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coffeetime

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I went to dilute my first batch of LS, as mentioned in a recent thread, and have run into an issue. I used 100g paste and 75g water (way to small an amount, I know now), and used Irishlass' tip about adding sodium lactate. It took awhile to soften the paste but I was eventually able to stick blend it into dilution. Now it is very firm, and has not returned to transparency despite sitting for about 24 hours. Any ideas?
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DeeAnna

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Have you tried adding more water? If you're using Irish Lass' recipe, you'd want to add a total of about 135 g water to 100 g paste.[ETA: No, I am wrong -- per IL's recipe, it's 1 part paste to 0.75 parts water. I screwed that up! See Post 5 for more.] I'd try that first and see if that straightens matters out. Since you stick blended the soap into submission, the cloudiness may be air bubbles trapped in the gel as it firmed up.

You have to get the soap paste to move into the state of being a liquid gel rather than a solid gel. It won't do that until it gets what it needs -- enough water.

Did you ever squish gelatin dessert (Jello) between your teeth (as a kid, of course!) When you do that, you are mechanically breaking a solid gel into a liquid gel. If you put the liquefied Jello into a cup, put it into the fridge, and let the Jello sit quietly for a long enough time, it would also return to a solid gel state (albeit somewhat the worse for wear). That's basically what you're doing with your soap at this point.

If you add a bit of water (or spit!) to the liquefied Jello and let it sit quietly in the fridge, it might thicken up but it won't solidify -- it will remain a liquid gel. That's where you want to go with your soap.

I hope this is helpful....
 
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Stacy

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Did you ever squish gelatin dessert (Jello) between your teeth (as a kid, of course!) When you do that, you are mechanically breaking a solid gel into a liquid gel. If you put the liquefied Jello into a cup, put it into the fridge, and let the Jello sit quietly for a long enough time, it would also return to a solid gel state (albeit somewhat the worse for wear). That's basically what you're doing with your soap at this point.
^ This is practical science! If my science teachers used examples like this when I was a kid I'd probably be much more learned right now. :wink:
 

coffeetime

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Thanks, DeeAnna. I'll have to check the recipe, because I thought it was 1part paste to 0.75 water. I will try upping it to 135g and see what happens.
 

DeeAnna

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Hey, Coffeetime -- I went back to IL's tutorial and she clearly says 0.75 parts water to 1 part paste. I got it backwards, and I apologize for the misinformation.

To my defense, I recently diluted some paste I had made with IL's transparent LS recipe and I got the proper honey like consistency by adding more water -- I ended up with 1 part water and 0.75 part paste. That's why I had the ratio backwards.

The paste had been stored for some time -- perhaps it was drier than normal? I don't know. All I know is I needed to add more water to get a nice flowable syrupy liquid.

I still think my advice is good to add more water to your soap. But I'd do it cautiously so you don't over dilute.
 

coffeetime

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Ok thanks for checking, DeeAnna. I will try a bit more water. My paste is pretty fresh and has been covered in Saran Wrap so I don't think it has lost any significant water. But I'll add another 25g to make it 1:1, and then go up to1:1.25 if needed. Have you had this happen before? Could having added more than 3% sodium lactate have done this? I confess I didn't weigh the SL, just eyeballed a dry chunk.
 

doriettefarm

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What do you mean by a 'dry chunk' of sodium lactate? Mine has always been in liquid form so maybe that's why your diluted paste looks sorta cloudy and thirsty to me.
 

coffeetime

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My sodium lactate is a powder form. It absorbs moisture readily though, so it has clumped up into chunks.
 

Susie

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The SL IL uses is liquid. Mine is also. Much easier to use.
 

osso

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I also use liquid SL. I am thinking you would want to make a solution with your powder before using. I believe a 60% solution is typical. I used that solution at 3% (of paste weigh t I believe) added to dilution water.
 

DeeAnna

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You'll want to make your SL into a 60% liquid solution (60 g SL + 40 g distilled water) for future use. That's what IL's instructions are based on is the solution. I think it's also easier to just squirt the SL liquid rather than deal with the powder.

Dry SL powder is very hygroscopic (absorbs water from the air), so it needs to be stored carefully in an air tight container.
SL liquid needs to be kept in the dark as much as possible -- it will degrade in the light.
 

Susie

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Glad you said that, mine was going to be stored on a rolling cart. Now it goes into the cabinet.
 

coffeetime

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Update: I added 25g more water and it immediately started to clear. By morning it was beautiful and fully cleared. It is a tiny bit thinner than I'd like so 1:1 is maybe a smidge more water than I'd like. But it's beautiful to use, not drying. And I added 1% Orange 10x EO and it smells fantastic. Yay!ImageUploadedBySoap Making1444027156.587735.jpg
 

coffeetime

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You'll want to make your SL into a 60% liquid solution (60 g SL + 40 g distilled water) for future use. That's what IL's instructions are based on is the solution. I think it's also easier to just squirt the SL liquid rather than deal with the powder.
Just to clarify: The sodium lactate, if I make it into 60% solution, I use the solution at 3% of paste weight?
 
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