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DOS - Dreaded Orange Spots - let's track the cause!

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RogueRose

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I seem to find that some recipes tend to prodigiously produce these nasty looking spots after some time while other recipes seem immune to the issue. All my soaps are made and stored the same and all come from the same source for ingredients. I do tend to put a fairly large variety of oils/fats in my soaps so it is a little hard to see which it might be.

I have noticed that it has not happened to any of my 100% vegetable oil soaps except when I used some really old canola on my first 2 batches (I found the oil was about 5+ years old afterwards).

I'm thinking it may be the lard or tallow that is causing it. I'm going to look up the recipes I used that have the DOS and keep track of them down the road.

If anyone else would want to contribute to a little database of ingredients and any special concerns you may have about the oils you used, storage or production process - please note those as well.

I'm looking forward to hearing if anyone has any other theories as well!
 

JustBeachy

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I'd be happy to help, though I can't say I've had much trouble with DOS. For the record, the only two soaps I had DOS on were back when I was soaping 15 years ago. Both had lard in the recipes. I've been back into the madness that is soaping now for over a year, and haven't had any problems, but I never use lard or tallow anymore.

Problem is that could be coincidental. As experiments with single oil soaps, testing a bunch of different fats, showed dos on some vegetable oil soaps. Specifically ones with low shelf life, like hemp. There's a few unanswered questions in all the answers I've seen on the subject.

All that said, I'd be happy to help, by running experiments or such. Great excuse to put on the mad hatter. :)
 

Lion Of Judah

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there are quite a few documentations and discussions on this top that can be found on this site and sites around the internet . one of the primary causes that contributes to D.O.S is old / rancid oil and oils that have very short shelf life .
diving into the search engine for this site will turn up other opinions on this topic , and here is a 2005/2006 article taking from the "Handcrafted Soap Makers Guild" about D.O.S written by Kevin M Dunn /Caveman Chemistry . http://cavemanchemistry.com/HsmgDos2006.pdf
http://candleandsoap.about.com/od/soapglossary/g/dos.htm
hope it helps .
 
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Saponista

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The only soap I have had develop DOS was also a lard based recipe. Most of my other soaps have been veg based and have never been a problem.
 

IrishLass

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Right here, silly!
I've been using lard and tallow regularly for at least 6 years now and I've never gotten DOS in them, but then again, I've only ever gotten DOS once in the 9 years that I've been making soap. The particular batch that DOSed on me had lots of canola oil in it and was accidentally superfatted at 23% due to a brain-farted miscalculation on my part. lol

The link that Lion of Judah posted has excellent info on DOS.


IrishLass :)
 

Dahila

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My second soap was a shampoo bar Gennie shampoo bar with soya oil. it got DOS. it is already over a year, a lot of soft oils with year of shelf life
 
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JustBeachy

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I've been using lard and tallow regularly for at least 6 years now and I've never gotten DOS in them, but then again, I've only ever gotten DOS once in the 9 years that I've been making soap. The particular batch that DOSed on me had lots of canola oil in it and was accidentally superfatted at 23% due to a brain-farted miscalculation on my part. lol

The link that Lion of Judah posted has excellent info on DOS.

IrishLass :)
And this is where the questions start. Why does one person only get DOS on soaps they make with lard, and the next has never had a lard soap with DOS. Or conversely with vegetable oils.

Far be it from me to question Dunn, but looking at his tests and using his olive oil example. My castile soaps should all be turning orange by now. I have two bars left, from a batch I made 15 months ago, that's a white as the day I made it. No DOS.

To me the experiment he did was too limited.

Here's another little tidbit. I have a bar of 50% Hemp Soap I made almost 9 months ago. Still looks the same, no DOS. The main recipe I've been using as my base recipe has 30% RBO in it...hmmmm no DOS.

In my opinion, the Dunn experiment leaves too many unanswered questions. As do all the other links, texts etc I've been able to find on the net.

Edit: Hmmm sorry meant to quote Lion on here too.
 
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Obsidian

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My first DOS was on 2 month old castile, made with water. It was curing on the rack next to all my other soap but its the only one to get spots. Its fairly low humidity where I live so I don't know what happened. I had one spot develop on one salt bar, dug it out and it never came back.
The worse though was a early soap made with crisco, it was fine when I put it into a paper bag then into the closet for storage but a few months later I had to toss it. That particular recipe developed DOS over multiple batches so I won't use crisco/soy anymore. Never had any animal fat soap get spotty.
 

