CP soap forms oily substance after first being used? Need help.

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Makayla

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So, I made my first soap about 4 weeks ago. All went well, it cured for 4 weeks and I first used it a few days ago.

What happens is that after its first contact with water, it forms A LOT of this oily substance (glycerin??) all over it. You can scrape the oiliness off it, but it forms again if the soap isn't dry. It seems to do its job, smells nice, and is good on the skin. I just don't know why this is happening to it?

The soap itself when it is dry (unused) looks completely fine, doesn't have DOS spots, etc. Does anyone know why this might be happening? It's not a big deal for me personally, but it does make me sad because I wouldn't exactly want to gift anyone a soap that behaves like that when being used.

The oils I used were olive oil, rapeseed oil, sunflower oil and pumpkin seed oil (can't remember the percentage, but olive oil was maybe 40%). I didn't add any essential oils, just added dried herbs (lavender and mint).

I hope that's detailed enough without making the post too long. Thanks to anyone who's read this!
 

Obsidian

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Is it kind of stringy or slimy? recipes like yours that are high in oleic fatty acids are notorious for producing slime, nothing can be done about this, its just how they are.

If you make a more balanced soap, It won't get this slime.

Here is a video I made of a slimy soap
[ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yM_97uDtobc[/ame]
 

doriettefarm

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That definitely looks like olive oil slime to me. It's one of the reasons I use some type of hard oil like lard, tallow or palm to balance the olive. High olive soaps do best with a long cure but I'm not sure the slime-factor ever goes away completely.
 

Makayla

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That definitely looks like olive oil slime to me. It's one of the reasons I use some type of hard oil like lard, tallow or palm to balance the olive. High olive soaps do best with a long cure but I'm not sure the slime-factor ever goes away completely.
Ah, all right. I'm really relieved to hear that it's normal and nothing to worry about. I just never read anywhere that it would act like this, so it surprised me. I did make my other soaps with more lard mixed in (I can't really find palm oil or coconut oil to buy anywhere where I live), so I'm looking forward to trying them out.

Thanks to everyone who responded - this community seems amazing.
 

penelopejane

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High olive oil soaps do that.
Gee if that is what you mean by Castile slime I definitely don't get that.

Makayla,
I think a longer cure will help. I cure 100% OO soap for 12 months plus.
Maybe you need to wait 3 months and then try it again.

Maybe a recipe with some hard oils in it might help, as well.
 
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earlene

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Makayla, are you sure it was only 40% OO? Maybe you could look back at your recipe and post it. I've made plenty of soaps with high OO content and the only ones I ever get that slime rope from are under-cure Castile (100% OO), but it goes away when they are cured longer.

Or maybe it was all high oleic oils? I suppose that would do it, too.

Also, are you letting the bar dry out between uses, or does it sit in a pool of water? If the latter, the soap would last longer if you use a soap dish that allows it to 'rise above' the water, letting it drain and dry between uses.
 

Makayla

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Makayla,
I think a longer cure will help. I cure 100% OO soap for 12 months plus.
Maybe you need to wait 3 months and then try it again.

Maybe a recipe with some hard oils in it might help, as well.
Thanks for that info. I'll definitely let them cure longer, then. I just heard that 4 weeks is enough even for soaps made with olive oil. The other soaps I made did have lard in them so I hope that helps.

Makayla, are you sure it was only 40% OO? Maybe you could look back at your recipe and post it. I've made plenty of soaps with high OO content and the only ones I ever get that slime rope from are under-cure Castile (100% OO), but it goes away when they are cured longer.

Or maybe it was all high oleic oils? I suppose that would do it, too.

Also, are you letting the bar dry out between uses, or does it sit in a pool of water? If the latter, the soap would last longer if you use a soap dish that allows it to 'rise above' the water, letting it drain and dry between uses.
I'm pretty sure it was 40%. I have the recipe written on a piece of paper which is currently not here (I make my soaps at my vacation house). All the other oils were sunflower, rapeseed and pumpkin seed in smaller quantities. I think I put the least of pumpkin seed oil. Not sure if those are all high in oleic acid.

