Soapmaking Forum - Soap & Candle Forums

Help Support Soapmaking Forum - Soap & Candle Forums:

Is this safe to use?

  • No, the white lumps could be lye pockets. Toss it.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Yes, it's safe and you can still sell it.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    3

Soapmaker333

Active Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2021
Messages
31
Reaction score
11
Location
United States
Hello,

I am new to this forum and I would appreciate the advice of thos experienced experienced making Goat Milk Soap.

I made a goat milk soap through CP, usijg frozen goat Milk. I learned how difficult it is to know when your lye has fully dissolved in the goats milk. I thought perhaps my lye was fully mixed in but I did have these little dots in the goat milk soap. I couldn't tell if it was saponified milk fats or lye pockets. My goat milk was starting to really heat up (to 90°F) so I poured It into my oils. The soap came out fine except these little white dots/lumps are quite visible. How do I know if this is saponofied milk fats or lye? Is this safe to give to people? Is it fine to sell? Or do I have to toss the whole thing out.
 

Attachments

  • 20211129_081837.jpg
    20211129_081837.jpg
    114.8 KB · Views: 59
  • 20211129_081856.jpg
    20211129_081856.jpg
    158.1 KB · Views: 61

Primrose

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2017
Messages
915
Reaction score
1,750
Hi, and welcome! I make exclusively goat milk soap from frozen milk (no water). Many of my bars do look like this from the fat in the milk saponifying. However I have also experienced ‘rocks’ of undissolved lye in my milk. If you didn’t strain your milk, it could be either. I absolutely would not recommend selling or giving this soap away
 

Soapmaker333

Active Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2021
Messages
31
Reaction score
11
Location
United States
Hi, and welcome! I make exclusively goat milk soap from frozen milk (no water). Many of my bars do look like this from the fat in the milk saponifying. However I have also experienced ‘rocks’ of undissolved lye in my milk. If you didn’t strain your milk, it could be either. I absolutely would not recommend selling or giving this soap away
Thank you for your reply! So do you just use a typical mesh strainer and pour the GM into your oils through the strainer? Does this give you the confidence that you have removed lye? How did you know when you saw rocks of undisolved lye?
Thanks so much
 

TheGecko

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2019
Messages
3,049
Reaction score
5,768
Location
Oregon
I make GMS with 100% frozen goat milk. It can be tough dissolving your Lye into milk because 1) the Lye immediately starts to bind with the fats in the milk and 2) the cold temp needed to keep your milk from scorching means it takes longer for the Lye to dissolve.

The problem with straining out undissolved bits lye is that you now have less lye in your soap which can lead to a softer soap with more unsaponified oils, especially if you haven't calculated for the extra fat in the milk. How I deal with the issue is that I use an ice bath with some salt to extend the time I have to mix my Lye Solution. I usually take about 30 minutes to mix about 14oz of GM Lye Solution from start to finish. I add small amounts because I don't want the milk to get above 75F and then I allow the temp to drop back down to about 65F before adding the next small amount. Once I have mixed in all the Lye and it's about 70F, I give it a few quick bursts with my stick blender and then add it to my oils. I only add scent to my GMS, so I then blend to a light-medium trace and then pour. As long as I give it the care and consideration it needs, I end up with creamy looking bars of GMS.
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2021
Messages
2,573
Reaction score
6,889
Location
Germany
The whitish spots all over the bars might well be just stearic spots, i. e. just a cosmetic issue. What worries me is the small “hole” just above the middle of the bar in your second photo. If there is only the slightest risk of lye pockets, the soap is not safe to use.

A trick regarding straining opaque lye solutions: pour it through a strainer but not directly into the oils, but into another container first. Should you have undissolved lye (or remaining ice cubes), you then have the opportunity to react.
 

MellonFriend

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2021
Messages
434
Reaction score
1,060
Location
Middle Earth or Metropolis
Just wanted to chime in and add that a few batches of my goat milk soap looked like that. I didn't have any trouble with undissolved lye. Definitely do a zap test and I personally like to PH strip test my soap in addition. Still working on resolving the issue, but I'll probably try what Gecko just said, next time.
 
