Quantcast

Causes for brittle soap

SoapMakingForum

Help Support SoapMakingForum:

SoapSap

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2014
Messages
302
Reaction score
99
I read too much Sodium Lactate can cause brittle soap. I think I have done that. Are there other additives or oils that may also cause this condition in Cold Process soap?
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Messages
8,962
Reaction score
9,005
Location
Austria
Could you give ANY information on the recipe and amounts that you are talking about here? You talk about other additives - what other additives did you use and how much?
 

SoapSap

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2014
Messages
302
Reaction score
99
Could you give ANY information on the recipe and amounts that you are talking about here? You talk about other additives - what other additives did you use and how much?

Perhaps I can explain more clearly. I would like to know if there are oils or additives that might cause brittle soap. My formulas by themselves are good - no brittle soap. But I added, by accident x2 the SL I normally do, and I believe this caused the problem. It was the ONLY, deviation I made.

What I would like to know, is there any other soap ingredients (oil or additives) that I should be aware of, besides SL, that may have this affect. If anyone knows of any, and if they are willing to share that information, it would help me to know whether to choose to use them. Or at least use them with caution, and perhaps avoid mistakes.

For example, could using clay or pomace cause brittleness? Can too much CO or other hard oils cause it?
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Messages
8,962
Reaction score
9,005
Location
Austria
I have heard that too much SL actually causes the soap to get softer once it passes a certain amount. How much do you usually use?

As for brittle, many can get that way if they harden up too fast for when you usually cut it. Salt in itself doesn't cause brittleness, but trying to cut a salt soap after too much time and you have a brittle soap on your hands. I waited too long to cut my Castile (no additives at all, not even sugar) and it was brittle, to the point where bars were breaking rather than being sliced.
 

cmzaha

Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Messages
11,202
Reaction score
10,038
Location
Southern California
Apparently you are not willing to share the recipe in question, which hinders receiving much help. To much coco butter can cause brittleness, to long a cure, SL I do not use but I have read to much can actually cause softness, salt in soap if you wait to long to cut etc etc. When asking for help it helps if we know what combination you are using. We all have good soap recipes, just for the record, and do not have to copy. In fact many here tend to share
 

SoapSap

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2014
Messages
302
Reaction score
99
I have heard that too much SL actually causes the soap to get softer once it passes a certain amount. How much do you usually use?

As for brittle, many can get that way if they harden up too fast for when you usually cut it. Salt in itself doesn't cause brittleness, but trying to cut a salt soap after too much time and you have a brittle soap on your hands. I waited too long to cut my Castile (no additives at all, not even sugar) and it was brittle, to the point where bars were breaking rather than being sliced.

ImageUploadedBySoap Making1432036701.875377.jpg


This is the formula I used. I have made it several times without incident. I added 1tb SL, normally I would have used 1/2 that amount. This is a photo of the bottom of the soap where I can best show what I mean.

I unmolded the soap after 24 hours and cut it sat out overnight before I cut the loaf. It cut easily. The inside was maybe even a little too soft because I had drag marks.

The colors I used were Titanium Oxide, a green oxide, and pink and purple Mica blended together.

. ImageUploadedBySoap Making1432037104.727284.jpg
 

Chefmom

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2012
Messages
211
Reaction score
214
Location
Pennsylvania
I very much doubt it was your sodium lactate. I use SL in every receipe I make at 2 to 2 1/2%. I don't know what a fluid tablespoon measurement weighs, but I guess that I use a Tbsp or more in just a 32 ounce oil batch and I have never thought it caused brittleness like your photo showed.

Did anything go wrong in the process? Since you have made it before, are the colors new? Temps different or anything? Gel...no gel?
 

shunt2011

Staff member
Admin
Joined
Apr 2, 2012
Messages
15,149
Reaction score
9,343
Location
Michigan
I'm thinking it may be the combination of CO, PKO, Palm, Lard and stearic plus waiting too long to cut. I use SL in all my soaps at 2% and never have an issue. But, I cut my soaps between 18 & 24 hours after molding.

Also, just wondering why you have so many ingredients in such small amounts to where it probably isn't adding much to your recipe. 1-2% is not much in the whole scheme of things. I use CO/PKO in conjunction with each other but in much higher percentage totals (I don't exceed 20-22% total). Rice Bran and Olive are very similar as well as Palm & Lard. Just curious.
 

Susie

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2013
Messages
9,641
Reaction score
9,075
Location
Texas
I was wondering at all the small amounts of oils also. Have you tried making that soap with only Palm, CO, OO, and 5% of castor? I bet you could not tell the difference in that vs. the 9 oil soap linked. I also would probably not go over 20% CO, but that is just me.
 

kchaystack

Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2015
Messages
1,906
Reaction score
2,082
Location
Monroe, LA
That stearic acid seems odd to me. Not sure if that amount would do much, but that cracking looks like trying to cut when the bar is too hard. If the SA caused the soap to set up fast, then that could be the issue. Maybe Lee or TEG who use SA more have some ideas.

But on second thought, it is 66% hard oils. and that also would lead me to think it was setting up pretty fast and you waited too long to cut.
 

Obsidian

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2013
Messages
9,879
Reaction score
7,231
Location
Idaho, USA
I'd have to say thats from waiting too long to cut a hard recipe. My high lard recipe will do that if I wait to long.
 