I do have a soap holder, and on top of the soap there is a lot less of the stickiness because that side is more dry. Thanks for the tip.

Does anyone maybe know what exactly causes this stickiness to swim out at the top after contact with water? Or what it even is?

Also, I just noticed I originally posted in the wrong thread - sorry about that! I don't know how I missed this placed because I did look.
 
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The Efficacious Gentleman

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It can depend on the type of sunflower, if that was also quite a high % of the recipe - some sunflower oil is high in oleic acid so it acts much like olive would when it comes to slime.

A more balanced bar can very well have up to 50% olive with little slime and cure time - if the other 50% are hard oils (like lard) but using a lot of soft oils won't help too much.

I use 50% lard and keep my olive to about 30%
 

Makayla

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Yeah, I did use sunflower oil at about 25%, so I guess with olive oil that really adds up to the oleic acid. And I'll keep your advice in mind. I'm especially curious to see how my 100% lard soap will work out.
 

DeeAnna

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"...what exactly causes this stickiness to swim out at the top after contact with water? Or what it even is?..."

Well, it's just soap doing the normal thing that soap does when it absorbs water.

Think of soap as if it is a dry sponge. When a dry sponge absorbs water, it swells (gets bigger) and it gets softer. Some kinds of sponges are very soft when wet, and others remain more firm. Soap behaves in a similar way -- when soap absorbs water, it gets softer, yes, but some kinds of soap become quite soft and mushy, other kinds of soap remain more firm and even rather sticky.

When soap high in oleic acid absorbs water and swells, it forms a firm, sticky jelly. Soap lower in oleic acid turns into a soft mush when it absorbs water. It's all about chemistry and is a very normal thing.
 

IrishLass

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A more polite term that I use for that goopy snot is 'colloidal gel'. I get it in spades in my 100% OO Castile soap, no matter how long they've cured and/or how old they are- even several years old! The minute they come in contact with water, bam- I have a slime-fest on my hands. Others report that the slime lessens for them when their Castiles are given a long cure, but that has never been the case with mine. In case anyone wondering, I use Costco's Kirkland pure olive oil, which is reportedly on the 'safe' list for being cut/unadulterated with other oils.

Below is a photo of a bar of my 100% OO Castile. For what its worth, the bar was 4 years old, hard as a rock, and dry as a bone right before I took this pic. What you see happening below is what occurred when I briefly ran the bar under some water for the first time its life and lathered it in my hands for a few seconds (this instant slime is par for the course with my Castiles, no matter how young or old):




The amount of slime my Castiles produce is quite phenomenal. I showered with the above soap later on (after it had dried back out), and after I had rolled it around in my hands to lather it and was pulling my hand away from having put it back on its dish high up on the shelf of my shower door (which is out of the spray of water), copious amounts of slime still connected to the soap followed my hand, thereby creating several looooong droopy strings of elastic goop that hung down and swung freely between the soap and my hand, dripping down all over the place. I was immediately reminded of that old movie Cujo from the '80's about a rabid dog named Cujo that attacks some poor family. The dog was always shown with long, disgusting strings of goopy saliva hanging down from its mouth, and that's pretty much what it looked like in my shower. :lol:

What's even funnier is when my teenaged (at the time) son also used it in the shower. I guess should've warned him beforehand to not use the pink soap, but it slipped my mind. :angel: The telltale sign that he had chosen to use it instead of the other bars in the shower was the loud bellow wafting through the house asking what on earth kind of horribly disgusting soap was this! lol


IrishLass :)
 

Scooter

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...this instant slime is par for the course with my Castiles, no matter how young or old...
IrishLass, I have seen this discussed on several threads but I am still trying to understand it. Maybe I am just slow.

