Crumbling CP Soap!

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Kitty_Boots

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Hello,

I've made two batches of cp soap now that crumble when I cut them. I followed a ready-made recipe for the first batch and created my own recipe for the second. I'm wondering if anyone can advise me on what to do! If I did something wrong or what.. Here's everything I did (including the recipe for the second batch). I used this lye calculator and this chart to figure out my oil ratios (maybe I didn't do that so well?!).

Recipe

To make 4 cups or 32 oz.

17.6 oz. Olive Oil (55%)
9.6 oz. Coconut Oil (30%)
3.2 oz. Canola Oil (10%)
1.6 oz. Apricot Oil (5%)
10 oz. Distilled Water
4 oz. Lye
1 Tbsp + 2 Tsp. Vanilla Oil
1 Tbsp Sandalwood Oil
1 Tbsp Rhassoul Clay

I initially made the full batch as one thing.

I melted all my oils together and measured just to make sure I had 4 cups (I was a bit over 4 cups, but didn't think that mattered because.. Superfatting).

The oil temperature was about 115*F and my lye/water was about 123*F

I mixed by hand for 15 minutes to allow all the oil/lye to combine.

I then used an electric mixer with the whisk attachment for..... Wait for it... TWO HOURS! I got light trace.. But I wanted thicker trace (that never happened).

I left my batter for about 4.5 hours (it was thicker when I got home, like pudding). I used the electric mixer for about 20 minutes.

I then separated the batch in half and added my scent and rhassoul clay and mixed very well.

I poured the batch, covered it with plastic wrap, wrapped it in a towel and let it sit for about 22 hours before I unmolded and tried cutting it.

Now! When I look at the bottom of my soap I see a darker area in the middle.. And it's also a bit darker looking on the sides.. This could be due to the rhassoul clay being close to the bottom.. But figured I would mention it.

I should also mention that when I poured the bottom layer into the mold I scraped the side of the pot I was using and I saw a little bit of oil streak on the top (not big, just in one little spot).. Wondering if that will do anything terrible!

So what am I doing wrong? Any advice/knowledge would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you! :)

Note: I used a "soap cutter" to cut the soap.
 
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Misschief

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I'm no expert by any means but when I plug your numbers into Soapcalc, it looks like you have a superfat of 15%. That's high. When I bring your SF down to 7%, you would need about 4.5 ounces of lye. I'm leaning towards there not being enough lye for the amount of oils.

I'm sure those with more experience will chime in before long.
 

kchaystack

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You say you made 4 cups? So are your measurements volume? As in fluid ounces?

All soap should be made by weight.

I'd also swap to using a stick blender, not a stand or hand mixer.

You need to zap test the soap. Wet your finger, rub it on the face of one of your bars. Wait for a few moments, and see if you feel any kind of tingle or itch. If not, carfully touch your finger to the tip of your tongue. If you feel a jolt, or zap, then you have lye heavy soap.

If it just tastes soapy, then the soap is fine, let it cure for 4-6 weeks.

The color differences sound like partial gel, you should look in the forum for other references to it for picture examples. It is just cosmetic, and does not affect the soap.

As for crumbling... You might be cutting too soon, or waited too long to cut. It is hard to say which.

What is the soap cutter you used?
 

Susie

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Exactly as kchaystack said. You should use weights. It does not have to be grams, but it must be weighed on a good digital scale.

You also need to learn to use a lye calculator. I prefer Soapee.com. Then you run every single recipe through the lye calculator for yourself, regardless of where you got it.

Then, yes, you need to use a stick blender (AKA Immersion Blender). That provides proper and speedier mixing.

Then you need to zap test the soap as he describes above. The crumbling sounds a lot like a lye heavy soap.
 

Kitty_Boots

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All right.. So!

I used a digital scale (in fl. oz.)

I did the zap test.. No tingles, no jolt.. Just kinda soapy/sweet

Let it sit for 12 hours before trying to cut again (still crumbly)

Noticed it is partial gel inside.

If I squish it between my fingers.. Well.. It squishes pretty easily.

Maybe it's too soft still?:confused:
 

kchaystack

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ok, fl oz are measures of volume, like cups, pints, quarts. If you used a scale, and weighed everything, then you did not use fluid ounces.

You used alot of olive oil, and mischief said soap calc shows a 15% super fat.

If it is just crumbly corners, then you probably cut do soon.

And it's going to need a very long cure, since it's all soft oils.
 

Misschief

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I made a soap that was all soft oils and it took forever.... weeks... before it finally started to firm up. When I cut it, after two days, it was crumbly, as you describe. Now, eight weeks or so later, it's lovely. It did eventually harden up though it still isn't as hard as some of my other soaps.
 

DeeAnna

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I've noticed a powdery texture on some of my soap loaves in the areas where the soap didn't gel -- around the ends and along the upper long edges. When cut, these areas do tend to crumble. They eventually do firm up and lose that powdery, crumbly feel, but I agree w Misschief -- it takes some weeks of curing to get there.

I saw this again recently when I was making some smaller-than-usual batches. I ended up trying an experiment -- put the loaf back in their mold and warmed it at 170 F (75 C) for an hour or so. The soap didn't fully soften and look like vaseline, like I expect to see when a soap gels. Even so, the soap became its usual firm, waxy texture that I normally expect to see in a gelled soap.

Not sure if this is what you're seeing, but just thought I'd share.
 

IrishLass

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Right here, silly!
I double-checked your recipe out on SoapCalc (my calculator of choice), and this is what SoapCalc showed me:

-Your given amount of 10 oz. of water equaled out exactly to a 28.57% lye concentration- pretty much a 'full water' amount.
-And your 4 oz. of lye equaled out exactly to a 16.5% superfat.

That explains a lot to me. You had too much water and way too high of a superfat.....which means your soap will be soft for quite some time.

To give you a comparative idea of what would have worked much better with that kind of recipe with the amount of olive oil it contained, if it had been me, I would only have used a 7% SF, tops, and I would have used a 33% lye concentration.... which equals out to 9 oz. water and 4.45 oz lye.

It sounds like you have one of those digital kitchen scales that can measure in fluid ounces (I've seen them online). Whatever you do- please, please don't use it in that mode for soap-making. All of the online soap/lye calculators are geared for using weight amounts, not fluid amounts. Using fluid amounts no doubt pushed things even more out of whack than what SoapCalc gave me above.


IrishLass :)
 

Kitty_Boots

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Thank you for all the tips! I'm going to give it another go using soapcalc instead! It's way more detailed and gives the math that I was trying to figure out earlier today. :)

One more question though.. So since my soap is soft still.. I can let it cure as a loaf and then cut later on? I'm having issues figuring out when it's the right time to cut my soap into bars (not just this soap.. but all soap!)
 

Susie

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Don't wait too long. If you have a properly formulated soap, you should unmold and cut within 18-24 hours.
 

Kitty_Boots

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I tried cutting again today and it was A LOT better than the other day.. But still a little crumbly.. So I'm going to try again tomorrow morning.. The soap actually looks ridiculous though.. Because it didn't gel.. LOL! It shall be named "Ugly Soap"
 

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