More water?

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welsh black

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just made a batch of soap with only 30%water in a almost all hard oils. Yes, now I know how fast it can set up!!

I haven't made soap for about 6 months, and I rushed the thought process, only thinking to lessen the chance of soda ash. Well, that side of it worked, but it made me think of what would happen if I increased the water from the default to say 42, 44 ?

Looking at some posts at water discount ect, some do full water for a translucent soap, so would more water give me that, and how high a water percent has anyone gone to?
 

Gerry

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I'd consider 30% to be my normal (high) water recipe. I soap pretty cool though. Usually I do 33% except for castile soap where I use 40% lye to water.

I think the translucency of soap is more directly related to jelling and temperature rather than simply the amount of water. But soap jells more easily and reaches a higher temperature with a higher water content, so perhaps that's the relationship. There are other ways to get higher temperatures and ensure a good gel than high water, including insulation factor of the mold, extra insulation over and around mold, ambient room temperature, as well as techniques like CPOP (using the oven).
 

DeeAnna

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Based on your comment "...increased the water from the default to say 42, 44 ?..." I take it you are talking about "water as % of oils?"

If so, to "discount" water in a way that makes the most sense, please start using "lye concentration" or "water:lye ratio" rather than "water as % of oils". You're going to get more consistent results in your soaps by making this one change.

Best reference thread on this subject: http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?p=530575
with links to these threads:
http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=54095 Post 12
http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=53642

Translucency in a regular type of soap comes from the soap getting warm enough so it goes into a liquid-like gel stage. Translucency also depends on the type of fats used and whether you add pigment colorants and how fast the soap cools after gelling.

Soap that has more water in it will gel at lower temperatures, but pretty much any soap will gel if it gets warm enough. Soap at 28% lye concentration will usually gel for most people most of the time. Soap made with higher lye concentrations might need to be warmed in the oven to reach gel temperatures.

You risk emulsion failure and separation in the mold if you use a lye concentration lower than about 28% (in other words, if you use even more water than "full" water).

If you want a true transparent/translucent soap, however, that is made in an entirely different way than a typical soap.
 
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earlene

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The most translucent looking CP soap I have made was 100% castor oil soap. Not see-through by any means, but the only soap that seemed to me as though it would actually qualify as sort of translucent. It was also full water and if I remember correctly, it did not gel. Maybe it would have been more translucent if it had. It was a part of an experiment where I did several 100% single oil soaps.

I think the only time I've gone beyond the lye calculator default for water is when I purposely made the Andalusian style Castile soap. That soap had a water to lye ratio of 6.3:1, which is a lot of water. (Incidentally it was 13.7% lye concentration.) But since I also added color to the soap I can't really say if it's any more translucent. Sorry. I should have kept out enough uncolored batter for one individual mold for comparison, but I didn't think of that at the time.
 

welsh black

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Thanks all,for your replies, especially the links which were very informative. I'll,use this chart by Roberto in the future. Shows how much I need to learn and how much I don't know.
 

IrishLass

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My 100% coconut oil soaps come out wonderfully translucent when fully gelled, as long as I don't add any TD to it, that is. One can get some pretty cool color effects when playing around with this particular characteristic of 100% CO soap. Below is a good example. The main part is colored with UM violet, and the swirled part is a mixture of UM green and polished bronze mica. It might be hard to tell from the picture, but in real life, it has a wonderfully translucent, 3-dimensional depth to it. Believe it or not, the opaque soap on the wooden dish is actually from the same batch, just un-gelled (I had set aside some of my batter to pour into an individual 3-D mold, then I left it out on my counter so that it wouldn't gel).





IrishLass :)
 

welsh black

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For a kilo batch of oils I used 15 drops of red CP colour and 5 drops of blue. Make the mistake in the blue one in colouring the oil, so I put too much in. Much better when I coloured the batter in the pink one.
 

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