Consuela

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And this is where the questions start. Why does one person only get DOS on soaps they make with lard, and the next has never had a lard soap with DOS. Or conversely with vegetable oils.
Exactly! I think it's because we all have different methods of everything and there is no way to accurately measure the results. Based on factors like: how we store our oils, or where we buy our oils, or how old they were when we bought them...

Now in a lab with a control group and such - a person might be able to find something out. But..that would be in a perfectly controlled lab experiment. But I feel that is something that could never be the same - even if you and I both did them in our own respective soap shops...Too many variables that might interfere with the results. :(

Far be it from me to question Dunn, but looking at his tests and using his olive oil example. My castile soaps should all be turning orange by now. I have two bars left, from a batch I made 15 months ago, that's a white as the day I made it. No DOS.
Don't EVEN go there :p

Experts in their field are MEANT to be challenged and questioned - I say question away Beachy!!

To me the experiment he did was too limited.
I haven't read it - perhaps I should! And that is a fair observation to make as a reader and a soap maker. For sure. :)

__

I had DOS when I used: Sunflower, Soybean, Lard & Tallow.

However.... My sunflower was left on the counter in the sunlight - and I'm sure that didn't help.

My Soybean oil soaps ALWAYS got it, especially when I soaped with A LOT of it.

My Lard did - when I didn't store it in the fridge.

And don't ask me why I thought it was okay to store my Tallow on the shelf in my soap room one summer - but that summer was ALL ABOUT the DOS.

SO.... I think multiple factors can influence the DOS... because on the other hand - I've NEVER had it with Hempseed Oil, Nor my Catile Soaps either.
 

RogueRose

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disproving some hemp stereotypes.

Thanks for all the prompt replies! I'm still going to go through my old recipes and see what did what. I know for a fact that when I started my first two recipes ended up getting them after about 8 weeks and I had used a brand new bottle of vegetable oil (gallon of soy/canola mix). I thought it would be fine as it had the foil seal but I later found that it was 5 + years past sell by date and I found that it had been in a really hot storage space for most of that time, so my guess is that it was rancid oil in that case. The soaps also had a little bit of an off smell like an old musty closet if that makes sense, even with rosemary mint oils.

I made three other recipes with oils from the same bottles as my first 2 recipes, minus the "fresh gallon" (rancid jug), and all the soaps are still looking pretty.

I later picked up 1lb blocks of lard from Wally World and used it in 3 different recipes with amounts of 15-25%. All of these looked beautiful at first and they all then developed DOSafter 10-12 weeks. All other oils were fresh from the store with sell by dates over a year in the future. The lard wasn't labled so clearly as to the date, but it was a big Walmart so I'm guessing they have high turnover. I also used GV shortening which has tallow (brand new can) and this may have contributed as well.

I've made 5 other recipes beside 5 previously stated and they were all 100% vegetable oil. I even used hemp oil (organic unrefined - green) that was 8+ years out of date!!!! It had been refrigerated the whole time and almost never used, so limited exposure to the air. Hemp is supposed to get a paint thinner smell when it goes rancid and have a very bad bitter taste. This was still fine and tasty, a little "nutty" (maybe in more ways than one... :) ) What is odd is my first smash hit soap (everyone loved it) was made with 20% of this hemp oil
and it was/is just lovely! So, that seems to contradict the possibility that hemp can cause DOS if it is a little old. Granted it very well may if it isn't stored properly or if the quality is iffy to begin with.

I'm gong to try some experiments as well to test my store bought lard, rendered lard, rendered tallow and maybe some ghee from cheddar.

Thanks again for your input fellow members!
 

xraygrl

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Here's a link to a single oil swap and the results : http://www.zensoaps.com/singleoil.htm

I love lard in my soap, but had troubles with DOS/rancidity if I did HP with it. Now when I use lard, I only do cp, and use low temps. Maybe the lye was too hot in the HP, maybe I melted it on too high a temp in the microwave, maybe my old crockpot was too hot...didn't work good on low, so I had to use it on high. I an thinking if the lard was overheated or "burned" for the lack of a better term, it started breaking down or oxidizing hense the rancidity/dos. Interestingly enough I did not get dos on any of the lard soaps with honey in them.

I also got DOS from Canola, sunflower, Soybean oil and vegetable shortening. No surprise there as those are known to have shorter shelf lives.
 

JustBeachy

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Alright, I now have two glasses of pretty decent Bordeaux in me, so I'm in full blown "thinking outside the box" mode. :)

I question a lot of what the "experts" in this field say. I'm not saying they're wrong, many make some fantastic points. But there always seems to be some hole in the theory's/practices. Like the big bang theory. Sounds great, giant piece of mass that blew up and is constantly expanding outward. So....where did the giant piece of mass that exploded come from?

