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Floating stuff in water when testing

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makes_scents

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When testing my batches (small sliver) 1 of the 4 left floaty pulp type stuff in the water? What is this? Is it something I can avoid?

The batch that did it contains:
OO
CO
Avocado oil
Castor Oil
Shea Butter
 

Jstar

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Need to know your process a bit more so we can narrow it down. How old is the batch?
 

Obsidian

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I bet it was soap scum, did your other recipes have shea butter?
 

makes_scents

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The pulp stuff floating in the water was not a lot just enough that I saw it. My first and 2nd batch both have shea in them. The first batch was water for fluid and the 2nd was coconut milk for fluid.

Could using tap water and not distilled water in my first batch be to blame?

Process:

mixed lye with oils at 100, I don't heat my oils I let the lye do it. At trace oils were 85 degrees. At the cut I had partial gel which is non-apparent now at 4.5 weeks old.

20% Avocado oil
30% Coconut oil
15% Shea Butter
30% Olive Oil
5% Castor Oil
Distilled Water - 11.5 oz
Lye - 4.4 oz
Is 32 oz of oil in my recipe

Scent was .8 oz for the whole batch (I was not concerned with scent for this batch)

Batch as of last night was 2 days over four weeks old. It is definitely a little drying, but I know why (or think I do).

If you guys need more info let me know and I be glad to give it.
 

not_ally

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There doesn't seem to be anything inherently problematic about that recipe. I don't know, if it was hard water, I would think all of your recipes would be showing some signs of the same thing. Also, for me soap scum is kind of more flaky/scummy, not pulpy, if that makes sense. You sound like you have an issue w/that one soap being soft and melting really fast.

The only thing that I can think of otherwise (am probably wrong) is that maybe it is the OO%, since OO bars take longer to cure? I have no experience w/this b/c I don't like it except in small amounts, so this is a pretty random guess. Do the bars without the problem have the same amount of OO?
 

makes_scents

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The smallest amount of olive oil I have used so far is 25%. The others have 30 percent.

Batch 1 used tap water (problematic bar)
Batch 2 used coconut milk
Batch 3 used distilled water
Batch 3 was coffee made with distilled water and coconut milk

I intend to tell the few that will be given bars (family and friends) to test that this is a known issue with that bar. A company I used to sell for that sold soap as part of their product line had a bad issue with the floating pulp type stuff. It almost looks like wet skin that would peel off after a sunburn.
 

not_ally

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I don't think the issue is distilled versus tap water either, those differences don't usually lead to soap scum (that comes from the water that comes out of your tap, not that in your soap), or to soap softening, at least that I remember reading about.

I'm kind of perplexed, sorry. I hope someone with more insight than me comes along soon.
 

Obsidian

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I still think its soap scum. Why that soap makes more than others is hard to say but it very normal with handmade soap. My high lard soaps make a ton of scum. When used in a bath, it makes the floaty skin like stuff you describe.

There are things you can add to your soap that will help with the amount of soap scum produced. They are chelating agents, which basically means they help stop the soap from binding with minerals in the water to make the scum. There are members on here who have more experience with chelators then I do, I'm sure one will wander in here eventually and help you out.
 

makes_scents

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Thank you Obsidian and Not_ally; I appreciate the help! Skin floaty stuff (soap scum) aside I am pleased with my first batches.
 

not_ally

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MS, I have super hard water, and use high amounts of lard (which makes soap scum worse, like Obsidian said) so I do use a chelator, EDTA. It makes a huge difference if you have a soap scum problem. It also helps w/DOS. The downside of EDTA is that some people do not like it b/c it is an industrial pollutant b/c of the amount used in certain industries, but my feeling is that the environmental effect of using it in soapmaking is virtually zero, so I am OK with it.

Other folks (probably more) use citric acid as a chelator. It involves an extra calculation step, you have to adjust lye amounts, but I think that is easy when you are used to it. Here are links on how to use both of those if you are curious:

EDTA: http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=55732

CA: http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=53102
 

ngian

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I guess it may be soap scum, as many above stated, as I also see this most of the times, but I also think it is the superfat, the oils that hasn't saponified.
 

commoncenz

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Also, if you are going to use citric acid as a chelator and want to skip adding extra lye, you might consider sodium citrate, which is the byproduct of the reaction between lye and citric acid; and the true chelator derived from that reaction. There are many threads on the site discussing sodium citrate. Even a very informative one on how to make your own.
 

makes_scents

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Oddly the bars that have lard in them did not produce any of the soap scum. Only the bar with Avocado oil produced the soap scum. Basically none of my lard recipes have Avocado in them and none of my Avocado recipes have lard. Kinda weird how that worked out for me.

I shall take a peek at the links you sent me. I am always up for learning something new!
 

commoncenz

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Oddly the bars that have lard in them did not produce any of the soap scum. Only the bar with Avocado oil produced the soap scum. Basically none of my lard recipes have Avocado in them and none of my Avocado recipes have lard. Kinda weird how that worked out for me.

I shall take a peek at the links you sent me. I am always up for learning something new!
Weird, the recipe that I'm refining to be my "go to" recipe contains both lard and avocado and I don't get any type of "skin". Of course, I use my bars in the shower, but my daughter likes to take looooong baths, and she hasn't mentioned it either.
 

not_ally

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Patrick, you might have good/soft water. I have awful, super hard water. I used to work about a mile away from where I live, and the water that came out of the taps there actually smelled a bit like sulphur, can you imagine, boiled egg water :)? As you might think, we all stuck with bottled drinking water.

The kind of water supply you have (not the kind you add to your soap) really is determinative when it come to soap scum. Which kind of sucks, because most of us can't change it.
 
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makes_scents

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We have rural city water. I live near Dallas, Texas, but out in the rural east of it. I need to tweak the recipe some anyways to make it less drying (cleansing number of 20 per soapcalc) so hopefully I can fix the soap scum issue as well. Thank you everyone for the help in trying to solve my mystery.
 

makes_scents

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I just mixed up an unscented batch of the exact same recipe as my first batch except I used distilled water instead of tap water. I also used Chromium Green Oxide.

I put it to bed in the fridge same as the first batch. We shall see if I get the same soap scum problem. If I do then I will try using something to stop it.
 

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