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Help with liquid soap gone wrong

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RusticSoaper

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I made some soap paste yesterday from a recipe I've used and made before. For some reason it developed a milky film on top after dilution. So, I figured maybe I needed to cook it more with more lye (KOH) 50% solution. After 3 or 4 hours I still have something weird going on. Any thoughts?

My recipe is:
489g or 17.3 Oz olive oil
70g or 2.5 Oz coconut oil
140g or 4.9 Oz castor oil
597g or 21 Oz water
149g or 5.3 Oz KOH
 

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DeeAnna

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So did the white layer become smaller after adding KOH?

It could be fatty acids or it could be some type of impurities. It's hard to say.

Regardless, the amount is pretty small at this point. It might be more energy and time efficient to skim and discard the white stuff and call it good.
 

Zany_in_CO

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My thoughts... it looks like you used a stick blender during the dilution phase that resulted in a foamy layer of unsponified oil. If you went right from making the paste to the dilution phase, you can avoid that unsaponiied-oils layer by waiting a day or two to fully saponify before diluting. Also, using a SB causes foam that sits, and sits, and sits but eventually dissolves. Spritzing with a bit of alcohol can take care of that too.

ETA:
489g or 17.3 Oz olive oil
70g or 2.5 Oz coconut oil
140g or 4.9 Oz castor oil
597g or 21 Oz water <<<
149g or 5.3 Oz KOH


You may want to double check your lye to water ratio. At 0% SF and using the 90% pure option, using Soap Calc I got:
454g or 16 Oz water <<<
151g or 5.3 Oz KOH
011121 LS.png
 
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RusticSoaper

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I actually did not use a stick blender for the dilution. I always put the water into my jar and then add the paste. Then I leave it in a warm place to dilute on its own. I do admit that I did not let the paste sit a bit after cooking to cure and finish. In fact it was still fairly warm when I added it to the distilled water that was significantly cooler than the paste. For my recipe I use a 4:1 water to lye ratio with a 1% SF. Since I cook my paste in a crock pot and the temp is set to high I try to account for water evaporation and use more water in my dilution. None of this have ever affected my final product before. I do think the paste needed to cure more before dilution. One question though, could an oil going rancid cause issues? I opened a new bottle of olive oil and didn't check to make sure it was ok. We moved in the summer time and it may have gone rancid being in the hot summer heat. Thanks for everyone helping me to try to troubleshoot this! I try to view mistakes as an excellent learning experience.
 

DeeAnna

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Rancid oil can cause problems with rancid soap. But I gather you're trying to link a possible rancid fat with this problem of separation, and I honestly doubt there's a connection. In any case, the proof about rancidity is your nose -- smell the bottle of oil if you still have it and see what your nose tells you.

IMO, a much more likely reason for the separation problem is if you don't let the soap paste finish saponifying before you dilute it.
 

RusticSoaper

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Rancid oil can cause problems with rancid soap. But I gather you're trying to link a possible rancid fat with this problem of separation, and I honestly doubt there's a connection. In any case, the proof about rancidity is your nose -- smell the bottle of oil if you still have it and see what your nose tells you.

IMO, a much more likely reason for the separation problem is if you don't let the soap paste finish saponifying before you dilute it.
I think you are right with the diluted soap before it was done. However, why when I added more KOH to the solution did it not help?
 

DeeAnna

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I think you are right with the diluted soap before it was done. However, why when I added more KOH to the solution did it not help?
I don't know any more than Zany does. It might be that the residual KOH plus the added KOH wasn't enough to saponify all of the fat. Or something else we haven't thought of. Sometimes problems don't get solved to everyone's satisfaction despite the best of information and the best of intentions.
 

Susie

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It looked like maybe it was getting better but then it formed a shell or layer of slimy goo. I skimmed it and took a picture. I'm not selling this soap so maybe I'll just double check the pH and if it's good use it as is?
Could this layer of slimy goo have been soap paste that got diluted but then resolidified as the moisture level in the pot dropped?
 

KimW

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So did the white layer become smaller after adding KOH?

It could be fatty acids or it could be some type of impurities. It's hard to say.

Regardless, the amount is pretty small at this point. It might be more energy and time efficient to skim and discard the white stuff and call it good.
Hey, DeeAnna - that second pic of the OP is the goo I was trying to describe to you! Wahoo - I'm not the only one. LOL. I ended up just skimming mine off, btw. :)
 

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