That leads into, the problems with diagnosing DOS. We're tying to inject the scientific theory into a process with unknowns and constantly variable parameters.

Consuela and Rogue, as well as others on here, have all brought up the point of freshness/expiration of oils. One thing to note is the expiration date of oils is dependent upon proper storage. Drop a 55 gal drum of any oil in a hot Texas warehouse for 3 weeks, and it's going to be aged more than a 12 month old oil stored at proper temperatures. How can we know, when running tests, exactly how "old" the oil is. We really have no idea how long that oil sat in a a warehouse at the wrong temp while at the manufacturer. What happened to it during transport? How long did it sit in the suppliers warehouse after it was opened? Truth is, unless we picked the olives, pressed the oil, aged and stored the product, we have no idea what the oils true age is. Therefore, we are running experiments with flawed materials, unknown variables and the results should be ignored.

It's one of the problems with the Dunn experiment. How old was the oil? Was it really 100% olive oil, or one of the many counterfeits we read about? Can you take one batch of OO and one batch of CO and run a single experiment and determine, I've found the answer? I would say not a chance, and it really doesn't follow the rules of scientific theory. But it sounded good at the time, so most people just accept the answer.

Here's another one. Superfatting doesn't contribute to DOS.

Accepted standards.

1) you cannot designate a superfat oil in the CP process. The lye takes what it wants. Unknown oils remain unsaponified in the makeup of the superfat.

2) Because of the chemical reaction with the lye, the saponified oils are no longer free fats and have become salts of the different oils.

Lets look at these two standards, utilizing a true Castile soap.

So what is going rancid in the soap. Is it the Sodium Olivate? Since it is no longer an oil, how is it going rancid? If number 1 is correct, we don't have to guess which oil is superfatted. It has to be the Olive, since it's the only oil. But wait, the experiments all say the superfatted oils go rancid at the same rate as the saponified oils. How is that even remotely possible? If that were the case, then the shelf life of any soap would be equal to the shelf life of any oil used in the soap. Yet here we have a batch of Castille soap, over a year old, that exhibits no signs of DOS. How do the saponified oils react in the same manner as the unsaponified oils? To me, that just doesn't follow basic logic. It's like saying that salted beef is only going to last as long as raw beef, after exposure to the air.

Call it " fermented grape juice logic", :) but to me the only answer that qualifies all the variables of vegetable oils, animal fats, etc. is the "actual" freshness of the fat, when beginning the process. In simple logic, this would be an easy answer, in regards to the varying results you see posted in regards to "which fat causes DOS". If it in fact is just fat going rancid.

That and if the unsaponified oil in a superfat is somehow affected by the surrounding saponified oils, which keeps it from being affected by rancidity, then someone needs to do a better job of explaining that process to me. It doesn't even remotely sound scientifically possible.
 
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pamielynn

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Lard, lard, lard. I love it in soap - but I'm in Texas and sell outside all summer long. My soaps with lard will develop DOS after a couple of trips to market. I've never (knock on wood) had it on any other recipe. Now, I tote a Yeti to market.
 

Seawolfe

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I have seen DOS 3 times, and in each case I'm sure it was related to the scent I added (or didn't add, funnily enough).

I have only had one out of 6 lard soaps get DOS, and I am convinced it was because of a tea tree oil that wasn't tea tree essential oil from trader joes.

I made two 100% olive oil castille soaps, same OO, made 1 week after the other. After 8 months cure, the one with nettle and comfrey infused OO with rosemary EO is perfect, the one with nothing added at all has some spots on some bars. To me that says a LOT for the properties of Rosemary EO.

I also made a French green clay soap with hemp this year, and added ROE to the hemp oil. Half the batch scented with good quality EO's (5 of them including eucalyptus and Rosemary) is lovely, the half scented with a clary sage FO from a reputable supplier has a few spots, and an unpleasant sticky tesxture still.

So my takeaway is that some good quality EO's can actually prevent DOS, but my sample size is small.
 
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hmlove1218

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I've only had DOS twice. Once was in a batch with high Almond Oil (20% maybe?) and the new crisco (30%-40%). This was one of my first recipes.

The second was in a tester recipe with 10% shea, 10% mango, and 20% avocado. Oddly enough, this batch had vitamin e and Rosemary EO in it, and only a handful of bars developed spots. I think it was caused by something other than the recipe like lack of air flow or something touching the bars.
 
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