Best oils to stop soap seizing?

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girlwhoseeks

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I’ve mostly used extra light OO and regular OO but my trace always accelerates too fast and yes I know it has to do with the essential oils speeding up acceleration too but I’ve used all different kinds and they all speed up too fast.

I read somewhere that the oil you use, for example if you’re using majority of pomace, light or palm oil, they all accelerate differently? Could this be the reason why my batter traces so thick too fast?

I would like to know what oils you use in your batter and if you have any suggestion regarding soap seizing.

Thanks in advance.
 

DeeAnna

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I think in most people's minds, seizing is different than "accelerating too fast" although I suppose it's mostly a matter of degree. When you say "seize", the picture I have in my mind is when the soap batter makes an abrupt change from a fluid to a solid within a very short time. Accelerating too fast is not nearly such a catastropic change. The result might be a thicker batter, but not a hard solid.

What you're talking about appears to be more "accelerating too fast" than "seizing" IMO.

Accelerating too fast can come from a multitude of things. One's choice of fats might be an issue, but other things can contribute -- more or less water, the temperature of the batter, or overly intense mixing are often the troublemakers.

So why don't you explain how you make your soap and give an example recipe, so people can help you narrow down the possibilities?
 

girlwhoseeks

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I think in most people's minds, seizing is different than "accelerating too fast" although I suppose it's mostly a matter of degree. When you say "seize", the picture I have in my mind is when the soap batter makes an abrupt change from a fluid to a solid within a very short time. Accelerating too fast is not nearly such a catastropic change. The result might be a thicker batter, but not a hard solid.

What you're talking about appears to be more "accelerating too fast" than "seizing" IMO.

Accelerating too fast can come from a multitude of things. One's choice of fats might be an issue, but other things can contribute -- more or less water, the temperature of the batter, or overly intense mixing are often the troublemakers.

So why don't you explain how you make your soap and give an example recipe, so people can help you narrow down the possibilities?

For example, in most recipes I use 80% Extra Light OO, 10 % Sweet Almond Oil, 10 % Coconut Oil. Also, I use about 80-90 grams of essential oils. Total about 1.480 kg of soap batter.
I’m still new to soap making and I’ve used essential oils of lavender, rose, Sandalwood, pine, honey fragrance oil. Yes they all accelerated too fast with this same recipe. I managed to put the batter in the mould as fast as I could and the soaps turned out fine but I still want them to stop accelerating so fast?

Just to specify I did put essentials oils in the end and did not blend the mixture too long because I wanted light trace and I knew essential oils would make the trace thick quickly. I feel like I’m doing something wrong here but really can’t put my hands around what am doing wrong lol :(
 

The_Phoenix

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I don’t use essential oils so I can’t give feedback on the performance of the blend you noted. Maybe someone can chime in on that. However, I can say that the recipe you included would definitely move slowly, so I can only surmise that your EOs are the culprit.

If that is indeed the case, I recommend blending your fats/lye solution until a very light trace, then blending in your EOs using a spatula. Whenever I’ve used an accelerating FO, I add it to my batter in a light stream while stirring with a spatula. I’ll even stop adding and just stirring. And then add a bit more and a bit more. With accelerating fragrances, I usually also use at a lower usage rate.

Hope this helps.
 

DeeAnna

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Okay, you explained the fats and the EOs you used, but other details are still not clear to me --

Have you tried a batch without any essential oils but otherwise using the same recipe and method of making? If so, how does an unscented soap behave?

What temperature is the soap batter (or your starting ingredients)?

Do you use a stick blender? If so, how many seconds do you think you stick blend before you get the batter to "light trace"?

What lye concentration do you use?
 
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80-90 grams of EO is a LOT of fragrance for just 1.5kg of soap - some Eos are not safe to use in that amount. I would tend towards only 30-45g for that amount of soap. If it is 1000g of oils in total then stick to just 30g of fragrance. Also you say EO but then you have a Honey FO you mentioned too. Is the rose EO? If so it would be very expensive - if it is FO that can cause acceleration, as most florals do. I would imagine the honey FO probably accelerates too.
 

Tara_H

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I'm not 100% clear from your post if you used the EOs separately or in some combinations. Certainly I've used lavender EO extensively (on its own, from 4-5 different suppliers) and found no acceleration from it.
If you're having trouble after getting light trace, I'd suggest aiming for emulsion and see if that helps.
 

earlene

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My guess is that you are using a stick blender and using it too much. That is normally a very slow moving combination of soaping oils. However, as KiwiMoose mentions, the amount of EO's in general and possibly certain ones and possibly your specific FO may also contribute. You also do not give your exact recipe, so we don't know how much water in relation to how much sodium hydroxide you are using. All factors in a recipe contribute, including heat, water, specific fragrances (some accelerate, some slow acceleration, some do not affect trace), specific oils, other additives like sugars, honey, even colorants can all have an affect on acceleration. But over stick blending is the most likely culprit for a beginner who has not yet learned how little SBing is really necessary.
 

LKK

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Here is a great article that may be helpful to you:
Mahalo for all the info! Did my third batch today and it came to trace much too quickly and was difficult to work with (pretty gloppy instead of smooth like my first two batches). I was going for a "tree bark" dual-color look with a mix of brown and a lovely smelling EO blend. I have read the article and tips here to determine the issues: too much EO dumped all at once, lye water and oils the same temp but on the high side of the range, and hella too much beating with the stick blender. I think the bars will turn out useable but not as pretty as I'd like. Lessons learned!
 
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Mahalo for all the info! Did my third batch today and it came to trace much too quickly and was difficult to work with (pretty gloppy instead of smooth like my first two batches). I was going for a "tree bark" dual-color look with a mix of brown and a lovely smelling EO blend. I have read the article and tips here to determine the issues: too much EO dumped all at once, lye water and oils the same temp but on the high side of the range, and hella too much beating with the stick blender. I think the bars will turn out useable but not as pretty as I'd like. Lessons learned!
What was your EO blend? Certain EOs (many florals, as well those high in eugenol) are known to be trace accelerators.

Having your lye and oils at the same temp is not really a big deal. However, keeping both of them lower in temp can help slow down your trace.

Sounds like you're on the right track to getting things slowed down for next time. :)
 

LKK

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What was your EO blend? Certain EOs (many florals, as well those high in eugenol) are known to be trace accelerators.

Having your lye and oils at the same temp is not really a big deal. However, keeping both of them lower in temp can help slow down your trace.

Sounds like you're on the right track to getting things slowed down for next time. :)
Thanks, I hope so! My EO blend was lavender, juniper berry, and cedar. It smells pretty dreamy 💫
 
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