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I made a batch of HP lavender (EO) soap earlier today. When I got it out of the mold, it had tiney white flecks all over the bottom. I poked one open with a toothpick and did the good ole lye test. Sure enough it was hot, but not extreme. I cut off a bar and it had flecks and cloudy spots all through it. I have no idea what happened. This has never happened before. I stir HP the whole time so there shouldn't be any way that this could happen.

I'm thinking that I can cure it. I've insulated it and will check it in the morning. Can anybody give me a guess as to what happened and how to fix it?
 

IanT

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I think maybe the lye didnt dissolve all the way?? Im not good at hot process, but dont use it til your sure its safe!!!! (did you check your recipe again??)
 

Soapmaker Man

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Unless you did not stir the lye solution up very good, I don't think this is a lye issue. If the lye solution was stirred until clear, and no signs of flakes or beads were left in the solution, again, not a undissolved lye issue.

Paul :wink:

"With enough soap, you can blow up just about anything." --Fight Club
 

antella

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I got flecks when I was using that troublesome lye I bought. So glad I only bought two lbs of it!

Where there were a few tiny white spots I took a knife and dug them out and "spackled" the holes in with extra soap from the same batch's scraps.

But I always prefer lye that dissolves well. If it never did it will show up in the soap, guaranteed. Sorry you had that problem and lavender oil is not cheap stuff.
 
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Did you use Palmoil? sometimes if you dont stir your Palm good ..the stearic acid shows thru the finish bar..white specks..
 

IrishLass

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Right here, silly!
smellitlikeitis said:
Did you use Palmoil? sometimes if you dont stir your Palm good ..the stearic acid shows thru the finish bar..white specks..

Ditto. Cocoa butter can do the speck thing, too, as well as Mango butter if you soap too cool. They have a lot of stearic acid in them, which I've found tends to re-solidify unless you soap over a certain temperature.




IrishLass
 

Soapmaker Man

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I bet you two are dead on. I agree, I bet it is stearic acid that has not incorporated at high enough temperature, then appeared as the soap set.
My favorite recipe is a tad on the softer side, a 37 on SoapCalc hardness. I add 3% stearic acid, to bring the hardness to a 40. When I melt my hard oils, I make sure all the stearic is completely incorporated, and let the hard oils and stearic acid set at 200 degrees for a few minutes in my Presto Pot.

Paul
 

chrisinflorida

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I think they are dead on too. When I started substituting palm oil for lard in some of my recipes I started getting the white spots at times and it would try to resolidify while I was mixing it. I had no idea what was going on at first, but later figured it must be the palm because nothing else changed really. I also thought it could have been the FOs at the time, but now I know it was the palm oil.

Chris
 

antella

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I've never had flecks and cloudy spots from oils unless I didn't insulate and gell didn't happen completely enough. Also don't often stir my palm oil before using.

But I'm convinced that some oils are more prone to speckled and streaked ash with certain ess oils and fragrances, but not others. Hard to anticipate until it happens.
 
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smellitlikeitis said:
Did you use Palmoil? sometimes if you dont stir your Palm good ..the stearic acid shows thru the finish bar..white specks..
Thanks everyone for all the feedback. This is a goat's milk soap recipe that has been great for five years. 1 pound 4 oz of my six pound recipe is palm oil. I poked out one of the flecks and touched it to my tongue and its really hot. The white specks are all over the place. Does stearic acid burn like lye? Can I use this soap? I did notice, when I cut it that it was hard...
 

Soapmaker Man

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No stearic acid won't burn like lye does. If the white speck burns, it must be undesolved lye. :?

Paul :wink:
 
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La Oberhasli said:
smellitlikeitis said:
Did you use Palmoil? sometimes if you dont stir your Palm good ..the stearic acid shows thru the finish bar..white specks..
Thanks everyone for all the feedback. This is a goat's milk soap recipe that has been great for five years. 1 pound 4 oz of my six pound recipe is palm oil. I poked out one of the flecks and touched it to my tongue and its really hot. The white specks are all over the place. Does stearic acid burn like lye? Can I use this soap? I did notice, when I cut it that it was hard...
Interesting.. Palm doesnt burn.. must be lye.. how odd is that.... :?
 

IanT

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probably a fluke, maybe the atmospheric conditions were different in the house when you made it on that day?? does humidity affect the lye-sap process?? maybe the water was bad that day?? (they sometimes have problems with pipe breakages leading to water with nasties in it...not sure if that would fit in...)
 
G

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Ok, sorry for any confusion. Apparently I tasted the specks when the soap itself was warm from my making it. I went back today and poked out another one. After touching it to my tongue with no negative side effects, I put the whole thing in my mouth. Other than tasting awful, it did not burn me.

I don't use water in my recipe, just goat's milk. The only thing that could've been different was that the milk could've been part colostrum. Colostrum contains less water than regular milk, but I made another batch afterwards with the same milk and it came out great.

I think the stearic acid is a safe assumption. Thanks everyone.
 

IanT

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, I put the whole thing in my mouth. Other than tasting awful, it did not burn me.
hehe now you sound like your learning from me :)

I lick my soaps :)
 

antella

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If you mixed your lye well and it all dissolved (harder to see in milk than water), melted all your oils and soaped them when they were still melted, and stick blended, it's still a mystery to me as to why you had these spots. Even if you didn't totally premelt and stir your palm oil or gell this batch. I seldom gell lavender soap with milk and the only thing different from gell is that it's whiter soap.

Hope your next batch behaves!
 
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Yeah, I don't just use a stick blender, of sorts, I use a drill with a plastic paint mixer on the end. I whisk the milk for a good while, a minute at least to make sure that the lye is blended. The oils get hot while the milk is in the freezer, so I'm positive that they are melted. At this point, I really don't think its lye. Thanks!

IanT: I do too except with everything. I thought it was just farm people that did that. :D
 
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