I get where the slime comes from in general, as DeeAnna has explained so well.

What I do not understand is why some folks get this slime more often or for longer. Another poster (perhaps earlene?) mentioned that a 12-month cure gets rid of her Castile slime. But that clearly does not work for all people. So, what's the difference? The hardness/softness of the water in a person's shower? The type of olive oil used? The ambient humidity during cure? What are your thoughts on this?

Thanks!
 

earlene

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I was wondering the same thing, Scooter. I can only guess from my limited experience, that maybe the hardness or softness of the water may have something to do with it. I thought maybe the temperature of the water, but I don't find it makes a difference with my younger Castile, so I doubt it. So far I've only made Castile a few times and I have use various types of OO in them, including the Kirkland brand OO that IrishLass uses. But that Castile (with Kirkland) is only 6 months young and still produces slime on first use, but not second use. In fact I just went and washed my hands with it and had to work really hard at it to get it to create some very thin slimy ropes, they were pretty thin and I lather up as much as I possibly could to get it to do that.

My 15-month old Castile does not produce those slimy ropes, but I have no idea if it still did at 12 months. I didn't evaluate it at 12 months for sliminess. But, then I don't really know what brand of OO I used for that first Castile as I didn't write it down when I made it. It could well have been the Sam's Club brand I buy now because that's what I usually have one hand. But it could have been anything else from another grocery store, too. All I know for sure is it wasn't Kirkland's because I know I didn't have any at the time.
 

IrishLass

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What I do not understand is why some folks get this slime more often or for longer. Another poster (perhaps earlene?) mentioned that a 12-month cure gets rid of her Castile slime. But that clearly does not work for all people. So, what's the difference? The hardness/softness of the water in a person's shower? The type of olive oil used? The ambient humidity during cure? What are your thoughts on this?

Thanks!
Your guess is as good as mine, Scooter. At the moment, at least for me, it remains one of those soapy mysteries.

I don't know if this will help to shed any light on things, but for what it is worth, here are my variables:

1. I have very hard water in my house
2. I live in a dry, desert climate (the ambient humidity in my area is very low for the majority of the year- between 9 to 30)
3. I use a 40 to 45% % lye concentration with my Castiles and I only use distilled water to mix with my lye.
4. I make sure my Castiles gel completely
5. I only use Costco's Kirkland brand Pure Olive Oil
6. I typically make my Castiles in a slab mold
7. I cure them in a well-ventilated room on well-ventilated racks
8. Once they are cured, I store them naked/un-wrapped in acid-free boxes until I gift them or use them.
9. When in use, they are kept on the well-draining soap dish you see in my picture above, which I keep on a high shelf out of the direct spray of water in my bathroom, which only experiences humidity when someone is taking a shower (which our fan helps to suck out).
10. The Castiles completely dry out in between uses.


IrishLass :)
 

lenarenee

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I made Castille soap using Kirkland oil, extra virgin , and at 6 months, tried to find the slime everyone talks about. I didn't. Certainly nothing close to what you two have pictured here. There was some stickiness, but I seriously thought you all were crazy.

But we have a water softener.

What I didn't like about the soap was how little moisture it took to swell up even when properly drained. And how long it to to dry out, and it never returned to normal. Even in our very dry winters of San Diego.
 

earlene

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I also have a water softener and it's usually pretty humid here. But I do use a fan in the room where I cure the soap, which is to say, well ventilated. Other than not storing soap in boxes, my set up is pretty much like IrishLass describes. My soaps remain naked for several months, sometimes a year, depending on the soap itself. I have only started shrink wrapping recently, but only well cured soaps (several months or longer).
 

Scooter

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Your guess is as good as mine, Scooter. At the moment, at least for me, it remains one of those soapy mysteries.
Thanks earlene, IrishLass, and lenarenee for all the helpful feedback. I reckon I'll just have to make me a bar and find out what happens right here where I am. :crazy:
 
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