CP Soap droplets, please help!

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Saintlysoaper

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Okay, I am prepared for the sound of palms smacking foreheads but I am reaching out to the experienced on this one. I am a relatively new soaper and I decided on a whim to make a room temperature soap last night. I have just taken the cardboard lid off the soap to find the surface covered in droplets of clear , pH 14 liquid. This was an experimental batch as I made the lye water in advance at 26% strength ( so it was room temperature) and I added a weight of it, in grams, equivalent to the combined weights of lye and water in my soapcalc recipe.

I have never attempted this before and therefore never experienced this effect.
Can someone enlighten me as to whether I messed up on the amount of lye water or if it is just the temperature which caused this?:oops:
 

newbie

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Soaps will sometimes sweat and the water can be very caustic. Gelled soaps don't do this so I'm assuming you did not gel. Just let it be and the water will resorb and the lye will react with the oils. It can be spooky when you first encounter it, but with a little time, all will be fine. I would keep the soap covered to prevent ash and check it in about 12 hours.
 

dillsandwitch

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yup nothing to stress over. I have had it happen a few times. I find if the soap is getting a bit warm but not enough to gel it can happen. It has always either reabsorbed or evaporated by the next day so i haven't really ever worried too much about it. If the soap doesn't zap after a few days then its good to go. after a nice cure time that is
 

galaxyMLP

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I once had an HP salt bar that oozed for two weeks (and I know it wasn't lye heavy!) Just keep it in a safe place away from stuff and test it periodically. If it still zaps after 4 weeks, then I would consider tossing it.

I doubt your bars will ooze that long. It was the salt that did it in my case!
 

Saintlysoaper

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Good evening The Efficacious Gentleman

Sorry, I have not been back for a while. There was the merest hint of ash, nothing more. It is wonderfully conditioning, but now I am a bit concerned that I have sacrificed the suds. For some reason it seemed more bubbly at first than it does now- weird:?
 

DeeAnna

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I reserve judgement about any batch of soap until the bars cure at least 4 weeks. Before then is simply too soon to make a good evaluation of the soap's lather, skin feel, etc. What you might have seen at first was the new soap was fairly soft and thus it might have lathered better than it does now that it is harder and drier. Hard to say.
 

Saintlysoaper

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Thanks DeeAnna. Yes, you are right, I must be more patient. I just want to know I've finally got a recipe I can sell darn it!
 

DeeAnna

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I'd say most of us apprentice before selling for a year or more by regularly making batches of soap and pestering our family and friends for feedback. If I were you, I'd be prepared for a strong reaction to your last post. :)

It takes a fair amount of time to become competent with the mechanics of making soap. You need to develop a sense of what recipes meet your needs and expectations, what fragrances work well in soap, what kind of decorative styles (or not) that you want to use, what kind of packaging and labeling is required, what kind of business model to use, etc., etc. There's also a big learning curve for learning how to diagnose unusual issues and problems with the soap itself -- as your experience with the caustic liquid droplets shows.
 

Susie

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You are going to get some VERY strong reactions to the desire to sell so soon. And for good reason.

I am going to only address the original issue:

1) Throw the pH strips away. They are totally useless in soap making. Learn to zap test.
2) My soaps often have droplets of liquid on the top during and after gel. I live in a humid environment, and if you add heat to something in an air conditioned room, you are going to get condensation. Period. I take the towels off the top mold for a few hours before cutting to let them dry out. My salt bars took months to stop sweating.
 

Seawolfe

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If you plan to sell, you need to do more than be able to make a couple of decent recipes. Otherwise how will you answer your customers questions, or fix things when they go wrong? You really do need to achieve "expert" skills in soap making befor selling. When you find yourself answering the questions here, then you've gained some skills I would say :)
 

not_ally

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You should not even be thinking of selling. It is way, way, way too soon. Your post - essentially regarding how to work w/potential problems w/r/t lye - isn't necessarily scary in the context of learning/troubleshooting as a newbie who is just making soap for yourself and testers that you can (a) advise to be on the lookout and (b) keep an eye on yourself. But it *is* scary when you say you've "finally got a recipe you can sell."
 

Saintlysoaper

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Okay, perhaps I should clarify: I do consider myself relatively new but I have been making soap constantly for almost 10 months. In that time I have devised/ tweaked around 20 recipes and let each one cure for a good 8-12 weeks, checking it throughout. I have approached it scientifically, with plain batches first, then trialled different fragrances, colours and additions in the soaps I liked best and dealt with seizing and ricing. I have never had the dew drops though and I wondered if I had messed up the method because it was a very different way than I have always made the others ( controlled temp range etc).

I am grateful for your concerns and cautioning though. If I am honest it is more about pressure from the family who are impatient for my small business to actually start showing some profit and I am the one constantly holding back for the perfect bar before I do.

I have just re-read my original post and I must admit it does make me sound pretty clueless. I promise I am really not, I have just been working away in my little soaping bubble (pun intended) for all these months alone and was craving some interaction with people don't glaze over when I mention superfat, DOS, and fatty acid composition etc.

Scratch that - it's 34 recipes, I just counted them.
 
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Susie

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It sounds like you have a good plan in place to get to where you can sell. That's good! And you did not get offended and flounce off. That's better!

I don't know what the humidity situation is where you live, but I know it has a lot to do with my soap forming droplets of moisture on top. The higher the humidity, the more droplets. The soap I made Sunday had droplets on about 75% of the top. That is the most I have ever seen. But I took the insulation off of it about 3-4 hours before cutting, and it was completely gone.
 

Jstar

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. If I am honest it is more about pressure from the family who are impatient for my small business to actually start showing some profit and I am the one constantly holding back for the perfect bar before I do.
Been there, done that...you just keep holding back till you find out how those soaps are going to perform months down the road. Its always better to hold out than jump right in..after all, its *your* reputation on the line as a soap maker, not the family. My family doesn't understand this concept very well either :lol:
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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^^^^^^ As above. I would ask those putting preassure on, "How much do you make from your hobbies?" Bear in mind that the cost savings from having all of these products to use means that you have most likely saved money even before you think about selling
 

Saintlysoaper

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Hi Susie
No, I am not offended in the slightest, after all I did not give any proper indication of my experience so far and I am very aware of the responsibility entailed in taking a highly caustic substance and fashioning it into something the general public will rub on their skin! It is good to know people on these forums will caution us newcomers. :)
I don't live in a generally humid environment but it may have been unusually humid at that time, I am not sure now...
 

Saintlysoaper

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Been there, done that...you just keep holding back till you find out how those soaps are going to perform months down the road. Its always better to hold out than jump right in..after all, its *your* reputation on the line as a soap maker, not the family. My family doesn't understand this concept very well either :lol:
Exactly my point! I want to sell something I am proud to put my name to.
 
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