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spiritpots

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I'm new to soap making and just unmolded and cut my fourth batch of CP soap and notice that the bars have a darker edge around all sides. This recipe for lavender mint soap includes avocado oil and a little cocoa butter in addition to olive, coconut and castor oils. I made this soap six days ago and waited three days to take it out of the mold, but after removing it from the mold the soap still seemed somewhat soft so I put it back in the mold for three more days. It still felt a little sticky on top today but unmolded and cut easily.

I use a wood loaf mold and cover the soap with plastic wrap and then cover all sides of the mold with several towels including one under the mold, which is placed on a wooden board. I'm assuming this is the gel phase not quite reaching the the outer edges of the soap but am not sure why it has happened and what I can do next time to avoid it. Also, I'm wondering if it will be less noticeable as the soap cures. I haven't had this happen with other recipes but want to try a variety of recipes as I get started to see how they differ from one another. Any thoughts are definitely welcome!
 

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jcandleattic

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This looks more like discoloration from the scent than it does partial gel. When you get partial gel, it's more of a circle from the inside out, not a ring from the outside in.

As the soap cures that discoloration should permeate throughout the bar and become a uniform color.
 

AliOop

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I agree with @jcandleattic. Was your lavender-mint an FO or EO? If it was an FO, check for vanillin content, as that is the most common culprit for that type of discoloration. It is an aesthetic issue only and as noted, will eventually go throughout the entire bars.

You mentioned it being soft and sticky. Higher amounts of olive, avocado, and castor (or the combined percentage of those) can definitely do that. You can add small amounts of sodium lactate or salt to help harden up the bar and help with unmolding.
 

spiritpots

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Thank you for your quick reply, @jcandleattic. I wasn't aware that scents could cause discoloration but will read up more about it. I'm so glad to hear the bars should clear up during curing!
 

spiritpots

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I agree with @jcandleattic. Was your lavender-mint an FO or EO? If it was an FO, check for vanillin content, as that is the most common culprit for that type of discoloration. It is an aesthetic issue only and as noted, will eventually go throughout the entire bars.

You mentioned it being soft and sticky. Higher amounts of olive, avocado, and castor (or the combined percentage of those) can definitely do that. You can add small amounts of sodium lactate or salt to help harden up the bar and help with unmolding.
I use essential oils for all of my scents. For this batch I used 1 oz. of lavender and 2 oz. of peppermint, which was 3% of the recipe for the 2-1/2 lb. mold.

The recipe I used has 40% olive oil, 35% coconut oil, 15% avocado oil and 5% each of castor oil and cocoa butter. Thank you for the suggestion of using sodium lactate or salt. I'll give that a try.

Yup. Like others have said, it will even out to the color of the rind before you know it. Happened to me once too but within a few hours of unmolding it was all the same color. Here is my “temporary” smoked mozzarella soap. Lol
Wow! That's crazy!
 

Megan

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I use essential oils for all of my scents. For this batch I used 1 oz. of lavender and 2 oz. of peppermint, which was 3% of the recipe for the 2-1/2 lb. mold.

The recipe I used has 40% olive oil, 35% coconut oil, 15% avocado oil and 5% each of castor oil and cocoa butter. Thank you for the suggestion of using sodium lactate or salt. I'll give that a try.
This math isn't working out...3 oz in 40 is more like 7.5%. You are right on the IFRA max for peppermint and under for the lavender...but this is a pretty high percentage for EOs from what I know.

Edit: apparently what is listed as IFRA max on WSP's website may not be accurate...but it still seems like a lot to me.
 
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spiritpots

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This math isn't working out...3 oz in 40 is more like 7.5%. You are right on the IFRA max for peppermint and under for the lavender...but this is a pretty high percentage for EOs from what I know.

