Cloudy LS

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Persofit

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Hello friends,

I thought I had this LS stuff down until I made a bigger batch than usual. I use the Soapee calculator.
Everything went great, my LS was super transparent until the next day it turned cloudy.

I use 0% Superfat and my Lye Concentration is 25%.
Total oil weight is 5kg using 1.113kg KOH and 3.34kg of dilution water for the KOH ( KOH 3:1). * used demineralized water for the whole thing.

and added Borax ( 6 tbls ) into the dilution water. Dilution water I used 1:1 ratio.

any ideas?
Thank you
 

Susie

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If you could post your whole recipe in weights, it would help. Not knowing how much of which oils leaves us guessing.

I am going to take a stab in the dark, though, and guess that you might just need to sequester it a bit if you make the recipe frequently in smaller amounts. Did you dissolve your borax completely in boiling water?
 
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Persofit

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2.5kg olive oil
1.5kg castor oil
1.0kg coconut oil
If you could post your whole recipe in weights, it would help. Not knowing how much of which oils leaves us guessing.

I am going to take a stab in the dark, though, and guess that you might just need to sequester it a bit if you make the recipe frequently in smaller amounts. Did you dissolve your borax completely in boiling water?
Yes i did dilute the 6tbls in the dilution water ( I diluted ½ the recipe, 4kg of paste and 4kg of water)
 
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topofmurrayhill

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2.5kg olive oil
1.5kg castor oil
1.0kg coconut oil

Yes i did dilute the 6tbls in the dilution water ( I diluted ½ the recipe, 4kg of paste and 4kg of water)
I think the chief suspect might be the borax, which can cloud the soap if too much is used. The guideline for how much to use is a little vague and probably depends on too many variables to really calculate. It's probably best to arrive at it empirically, starting with smaller amounts and working your way up.

There are a few things you can do to test the theory. Adding more borax to a sample of your cloudy soap should cloud it further. Diluting a sample of paste with no borax should result in clear soap.

If it is the borax, then maybe you can fix it. I really have no idea whether clouding due to borax is reversible, but it's worth a try. Perhaps take a sample of the cloudy soap and mix it 50/50 with a diluted sample containing no borax and see if it clears overnight.

I would be interested to hear about the results.
 

KristaY

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When I've used borax it was for the purpose of neutralizing & thickening the soap so it was added after dilution. I mixed my boiling water and borax then added by 1/4 tsp until I got the consistency I wanted and it was zap-less. So based on that, and that this recipe has a SF of 0%, is the borax necessary? I can't be 100% sure but I think the borax solution interferred with my EO/FO emulsification.
 

topofmurrayhill

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When I've used borax it was for the purpose of neutralizing & thickening the soap so it was added after dilution. I mixed my boiling water and borax then added by 1/4 tsp until I got the consistency I wanted and it was zap-less. So based on that, and that this recipe has a SF of 0%, is the borax necessary? I can't be 100% sure but I think the borax solution interferred with my EO/FO emulsification.
I've used borax for thickening slightly superfatted soap, but possibly you can't use as much. It's not an acid, but it can still lower the pH of the soap enough to cloud it if you go too far. Then there are other factors like the dilution rate and the type of oils, so we don't really know much about how to figure the usage rate.

Speaking with great precision, a little should normally be okay but you don't want to overdo it. ;)
 

Persofit

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Hi everyone,
Just got back from Barcelona, i think the culprit was the Borax. I was using it wrong i think ( i added it to my dilution water and then melting my paste into it) i didnt know i could add to the soap after its diluted.

I am diluting 1kg of my paste without Borax so i will update with results. ( the previous batch that's cloudy clears up with heat and then turns cloudy again )
 

Susie

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Hi everyone,
Just got back from Barcelona, i think the culprit was the Borax. I was using it wrong i think ( i added it to my dilution water and then melting my paste into it) i didnt know i could add to the soap after its diluted.

I am diluting 1kg of my paste without Borax so i will update with results. ( the previous batch that's cloudy clears up with heat and then turns cloudy again )
If your house is too cool, even the clearest soap will turn cloudy. That may be your main issue.
 

Susie

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Try the recipe without the borax (you only need to dilute a small portion for this test), then see if that clouds at room temperature. If it does, then we need to go in one direction. If it does not, then we may deduce that the borax is indeed the issue. But, your statement that the soap clears when heated is a definite indication that we are dealing with a temperature issue.

Thank you, TOMH, for letting me know that. I don't use borax at all anymore, so I am unfamiliar with it's properties. I think borax is an unnecessary step and ingredient for soap, so I just don't use it.
 

Persofit

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I liked the Borax for its ph buffer ( people seem freaked about a ph of 10 ) or i need to re-educate them, which is easier :-?
I also heard that it preserves the soap longer and kills little parasites ( but thats what i heard )

I am diluting 1kg now and will let you know tomorrow the results
 

Susie

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So Borax is pretty much a unnecessary ingredient? Looks like the advantages are slim next to the inconvenience.
Completely unnecessary. Make the soap using a 0-3% superfat. Skip the whole borax routine.

If you need a good recipe, I suggest IrishLass' LGS, with one modification. Add 1/3 the total glycerin weight in water to mix with the KOH, then use the other 2 parts glycerin so you can skip the heating the glycerin with KOH step. Makes just as thick soap with less hassle. Be sure not to put that soap in a jug, because once it thickens up, you are going to have trouble pouring it out. Put it into something you can scoop out of.
 

Persofit

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Here's what my dilution looks like for now ( no very nice )

I grated the paste with a hashbrown grader to make diluting quicker ( that worked great last time )
but this time I got suds and foam mixture with oil on the bottom.

image.jpg
 

topofmurrayhill

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Here's what my dilution looks like for now ( no very nice )

I grated the paste with a hashbrown grader to make diluting quicker ( that worked great last time )
but this time I got suds and foam mixture with oil on the bottom.
What makes you think that's oil on the bottom? Looks like it just needs more water.
 

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What makes you think that's oil on the bottom? Looks like it just needs more water.
^ I concur. More water. But try stickblending it together before you do, at the very least, you reduce the size of the pieces, thereby increasing surface area to decrease dilution time.

I actually think this is the secret to IrishLass' LGS thickness, along with the SL to help with dilution. You dump X amount of water in there, X amount of SL, let it heat up, and then stickblend the soap.
 
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DeeAnna

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I can't advise about your dilution problem, but I can say this about borax --

Borax CAN be used to consume excess alkali in a soap IF the soap is intentionally made to be lye heavy or ends up being lye heavy by accident. Because borax is a buffer rather than an acid (citric acid, boric acid), borax tends to be more forgiving when using it to neutralize excess lye, but it can still cause problems.

If you make your soap with a slight superfat (fat heavy), then there is no excess lye to neutralize. Adding borax in this case will act to gradually drop the pH of the soap below the soap's "natural" pH. As more and more borax is added, it can cause clouding and separation of the soap as the soap attempts (being a buffer itself) to maintain its preferred and somewhat higher pH.

A SMALL amount of borax CAN be used to thicken a lye-neutral or a superfatted soap, but it is NOT REQUIRED. If a soaper does this by blindly following someone else's recipe without understanding the process, the risk of clouding and separation is fairly high.

Do I use borax in my soap? No. I like the KISS (keep it simple, soaper!) method I've learned from Susie and IL, and I choose to not add complexity to this process by using borax or other thickeners.
 
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