I don't know if I need help?

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Am I doing everything right?

  • Yes, go on.

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  • Nah, you need some serious advice

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Brenda Gi

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So yeah, I got into soap making (hot process) but messed it up a few times.

Attepmt 1: used alluminium pot
2: PTFE pot but scratched the pot and the KOH reacted with the alluminium beneath.
3: the mixture didn't trace at ALL and after moulding it's still wet (72hrs have passed)

Current attempt:
500g sunflower oil
100g coconut oil.
195g water (destilled)
80g of KOH

I melted the oils, poured in the solution and it lumped up a bit. Like tiny little flakes. After blending for at least 15-30min (with a hand blender - the ones that can cut you very easily) it seemed to trace. Then instantaniously it went from "maybe trace" to "hard trace". So I was quite happy. It looked kind of like petroleoum jelly, but not as translucent and more like really thick pudding. After cooking for another 50 min at 80°C it looked still quite the same and I'm not sure if I'm doing anything right at all. I really need reassurance and even maybe some help. Thanks!
 

Kcryss

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The hand mixer may have cause false trace maybe? Too much air in the mix. Also, not sure KOH was the right type of lye needed. That's usually used for liquid soaps. Regular bar soaps use NaOH. Check DeeAnnas site for more info. She has a lot of really good stuff posted for beginners. It's basically been my bible so far. But I've only made 3 batches at this point, but couldn't have done it without her info.
 

Brenda Gi

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So should I use NaOH and more of it? I want it to be quite sturdy and hard. Advice?
 

Kcryss

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I've never used KOH, so I will let others provide more info with regard to that, but in my opinion, your Iodine is too high and INS is on the low side. Personally I would use a much higher water to lye ratio. Even as high as 3:1 but would use NaOH and not KOH. Here is a link to DeeAnna's page if you want to check it out. https://classicbells.com/soap/soapyStuff.asp
 

cmzaha

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KOH potassium hydroxide used for making liquid soap paste.
NaOH is sodium hydroxide used for making bar soap.
Which were you trying to make? You will never get a hard bar with KOH
 

TheGecko

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By no means an expert but KOH (potassium hydroxide) is for liquid soap, while NaOH (sodium hydroxide) is for bar soap.

Recommend usage for Sunflower Oil is around 20%. With your current recipe, even adding in Sodium Hydroxide, you'll end up with a soft bar that is very conditioning and mildly cleansing, but nothing that I would be interested in purchasing a second time.

There are a lot of good videos on YouTube regarding HP Soap and some folks even share their recipes. Start with one of those.

Oh...and NO MORE ALUMINUM POTS (or utensils)!!!!
 

dibbles

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Relle

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Brenda, as this is your first post, please Introduce yourself in the Introduction forum.
 

earlene

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So yeah, I got into soap making (hot process) but messed it up a few times.

Attepmt 1: used alluminium pot
2: PTFE pot but scratched the pot and the KOH reacted with the alluminium beneath.
3: the mixture didn't trace at ALL and after moulding it's still wet (72hrs have passed)

Current attempt:
500g sunflower oil
100g coconut oil.
195g water (destilled)
80g of KOH

I melted the oils, poured in the solution and it lumped up a bit. Like tiny little flakes. After blending for at least 15-30min (with a hand blender - the ones that can cut you very easily) it seemed to trace. Then instantaniously it went from "maybe trace" to "hard trace". So I was quite happy. It looked kind of like petroleoum jelly, but not as translucent and more like really thick pudding. After cooking for another 50 min at 80°C it looked still quite the same and I'm not sure if I'm doing anything right at all. I really need reassurance and even maybe some help. Thanks!
Serious advice:
Don't use an aluminum pot with soap making EVER. Lye eats it up as you learned.
Read through the stickied threads in the Beginner Forum and the Lye-Based Forum before making more soap. I also highly recommend reading a couple of threads on personal protective equipment and advice to beginners. Here are a couple that should help:
https://www.soapmakingforum.com/thr...ou-give-to-your-beginning-soaping-self.62916/
https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/cp-for-beginner.26874/#post-256224

Maybe find a couple of books at your local library on soapmaking and read them before your next batch. Not all soapmaking books are excellent, but at least I have found that most of them have good information about equipment and safety precautions. Just ignore anything that suggests using glass for mixing lye. Too many people have had their glass (even Pyrex) break/shatter/etc. when mixing lye in glass containers. FAR TOO DANGEROUS.
Plastics to use for soap making should be clearly marked with the recycle symbols of a 2 or a 5 within the recycle triangle. If they are not, you can't know if they are going to be able to withstand prolonged (or even short-term) use with lye solution or raw soap (soap batter once it is mixed with the oils and starts heating up = raw soap).
 

Sanctuary

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What I found the best way to do HP soap is by using a crock pot. The recipe that you used is lacking more hard oils. If you are limited to hard oils, an easy to get a hold of oil would be lard. You also need to be using sodium hydroxide NaOH. Also...use a soap calculator for the building of your recipe, there are several soap calculators out there, I like using soapcalc. Always follow the instructions. So, for your recipe you can use coconut, sunflower, and lard and If you can, go to the pharmacy and you can get small bottles of castor oil too. So your recipe will have castor, coconut, lard, and sunflower oils. You can go online and watch many YouTube videos on Hot Process soap making. The most important thing for HP is to watch it closely, never leaving it, watch for the stages that it goes through to "cook". Once you have reached the "Vaseline" stage it is done and you can put it into your mold. HP looks totally different from CP. HP will be thick and you will not be able to "Pour" it into the mold, you will have to spoon it in, slamming the mold down to get out any air bubbles and then level the top off with your spoon. Let it cool completely before removing it from your mold.
 
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