Help with my hot process soap..

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Joeloks

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Hi all,

I am new to soap making. I made a hot process coffee soap. It was a little soft and rubbery after 8 hrs. I dried them. But I see small droplets on top of the soap after drying for two days. They were kind of fine on the first day. It has been raining here for the past two days. Is that the reason or did I do something very wrong with the soap ? I did not use glycerine. I used lye, water, coffee, coconut and olive oil, caster oil and bees wax. Please advise what is it and if I can fix it.
 

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Joeloks

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Hi, thanks a lot for the reply. Its more like small droplets of water, but when i touch it feels more like oil. I use 62g to 170gm lye to water ratio. I added one teaspoon of salt. I cooked for an hour and stopped and poured into molds when saw that its glistening and leaves the spatula. However, before putting off, i added 3 spoons of water mixed with coffee. I highly doubt the measurement are correct, because when i was weighing the castor oil for 45gms, i had to empty the whole 100gms oil. I think the weighing scale is faulty. I couldnt do much because i added everything by then. Do you think its all gone waste ? :-(
 
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Soda ash and oil separation can occur on HP soap, when it isn't cooked long enough, but you're stopping and moulding when there is leftover unreacted lye and oils. In principle this is okay-ish: you're leaving these to kind of CP-like reaction over a few days. However, it has happened to me as well that these bars stay somewhat soft and don't harden up as nicely as a fully cooked HP bar.

For future batches, be sure to know and distinguish the characteristic phases of HP cook (emulsion, applesauce, mashed potatoes, vaseline), and when it's finished. The soap doesn't know/care about our human clocks. You must give it its time.

For this batch, you might be just fine with waiting a few days. Soda ash is unsightly but merely cosmetic. The liquid drops might just reabsorb. After a week, make a zap test to find out if it's safe to use. HP soap can be tricky in the first days/weeks especially if it has a lot of moisture to lose, and you're in a humid environment.

In any case, examine your scale. Don't use it any more if you have the slightest suspicion that it doesn't work reliably. Get a replacement. Sometimes it helps to make technical equipment jealous to make it work again 😂.
 

Joeloks

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Thanks a lot for that detailed reply. I should have started cold process first, before getting myself into hot process soap making. I will surely have that scale changed/ tested. i somehow felt its because of the castor oil. Read somewhere that too much of it makes the bars sticky. Thanks again.. i guess i learnt some new lessons with this batch :)
 
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Thanks a lot for that detailed reply. I should have started cold process first, before getting myself into hot process soap making. I will surely have that scale changed/ tested. i somehow felt its because of the castor oil. Read somewhere that too much of it makes the bars sticky. Thanks again.. i guess i learnt some new lessons with this batch :)
Hi, don't feel you have to master cold process before trying hot process. There is a learning curve to both. The key is to keep trying and make small batches until you feel you have the technique that works well and a base recipe that you like. And keep asking questions when you have them. Make sure you use a soap calculator, like the one linked above, "Calculator."
There are several members here who mainly make hot process soap. One that comes to mind is @Dawni . I highly recommend you do a search on the SoapMaking Forum and read everything you can about hot process. They have many tips.
here's an example
Happy Soaping!
 
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I made ONLY hot process for months before I made my first cold process batch. They're different and I don't think one is harder than the other. It took me a while to be able to see when a batch was cooked. I overcooked them the first couple of tries, but the soap turned out fine. The only time I've had something like this happen was when I made a soap with a very high superfat, which I don't do anymore. What was your superfat on this soap?
 

Joeloks

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I made ONLY hot process for months before I made my first cold process batch. They're different and I don't think one is harder than the other. It took me a while to be able to see when a batch was cooked. I overcooked them the first couple of tries, but the soap turned out fine. The only time I've had something like this happen was when I made a soap with a very high superfat, which I don't do anymore. What was your superfat on this soap?

Honestly, i have no clue. I calculated something in the soapcalc, but my weighing scale had different goals., and i ended up with something else :)
Even before i got a reply on this thread i decided to rebatch it and tried that as well. i added 40gm of lye, 170 gm coconut oil and 5 gm of kokum butter. Once the tracing is seen, i added the melted flop soap and cooked for like... 1.5 hrs. Its curing now. I have to wait till tomorrow to see what this whole cinema ended up into :) I washed with the leftover and it seemed fine though. I am keeping my finger crossed.
 
