Can you use both ROE and Sodium citrate when making soaps?

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Jen74

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I have been making soap for quite a while now and seem to always be having issues with my soaps going rancid no matter what I do. I am doing everything right. No metals, keeping in separate room that is dark, using a dehumidifier and fan blowing on them, using distilled water etc. It seems that before my soaps would go rancid within like two weeks of curing. Now it seems to be like at week 3 to 4. I am so annoyed with it all to be honest. I make soap because I have a disease called Mast Cell activation and am allergic to SO much. I barely can eat because I react to so many foods. I was forced to make my own soap for this reason because I react to so many things. My use soapcalc for my resipe and only use Palm Kernel oil, Palm oil, a little ROE, Distilled water, and Sodium Hydroxide( Lye). That is it. I make HP. I use to make the CP and it always would go rancid too so I switched to HP and did get batches that were okay. But I would say like 85% of my batches go rancid and I have no clue why. So now I am thinking of adding a chelator like Sodium Citrate. I know the two most commonly used are sodium citrate or EDTA. With my sensitivities, I was thinking maybe the sodium citrate would be better? Not sure. Is it okay to use both the ROE and the Sodium citrate? Will this help further prevent rancidity? When it the best time to add the Sodium Citrate? Usually what I do is I melt my oils in the crock pot on low and when they are all melted I add the ROE. Then I add the lye afterwards. Is there a certain time I should add the Chelator? I feel like a broken record here because I have posted many times about my issues with my soaps going rancid. I even purchased new molds and everything fresh and still they went rancid. Unreal. I am thinking I just might need to add a chelator?
 
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I am so sorry to hear of your difficulties. My daughter has struggled with a milder version of MCA. Before getting some naturopathic treatments that helped, it made life pretty miserable.

Regarding your soaps, I wonder if you are using too much ROE, which can actually cause rancidity. Per DeeAnna's Soapy Stuff page on antioxidants, her suggested usage rate is really, really low - .05%. A lot of folks miss that decimal point and the zero in front of it.

Your chosen oils are extremely shelf stable and normally shouldn't need ROE at all. Maybe try a batch without it, if you haven't already?

Also, are you using distilled water?
 

Jen74

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I am so sorry to hear of your difficulties. My daughter has struggled with a milder version of MCA. Before getting some naturopathic treatments that helped, it made life pretty miserable.

Regarding your soaps, I wonder if you are using too much ROE, which can actually cause rancidity. Per DeeAnna's Soapy Stuff page on antioxidants, her suggested usage rate is really, really low - .05%. A lot of folks miss that decimal point and the zero in front of it.

Your chosen oils are extremely shelf stable and normally shouldn't need ROE at all. Maybe try a batch without it, if you haven't already?

Also, are you using distilled water?
Hi there. So sorry your daughter also has MCA. Glad the naturopathic treatments are helping her. I have tried so many things. It makes life very hard.

With the soap, I do use distilled water. I actually added the ROE in because of this issue with my soaps going rancid. I really only added in like one tiny drop to my oils so it was not much at all. I for the life of me cannot figure out what is making my soaps go rancid. The recipe I use is as follows : palm kernel oil (181.44 grams which I round off to 181), palm oil(725.75 grams which I round off to 725), distilled water(265.73 grams which I round off to 265), Sodium Hydroxide(130.88 grams which I round to 130), and one tiny drop of ROE. I am totally at a loss.
 
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Maybe one of your oils is past its date, or was stored by the vendor improperly. I am not really sure, and I cannot speak for ROE because I have never used it.

It seems like a couple of weeks might be too soon for it to be rancid already, unless one of your oils was already bad. Try making soap again with a fresh batch of oils.
 

Jen74

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Maybe one of your oils is past its date, or was stored by the vendor improperly. I am not really sure, and I cannot speak for ROE because I have never used it.

It seems like a couple of weeks might be too soon for it to be rancid already, unless one of your oils was already bad. Try making soap again with a fresh batch of oils.
These have been curing for 6 weeks and just started smelling off. I actually used all new oils. I just bought them a few days prior to using them. It's so frustrating.
 
