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help! strange layering

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andreabadgley

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Hi everyone,

My latest soap batch did something I've never seen before. I'm doing CP, and I did everything the same way I usually do, but after when I uncovered the mold after about 24 hours, there was about a 1/4 inch layer of liquid on top of the soap. I let it sit uncovered for 2 or 3 days to let it evaporate, but it didn't evaporate at all. The soap underneath was solid, so I siphoned off the liquid, then patted the rest of it dry so that I could cut the soap. The liquid was oily feeling.

When I cut the soap, it looked smooth and beautiful until I realized that there is a 1/4 inch layer that seems to have settled during the insulation period. It is lighter in color than the rest of the bar. Both layers are completely uniform in color and texture - no clumps of anything anywhere. I did the tongue test right after unmolding the soap, and the lighter layer seemed to zap, when the rest of the bar did not. Is it too soon after unmolding to trust the tongue test? Could this be a lye layer? Has anyone ever had this happen before? I had stirred to a light trace before adding my essential oils and then pouring into the mold. Here's my recipe, if that will help. I ran it through soapcalc at a 10% superfat/discount, which is what I use for most of my soaps without any problems:

200 g NaOH
19 oz dH2O
5 oz sunflower oil
14 oz olive oil
2 oz shea butter
16 oz coconut oil
14 oz palm oil
12 g Grapefruit seed extract

At trace:
2 tsp Vitamin E oil
12 tsp (1.71 oz) grapefruit essential oil
1 tsp (.14 oz) lime EO
1 tsp (.14 oz) lemon EO
1.5 tsp (.21 oz) ginger EO

Thanks for any insight any of you can offer! I have never rebatched before, and am nervous about how to approach it. If that's what I need to do, can someone guide me to a step-by-step process for rebatching? Thank you!
 

cdwinsby

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Sounds like you poured at too light of a trace and some of the oils have seperated out. The layer that zaps is probably lye heavy.

Grate up your batch and place it in a crock pot or oven safe pan. Add the missing oil (not sure how you decide which one mind you) and cook (crockpot med-high/ oven about 200-250 degrees C.) until the soap is transparent. Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't scorch. Then spoon into your mold.

Another soaper - "Lane" - just mentioned an interesting way that I'm keen to try. Boil "n" bag - She double bagged her grated soap in freezer ziplocks and boiled it until the soap was clear. She then cut a corner of the bag and poured into her molds. Neat and tidy. This method also sounds like you wouldn't need to worry about any burning.

Good Luck!
Cathy
 
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It seems to me that the layer of oil is more or less unsaponified soap, so I wonder where the lye is. Even if you find that layer of lye and discard it, how can you really be sure that the soap isn't alkaline?

I've tongue tested soap later the same day as unmolding and got no zap. I think you should be concerned that you have lye soap there.
 

andreabadgley

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cdwinsby said:
Grate up your batch and place it in a crock pot or oven safe pan. Add the missing oil (not sure how you decide which one mind you) and cook (crockpot med-high/ oven about 200-250 degrees C.) until the soap is transparent. Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't scorch. Then spoon into your mold.

Another soaper - "Lane" - just mentioned an interesting way that I'm keen to try. Boil "n" bag - She double bagged her grated soap in freezer ziplocks and boiled it until the soap was clear. She then cut a corner of the bag and poured into her molds. Neat and tidy. This method also sounds like you wouldn't need to worry about any burning.

Good Luck!
Cathy
Thank you so much! I really appreciate your instruction here :) I'm wondering - do you think it is necessary to add oil if I superfatted at 10%? And how do you know how much oil to add? Thanks again!
 

andreabadgley

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Lovehound said:
I've tongue tested soap later the same day as unmolding and got no zap. I think you should be concerned that you have lye soap there.
I was afraid of that :-( I guess it's finally my time to learn about rebatching :wink:
 

cdwinsby

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Kathy Millers site mentions rebatching soap that has oily pockets or layers. She says to use all the liquid that has settled out in your rebatch. I'm assuming that you have thrown this out.

I think that if you were to rebatch without any added oil you might have soap suitable for nothing but laundry. You mentioned that it was about a 1/4 inch layer on top. This sounds like a lot of oil.

I'm only guessing here...but if I was doing it I would add about 1/2 - 2/3 of the amount you removed off the top of your block of soap and I would use olive oil.

Read up on Kathy Millers site for more information. I myself haven't repaired a batch before and only just recently did my first successful rebatch of scraps. Here is her link: http://millersoap.com/trouble.html

Good luck,
Cathy
 

andreabadgley

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cdwinsby said:
You mentioned that it was about a 1/4 inch layer on top. This sounds like a lot of oil.

I'm only guessing here...but if I was doing it I would add about 1/2 - 2/3 of the amount you removed off the top of your block of soap and I would use olive oil.

Read up on Kathy Millers site for more information. I myself haven't repaired a batch before and only just recently did my first successful rebatch of scraps. Here is her link: http://millersoap.com/trouble.html

Good luck,
Cathy
Thanks so much for the, site link! I did throw out the oil I removed, but I measured it first, so I know that it was 3 ounces. I'll check out Kathy Miller's site before I begin my rebatch.
 
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