Citric acid and bubbles in cp soap

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I am having a real hard time with this. I am adding my diluted ca to my warm oils, then my lye solution.

When i sb the ca/oil mixture, i get an enormous amt of bubbles that dissipate somewhat over time but never really go away. I have tried just stirring, but ya know…the oil and water separates as soon as i stop stirring. Any aggitation produces more bubbles.

I have tried to dissolve the ca in water first, then add to my cooled lye solution, but after i had that explosion of lye, i am afraid to do that again (i made several batches without the explosion, but i am still scared to do it again).

After i add the lye to the oils, i sb to emulsion, which produces more bubbles in my batter. Even just stirring this to the very end is producing finished soap with millions of bubbles throughout and its driving me nuts and its becoming very time consuming.

Should i be letting the citric acid solution sit longer? Currently i am just dissolving it and pouring it in.
 
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Are you sure the bubbles aren't from your stick blender? When mine wore out, that's how I knew it needed to be replaced.
No. Its definitely effervescent bubbles even from just stirring. And when i stop, the bubbles collect on my spatula and bottom of the pot. And when i sb it, it ends up looking like beer, like you can scoop the bubbles off the top.

I wonder if i can premix a batch of ca and water and let it sit overnight to go “flat” like soda.

Otherwise, i am going to find a new chelator. It really is time consuming to sit there and wait for it to all calm down, just to have bubbles anyway in the end soap. And the funny thing is that it might look like its a nice batter after adding colors and fragrance and splitting pitchers etc, even the pour looks nice and smooth, but they just seem to generate themselves as its sitting.

And nobody else seems to have this problem, so i guess its my particular ca.
 
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I’ve never had that happen, so I have nothing to offer in the way of how to fix it using that CA. But you already know that I made the switch to sodium citrate and haven’t looked back. No lye adjustment! PM me if you want me to send you enough for a batch, so you don’t have to buy a bunch till you know you like it.

Another option is sodium gluconate. I haven’t tried it myself, but others here love it.
 
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I have not the slightest idea what might be happening there. Oils don't contain volatiles. Citric acid neither. If it's really only (pure) oils + (pure) water + (pure) citric acid, there is literally nothing capable of bubbling in there. The most volatile thing is water, but I guess your oils are far below the boiling point of water. 🥵

At one time, I had bubbles when I stirred citric acid solution into the oil phase. But it wasn't the oils. I had pre-dispersed an apparently crappy titanium dioxide pigment, that likely was adulterated with chalk (?), hence was attacked by the CA to give off carbon dioxide gas bubbles. Just a few, but enough to suprise me.

You might try small experiments. Make a CA solution and add it to each of your batch oils, separately. If it foams with all, it's something VERY weird with your water. If it foams with just one of the oils, then it's ALSO this oil.


Stupid question: Are you SURE it's citric acid? Haven't you mistaken it for something else, like baking soda? Have you TASTED it and it tastes tart? Tasting chemicals is a Bad Idea™ in general, but if you are self-confident that it really is just citric acid, you should be fine with doing a “zap test” with the solution, and it shouldn't be worse than lime juice.
I hate to question your sanity, and I hate to give people bad advice. But I am out of ideas just like you, and that mystery demands to exclude the more improbable explanations too.
 
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@AliOop it would cost as much for shipping, so I ordered a small bag to test it out, but thank you! do you dissolve it in batch water as well?
Yes, I do dissolve it in batch water, usually warmed just a titch in the microwave to help the CA dissolve faster. I also add sorbitol and sometimes sodium lactate to this same water and then SB the mix into the oils, before adding the lye solution.

I agree with Owl that something is up with your CA. The idea that the seller shipped something other than CA, or CA adulterated with something, seems most probable to me. Can you call the seller and ask?
 
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Here is the bag if that helps lol. I have nothing to compare it to, but it is a super fine powder.

edit: it doesn't bubble when I add water to it, just when I add the ca/water to the oils. And I have used two different recipes, one my regular lard bar: lard, olive oil, coconut and castor. Also to my 95% shea butter with castor. I'm lying...three recipes, the other was Zanys shea, coconut, and castor oil.

They all include sugar, could that be it?

edit again...it couldn't be the sugar, the reaction happens when I add just the ca solution to the oils
 

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I agree, I have also used some of that brand myself - with and without sugar, with all different recipes - and never had bubbles.
 
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Maybe i am using too much water to dissolve the citric acid?? I use batch water, but i dont measure, i just add a bit to dissolve it.
It shouldn't matter how much water you use. I've put CA in the entire batch water (before I started MB'ing my lye). I've also used it in a very small amount of water when I realized I'd already added all my water and had forgotten the CA. Never have I gotten fizzing or bubbling.

But that makes me wonder, why does CA fizz and bubble in a bath bomb, then? Is it a reaction when combined with bicarb and water?
 

Becky1024

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Is there baking soda mixed in with your oils? Baking soda and citric acid react together to form carbon dioxide gas. That could be where your bubbles are coming from.
 
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Ah, that answers my question in the prior post - thank you! There is baking soda in the faux sea water for ZNSC, but that wouldn’t explain the bubbling in other recipes.

@Catscankim do you use baking soda to render or clean your lard or tallow? If so, that could be it.
 
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Is there baking soda mixed in with your oils? Baking soda and citric acid react together to form carbon dioxide gas. That could be where your bubbles are coming from.
No. The only other additives are sl and sugar. But thats in a separate container.

Even then, it wouldn't explain why it happens with the shea too. 🤪

@Catscankim Can you take & post a photo (or better, a video) of your observation?
As soon as i decide on fragrance and design i will be doing a photo shoot

Went with something simple, 2 color itp. I used a glass pitcher (which I never use, to be clear) for photography purposes of the abundant bubbles forming in my oils.

I was taking pictures of my oil/ca water pot. I stirred. I mixed. I stick blended. Not a bubble to be found. I took some photos with both my phone and camera, and even a video of impending bubbles, which ended up just being regular bubbles.

My theory: I normally use the same plastic large red container. I have been using it for a few years. I switched to the glass container tonight...nothing. Not one problem.

Call my crazy lol, but I really think it is the plastic container. Maybe an oil slick on the plastic from making soap in it for a few years?? I dunno. I was actually trying to reproduce bubbles and it didn't happen. Maybe some in the beginning if I use my imagination lol.

But the container was the only outlier in my soaping session, which actually turned out to be a very nice soap experience.

I'd show you pictures, but there is nothing to show....
 

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What was that previous pitcher made from? HDPE can soften and leach into the contents over time, esp. if holding oils.
 

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