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Is there any possibility that your stickblender has non-stainless metal parts? Another member here recently had that problem.

Regarding sodium citrate, I use it at 1-2% of oil weight, and dissolve it in slightly warmed water (taken my batch water). Then I pour it into the lye solution, which is then added to my oils.

I have also stick-blended the SC solution into the oils, but I ended up with some SC crystals on my soap, so I went back to mixing it with the lye solution and have had no further problems.
 

Jen74

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Is there any possibility that your stickblender has non-stainless metal parts? Another member here recently had that problem.

Regarding sodium citrate, I use it at 1-2% of oil weight, and dissolve it in slightly warmed water (taken my batch water). Then I pour it into the lye solution, which is then added to my oils.

I have also stick-blended the SC solution into the oils, but I ended up with some SC crystals on my soap, so I went back to mixing it with the lye solution and have had no further problems.
Hmm, I think my stick blender is stainless steel. I will double check it though to be sure. I might go get another one just because that is something I haven't changed. Thanks for thinking of that. I mean at this point I'm willing to try anything. ❤️
 
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Hmm, I think my stick blender is stainless steel. I will double check it though to be sure. I might go get another one just because that is something I haven't changed. Thanks for thinking of that. I mean at this point I'm willing to try anything. ❤️
What brand is it?
 
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Is the outer “sleeve” (that goes over the drive shaft and covers the blade) made of plastic? My only trouble with the HB stickblenders that I’ve had are that stuff gets up in that plastic outer “sleeve.” I could never get it completely clean, and I could see moisture inside there, which really concerned me for contaminating future batches.

But if yours is all metal, it should be fine. You could try any inexpensive brand like the Bella from Walmart as long as it says it is stainless. I do like my Austria Mueller SB from Amazon; I think others have expressed satisfaction with their Cuisinart and Kitchenaid models. I think it was the Bamix brand that had aluminum in it?
 

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...I really only added in like one tiny drop to my oils so it was not much at all....

If you're wanting to use ROE or any other chelator, you need to add enough to be effective but not enough so the chelator becomes a pro-oxidant. That means you need to weigh the amount you're adding rather than trust to luck that you're getting it right. Please get a high accuracy gram scale, break out the calculator, and I suspect you'll get better results.
 
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Maybe one of your oils is past its date, or was stored by the vendor improperly. I am not really sure, and I cannot speak for ROE because I have never used it.

It seems like a couple of weeks might be too soon for it to be rancid already, unless one of your oils was already bad. Try making soap again with a fresh batch of oils.
PKO, CO, and Palm Oil both have very long shelf life and I am talking years. So the rancidity problem is a bit odd.

@Jen74 can you possibly use EDTA and Sodium Gluconate? I soap with Palm and Pko using EDTA and Sodium Gluconate at 0.5% each for a total of 1% of my total batch weight with a superfat of 2% and do not have issues with rancidity. Before adding SG I used EDTA with good results as far as no rancidity or seldom but added in SG because of severe hard water issues resulting in zero DOS issues.

I retired from selling in 2020 when Covid hit and I lost my main market so I still have 4 large crates of soaps with none having DOS at this time. Some of the soaps were already at least a year old before I quit selling. I will say I never had much luck with ROE in my soaps although I did use ROE when I would open new bottles of liquid oils. I also purchased my oils in bulk and many times my PKO would already be out of date before I opened up the bucket to start using it.
 

Jen74

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Is the outer “sleeve” (that goes over the drive shaft and covers the blade) made of plastic? My only trouble with the HB stickblenders that I’ve had are that stuff gets up in that plastic outer “sleeve.” I could never get it completely clean, and I could see moisture inside there, which really concerned me for contaminating future batches.

But if yours is all metal, it should be fine. You could try any inexpensive brand like the Bella from Walmart as long as it says it is stainless. I do like my Austria Mueller SB from Amazon; I think others have expressed satisfaction with their Cuisinart and Kitchenaid models. I think it was the Bamix brand that had aluminum in it?
Thank you. It is all metal pretty much except the handle. I still might look into some other brand like you mentioned. I mean it is the only thing I have not changed. It may or may not fix my situation. I just wish I knew what I was doing wrong to cause my soaps to go rancid.
 