Joined
Jul 30, 2020
Messages
654
Reaction score
1,380
Location
A Small Goat Farm
hi and welcome! I've been making goat milk soap for about 4 years, more seriously the last two years and even more seriously the last year. I'm a slow learner LOL I've never made anything but goat milk soap, or 1/2 and 1/2 something else frozen. I'm used to seeing those spots. I used to be pretty scared of those spots and practically licked the soap everywhere to see if I could get a zap :rolleyes: When that didn't work, I'd cut the bar and do the same thinking the undissolved lye would HAVE to be inside too and get a zap. I still haven't been zapped but that doesn't mean it couldn't happen at some point. I would stir and stir and scrape and stir before I poured it into the oils and then strain. When i strained I had a lot of clumps of saponified fat and then i would smoosh them through the sieve. not sure if that was smart.. but:smallshrug: Then not too long ago I read someone on this forum used the SB on the goat milk/lye mixture like @TheGecko does. So, now i stir and stir and then I blend it. I still get some spots, but not nearly as many. The soap comes out much smoother. I guess I figure it's trial and error with goat milk soap to figure out what makes you most comfortable. I didn't sell until recently because I was always too paranoid. When I started making it with 1/2 frozen beer or aloe vera juice the lye/goat milk solution stayed much cooler. It allows me to blend a little more for that reason and it doesn't over heat. Using the frozen aloe vera juice keeps it whiter too and my soap pretty much stays whiter even with the SB.
 

scmorgans

Active Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2020
Messages
37
Reaction score
83
Location
North Hero, Vermont
Hi & Welcome aboard! I'm kind of a closet watcher on this list and I can tell you, everyone is friendly and extremely helpful!
I make goat milk soap and, I use fresh milk, not frozen. I had the same issue when I started a few years ago. I found it just plain easier to use fresh milk as there was no one to ask for help. I am lucky to have a goat dairy down the road and goats in my backyard! My soap seems to come out with a smooth soft looking texture with the fresh/liquid milk. I do watch my temps so the milk doesn't scorch and every batch that's made, goes right into a fridge for at least 24 - 48 hrs. I then let the soap warmup for 12 - 24 hrs before unmolding and cutting. Most of the waiting is determined by the fragrance I am using. Some fragrances are tricky - in any soap not just GM!

Keep on trying! We've all been there and Welcome aboard!
 

Soapmaker333

Active Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2021
Messages
31
Reaction score
11
Location
United States
The whitish spots all over the bars might well be just stearic spots, i. e. just a cosmetic issue. What worries me is the small “hole” just above the middle of the bar in your second photo. If there is only the slightest risk of lye pockets, the soap is not safe to use.

A trick regarding straining opaque lye solutions: pour it through a strainer but not directly into the oils, but into another container first. Should you have undissolved lye (or remaining ice cubes), you then have the opportunity to react.
Is that what small holes indicate? Lye pockets?

Hi & Welcome aboard! I'm kind of a closet watcher on this list and I can tell you, everyone is friendly and extremely helpful!
I make goat milk soap and, I use fresh milk, not frozen. I had the same issue when I started a few years ago. I found it just plain easier to use fresh milk as there was no one to ask for help. I am lucky to have a goat dairy down the road and goats in my backyard! My soap seems to come out with a smooth soft looking texture with the fresh/liquid milk. I do watch my temps so the milk doesn't scorch and every batch that's made, goes right into a fridge for at least 24 - 48 hrs. I then let the soap warmup for 12 - 24 hrs before unmolding and cutting. Most of the waiting is determined by the fragrance I am using. Some fragrances are tricky - in any soap not just GM!

Keep on trying! We've all been there and Welcome aboard!
Thank you very much for your input!
 

Soapmaker333

Active Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2021
Messages
31
Reaction score
11
Location
United States
I make GMS with 100% frozen goat milk. It can be tough dissolving your Lye into milk because 1) the Lye immediately starts to bind with the fats in the milk and 2) the cold temp needed to keep your milk from scorching means it takes longer for the Lye to dissolve.

