Colours again but this one is different...

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penelopejane

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Hi,
As you might know I have a problem with colours. All of my soaps with colours are soft where the colour is. The surrounding soap is oerfect (if I do say so myself) and the coloured part of the bar looks good until it gets wet and then it gets really, really soft. They are all 10 weeks old before I use them because I don't believe in painful zap testing!

The recipes are just about identical, some have GM some haven't but regardless the coloured part is particularly soft:

420g OO
300g AO
100g RBO
100g Shea Butter
80g Castor
295 g Water
126g Lye
3% SF
30% Lye concentration

I have used:
BB ultramarine powdered pigment at 1/4 tsp ppo
(I also used this at 1 tsp ppo and it was understandably soft)
spirulina 45g infused oil substituted for OO in recipe (complete waste of time but I thought it was great straight out of the mold)
Activated charcoal 2 tsp ppo
Red clay 1 tsp ppo

I don't think these amounts are excessive.

Where ever the coloured swirl is the soap is really soft. I made a soap with solid red and the whole soap is soft.

I now add salt to my soap but the thing is the soap right next to the colours is fine so it can't be the soap.

Don't get me started on the pumpkin swirl I tried to do for this months challenge. Needless to say the coloured section was a complete fail.

Can you please tell me where you think I am going wrong?
 
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galaxyMLP

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What are you mixing your colors with? And is that Australian red reef clay or another red clay?
 

penelopejane

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Gee it's annoying when they hide a question.
I mix my colours with a little of the reserved water from the recipe.

Oops it's actually Australian pink clay from a soap making supplier. (It turns out pale red in soap)
 
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penelopejane

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Thanks for the link Navaria. My main soap right next to the swirl is fine but the coloured part of all the soaps is soft. The only thing in that like that matches is the water.

I mix the batter divide into three then add the colour to two of the lots. So the coloured sections are getting more water.
Would adding 1 tsp and maybe a tiny bit more in some cases to just the coloured sections make the coloured sections soft even 6 months later?

I am currently using 33% lye concentration. If I go higher it won't give me enough time to swirl.

My latest pumpkin swirl might be a maths problem but the only person who can help with that is my DH and he has gone for 3 weeks and I was intending to make soap to my hearts content. BUt now I am too afraid to waste supplies on soap that won't work.
 

Relle

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Gee it's annoying when they hide a question.
I mix my colours with a little of the reserved water from the recipe.

Oops it's actually Australian pink clay from a soap making supplier. (It turns out pale red in soap)
I presume you mean your post was moved, I moved your post, so you can get the most replies and help you need. If you post in the correct section it won't get moved.
 

penelopejane

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I presume you mean your post was moved, I moved your post, so you can get the most replies and help you need. If you post in the correct section it won't get moved.

I can't see the recipe section on my mobile phone (which is the device I most often use-i go on the computer to give people likes as you can't do that on the mobile) so if it goes off the latest post list I can't see it again. I won't post a recipe again. Sorry.

Can we see a picture? I love pictures! :)

The soaps look great until you use them.

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1460366612.772070.jpgImageUploadedByTapatalk1460366653.555224.jpgImageUploadedByTapatalk1460366675.905153.jpg

Also see black and white one posted the other day. Beginners: I want to try a basic two tone swirl.

Do you have any ideas about where I am going wrong?
 

Navaria

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Has the bottom one been used I take it? It looks softer and also like maybe something didn't get mixed in all the way. I see clearish spots in the swirls.
 

cmzaha

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My guess is to much water and not a long enough cure time. This is a very soft recipe although olive oil does create a hard soap it will take it a very long cure to get to its true hardness. All my castile soap is aged a min of 8 months and I do not use over 25% OO when using it in a recipe. Olive also tends towards mushy sticky slime, and I can always pick out a high OO soap when I use it. For this recipe I would have my lye concentration around 37% which would require 218 g water, whereas you have 295 g water and adding in more with the colorants. I would cut the olive oil, which in my opinion gives a sticky soap and cut the castor down to 5% or less which also gives a sticky soap. Castor can /or does act as a solvent. You will have a much nicer bar of soap if you can add in some tallow, palm or lard. The Palmitic and Stearic are very low in this recipe which are what add in longevity and hardness to soap. You could up the shea to add in more stearic but you will cut lather even more.

