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Hello! Yes, I made some soap using Olive Pomace Oil, Palm, Castor and Coconut oil. I tried a tricolor to make it fun. It looks good during the making but after taking it out of the mold (lined with freezer paper) the base white color (with Titanium Dioxide) of the soap was crumbly. I checked its Ph was on Ph11, I know it's too high and it will be harsh on my skin. I made the exact recipe again, but this time my soap was a little bit crumbly but the Ph is around 10-9. So I am wondering what I did wrong the first time that gave me a high Ph and why my second batch was not too crumbly and ph is about right. I was thinking it could be the TD I used or the stroke of how I mix? I'm trying that out. I will try another one without TD and see if I will run or not the same problem.
 

earlene

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Hello! Yes, I made some soap using Olive Pomace Oil, Palm, Castor and Coconut oil. I tried a tricolor to make it fun. It looks good during the making but after taking it out of the mold (lined with freezer paper) the base white color (with Titanium Dioxide) of the soap was crumbly. I checked its Ph was on Ph11, I know it's too high and it will be harsh on my skin. I made the exact recipe again, but this time my soap was a little bit crumbly but the Ph is around 10-9. So I am wondering what I did wrong the first time that gave me a high Ph and why my second batch was not too crumbly and ph is about right. I was thinking it could be the TD I used or the stroke of how I mix? I'm trying that out. I will try another one without TD and see if I will run or not the same problem.


First, all soap has a high pH, because that is the nature of soap made with lye. If it has a low pH (like below 8) it is no longer soap at all. Second, pH strips are not at all reliable for testing soap, so don't bother if that's what you are using. Third, depending on age of the soap and the method used, your soap may not have finished saponifying when you removed it from the mold. That can actually take 2 or 3 days for some CP recipes, so until you gain more experience, handling with gloves until day #3 after pouring into the mold would be wise, to ensure all the lye has fully interacted with the ingredients. Unless you made HP soap, that is. It should be done saponifying before it goes into the mold and should be safe to handle while un-molding.

What is your exact recipe? That would help us trouble shoot.

Regarding your concern that the soap could be too harsh for your skin would have a lot more to do with the exact recipe (weight of each oil, weight of NaOH, weight of water, amount of all additives, etc.) and the actual process you used to make the soap. It is uncommon for soapmakers to weigh the color additives, so please indicate the amount (teaspoon or whatever) you did use for the total batch weight or total portion of the soap it was added to (if not the entire batch, like if only a part of the soap was colored.)

Am I correct in my interpretation that the bottom layer of soap #1 was colored with TD, but not the entire batch was colored? If yes, it is likely you used too much titanium dioxide for the amount of batter.

TD does need to be used with a certain amount of care to ensure it is well and fully mixed into the oils/batter, depending on how you add it. (Some pre-mix with oil, some with water, some add directly to batter, and other add to the lye solution.) Using too much TD and not mixing it well prior to adding to the oils or batter, and then pouring the batter before it is fully suspended into the batter (with a sufficient trace) can cause some settling into the bottom of the mold (gravity assisted settling). So the crumbliness could be related to the TD for those reasons (all or any one of them).

I am not sure what you mean by the 'stroke of how you mix'. Do you use a stick/emersion blender? Do you only mix by hand without the assist of a Stick Blender (SB)?
 
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Thanks Earlene. I appreciate your input and suggestions. I am using the SoapCalc for actual measurement of my recipe. My exact recipe for 8lbs soap is 30% each of Coconut 76%, Palm Oil, Olive Oil and 10% of Castor Oil. I divided my recipe in to four: 40% white (w/ TD (2-3tsp)) which was the base or bottom part of the soap and the rest are 20% each (3 different colors). I use stick/emersion blender and I also unmold it after 24 hours. Next time I soap again, I will wait for 3 days before un-molding like you suggested. Would you think 2-3tsp of TD (diluted w/ jojoba oil) is too much? My dilution ratio was 1 Tbl TD + 2Tblsp Oil. Thank you. GB
 

kevinsstelly

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I also think that saponification does not last a certain time! You need at least 3-4 days of soap aging and then everything wakes up well))))))
 

TheGecko

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I also think that saponification does not last a certain time! You need at least 3-4 days of soap aging and then everything wakes up well))))))
The timeline of the saponification process is fairly standard...generally it is 24 to 48 hours under pretty much all circumstances. Saponification should not be confused with the physical hardness of your soap. As an example, you can unmold a salt soap within a few hours and cut it but it has not completed the saponification process. I'm made some mini donuts that took just over a week to harden, but they were fully saponified within a day (no zap).

And the saponification process and curing time are two completely separate things. The saponification process produces 'soap', but it's the curing process that produces a good soap and that can't be done in just a few days because there is more to the process of making soap that just turning oils/butters, water and NaOH into soap. And the curing process isn't just about water evaporation to produce a longer, lasting bar of soap, it's also about producing a gentle bar of soap that is good for your skin.
 

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