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HELP!! I have mystery oil I want to make soap out of.

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cleanheart

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Help!! I have a gallon of oil that came from several batches of soap that all the oil didn't saponafy. On several batches of soap, there was about an inch of oil left. I poured it off and saved it. Can I make soap out of that. It's a mixture of palm, olive, tallow, coconut. What if I use the lye calculator. Any advise would be appreciated greatly. Thank you!!!:?: :sad:
 

boyago

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If you poured off the oil that didn't saponify you may have left your soap lye heavy. Did you test them? Unless you know exactly how much of each oil a lye calculator won't help you. If the oils are fully emulsified you can test for SAP but it take some lab equipment. I think your best bet would be to test the PH of your soaps and make sure they are safe before you gift them out.
 

Obsidian

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Yikes, that is a lot of oil that separated. I would also check the PH of your finished bars, I'd also look into why your soap keeps separating. Do you mix it until it hits full trace?
 

tryanything

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If it happens again in the future try rebatching the batch instead of pouring the oils off. It can save the batch though you may loose any pretty colors. Ultimately you need to find out why its happening, like Obsidian said.
 

My Mountain Soaps

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i personally would hesitate to reuse the oils, i dont know if this is possible, but could there be any lye left in said oil?
 

boyago

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i personally would hesitate to reuse the oils, i dont know if this is possible, but could there be any lye left in said oil?
If there was it should have sapped in the jug that the oil was transferred into. But I'm betting the original soaps are lye heavy.
 

cleanheart

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Oh bother. Y'all didn't give me very good new to work with… I think the couple of batches left extra oils cause y lye calculations were wrong. I didn't have enough lye in there to soponify the whole batch. That's all I can come up with. So, what can I do with all this extra oil? I just hate to throw it out. Maybe I could just use like a 1# batch of oil and try to make that up and see what happens. Any suggestions would be great. How do I test the ph of the soap?
 

lpstephy85

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Which calc were you using? I wouldn't even try to make anything out of them because it will be really hard to make a soap that can be used on the skin safely since you don't know the SAP values in the oils.

You can test the bars already made by either PH strips (which some say are not really effective). The best would be to zap test: Get your finger wet, rub it on the soap and then put your finger to the tip of your tongue. If you feel an instant sting or "zap" then the soap is lye heavy. If it is, you can research rebatching a lye heavy soap or shred it up and use as laundry soap.
 

judymoody

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Could you post your recipe including lye, water, additive, and oil amounts and soaping temps and perhaps we can help you to troubleshoot.

I have made soap with up to 20% lye discount and have never had a layer of oil floating on top. Are you using a stick blender to mix your soap? Perhaps you ended up with false trace.

You can pH test your soap with a pH meter or with strips, the latter aren't very reliable. The easiest method is the zap test - wet your soap and rub your finger on it. Give your finger a lick. If you get a jolt, your soap is lye-heavy.
 

MOGal70

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The only time I had oil separating was when I tried to do CPOP and over heated it, once I cooked it in the crockpot it turned out great. Could that be what happened?
 

Lin

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People can superfat at very high percentages successfully, so it seems quite strange for the oil to have separated out even if it was superfat oil. I also think its extremely important to test all of the batches of soap that had this extra oil to ensure they are safe.

The safe thing would be to use it as superfat oil, or for non soap uses. For superfat oil you can put together your recipes with a low superfat, then add your mystery oil as extra superfat. Maybe put together recipes with a 3% superfat, and then add in your mystery oil to bump it up to 8 or 10% superfat. You could also possibly use it for other skin products, such as moisturizer, in body butter, etc. I'd pH test just the oil or something even though any lye in it should have saponified. If you sell your stuff you won't be able to sell any of the items with your mystery oil in it though since it can't be labeled accurately. But it wouldn't go to waste if you can find ways to use it for yourself and friends and family.
 
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cm4bleenmb

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safe soap

I have to admit I'm curious about this also. Would it hurt to try making a small batch out of it? If you were to figure out the average SAP value of all the oils in it and SF at least 5 %, then if it sets up and passes the PH test wouldn't that mean it's okay?

