Messed up salt bars?

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Saintlysoaper

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Hello all

Can I have some salt bar advice please?

The recipe was

80% coconut oil
10% avocado oil
10% sweet almond oil
Total oil weight is 300g

Salt 200g

Lye 41.7g
Water 120g

I only had premade lye of 66g plus 190g water (25.78% equivalent) so I set the lye concentration on soap calc to 25.78%, added together the suggested weight of water and lye and added 161.7g of premade lye.

Was this wrong?!
A week after curing the soap is fairly soft, like a regular soap recipe and gives me pin-prick type stinging after trying it out. It is not overly drying though.

Was my salt addition too low? (it was all I had on hand) is that the reason I did not get the rock hard bricks I was expecting?

Thanks in advance for any help you can give.
 

BlackDog

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I haven't done the math on your recipe but 25.78% lye concentration is a LOT of water. I usually use closer to 30%, and sometimes higher.

That doesn't solve your zappy problem, but it might be why your soap is taking longer to set up.
 

Saintlysoaper

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Yes, I think you're right about the water. I should have noticed that by taking the lye solution originally intended for a different recipe I ended up with a 40% water as % of oils.:(
 

AustinStraight

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The salt amount is fine! 300g seems like a small batch to me, though. Maybe something happened with your scale and the batch size didn't have a large enough margin for error to make up for it, making your soap lye-heavy? Though that seems unlikely with a 20% superfat. I think the oils you used could also have something to do with the softness - I usually don't make mine any less than 95% coconut oil. 80% coconut oil and 20% soft oils, especially with a large superfat, could definitely make for a softer bar of soap.

Are you sure the lye solution you used had the correct amount of lye?
 

Saintlysoaper

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I definately weighed out the lye and water correctly. It was premade a few days before and stored in sealed plastic bottles but I gave it a shake to make sure it was homogenous. It was room temperature though so I assume the saponification would be slowed down. I wonder now whether the reason for the stinging might be a result of tiny cuts in the skin plus the salt. We have young cats so my hands might be more damaged than I realised. Also, I checked the pH and it is about 10-11 rather than the obvious 10 I usually get in my soaps.
 

shunt2011

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I do 80% CO salt soap all the time with 20%SF and they are hard as a rock within 4 hours. PH means nothing as soap is alkaline I would zap test it. If it zaps you've got excess lye. I too think too much water was used as well as too small a batch. Perhaps a scale malfunction or measuring mishap.
 

Saintlysoaper

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Could well be, I had to use an alternative scale as the battery ran out in my reliable regular one. Hmm, all in all it was a bit doomed from the start! Hopefully the second attempt will be better as I really love the salt bars I have bought.
 

IrishLass

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Right here, silly!
With batches that are any smaller than 455g-500g, even if one carefully weighs everything correctly, one could still end up with a very wonky batch, depending upon the kind of scale you used to weigh the ingredients. Whenever I make batches that are any smaller than 455g, I set aside my regular soaping scale and bring out my handy fine-precision scale which can weigh accurately as far down as .01g, because the smaller the size of batch, the exponentially greater the room for errors, especially when weighing lye.

I wouldn't toss your wonky batch out, though. Keep it around for 6 months and test it out again then. It may be that you'll be pleasantly surprised. :)



IrishLass :)
 

Susie

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I definately weighed out the lye and water correctly. It was premade a few days before and stored in sealed plastic bottles but I gave it a shake to make sure it was homogenous. It was room temperature though so I assume the saponification would be slowed down. I wonder now whether the reason for the stinging might be a result of tiny cuts in the skin plus the salt. We have young cats so my hands might be more damaged than I realised. Also, I checked the pH and it is about 10-11 rather than the obvious 10 I usually get in my soaps.
You need to zap test it. pH measurements are notoriously inaccurate when testing soap. Then there is the whole dilute it to the proper percentage issue...
 
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