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Andalusian Heavy lye Castile

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graylady

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The other day I was making test batches, and came across the thread on Andalusian heavy-lye castile. I didn't read all of it - there were a lot of posts.
I mixed up a batch:
450g olive oil
Equal weight of water
58g lye
86 g extra water.

It took quite a while to trace. My oil was pomace. I used sea water to make the lye solution, because I had some.
I make my test batches in milk cartons, and can fit three of them into my wooden mould. and tucked the result into my mould, next to another batch.
Then I read some more posts, and resigned myself to throwing the whole lot out.

I cut it today, after 48 hours. The texture was like slightly soft butter. One half of the block was perfect. The other half, the end that was next to another batch and therefore was kept warmer, oozed water and has holes through it.
 

Arimara

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I didn't read that whole thread but from what you say, it sounds like you have better results than many of those who tried it. I'd save the batch and observed it for the next year to see how it will be.
 

newbie

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It does not seem to tolerate heat at all. Everyone who tried to gel or let it warm up had oozing and separation of some sort. A few people liked the soap but a few of us didn't find it to be so much to our liking. I loved the texture of the batter at the end, but I'm not a big fan of castile. It's a great experiment though.
 

DeeAnna

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I still have a few bars from the two lye-heavy batches I made. The consensus near the end of the original thread was that this method really does not reduce the slimy nature of a high-oleic soap. I was sad to disappoint Anna Marie on that point, but I just didn't see any miraculous difference.

And, frankly, I don't think a long cure time has much of an effect either. The 2 year old "superlye" bar I tested last night still makes plenty of stringy oleic gel (aka snot, slime) within seconds of getting wet.

IMO, the real solution to this problem is to use a mesh bath pouf or wash cloth when washing with a high-oleic soap, rather than rub the soap directly on bare skin. A cloth or pouf (or even a hairy chest) breaks up the oleic gel and mixes it with enough air and water to make a dense, lotion-like lather, which can be very nice.
 

nikkisessence

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I tried making a mayonnaise with the olive oil. The resulting soap has been curing for, I believe, about two months. It is not slimy to me. Has anyone else tried that?
 

TeresaT

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IMO, the real solution to this problem is to use a mesh bath pouf or wash cloth when washing with a high-oleic soap, rather than rub the soap directly on bare skin. A cloth or pouf (or even a hairy chest) breaks up the oleic gel and mixes it with enough air and water to make a dense, lotion-like lather, which can be very nice.
Now I know why I never get the snot everyone talks about -- finally I can love my hairy chest.

(Actually, I use a wash cloth and my high OO soaps always lather for me. Now I understand. And all this time I thought it was my water.)
 

DeeAnna

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"...I tried making a mayonnaise with the olive oil. The resulting soap has been curing for, I believe, about two months. It is not slimy to me. Has anyone else tried that? ..."

No matter what you do along these lines, you will not change the essential chemical nature of a high-oleic soap (castile). High oleic bar soaps absorb water to form a firm gel. Lower-oleic bar soaps absorb water to form a loose mush.

Every time we get into this discussion, some people chime in with "I don't have slimy castile" and others chime in with "all castile is slimy." Both factions have a point ... but the difference in perception is not how the high-oleic soap is made, but how the soap is used. If you use high-oleic soap with plenty of warm/hot water and plenty of friction and aeration, the oleic gel may not be detectable, because you are dissolving the soap quickly with the warm water, diluting it with plenty of water, and breaking up the gel to form suds. If you use the same soap in a minimum of cool/cold water and use little or no friction and aeration, the gel will be much more obvious.
 
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graylady

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I was just interested to see what happened becasue the technique just seems so odd. THen I read someone's somment - can't remeber whose - that it didn't work if you use pomace. Mine did - sort of. I wondered if the salt water made a difference.
I'm a castile fan. The slime doesn't bother me
 

nikkisessence

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I've tested the soap. This is very different for me. Would you be interested in testing my next batch, DeeAnna?
 

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