Edit: apparently what is listed as IFRA max on WSP's website may not be accurate...but it still seems like a lot to me.
Oh shoot, I see the EOs I used are high... actually double what I should have put in. No wonder the peppermint scent is so strong! From calculating my mold size the total oils in my recipes are 50.05 so that amount x 3% = 1.5 oz. EO (or 50.05 x 4% = 2 oz. EO on the high end of 2-4% EO per batch), which would be the most I would have wanted to add of all EOs. From looking at my notes I was originally going to use just lavender EO and wanted to try it at 4% (2 oz.) to see if the scent was stronger in the finished soap compared to a batch I made with 2% EO. I only had 1 oz. left, though, so decided to add 1 oz. of peppermint to equal 4%. I must have looked at the 2% total EOs for the recipes and added that much peppermint not taking into consideration the 1% lavender.

Thank you so much, @Megan for pointing out my error. If I'm still doing something incorrectly in my calculations here please let me know. I figure if making soap doesn't require solving word problems I should be good to go. ;) On a side note, I just looked at the soap and thankfully it already looks much better!
 

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Megan

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It looks great! Also, it should be safe to use...if not a little potent in smell.
 

michael732

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Oh shoot, I see the EOs I used are high... actually double what I should have put in. No wonder the peppermint scent is so strong! From calculating my mold size the total oils in my recipes are 50.05 so that amount x 3% = 1.5 oz. EO (or 50.05 x 4% = 2 oz. EO on the high end of 2-4% EO per batch), which would be the most I would have wanted to add of all EOs. From looking at my notes I was originally going to use just lavender EO and wanted to try it at 4% (2 oz.) to see if the scent was stronger in the finished soap compared to a batch I made with 2% EO. I only had 1 oz. left, though, so decided to add 1 oz. of peppermint to equal 4%. I must have looked at the 2% total EOs for the recipes and added that much peppermint not taking into consideration the 1% lavender.

Thank you so much, @Megan for pointing out my error. If I'm still doing something incorrectly in my calculations here please let me know. I figure if making soap doesn't require solving word problems I should be good to go. ;) On a side note, I just looked at the soap and thankfully it already looks much better!
Looks like you have learned something. Well done. That soap looks great.
 

Catscankim

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Yup. Like others have said, it will even out to the color of the rind before you know it. Happened to me once too but within a few hours of unmolding it was all the same color. Here is my “temporary” smoked mozzarella soap. Lol
Wish we could make a soap look like that permanently. Love the look.

and love the “smoked mozzarella” analogy lol
 

Todd Ziegler

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Thank you for your quick reply, @jcandleattic. I wasn't aware that scents could cause discoloration but will read up more about it. I'm so glad to hear the bars should clear up during curing!
Just a minor tweak to what you wrote. The discoloration from FO's or EO's will not clear up. They will turn the whole bar a darker color, like your soap did. You were fortunate in that, you were already had a dark color to start with, so the change wasn't dramatic.

However, if you are using any bright colors, the vanillin will turn them brown to dark brown. A lot of people on here plan their recipes accordingly and take advantage of the vanillin's darkening of the soap by making soaps that will look like chocolate or brown something. If you are using any color from the rainbow, the vanillin will wipe those colors out.

You can use a product called "vanilla color stabilizer" to stop the FO from turning your soap brown. I use it and it has worked for me so far. Their are several places that you can buy it but it can be expensive. I get mine from aztec candle.
 

spiritpots

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Just a minor tweak to what you wrote. The discoloration from FO's or EO's will not clear up. They will turn the whole bar a darker color, like your soap did. You were fortunate in that, you were already had a dark color to start with, so the change wasn't dramatic.

However, if you are using any bright colors, the vanillin will turn them brown to dark brown. A lot of people on here plan their recipes accordingly and take advantage of the vanillin's darkening of the soap by making soaps that will look like chocolate or brown something. If you are using any color from the rainbow, the vanillin will wipe those colors out.

You can use a product called "vanilla color stabilizer" to stop the FO from turning your soap brown. I use it and it has worked for me so far. Their are several places that you can buy it but it can be expensive. I get mine from aztec candle.
Thank you for this suggestion, @Todd Ziegler. This is good to know!
 

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