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Coconut carbon soap is not staying black

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JayJay

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Hello Soapers,

I have a problem. I have made two attempts at making a solid black bar using coconut carbon. In both cases, the bar pours a solid black, then after sitting, another color emerges.

Here is the recipe.

Castor 5%
CO 20%
OO 20%
Lard 55%

CP, probably soaped around 125 degrees. The coconut carbon was premixd with a little water (as the vendor's directions indicate).

I poured into an individual cavity silicone mold. Then I did anther batch (well it was actually half of the batter from the same batch) colored light green and scented with a different scent. There was just a little too much of the green to fit in the mold designated for that green batch, so I poured green bater into the empty cavities of the mold that contained the black colored soap. I covered the entire mold with saran wrap.

When I looked at my soap the next morning, I saw a light color on the top of my black bars. At first, I thought that maybe the green soap migrated over to the black, but if that were the case then wouldn't the green soap have black on it? It didn't.

Has this happened to any of you?

Any idea what's going on?

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rparrny

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Okay Ally, you will know this...is this lye ash?
 

JayJay

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Here are the pics from the first attempt. This batch went in the mold solid and came out swirly.

I used the same recipe with this batch as with the batch above.

Differences in method with this batch:
-- I used a log mold instead of individual molds.
-- It gelled this time
-- I pre mixed the carbon with oil instead of water.

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KristaMarie

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I'm looking at this on my phone, so I don't have the best view of the photos, but to me it looks the first is ash, and in the second, the color wasn't evenly dispersed. I dig the marbled look on those though.

Try rinsing the bars to see if it comes off and if so, it's probably just ash :)
 

DeeAnna

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First post -- ash. Just plain ol' ash. No lye about that one. :)

Second post -- Streaking and mottling due to high water content and slow cooling. Increase your lye solution concentration a percent or three and don't CPOP (don't know if you did or not). This will prevent the soap from going into gel as easily and that will help avoid this problem.

Explanation: Some soap molecules turn solid at higher temperatures than other soap molecules. This happens all the time, but it's more noticeable with certain types of colorants and soaping techniques. When part of the soap solidifies, the colorant migrates into the remaining soap that is still liquid. The result is streaks or veins of lighter colorant-free (or mostly colorant free) soap.
 
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not_ally

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Lord have mercy, R, I am not an expert on anything! Except for sharing experience on my mistakes.

Re this thread, I am happy to be able to say: "what DeeAnna said" :)

JJ, I agree w/KM, I like the marbled look on that second set of pictures as well.
 

rparrny

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Lord have mercy, R, I am not an expert on anything! Except for sharing experience on my mistakes.

Re this thread, I am happy to be able to say: "what DeeAnna said" :)

JJ, I agree w/KM, I like the marbled look on that second set of pictures as well.
Well, we were just talkin about it...
Yeah, I love Deeann's explanations...
I will third the marble look...love it! Deeann, does it compromise the soap in anyway...will it split or crack more easily?
 

not_ally

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Deeann, does it compromise the soap in anyway...will it split or crack more easily?
Not D, of course, but for me the answer is no. This is a lovely result which will not make the soap problematic.
 

rparrny

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Second post -- Streaking and mottling due to high water content and slow cooling. Increase your lye solution concentration a percent or three and don't CPOP (don't know if you did or not). This will prevent the soap from going into gel as easily and that will help avoid this problem.
So how would one go about creating this on purpose? How much water would you need? Slow cooling...just leave out on the counter?
 

kchaystack

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It is more commonly called 'glycerin rivers', which is a bit of a misnomer. Another is TD crackle (because it is usually easier to see in white soap, but not really caused by TD as the bars show).

And yes, it is just cosmetic.
 

shunt2011

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Neither one really affects the soaps usage. Only a cosmetic glitch. The ash you can steam or wash off in most cases. I generally embrace it. I don't get it often or heavily so it is what it is.
 

DeeAnna

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Yep, ash and mottling are both cosmetic issues as the others are saying.

Mottling is something that was desired by consumers 150-200 years ago, since only pure soap can be mottled. Often soap was "filled" with all sorts of stuff to make the soap cheaper to produce. Some of the fillers (starches such as potato flour are the only things that come to my tired mind at the moment) are things some soapers also use today to "nourish" the skin or whatever ... but in the day, these adulterants were added in huge amounts, sometimes as much as doubling the soap volume.

Mottling is more likely with "full water" recipes that go through gel and cool slowly. The pattern, if it occurs, will be more obvious if you add a colorant to the soap -- titanium dioxide is often the scapegoat. The original "colorant" in mottled soap was the reddish-brown impurity in the lye of the day -- the mottling probably happened as an accident, just like JayJay's soap. Later on, when lye was more pure, a blue colorant was intentionally added and was popular in mottled soap.
 
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JayJay

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Neither one really affects the soaps usage. Only a cosmetic glitch. The ash you can steam or wash off in most cases. I generally embrace it. I don't get it often or heavily so it is what it is.
Can I do this without making the soap look used?
 

MrsSpaceship

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First post -- ash. Just plain ol' ash. No lye about that one. :)

Second post -- Streaking and mottling due to high water content and slow cooling. Increase your lye solution concentration a percent or three and don't CPOP (don't know if you did or not). This will prevent the soap from going into gel as easily and that will help avoid this problem.

Explanation: Some soap molecules turn solid at higher temperatures than other soap molecules. This happens all the time, but it's more noticeable with certain types of colorants and soaping techniques. When part of the soap solidifies, the colorant migrates into the remaining soap that is still liquid. The result is streaks or veins of lighter colorant-free (or mostly colorant free) soap.
DeeAnna, is this something that can happen in uncolored soap as well? Similar to what we see with stearic streaks only not just soaps with a high stearic content?
 

DeeAnna

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Yes, it happens in soaps without any added color or within uncolored areas of a swirly colored soap. The streaks in uncolored soap may not be as obvious because there is not much difference in color, but sometimes the mottling is hard to miss -- see the pics of Auntie Clara's uncolored, mottled soap here: http://auntieclaras.com/2014/05/glycerine-rivers-trying-to-understand-them/

In my experience, I see more mottling in my soaps if I use a lye solution at 30% concentration, and I see little or no mottling at 33%, all other things being reasonably the same.

The difference is due to the increased tendency of the soap to gel (become a vaseline-like semi-liquid paste) at lower temperatures when there is more water in the recipe. CPOP may also increase the tendency for soap to mottle, again due to a high chance that the soap will go into gel.

The other factor that contributes to mottling is a slow cooling period that allows the different types of soaps to solidify at different times. The faster the soap cools, the quicker the entire mass of soap will solidify as a whole, and the less likely the soap will mottle.

I'm not saying EVERY soap that goes into gel will mottle. Most of my soaps gel and many of them do not mottle. But entering gel and then cooling and solidifying slowly will increase the probability of mottling.
 

DeeAnna

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A quick dip or rinse doesn't make the soap look used. Hold carefully to minimize fingerprints. Set on a short end and let the bar dry on its own. It will have an attractive glossy finish when dry.
 

shunt2011

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^^
What DeeAnna said. You're not soaking them or using them so to speak. Just a rinse.
 

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