Jen74

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If you're wanting to use ROE or any other chelator, you need to add enough to be effective but not enough so the chelator becomes a pro-oxidant. That means you need to weigh the amount you're adding rather than trust to luck that you're getting it right. Please get a high accuracy gram scale, break out the calculator, and I suspect you'll get better results.
I cannot find a scale to weigh that little of an amount that I need. I even have a jewelers scale and a tiny hand held one and still it will not weigh out because the ROE is just such a tiny amount. Not sure how to do this.. Any suggestions?
 

Jen74

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PKO, CO, and Palm Oil both have very long shelf life and I am talking years. So the rancidity problem is a bit odd.

@Jen74 can you possibly use EDTA and Sodium Gluconate? I soap with Palm and Pko using EDTA and Sodium Gluconate at 0.5% each for a total of 1% of my total batch weight with a superfat of 2% and do not have issues with rancidity. Before adding SG I used EDTA with good results as far as no rancidity or seldom but added in SG because of severe hard water issues resulting in zero DOS issues.

I retired from selling in 2020 when Covid hit and I lost my main market so I still have 4 large crates of soaps with none having DOS at this time. Some of the soaps were already at least a year old before I quit selling. I will say I never had much luck with ROE in my soaps although I did use ROE when I would open new bottles of liquid oils. I also purchased my oils in bulk and many times my PKO would already be out of date before I opened up the bucket to start using it.
Thank you. Where do I purchase EDTA and Sodium Gluconate? Is that the same as sodium citrate?
 
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Thank you. Where do I purchase EDTA and Sodium Gluconate? Is that the same as sodium citrate?
No, it is not the same. I used to buy mine at Savon on Citric but they are now owned by Get the Buzz to make, Get what you need, make your own! - Makeyourown.buzz which is a division of WSP that is no longer owned by Debbie who owned WSP. You might do a search as I know the prices are not even close to what I used to pay. Tetrasodium EDTA is what I used in soap, but you could try just Sodium Gluconate at 1% total batch weight. If your water is really hard I would up it to 1.2% and dissolve it in some of your batch water, warming the water first for better dissolving. I never added anything other than silk cocoons to my lye solution which I masterbatch.

I have also purchased SG here Sodium Gluconate FOOD GRADE Minimum 99% pure! 2lb | eBay
 
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Jen74

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No, it is not the same. I used to buy mine at Savon on Citric but they are now owned by Get the Buzz to make, Get what you need, make your own! - Makeyourown.buzz which is a division of WSP that is no longer owned by Debbie who owned WSP. You might do a search as I know the prices are not even close to what I used to pay. Tetrasodium EDTA is what I used in soap, but you could try just Sodium Gluconate at 1% total batch weight. If your water is really hard I would up it to 1.2% and dissolve it in some of your batch water, warming the water first for better dissolving. I never added anything other than silk cocoons to my lye solution which I masterbatch.

I have also purchased SG here Sodium Gluconate FOOD GRADE Minimum 99% pure! 2lb | eBay
Okay . So would just recommend using only the sodium gluconate without the ROE and EDTA? Would the sodium gluconate alone prevent the rancidity?
 
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I have a lot of alergies and I make my own soap to avoid additives and I do not use EDTA.

Buy a jewelers scale for under $1 here: If you don't want to click on the link go to aliexpress or amazon (if you must).

You need to use the exact amount of ROE one drop will not work. Once you buy them go to the link for DeeAnna's instructions on how much to use. It depends on the weight of the oils. I mix the ROE with my oils as soon as I buy them. I also use citric acid at 1% in every batch of soap I make.
What molds are you using? Molds have to be really clean to stop rancidity if you have got it once. You might need to scrub them out with bleach and a toothbrush or use Isopropyl alcohol every so often. I don't put my silicone molds in the dish washer but some people do.