The problem with straining out undissolved bits lye is that you now have less lye in your soap which can lead to a softer soap with more unsaponified oils, especially if you haven't calculated for the extra fat in the milk. How I deal with the issue is that I use an ice bath with some salt to extend the time I have to mix my Lye Solution. I usually take about 30 minutes to mix about 14oz of GM Lye Solution from start to finish. I add small amounts because I don't want the milk to get above 75F and then I allow the temp to drop back down to about 65F before adding the next small amount. Once I have mixed in all the Lye and it's about 70F, I give it a few quick bursts with my stick blender and then add it to my oils. I only add scent to my GMS, so I then blend to a light-medium trace and then pour. As long as I give it the care and consideration it needs, I end up with creamy looking bars of GMS.
Thank you for the advice. This is helpful. It's tough to know when the lye is dissolved in an opaque liquid.

Possibly, yes. It might also just be an air bubble that got caught in the batter while stirring/pouring, or a drop of oil/EO/FO that got reabsorbed during cure. Or a drag mark from wire-cutting.

It is your task to find out. We can only assist you.
Thank you. Certainly, I am just trying to discover how to find out. And there are not many good sources online.
 

TheGecko

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2019
Messages
3,049
Reaction score
5,768
Location
Oregon
It's tough to know when the lye is dissolved in an opaque liquid.

That's why I give it extra time to mix and then stick blend to break up what has started to bind. I'd say...a good 95% of the time, I don't have any pre saponified fats in the finished product and since I don't gel my GMS, what little there could be isn't noticeable.
 

earlene

Grandmother & Soaper
Joined
Apr 30, 2016
Messages
9,482
Reaction score
11,464
Location
Western Illinois, USA
They look like stearic spots to me, too, but when in doubt ZAP TEST! Here is a link on how to do it safely and then you will know for sure: How To Properly/Safely Conduct The Zap/Tongue Test

I am just trying to discover how to find out. And there are not many good sources online.

Regarding air bubbles, that is usually pretty obvious if you pay attention to your process. Usually if there is one small one, there are many, and they are often the result of air being introduced into the batter during the mixing process. You can avoid or at least minimize air bubbles by mixing gently, as opposed to vigorously, and burp your Stick Blender when first submerged & prior to starting it up (if you remove the SBer, you need to burp it again if you re-submerge it). And after you pour your batter, you can often force the air bubbles to rise to the top if you tamp the soap mold on a hard surface, but you have to be careful that you don't get soap flying up out of the mold an onto you or the surroundings, so be cautious when doing this.

How to reduce air bubbles while using a stick blender AND how to burp a stick blender:
1. Place into liquid at an angle to prevent excess air getting caught under the bell.
2. Before turning the blender on, tamp the bell a 2-3 times while submerged to encourage bubbles to escape.
3. Stir slowly and tamp again. If no more air bubbles rise, you should be good to get it started.
4. Avoid lifting the SBer up and out of the batter, even partially, but if you do, repeat the above steps each time.

How to encourage removal of trapped air bubbles in soap batter after in the mold:
1. Wearing all your protective gear (goggles, gloves, etc.), pick up the soap filled mold & tamp down on a hard soap-safe surface 2-4 times.
2. If the soap is very fluid, you need to be gentle so as not to have fluid soap batter splash out, so wait for it to start to set up before tamping down.
3. If you see surface bubbles, a light misting with alcohol will cause the surface bubbles to pop. Be careful to do only a light misting as big globs of alcohol will created big spots on the surface of your soap.

Now it must be noted that some stick blenders produce more bubbles than others, which is fine if you want an airy cake, but not so much if you want a solid soap free of air bubbles.


Some unsolicited advice: If you don't know if the soap is safe to sell, you should not be selling soap. Read up on the link @Cat&Oak posted and several pages of posts in the Beginner Forum.

There are many things you need to know about all your soaps before you start selling them and many folks here at SMF have shared their experience on the subject, but I'd like to point you to this recent post by @TheGecko who makes some very good points about what a beginner soap maker needs to learn prior to selling.
 

Latest posts

Top