My First Attempt, need advice.

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sparky660

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Just finished pulling my first batch out of the mold and other than the odd texture on the top I think it went well. Is this residue anything to worry about?

The lye was about 120 F and the oils about 105F when combined. Added 31 grams of coconut fragrance oil at trace. Ambient temp in the house was 22c(about 75F). I insulated immediately, checked it an hour later, and found a crack forming, I panicked and thought it was overheating and removed the towel. I think it was the opposite and maybe too cool. What’s your thoughts? Next time I’ll try the oven process I think.

I forgot to add that the first mixer I was using malfunctioned and aerated they soap terrible. The bubbles persisted while using the backup blender I had but did seem to disappear when I added the scent and stirred it in with the whisk.
 

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Arimara

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Cracks do happen when soaps overheat and Coconut FO is a mover from my understanding. Your soap is likely fine. Did it zap.
 

elurah

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Hi Sparky,

This recipe looks good to me, and if you put in all ingredients as listed, you should have a very usable soap in 6 weeks!

With regards to your specific questions, can you post photos of your soaps? I have a couple of thoughts though that may be able to trouble shoot what happened:

Top of Soap
- A whiter, powdery surface on top is most likely do to soda ash. This happens when the sodium hydroxide interacts with carbon dioxide. It is not harmful but some people do not like the aesthetic. I think it can add cool texture to some soaps. You can prevent this by spritzing the top of your soaps with isopropyl alcohol or by using less water when making soaps. Your current water to lye ratio is 2.5:1. You can try 2.0:1 or 2.2:1 and see how this works for you. I usually only use extra water if I am planning to swirl the soap with extra colors and need a little bit more time to work. You can "treat" soda ash tops with a water steamer which will make it look less powdery.
- Less likely: Soap can also be a lighter color if it has not gelled. Ungelled soap looks creamy and the colors are more pastel, understated. Gelled soap looks more translucent and the colors are more vibrant. Partial gel is when the warm inside of the soap gels, and the cooler outside does not.

Cracking
- Usually, I think of soap cracking when it gets too hot. Did you add any sugar, honey, or milk to this soap? That can increase the temperature. Some fragrance oils can make soap overheat as well, so it may have been the coconut fragrance.
- I usually soap 96-100F because that is what I originally learned. Others soap at 115-120. You could try to do the same recipe but at a cooler temperature and see what happens. Whatever strategy you choose, I would try to have the lye water temperature and the oil temperature as close as possible. This can particularly be an issue if the lye water is colder than the oils and it causes "false trace" because the oils are hardening/solidifying, not saponifying.

Hope this helps!
Allie
 

sparky660

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I have not. I was going to wait a couple of days before doing the zap test. I’ve read online to wait a few days, can it be done earlier?

Hi Sparky,

This recipe looks good to me, and if you put in all ingredients as listed, you should have a very usable soap in 6 weeks!

With regards to your specific questions, can you post photos of your soaps? I have a couple of thoughts though that may be able to trouble shoot what happened:

Top of Soap
- A whiter, powdery surface on top is most likely do to soda ash. This happens when the sodium hydroxide interacts with carbon dioxide. It is not harmful but some people do not like the aesthetic. I think it can add cool texture to some soaps. You can prevent this by spritzing the top of your soaps with isopropyl alcohol or by using less water when making soaps. Your current water to lye ratio is 2.5:1. You can try 2.0:1 or 2.2:1 and see how this works for you. I usually only use extra water if I am planning to swirl the soap with extra colors and need a little bit more time to work. You can "treat" soda ash tops with a water steamer which will make it look less powdery.
- Less likely: Soap can also be a lighter color if it has not gelled. Ungelled soap looks creamy and the colors are more pastel, understated. Gelled soap looks more translucent and the colors are more vibrant. Partial gel is when the warm inside of the soap gels, and the cooler outside does not.

Cracking
- Usually, I think of soap cracking when it gets too hot. Did you add any sugar, honey, or milk to this soap? That can increase the temperature. Some fragrance oils can make soap overheat as well, so it may have been the coconut fragrance.
- I usually soap 96-100F because that is what I originally learned. Others soap at 115-120. You could try to do the same recipe but at a cooler temperature and see what happens. Whatever strategy you choose, I would try to have the lye water temperature and the oil temperature as close as possible. This can particularly be an issue if the lye water is colder than the oils and it causes "false trace" because the oils are hardening/solidifying, not saponifying.

Hope this helps!
Allie
Thanks for the advice it will give me a starting point. I did not add anything other than the fragrance to the recipe. I think I’ll try at a lower mix temperature and insure both the lye and the oil temps are the same. I’ve edited my original post and added pictures of the soap.
 
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atiz

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I have not. I was going to wait a couple of days before doing the zap test. I’ve read online to wait a few days, can it be done earlier?
Yes, you can do it earlier, as soon as you unmold (or, really, even on raw batter but I would strongly recommend against that). If it does zap, then you should wait a few more days (or even more) to see if it "cures out" the zap.
They look nice white bars!
 

sparky660

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Yes, you can do it earlier, as soon as you unmold (or, really, even on raw batter but I would strongly recommend against that). If it does zap, then you should wait a few more days (or even more) to see if it "cures out" the zap.
They look nice white bars!
Just did the zap test and am happy to report felt nothing.
 

cmzaha

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Coconut FO's are pretty notorious for overheating. Your lye was pretty hot for soaping with a coconut fo. When I soap my coconut fo's I chill my molds and soap cool, but I know my coconut fo overheats severely. Many times the reviews for you fo will tell you how the fo acts.
 

shunt2011

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Between the higher coconut and the Coconut FO I think your soap got really hot. Overheating is the only time I've ever had my soap crack.
 

Microchick

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I have not. I was going to wait a couple of days before doing the zap test. I’ve read online to wait a few days, can it be done earlier?



Thanks for the advice it will give me a starting point. I did not add anything other than the fragrance to the recipe. I think I’ll try at a lower mix temperature and insure both the lye and the oil temps are the same. I’ve edited my original post and added pictures of the soap.[/
Don’t fret about keeping the temps of oil and lye the same. I started out soaping at high temps and gradually settled on room temp to 90F. I have read that lye shouldn’t be hotter but not sure if that is gospel.
If you should find your soap is too drying you may want to reduce your coconut oil, maybe not higher than 25%.
Happy soaping and stay safe!
 

sparky660

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Thanks for all the input. The next batch will be a lavender scent and will drop the coconut to 25% and see what I get.
 

Nona'sFarm

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Great first soap!
Just FYI, I have found I like coconut oil at 20%, more seems to be drying, but everyone's skin is different. I make up the other hard oils with some palm and shea butter. Don't know what is available and affordable in your area, so this may not be an option.
 
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