SoapSap

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2014
Messages
302
Reaction score
99
Thank you all for your input.

Maybe I did wait too long to cut. I did not think that was it because the inside of the loaf was not hard and definitely dragging on the knife blade. But I am beginning to believe that may be it. The outside was harder and that is where it is brittle.

I know there are a lot of oils in this formula and after a lot of experimenting and testing, I am inclined to agree that some of my oils are not bringing anything new to the party. I am going to start streamlining my oil choices.

I do use 30% CO often because I really have not found it drying on me. I will often bump up the super when I use CO in that percentage, but not always.
 

Obsidian

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2013
Messages
9,879
Reaction score
7,231
Location
Idaho, USA
Most people believe that oil amounts under 5% don't really do much for the soap. The only one I could think that might be the exception in steric or beeswax.
You really don't need added steric in CP soap, use a higher amount of lard, tallow or palm and your soap will be plenty hard.

One of my favorite soaps is. It makes a nice hard bar that has plenty of thick creamy lather. Add in soap aloe juice and get even better lather.

50% lard or palm
25% olive oil
20% coconut
5% castor
 

Susie

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2013
Messages
9,641
Reaction score
9,075
Location
Texas
I cut when I can no longer dent the corner with light pressure(barely able to be handled to cut). It is anywhere after 15 hours, normally. I do try hard to wait until 18 hours, though.

ETA-I agree with Obsidian's recipe suggestion. Even better to go higher on the lard and lower on the CO and OO, though.
 

SoapSap

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2014
Messages
302
Reaction score
99
Most people believe that oil amounts under 5% don't really do much for the soap. The only one I could think that might be the exception in steric or beeswax.
You really don't need added steric in CP soap, use a higher amount of lard, tallow or palm and your soap will be plenty hard.

One of my favorite soaps is. It makes a nice hard bar that has plenty of thick creamy lather. Add in soap aloe juice and get even better lather.

50% lard or palm
25% olive oil
20% coconut
5% castor

I will try this formula. I lean toward using more hard oils like this. Thank you.

Can you suggest a temperature for this formula.

I will probably do 5% super fat.
 

Obsidian

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2013
Messages
9,879
Reaction score
7,231
Location
Idaho, USA
With that much lard, its a bit slower to trace. If I'm not doing any fancy designs, I'll soap warmer so it traces quicker. If I want to do swirls, I'll soap around 90* F.
 

Susie

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2013
Messages
9,641
Reaction score
9,075
Location
Texas
I don't do fancy swirls, so I use the heat transfer method to melt the solid oils.
 

Homesteading

Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2020
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Location
Nova Scotia
Most people believe that oil amounts under 5% don't really do much for the soap. The only one I could think that might be the exception in steric or beeswax.
You really don't need added steric in CP soap, use a higher amount of lard, tallow or palm and your soap will be plenty hard.

One of my favorite soaps is. It makes a nice hard bar that has plenty of thick creamy lather. Add in soap aloe juice and get even better lather.

50% lard or palm
25% olive oil
20% coconut
5% castor
I am new to making soap. I have about 6 loafs under my belt, but two of those recipes flopped. They are all a variation of your recipe, using milk in place of water (I use the frozen milk cubes and add dry lye crystals to the cubes, the milk stayed nice and white the whole process):

50% Lard
25% Coconut Oil
20% Olive Oil
5% Castor

The original version of this recipe had 15% Olive and 10% Castor, which siezed up, creating dry chunks, I blended in the mint E.O., and it required spooning into the mold. I was unsure of how well the soap mixed so I melted it down, mixed with water, stired with a spoon until smooth, and remolded. I did not show this batch here. IMG_20200904_164553.jpgIMG_20200904_164641.jpgIMG_20200904_164707.jpgIMG_20200904_164720.jpgIMG_20200904_164815.jpgIMG_20200904_164855.jpgIMG_20200904_164905.jpgIMG_20200904_164940.jpg

The listed recipe, 5% Castor, came to a light trace (I kept the oil temp low, around room temp, and the lye/milk solution was cool), I added the mint E.O., stick blended and poured it into the mold without issues. I waited 24hrs, like all my other soaps, and when I tried cutting the bars, the simply broke into jagged bars. Now that the soap has sat out for curing, I niticed a wet feel to the inner face of the bars and little beads of moisture forming. All of these reactions are new and odd to me. Can you tell me if the castor oil is to blame, my mixing temps, oil ratios, or anything that might explain this?

I added pictures of my goat milk soap, which I made with a variation on the lye solution by subing in 1/4 water to disolve the lye crystals and added the frozen milk cubes once the lye solution had cooled down. That recipe had the lye crystals (which I thought was ice) create a ring around the bottom of the container which I had to stir for a while to disolve. I thought my frozen milk cubes had caused the lye water solution to begin freezing. I also had the lye solution sitting in ice water while stirring and disolving the lye crystals. That goat milk soap batch turned into soap without a hitch.
 

AliOop

Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
1,527
Reaction score
1,799
Location
US
@Homesteading this is a really old thread from 2015, so you probably won't get replies here. I did see that you started a separate thread with this same question - that was the best thing to do in order to have a good discussion about your specific issue. I did reply there, and hopefully others will, as well, so we can help you figure out what happened.
 

Latest posts

Top