HI soap not Hardening

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janetm

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Hi All.. I am a complete newby and am trying to make my first batch of soap. I am trying hot process as it seemed easier and faster.

I cannot get it to set up. I have cooked it based on the instructions and put it in the mold and left it overnight. In the morning it was still like jelly. I cooked it again and tried again. This time it was harder but still jelly in the center.

The recipe was 33 Oz coconut oil, 4.83 Oz lye, 12.54 Oz water.

Anyone have any idea how to make this work?
 

toxikon

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Running your recipe through SoapCalc shows that you have a 20% superfat - is that what you were aiming for? Most soaps are around 3-5% superfat, which would be 5.74oz of lye in your case.
 

DeeAnna

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That 20% superfat is what some people use for a 100% coconut oil soap to tame down the harshness.

I don't know what instructions you followed, but if you hot processed the soap the way I'd do it, it's probably saponified at this point as much as it is going to saponify. Might want to share your method just to be complete.

I wouldn't cook this soap any further at this point -- just take a breath and let it sit for a bit while you get some feedback. Which brings me to this question --

When you say "lye" do you mean NaOH or KOH? Both are correctly called lye, so when there's any doubt it's always best to say the exact chemical name. Sometimes beginners use one when they should use the other.

Also -- share a photo of the soap, please?
 

IrishLass

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Welcome Janetm! :wave:

Ditto what DeeAnna said^^^. One of the soaps that's a fave in my house is 100% coconut oil made with a 20% superfat. Going from my own experience with making it, it should have set up long before now. I'm very curious as to which type of lye you used. I would expect such behavior from the soap if you used potassium hydroxide (KOH), but not sodium hydroxide NaOH).


IrishLass :)
 

janetm

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Thanks for your replies. You guys are great!.:) I was using a recipe I found on Mommypotus' website. It seemed simple..

I am pretty sure I used NaOH, but I will double check. I made that mistake when I purchased the lye. I didn't realize there were two types until I tried to make some and looking at the recipe realized I had Potassium Hydroxide instead of Sodium. I have since purchased the NaOH.

I will post a picture when I get home. Hopefully that will help.
 

Susie

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So, if you used KOH instead of NaOH, we can fix your liquid soap. It will separate if you try to use it as is, but never fear, we can save it! Just don't throw it away!
 

DeeAnna

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In my time here, I've seen people use sodium carbonate, potassium hydroxide instead of the sodium hydroxide they thought they were using.

The comment you made that it's "still like jelly" the next morning made me wonder if you used KOH -- that is exactly what a KOH soap paste is like. So I'm very curious to see what you find out....
 

janetm

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You guys are so smart! I would have sworn I used the sodium hydroxide but when I checked the bottle it was the potassium hydroxide. The sodium hydroxide wasn't even opened.

Any great ideas to salvage this?

Here is a pic. The lumps on top are just the soap we tried in small molds.

IMG_20170105_2123199_rewind_kindlephoto-370410900.jpg
 
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DeeAnna

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Redoing your recipe --> 33 oz coconut oil, KOH at an assumed purity of 90%, and a superfat of 3% ... you should have used about 9.1 ounces of KOH. You actually used 4.83, so you're short by 4.27 ounces of KOH. If your KOH purity is different than the 90% I assumed, the KOH weight will be a bit different, but this is in the ball park.

Don't trust me though -- please go to http://soapee.com or your favorite soap calculator, enter this information, and check the recipe for yourself.

What say you, Susie -- how would you go about getting the missing KOH into this batch? I'm sure it's salvageable, but I'll defer to your expertise in how to go about it.
 

janetm

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How do I know the purity of the lye. I purchased both kinds from WSP and when I check their website today I don't see anything that states purity.
 

CaraBou

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The Q&A section on the WSP site says their KOH is 90-95% pure. I didn't look on the NaOH but it should be close to 100.

Hey Susie, did you see this thread?
 

Susie

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Redoing your recipe --> 33 oz coconut oil, KOH at an assumed purity of 90%, and a superfat of 3% ... you should have used about 9.1 ounces of KOH. You actually used 4.83, so you're short by 4.27 ounces of KOH. If your KOH purity is different than the 90% I assumed, the KOH weight will be a bit different, but this is in the ball park.

Don't trust me though -- please go to http://soapee.com or your favorite soap calculator, enter this information, and check the recipe for yourself.

What say you, Susie -- how would you go about getting the missing KOH into this batch? I'm sure it's salvageable, but I'll defer to your expertise in how to go about it.
This is exactly what I would do. I would add that 4.27 oz of KOH to 14.78 oz of water (to bring the total water up to a 3:1 ratio with the KOH), then mix that into the soap in the crock pot. You will need to heat and stir it a bit until it all mixes in.

The good news is that you can color liquid soap using food colors once you begin diluting, and add your EO or FO when the diluted soap is warm, but not hot to the touch.

Welcome to the wacky world of liquid soapmaking! We have easier methods to make more, just check over in the Liquid Soap and Cream Soap Forum.
 

earlene

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janetm, it should be listed on the bottle. If not, then look at the MSDS sheet WSP has posted. It currently says 86.5% on their KOH Safety Data Sheet.


 

janetm

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Thanks all!! I will try your suggestions today and see what happens next. I'll update when I do.

I just want any to say you guys are really the best and so sweet helping me out..
 
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janetm

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Ok ladies, here is a pic of the latest batch. I tested and the ph is 8 so I think it is ok. Do I just shut it off? How do I make it liquid? I would guess adding water but how much?

IMG_20170107_1758090_rewind.jpg
 

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Have you zap tested the new batch? If it still zaps your tongue, you can either cook longer or put the lid on it and test again tomorrow (so it can finish saponifying). Once it's zap-free you can dilute with water. I usually weigh some of the paste in a canning jar and add water weighing half what the paste weighs (you can always add more water but can't take it out if you add too much). Put a lid on the canning jar and slowly heat in a water bath until the paste starts to dissolve. You may have to add more water and hit it again with the stickblender to smooth it out.
 

janetm

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Excellent!! That sounds easy. That will be tomorrow then..
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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When adding water, start small and make small adjustments. It's easier to add more in as needed then to try to thicken it all back up, so come at it slowly and make detailed notes on how much you add each time, for when you want to dilute more of it
 

janetm

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I have soap!! Thanks to all of you for helping me fix my mess. Now I can't wait to try again using the right ingredients.

Here is what I got!

IMG_20170108_1834394_rewind_kindlephoto-133676516.jpg
 
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