I never touch my soap at anytime without gloves.
I wouldn't put a fan on my soap but I do use a dehumidifier in the middle of summer on rainy days. It isn't directed at the soap.
The room I store my soap in is airy, no sun and always pretty cool. If you are storing soap in a closed room that gets hot that could be another cause of your problem.

There is a solution to rancid soap. You just have to find it.

I don't like your recipe but it should work. I use a low super fat 2% or less to avoid rancidity.


What are you storing your soaps in? They should be on some sort of open slatted shelf so the air can get to them but with a cotton cloth (changed regularly) between the soap and metal or wood.

Is the crockpot you are using ceramic?

Everything has to be super clean.

I understand that you would have to mix your ROE in with the palm oil when you melt it for each batch. I don't have that problem.
 
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Jen74

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I have a lot of alergies and I make my own soap to avoid additives and I do not use EDTA.

Buy a jewelers scale for under $1 here: If you don't want to click on the link go to aliexpress or amazon (if you must).

You need to use the exact amount of ROE one drop will not work. Once you buy them go to the link for DeeAnna's instructions on how much to use. It depends on the weight of the oils. I mix the ROE with my oils as soon as I buy them. I also use citric acid at 1% in every batch of soap I make.
What molds are you using? Molds have to be really clean to stop rancidity if you have got it once. You might need to scrub them out with bleach and a toothbrush or use Isopropyl alcohol every so often. I don't put my silicone molds in the dish washer but some people do.

I never touch my soap at anytime without gloves.
I wouldn't put a fan on my soap but I do use a dehumidifier in the middle of summer on rainy days. It isn't directed at the soap.
The room I store my soap in is airy, no sun and always pretty cool. If you are storing soap in a closed room that gets hot that could be another cause of your problem.

There is a solution to rancid soap. You just have to find it.

I don't like your recipe but it should work. I use a low super fat 2% or less to avoid rancidity.


What are you storing your soaps in? They should be on some sort of open slatted shelf so the air can get to them but with a cotton cloth (changed regularly) between the soap and metal or wood.

Is the crockpot you are using ceramic?

Everything has to be super clean.

I understand that you would have to mix your ROE in with the palm oil when you melt it for each batch. I don't have that problem.
Hi there. Thank you for all the suggestions. I have my soaps in a room that is dark. I have a dehumidifier( the dehumidifier does make the room warmer). I have the soaps sitting on plastic shelving that I line with parchment paper. I am using a ceramic crock pot. The molds I use I actually have bought brand new and still, my soaps went rancid. This is truly a conundrum. Yet I have followed the same exact steps and had some batches turn out fine. I just cannot figure it out. I do have to mix the ROE in when I am making my soaps. I cannot add it to the oils as they are solidified until I melt them. I have a tiny jewelers scale, but it won't pick up the right amount because it is such a small amount. I will check out the scale you mentioned though. I have even changed my recipe using soapcalc and added less water and more lye to lower the superfat and still have the same issue. I only this recipe because I react to all the other oils and stuff. I am definitely careful with not handling the soaps without using gloves too. I honestly am at a loss. Oh, what do you use to measure your ROE out with? What do you place it in to measure it out?
 
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I have a lot of alergies and I make my own soap to avoid additives and I do not use EDTA.

Buy a jewelers scale for under $1 here: If you don't want to click on the link go to aliexpress or amazon (if you must).

There is a solution to rancid soap. You just have to find it.

I don't like your recipe but it should work. I use a low super fat 2% or less to avoid rancidity.

I also have a lot of allergies and neither EDTA nor Sodium in such small percentages bothers me. Both ingredients come in many over-the-counter products. The issue with ROE is it is a great antioxidant but it is not a chelator. I do not add ROE to my soaps only to my liquid oils when I open them because I purchased 35lb totes at a time and usually multiple oils.

I tried Sodium Citrate for several years but found it did not work as well as my EDTA/SG combination. Sometimes it takes testing to find what combination works. Maybe try SC and SG. I had no success with SC and ROE. But EDTA did work okay alone I just like the combo better. I am guessing SG will work ok alone at the higher percentage for hard water.
 
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