Expert advice please- 'oily' spots in soap. Is it safe to use?

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Hi. I am new to soap making and my latest batch has developed what appears to be clear, 'oily' patches (please see photo). I want to eventually give the soap to friends and family so want to make sure that it will be safe to use after curing. It is currently very drying on the skin but it is only three weeks into curing so I assume this is only to be expected until the soap is fully cured. I used olive oil 43.13%, coconut oil 22.81%, shea butter 9.06%, cocoa butter 4.97%, castor oil 7.02%, almond oil 13.01%. I put it through soap calc and superfatted to 7%. I have used fragrance oil at 3% and mica to colour it. Lye concentration 29.621% . Both the lye water and oils were at 98F when I blended them together to a medium trace. The oily spots have started to fade over the last 3 weeks of curing. I have completed a 'zap' test and it just tastes like soap (no tingling sensation). If this is unsaponified oil, I am concerned that the rest of the soap will have a greater amount of lye in it but it doesn't appear to have the classic signs of being lye heavy according to what I have read on the internet. I would greatly appreciate any advice on this please. Is there anything I could do to prevent this in future? Will it still be safe to use once fully cured? I used this exact same recipe for a previous batch at it worked out fine. The only difference with the previous batch was that I used Lavender essential oil and french green clay.
Thank you
 

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thyknproducts

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Check if any of these reasons exists,
  1. Weak or Inactive Lye
  2. Soap sweating presence
  3. Excessive Superfatting soap
 
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I can't see what you're trying to show in that picture. The camera focused on the rack rather than the soap. My only suggestion would be to disclose the fragrance oil you used this time and where you bought it from. If you have taken the time to write down the actual amounts of oil you poured for this batch as you poured, it would be helpful to know that in this case.
 
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Hi. I am new to soap making and my latest batch has developed what appears to be clear, 'oily' patches (please see photo). I want to eventually give the soap to friends and family so want to make sure that it will be safe to use after curing. It is currently very drying on the skin but it is only three weeks into curing so I assume this is only to be expected until the soap is fully cured. I used olive oil 43.13%, coconut oil 22.81%, shea butter 9.06%, cocoa butter 4.97%, castor oil 7.02%, almond oil 13.01%. I put it through soap calc and superfatted to 7%. I have used fragrance oil at 3% and mica to colour it. Lye concentration 29.621% . Both the lye water and oils were at 98F when I blended them together to a medium trace. The oily spots have started to fade over the last 3 weeks of curing. I have completed a 'zap' test and it just tastes like soap (no tingling sensation). If this is unsaponified oil, I am concerned that the rest of the soap will have a greater amount of lye in it but it doesn't appear to have the classic signs of being lye heavy according to what I have read on the internet. I would greatly appreciate any advice on this please. Is there anything I could do to prevent this in future? Will it still be safe to use once fully cured? I used this exact same recipe for a previous batch at it worked out fine. The only difference with the previous batch was that I used Lavender essential oil and french green clay.
Thank you
First, WELCOME to the forum -- it's a cool community.

You provided great details. There are far smarter folks here that will weigh in. I don't use fragrance oils (just essential oils) so cannot speculate if it's your fragrance oil. I have had experience of essential oils pooling/puddling but get reabsorbed during the cure.

What I will say is this. Don't worry that it is lye heavy because you used a large superfat of 7%. I superfat at 3%. When I was a newbie, sometimes I superfatted at 0% and the soap was fine. The whole point of superfatting is to make sure it's not lye heavy. Soap is a result of every lye particle mating with an oil particle. It's best to have unmarried oil particles instead of unmarried lye particles.

You have great looking soap there! If your wire rack is uncoated, put a piece of wax/freezer/parchment paper on it before you place your soap on it.
 
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Good catch, Mr. Z! I actually put paper down even on my coated racks. Those coatings crack and weaken over time, exposing the soap to the metal underneath. And many so-called stainless racks really aren't - they have a thin stainless coating over cheaper metals.

@garyd110 the reason we are concerned is that soap should not be in contact with any metal except stainless steel, or it can develop rancid spots, aka Dreaded Orange Spots (DOS). A layer of parchment paper is cheap insurance against rancid soap. :)
 
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If there’s enough of a puddle left on a bar or two, take a paper towel and dab a spot of the liquid off. Save the paper towel and see what happens to it in the next day. It’s it’s oil, it won’t evaporate but leave an oily spot.
I suspect it’s the fragrance oil (which isn’t actually an oil) , and should resorb with time.
Do you know if the soap gelled or got really hot?

I do want to caution, for your future years of soaping, don’t rely on a 7% super fat to always ensure against a lye heavy soap, because it’s not a guarantee. Especially when here might be two factors working against you at the same time…such as old or weak lie, and a mistake weighing oils. There’s videos on how to Identify signs of a lye heavy soap.
 
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Hi all. Thanks very much for all of your responses. I suspect that you're right AliOop (and Zing) that it may be the fragrance oil as i mixed it in after i had finished blending just in case the fragrance accelerated trace. I will add it before I have finished blending next time and see if it makes a difference. The fragrance oil is Rhubarb and Rose from 'scents soaps & candles' in the UK. They did tell me that it would work ok in the soap though. Thanks for the advice on the rack. I have put all the soap on parchment paper now. Thanks lenarenee for the advice on how to test regarding the fragrance oil. I'll try it with the paper towel. I did make sure that I was using fresh lye and i did purchase a really accurate scale for measuring so its all looking towards the culprit being the fragrance oil puddling. Thanks again everyone.
 

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