (445 grams). I rarely get glycerin rivers at that % and the batter is usually still easy to work with. I would try that before moving to a larger water discount to see how it goes with your recipe. I force gel my soaps and normally don't have any problems with overheating. I don't mind the occasional batch with glycerin rivers, but mostly try to avoid them.

I might even drop that to 25-28% lye concentration if you want to do fancy designs.
 

diynewbie

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If you set your lye concentration to 33% in a soap calculator, that would be 15.72 ounces of water (445 grams). I rarely get glycerin rivers at that % and the batter is usually still easy to work with. I would try that before moving to a larger water discount to see how it goes with your recipe. I force gel my soaps and normally don't have any problems with overheating. I don't mind the occasional batch with glycerin rivers, but mostly try to avoid them.
Thanks Dibbles! I’ve been doing some reading and research and I think I’m going to try the fridge method first. I’m kind of new to the soap calculators and I use the one on Brambleberry’s website because it’s pretty straightforward. Just plug in my oils/butter percentages and it calculates everything including the needed amount of lye and liquid. I was playing around with it this morning and didn’t see a way that I could manually change the lye concentration. So with that being said, when using the fridge method, do you place your loaf in the actual fridge or freezer? Do you cover it? How long do you leave it inside the fridge/freezer?

And again, thank you guys soooo much! I started out making M&P bars in 2020 which was beyond easy. I was always afraid of the cold process method due to working with lye. But I started watching tons of videos on YT from soapmakers like Royalty Soaps, Ellen Ruth Soaps, Hearts Content Farmhouse and Brambleberry of course and many others, and realized that working with lye isn’t as bad as I thought it was. So I’m ready to master this and I appreciate all the help and guidance that you guys have provided thus far. :)
 

dibbles

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@diynewbie I don't really ever use the fridge method because I want my soaps to gel, so I can't give you much advice there. I use [email protected] Calc because that's what I started with, but many people here like the calculator linked at the top of this page (I like it too). I started with M&P for exactly the reasons you did. I was happy with pretty molds and found creativity in blending fragrances. But, I also was a knitter and had a creative outlet there too. When I had to stop knitting, I wanted more creativity in my soap making and convinced myself that thousands of people work with lye every day and, as a reasonable intelligent person, I could do it too. Made a batch of CP soap and became quickly obsessed LOL.

@Susie since the OP was looking to avoid glycerin rivers, I didn't suggest a lower lye concentration, but I agree that can give more working time. But the more water, the more likely glycerin rivers are to appear (in my experience).
 

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So with that being said, when using the fridge method, do you place your loaf in the actual fridge or freezer? Do you cover it? How long do you leave it inside the fridge/freezer?
. :)
I cover mine with a thin piece of styrofoam that fits the top exactly, then put it in the frig overnight. I usually put it in the frig by 5pm and then get it out around 9am or earlier if I'm going out. I then leave it 2 or 3 days to firm up before cutting.
 

diynewbie

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I cover mine with a thin piece of styrofoam that fits the top exactly, then put it in the frig overnight. I usually put it in the frig by 5pm and then get it out around 9am or earlier if I'm going out. I then leave it 2 or 3 days to firm up before cutting.
So I just saw your response and I tried the fridge method but I think I probably did something wrong AGAIN 😩. Per research I did, I put it in the fridge (not freezer) uncovered for 6 hours. I read that you should leave it uncovered to allow the heat to escape. I made the soap on Tuesday evening and just unmolded it and it’s kinda soft and kinda gooey looking on the sides. I used the same recipe that I mentioned earlier in the thread with 3 oz’s of fragrance. What could I have possibly done wrong? Did I unmold it too soon? I literally just unmolded it about 20 mins ago. Is the soap still usable? Please see video and advise.
 

diynewbie

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I made a post about a week ago seeking advice and I received some great responses with advice and tips on how to avoid what I discovered were glycerin rivers and silicone rash on my soaps. THANK YOU! So I made another batch on Tuesday taking some of those tips into consideration. I soaped using Brambleberry’s “Old Faithful With a Twist” recipe and it consists of the following:

25% Coconut Oil
25% Palm Oil
30% Olive Oil
15% Sweet Almond Oil
5% Mango Butter

I soaped at a lower temp and I put the loaf in the fridge (not freezer) uncovered for 6 hours. I read that you should leave it uncovered to allow the heat to escape. I made the soap on Tuesday evening and just unmolded it. It actually looks A LOT better than my first two batches. No bad soda ash on top and no silicone rash on the side. I can only assume that there are no glycerine rivers either as I haven’t cut it yet to be sure. But considering there’s no silicone rash on the sides, I’m thinking there are probably no glycerin rivers either. FINGERS CROSSED! But I unmolded it about an hour ago and it’s still kinda soft in areas and kinda gooey looking on the sides. ☹️ I used 3 oz’s of fragrance (Lemongrass EO and Patchouli EO) which is below the IRFA guidelines. What could I have possibly done wrong? Did I unmold it too soon? Is the soap still usable? Please see video and advise.
 

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dibbles

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You didn't list your lye concentration, but IIRC you were using a fairly high water amount in your previous batch. That could be part of the problem still. Soaping cool and putting the soap in the fridge will slow saponification and you may have unmolded a little too soon. Let the soap sit for awhile and keep checking on it. It should firm up. I know it's hard to wait to cut, but you will be happier if you do. IMO your soap is fine, just needs some time.

I typically soap cool, use 33% lye concentration, add sodium lactate and force gel and I would be able to unmold and cut a soap made from your recipe in less than 24 hours.
 

diynewbie

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You didn't list your lye concentration, but IIRC you were using a fairly high water amount in your previous batch. That could be part of the problem still. Soaping cool and putting the soap in the fridge will slow saponification and you may have unmolded a little too soon. Let the soap sit for awhile and keep checking on it. It should firm up. I know it's hard to wait to cut, but you will be happier if you do. IMO your soap is fine, just needs some time.

I typically soap cool, use 33% lye concentration, add sodium lactate and force gel and I would be able to unmold and cut a soap made from your recipe in less than 24 hours.
Hey Dibbles! So forgive me for my ignorance as I’m still learning. But the recipe I’m using from Brambleberry already provides the amount of oils, lye and liquid needed based on the batch size. I’m using a 5 pound mold and the recipe is as follows:

Coconut Oil: 13.6 oz
Palm Oil: 13.6 oz
Olive Oil: 16.3 oz
Sweet Almond Oil: 8.2 oz
Mango Butter: 2.7 oz
Lye: 7.7 oz
Liquid: 18 oz

Based on the recipe, I’m assuming my lye concentration is around 31%. Am I right on this?
 

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