Discoloured castile soap

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Silver

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Dear soap makers!
I made a batch of Castile soap back in October and then have put it in a shoe box, stowed it away into a closet and forgot all about it to let the soap age. I have since pulled it out and decided to inspect it. Apart from some DOE on the surface, there is a troubling gray discoloring on the inside of my soap which I cannot figure out. I have provided a picture of the cut bar of soap for reference - does anyone know what might have caused it and if the soap is still safe to use? The ingredients that went into this are Olive oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Water and Rosemary Oleoresin Extract.
Many thanks!
Silver

castile.jpg
 
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cmzaha

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I would say you got a partial gel where the gel did not make it to the edge. Gelled soap will always be a different color and usually an oval shape. If you soap does not smell off or feel soft, it is only an aesthetic issue
 

Silver

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I would say you got a partial gel where the gel did not make it to the edge. Gelled soap will always be a different color and usually an oval shape. If you soap does not smell off or feel soft, it is only an aesthetic issue
I thought that partial gel only happens when the soap is still in the mold, but these bars darkened after they had already been cut, aged on the shelf and then further aged in the closet. The soap was all of a uniform, creamy color throughout when I first cut it out of the mold and stowed it away. Is it possible that they would still gel well after their cook date?
Many thanks,
Silver
 

snappyllama

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Was the cut end leaning against the box, or was it freshly cut to reveal the gray inside?

If the former, I'd hazard that it was reacting with your box. If the latter, sorry... no clue. :(

Does it smell okay and feel okay?
 

shunt2011

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I have to go with Snappy on this one. Did you cure it in the open air before putting it away into a shoebox in the closet? Does it smell bad? Did you use and FO/EO in it that might cause some discoloration? Not quite sure.
 

Silver

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To answer your questions - yes, I had air dried the soap for about 3 weeks after cutting it on some mesh shelves in the dehydrator (with the dehydrator being off, just functioning as a dark storage unit). The dark interior is from me just freshly cutting the soap - I wanted half a bar instead of the full one, and I was horrified at the dark grey discoloration that I found inside. There was no essential oil or fragrance added to the soap, I wanted to make this one as minimalist as possible. The soap itself smells very slightly rancid (barely noticeable) which I attributed to the Dreaded Orange Spots and the apparently lacking quality of the olive oil I used. As for the ROE - now I think about it, I messed up weighting it out and instead of the 1% I meant to use, I added more like 8% and to make things worse the extract did not dissolve properly and clumped within the soap. Did the clumps of ROE spontaneously re-incorporate themselves in the soap over the past 6 months? Would it still be safe to use?
Many thanks for all your help and insight,
Silver
 

navigator9

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Silver, aside from the problem with your soap, which I'm really not sure about, since there also seems to be some funky texture along with the discoloration, but aside from that, I was just thinking what a lovely picture it is. I love the deep window sill and the natural light. Very nice. Sorry I can't tell you what the problem is, but since you used quite a bit more ROE than is normal to use, that may be a good guess. I use ROE with every batch, and I've never had an issue with clumping. Did you add it to your oils? It should have dispersed evenly and not clumped. If it did, that's not normal, and may be the source of your problem. Although it's discolored, I wouldn't think that there would be any problem using the soap, just an aesthetic issue, as mentioned above.
 

topofmurrayhill

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I'm pretty sure it's the ROE. You probably shouldn't be aiming for 1%, because you don't need that much and even that is enough to discolor, as demonstrated by this photo I took maybe 10 years ago when I first tried the stuff. I could also smell it in the unscented soap.

ROE color comparison.jpg
 

Silver

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Thanks navigator =) I actually wasn't thinking about the composition, the sill just happened to be brighter than the electric light, but I'm glad the picture came out nicer than expected! I think the ROE clumped because I did not have the oils hot enough (one of the first batches of soap that I made, was still a little iffy on the process) and because it was as thick as resin I just could not quite make it dissolve. I could smell the ROE in the soap when I first made the batch too, it was a fairly pleasant smell, but it doesn't seem to smell like much now. I will go ahead and use the soap but make sure to use far less ROE in the future. Thank you everyone for your help!
Silver
 

Susie

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To answer your questions - yes, I had air dried the soap for about 3 weeks after cutting it on some mesh shelves in the dehydrator (with the dehydrator being off, just functioning as a dark storage unit)...The soap itself smells very slightly rancid (barely noticeable) which I attributed to the Dreaded Orange Spots and the apparently lacking quality of the olive oil I used...
Silver
If you had the soap closed up in a turned off dehydrator, it could not breathe properly to cure. I would be less worried about keeping it dark as keeping it in an open space with good air flow.

If it smells rancid, and has DOS, I would not use it.
 

DeeAnna

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Another thing to keep in mind is that soap can show that kind of color difference just due to moisture variation. If the darker part fades in a few days to look like the lighter portion, that's a good indicator.
 

navigator9

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Silver, I soap at room temp, so my oils are just barely warm, and I've never had the ROE clump. My ROE, is thick, but not lumpy, and when I mix it into my oils, it disperses completely. Maybe try some ROE from a different supplier? It shouldn't clump.
 
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