Bottom line, I would guess to much water, much longer cure time
 

penelopejane

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The thing is that the uncoloured part of the soap is fine. It is hard and not sticky or slimy. It is fine. Only the coloured segments are soft. So much so that you can scoop the colour out with your finger and the rest of the soap is fine.

Would 1 tsp water more added to almost 1 ppo do that to every soap? Then some solid coloured soap I don't even add more water to and the entire soap is soft.

Clearly I am doing something drastically wrong.
 

TeresaT

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If you mix your colorants with some of the oils from your recipe before you mix in the lye, you shouldn't have the problem with the soft soap. What I do is pull about a tablespoon per color out of my bowl of oils and put it into a small condiments cup to mix with the mica, clay, TD, charcoal (whatever colorant I'm using) and set them aside. I have one of those little hand mixers to ensure they mix completely. (I have a Badger and an off brand one, too.) I make up the batter and mix to emulsion or light trace then separate the batter into pitchers. I dump the premixed colorant/oil combo into the pitcher, stir until I get a uniform color. Sometimes if I need to add more color, I'll have to mix a little extra oil with the colorant, but that doesn't happen too often. I just deal with the color I've made. (I'm not fussy, or very good, when it comes to colors.) The only time I had any issue with soft soap was when I did my first ever striped soap. I used activated charcoal as a colorant for the black strip and used way too much charcoal. That stripe was really soft and every bar of the soap broke in half at the black line once it was used for a while. However, the orange and green stripes (turmeric and parsley) were rock hard and lasted much longer.
 

penelopejane

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Has the bottom one been used I take it? It looks softer and also like maybe something didn't get mixed in all the way. I see clearish spots in the swirls.

No not used. The lilac colour had some TD mixed in (not well) and also glycerine rivers formed just in that colour.

If you mix your colorants with some of the oils from your recipe before you mix in the lye, you shouldn't have the problem with the soft soap. What I do is pull about a tablespoon per color out of my bowl of oils and put it into a small condiments cup to mix with the mica, clay, TD, charcoal (whatever colorant I'm using) and set them aside.


My colours are water dispersant so I mix with part of the water from the recipe. If I get new colours (reluctant to do until I sort out the problem) I'll get oil dispersant ones.
My AC is soft at really light rates.
 

Navaria

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No not used. The lilac colour had some TD mixed in (not well) and also glycerine rivers formed just in that colour.
Ok. It's the glycerin rivers I'm seeing. That's kind of what I thought it looked like. I sure hope you can get this figured out. It's got to be frustrating for you!
 

Navaria

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Have you tried cpoping your soap? I don't know if it will make a difference but the heat may help with separation.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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I can't see the recipe section on my mobile phone (which is the device I most often use-i go on the computer to give people likes as you can't do that on the mobile) so if it goes off the latest post list I can't see it again. I won't post a recipe again......

Are you using an app? The tapatalk app allows you to see the whole section list and like posts, too
 

penelopejane

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Are you using an app? The tapatalk app allows you to see the whole section list and like posts, too

I am using tapatalk. No likes and the list if subsections is not complete. No recipe section and missing a few others too. Beginners and lye based are fine.
Have you tried cpoping your soap? I don't know if it will make a difference but the heat may help with separation.

Yes I CPOP all my soaps.
 
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Obsidian

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Do you use the same recipe every time? Maybe its something about the recipe. I'd try one with more hard oils and see what happens.

If I had the oils you use, I would try your recipe myself and see if I could duplicate your results.

Edit: what lye calculator are you using? I get a different amount of lye with soapcalc and wow, that is one soft recipe.
Are you staying away from animal and palm? I have this recipe that is pretty decent and I've not had any issues coloring it. It does have stearic in it though so you might want to hand stir in the lye and do not use any FO that accelerates, not even a little.
I don't normally like much OO in my soaps but this one is pretty good, give a fairly long cure.

http://www.evernote.com/l/ANjoJN_KydBFo4Yme_5bfh5wqR-lIaRRku8/
 
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penelopejane

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Do you use the same recipe every time? Maybe its something about the recipe. I'd try one with more hard oils and see what happens.

If I had the oils you use, I would try your recipe myself and see if I could duplicate your results.

Yes it's the "shampoo bar" recipe tweaked. The thing is it's not the recipe because the batter without colour is fine. Really hard and good. Just the coloured sections are soft.
 

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