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Thanks a lot for that detailed reply. I should have started cold process first, before getting myself into hot process soap making. I will surely have that scale changed/ tested. i somehow felt its because of the castor oil. Read somewhere that too much of it makes the bars sticky. Thanks again.. i guess i learnt some new lessons with this batch :)
A nickel weighs 5 grams. It’s a way to see if your scale is correct. And you are right, a lot of Castor will make the soap sticky. I generally keep my Castor to 5%. Castor, on its own doesn’t make many bubbles, it’s more of a lather stabilizer. The only time I use a higher amount is when I am making soap dough. For some reason it’s better when it starts out a little sticky.
 

Joeloks

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Thank you for a reply Linne ! I Rebatched it and added some more lye water and coconut oil and kokum butter. It turned out amazing !! The bars are hard and lovely by morning. The only problem is, I now don't know what are the measurements for the earlier one, so i cant use the same formula again :) I never tried a soap dough.. I will do that next time. Thank you.
 
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Thank you for a reply Linne ! I Rebatched it and added some more lye water and coconut oil and kokum butter. It turned out amazing !! The bars are hard and lovely by morning. The only problem is, I now don't know what are the measurements for the earlier one, so i cant use the same formula again :) I never tried a soap dough.. I will do that next time. Thank you.
Do you use a soap calculator? Or need help with one? That way you can make your own recipes. It’s amazing and a great way to learn about all the fatty acids.
 

Joeloks

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I did try soapcalc, but I am also looking into the the calculator that is there on this forum. And yes, it does help a lot in understanding what is what. Sometimes I couldn't stop my temptation of adding without measuring as I do it when I cook food :) I anyways learnt my lesson :)
 
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Thanks linne for the helpful hint about a nickel...very helpful since I own a battery powered scale.
I started out with HP soap and didn't even try CP for 3-4 years. My advice would be to stick to one method and get good at it, make small batches so you can figure out what you actually like in your soaps after they are cured. Play around with the soap calculators...I spent hours on them. And be prepared to change your recipes rather than use others. Going from Dial or Dove to handmade soap is a dream, but after a while you might find that your first soap is not quite so dreamy. Be prepared to tweak it, or completely change it. It's all part of the process.
 
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do a zap test' to assure no active lye is in soap
That's the ultimate test to know if further cooking is necessary, or rather a waste of time & energy. HP is really forgiving, you can ask a batch how it's going, and it'll respond immediately, not only after a week. Thanks for the reminder! I forget about it just as well, lol. Too many CPLS these days 😵😂
 
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Thanks linne for the helpful hint about a nickel...very helpful since I own a battery powered scale.
I started out with HP soap and didn't even try CP for 3-4 years. My advice would be to stick to one method and get good at it, make small batches so you can figure out what you actually like in your soaps after they are cured. Play around with the soap calculators...I spent hours on them. And be prepared to change your recipes rather than use others. Going from Dial or Dove to handmade soap is a dream, but after a while you might find that your first soap is not quite so dreamy. Be prepared to tweak it, or completely change it. It's all part of the process.
Excellent advice. Also, I suggest making small batches until you find out what you like. When I first started making soap, I started with HP, moved to CP, then to fluid HP, now I do both. It takes a lot of time and batches of soap until you find out what you really love.
 

Joeloks

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Thanks linne for the helpful hint about a nickel...very helpful since I own a battery powered scale.
I started out with HP soap and didn't even try CP for 3-4 years. My advice would be to stick to one method and get good at it, make small batches so you can figure out what you actually like in your soaps after they are cured. Play around with the soap calculators...I spent hours on them. And be prepared to change your recipes rather than use others. Going from Dial or Dove to handmade soap is a dream, but after a while you might find that your first soap is not quite so dreamy. Be prepared to tweak it, or completely change it. It's all part of the process.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It helps a lot to hear from your experiences. What uoi said is very true.. I started off with melting the saop base and quickly shifted to hot process. As you advised, I shall stick to this and try out things in small batches. Thank you for all the support:)
 

Joeloks

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Thank you all !! This forum is such a blessing. I shall try making small batches n experiment. That makes more sense. And also the zap test.. I should try that next time :)
 

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I highly doubt the measurement are correct, because when i was weighing the castor oil for 45gms, i had to empty the whole 100gms oil. I think the weighing scale is faulty.

Solving your scale problem is important. I suggest you watch this video on scale calibration. If you have a different scale than the one you use, you can do a browser search for how to calibrate your particular scale (brand & model.)

 
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