Aside from the zap for PH and the appearance of it, how does one really know their soap is safe? I mean, unless someone uses something really exotic in the recipe, excess lye is the only real danger, right?

This may make me sound dumb but I'm a soaping newbie and in my opinion the only stupid questions are the ones that go unasked so I'm throwing this out there anyways.
 

boyago

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I have to admit I'm curious about this also. Would it hurt to try making a small batch out of it? If you were to figure out the average SAP value of all the oils in it and SF at least 5 %, then if it sets up and passes the PH test wouldn't that mean it's okay?

Aside from the zap for PH and the appearance of it, how does one really know their soap is safe? I mean, unless someone uses something really exotic in the recipe, excess lye is the only real danger, right?

This may make me sound dumb but I'm a soaping newbie and in my opinion the only stupid questions are the ones that go unasked so I'm throwing this out there anyways.
You can do it but it takes a little effort and some distilation equipment. Here are some instructions I found when I was thinking about buying some oils in bulk. If you are interested American Science Surplus has still kits on sale right now for about $75 bucks.

Materials Required:


1) Fats and Oils [coconut oil, sunflower oil]
2) Conical Flask
3) 100ml beaker
4) Weigh Balance
5) Dropper
6) Reflux condenser
7) Boiling Water bath
8) Glass pipette (25ml)
9) Burette

Reagents Required:


1) Ethanolic KOH(95% ethanol, v/v)
2) Potassium hydroxide [0.5N]
3) Fat solvent
4) Hydrochloric acid[0.5N]
5) Phenolphthalein indicator

Procedure:-


1) Weigh 1g of fat in a tared beaker and dissolve in about 3ml of the fat solvent [ ethanol /ether mixture].
2) Quantitatively transfer the contents of the beaker three times with a further 7ml of the solvent.
3) Add 25ml of 0.5N alcoholic KOH and mix well, attach this to a reflux condenser.
4) Set up another reflux condenser as the blank with all other reagents present except the fat .
5) Place both the flask on a boiling water bath for 30 minutes .
6) Cool the flasks to room temperature .
7) Now add phenolphthalein indicator to both the flasks and titrate with 0.5N HCl .
8) Note down the endpoint of blank and test .
9) The difference between the blank and test reading gives the number of millilitres of 0.5N KOH required to saponify 1g of fat.
10) Calculate the saponification value using the formula :

Saponification value or number of fat = mg of KOH consumed by 1g of fat.
Weight of KOH = Normality of KOH * Equivalent weight* volume of KOH in litres
Volume of KOH consumed by 1g fat = [Blank – test]ml
 

Lin

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I doubt anyone is going to spend 75 bucks for something so they can save a single jug of oil from being wasted lol.

The best shot would be to take the lowest sap value for all the possible oils in the jug, and use that sap value for the entire jug plus a good superfat value and make soap. There's no guarantee its going to be good soap, but it would be soap and safe without the risk of being lye heavy. But in the end if the soap seriously sucks you may have wasted not just a jug of oil but the lye to make it.
 

cleanheart

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THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH!!! I knew y'all were the ones to ask about my problem. Down the hatch it goes….:-( :-( :-(
 

dixiedragon

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Cleanheart, when did you pour off the seperated oils? In my experience, the soap will often reabsorb those oils if you leave it alone for a few days. And if your mold can take it, you can put the soap in the oven on the lowest possible heat setting. What I do is set my oven to 150, let it reach that temp, then put the soap in. I will turn it on for a few minutes at a time through the day to keep the oven warm. That seems to really encourage the soap to re-absorb the oil.
 

lpstephy85

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THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH!!! I knew y'all were the ones to ask about my problem. Down the hatch it goes….:-( :-( :-(

If you don't mind, can you share your recipe and process? We can try and help trouble shoot what is causing the issue since you said it was a few batches this happened on. If using a reputable lye calc that shouldn't be the issue. We want to help so you don't have to keep going through this.
 

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