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Dreaded Coconut Oil

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Soaplover1112

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Hi Everyone ☺

My name is Mary. i am around 8 months into my soap making journey, something I decided to pick up to keep myself occupied at the beginning of the lockdown.

I would love to start selling my coconut oil soaps but I seem to be having issues with DOS. I have done some water discounting as well as adding some rosemary extract oil to try and fight the spots...still nothing works.

my recipe is as follow:

lye - 145g
Distilled Water - 215g
Organic coconut oil - 1000g
Essential oil - 25g*
Rosemary extract oil - 3g
*usually lavender, cedarwood or sometimes rosemary

in terms of the equipment I use a stainless steel stick blender to make the soaps, I also only make soaps with silicone moulds. I use distilled water and never tap as I’ve read this can lead to rancid bars. Plastic utensils other than a stainless steel fork to mix the lye water sometimes.

I start by weighing out my coconut oil, separately I put my essential oils and ROE in a plastic cup. I then put my distilled water into a plastic jug and then mix in the sodium hydroxide crystals.

once the lye solution is cooled to around 140 degrees Fahrenheit, I melt the coconut oil by popping it into the microwave in the plastic jug. Then once both have cooled to around 125 - 130 degrees Fahrenheit I mix the lye solution into the melted coconut oil.

after I’ve reached trace which usually comes quickly I pop the essential oils in,mix them in then pour the soap into the moulds.

I usually let it sit for around 24 hours, covered in a plastic film wrap before I unmould the soaps.

I have noticed dos appear in bars as little as a month old, sometimes a few months or longer. I live in the United Kingdom so the weather and humidity here can be a little all over the place. I have noticed the issue become more frequent as the colder weather has increased. I’ve had the heating on in the house more and the cupboard sits next to a radiator where the soaps cure (see picture attached). Due to space I cannot have the soaps anywhere other than the outside shed. I’ve also tried a dehumidifier but still the spots appear.

I have attached some pictures of the DOS as well as the cupboard I cure the soaps in. I use a little brown paper to keep them away from dust.
Apologies for the long first post, I wanted to make sure I got all the information for you.

many thanks

Mary
 

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Obsidian

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Any chance the soaps getting dos all contain lavender eo? Lavender is know to develop dos quite readily.
Maybe try a small batch with no scent and see if that is any different.

Where and how soap is cured/stored can also affect dos. I understand the struggle with no space but you need to try something different. Different cure area, maybe a linen cover instead of paper.
I also would absolutely find space inside for storing your cured soap. What about under a bed in a box? Its a nice dry, dark spot.
 

Deborah Long

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So, are you sure it's DOS? Is it smelly/stinky? I wonder if it's just not color transfer from the brown paper you're using to wrap the soaps in. I loosely cover my curing soaps with colorless waxed paper and it works a dream.
Also, do you mean rosemary oleoresin extract instead of rosemary essential oil? The first is used to retard rancidity, the second (essential oil) smells good in soap. :)
I also wouldn't be too eager to sell my soaps if I were still struggling with something I suspected as being DOS - it might be too soon... Just a thought...
-ETA - I'm allergic to lavender, so can't help with that one, sorry, but I've never had DOS using essential oils, personally.
 

DeeAnna

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Lavender EO can trigger all-over rancidity where all or most of the bar turns orange-y. ROE is a good additive that will reduce the chances of all-over rancidity that is caused by oxidized fats, oxidized EOs, etc.

The spots of rancidity (DOS) on your bars are probably triggered by specific bits of contamination -- usually some form of metal. You can minimize the chances of this type of contamination, but it's not possible to completely eliminate it. The solution that has worked best for me to protect against this type of rancidity (DOS) is to use a chelator.

An antioxidant like ROE can only do so much, and metallic contamination is too much of a problem for ROE to combat. That's why a chelator is also important. Effective chelators for soap include citrate, tetrasodium EDTA, sodium gluconate, GLDA, etc.
 
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Soaplover1112

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Lavender EO can trigger all-over rancidity where all or most of the bar turns orange-y. ROE is a good additive that will reduce the chances of all-over rancidity that is caused by oxidized fats, oxidized EOs, etc.

The spots of rancidity (DOS) on your bars are probably triggered by specific bits of contamination -- usually some form of metal. You can minimize the chances of this type of contamination, but it's not possible to completely eliminate it. The solution that has worked best for me to protect against this type of rancidity (DOS) is to use a chelator.

An antioxidant like ROE can only do so much, and metallic contamination is too much of a problem for ROE to combat. That's why a chelator is also important. Effective chelators for soap include citrate, tetrasodium EDTA, sodium gluconate, GLDA, etc.
Hi Deeanna!
I’ve just purchased some sodium citrate! Thank you so much for your recommendation. Where does the metal come from? Is it in everything I use but just so small I cannot see it?

also how much would you recommend I use based on my above recipe? Also when do I add it to the soap mixture?

thank you so much in advance!
 

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DeeAnna

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Both topics get talked about a lot here, so rather than copy and paste stuff repeatedly, here are links to my articles --

Rancidity -- Rancidity and DOS | Soapy Stuff
Chelators -- Table of contents | Soapy Stuff

Hopefully this info will answer your questions. If something is not clear or not covered, ask away and I'll do my best to clarify.
 

DMack

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Any chance the soaps getting dos all contain lavender eo? Lavender is know to develop dos quite readily.
Maybe try a small batch with no scent and see if that is any different.

Where and how soap is cured/stored can also affect dos. I understand the struggle with no space but you need to try something different. Different cure area, maybe a linen cover instead of paper.
I also would absolutely find space inside for storing your cured soap. What about under a bed in a box? Its a nice dry, dark spot.
Thank you I was wondering why one batch of my soap has DOS when all the same recipe, it’s the one with lavender oil in. I’ll avoid in future as the others are fine
 
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