My first soap making attempt :-)

Discussion in 'Beginners Soap Making Forum' started by Menny, Feb 10, 2019.

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  1. Feb 10, 2019 #1

    Menny

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    Hi everyone,
    Been here for 2 weeks trying to learn as much as I can from your experience, felt it's time for me to start my first soap making attempt.
    I used:
    490 grams of Olive oil
    310 grams of Coconut oil
    30 grams of shea butter
    169 grams of lye
    254 grams of distilled water
    1 tablespoon of an ctivated charcoal
    1 tablespoon of white kaoline clay
    1 teaspoon of Mica gold powder color.
    I was trying to make a marbled soap but unfortunately I did not succeed...Something else came out.
    The predominant color is black, the white I wanted seems like fade away, and the gold is present but in a very small quantity.
    Additionally, I've just checked the soap which is still in the mold, and saw cracks in upper part (I have attached a photo)
    Yesterday when I put up that recepie in Soapcalc it shows me that all bar qualities were in range (I have attached a photo).
    Could you help me and tell me what was wrong?
     

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  2. Feb 10, 2019 #2

    Meena

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    Cracking is from overheating, but I'm not entirely sure why that would have happened. Possibly because your water discount seems steep to me. 2:1 water would have been 338 grams.

    I noticed your 40% lye concentration and can't say I've ever seen it that high -- where did that # come from, did you input it? Not sure but your soap might be lye heavy, have you given it the 'zap test' where you make a bit of suds and touch your finger very lightly to the tip of your tongue (looking for any buzz, like touching your tongue to battery posts) ?

    Also, one of your qualities is out of range - cleansing. This soap is going to be very stripping to the natural skin oils.
    Hopefully someone with more experience than I have will chime in! :computerbath:
     
  3. Feb 10, 2019 #3

    cmzaha

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    The 40% lye concentration will not cause cracking also lye concentration does not lead to lye heavy soap if it is measured correctly. It is a fairly common concentration when using high OO or 100% olive. It means less liquid is used which and the soap will not get as hot and slow to gel or even not gel. Higher water higher heat

    What will cause it is if gel was forced by using external heat such as heat pads or the oven. Overheating usually causes cracks and CO tends to get pretty warm
     
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  4. Feb 10, 2019 #4

    Menny

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    I thought 40% is a favorite percentages for soap isn't it? Never heard about that zap test....
    I just attached the ingredients relying on things that I read in the net about soap making.
    But I guess I was arong at least with the lye quantity.
    So....Lye, too much. How can I determine the lye quantity/percentage I need? Thank you Meena :)
    Any more mistakes ?
     
  5. Feb 10, 2019 #5

    LaToya

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    @Menny Did you create this recipe yourself?
     
  6. Feb 10, 2019 #6

    Meena

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    Thanks, cmzaha -- I just had not seen that before in my whole one month of soaping... :confused:

    @Menny , did you use external heat to force gel after you molded?

    I was told to use 33% lye concentration, and more recently told that more like 30% is better if I want gel. This is literally the first I'm seeing such a high lye # but @cmzaha is very experienced so I'd rely first on that. :)
     
  7. Feb 10, 2019 #7

    Menny

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    Well all ingredients were measured.
    I didn't use any external heat but maybe the lye was a bit warmer then the oils? because I still not have the laser termometer (I ordered from ebay should arrive begining march).
    I'de love to have a foamy soap. Are CO and OO are considered foamy soap makers? Or, what parameter will determine the foamy level of the soap?

    Yes I do :( Is it that bad? o_O I'de love to have a foamy soap...

    No Meena I did not. Is 33% won't make the soap to soft? What are the benefits of that percentage?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 12, 2019
  8. Feb 10, 2019 #8

    Meena

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    "Measured" or weighed?? If you measured your lye and water, it's probably wrong because lye weighs more than water. :)

    PKO and Babassu are also bubbly oils. This oils chart is a great refererence, I hand it out all the time because it's so invaluable (from my perspective). There are 3 charts so keep scrolling down for more fantastic info. http://www.lovinsoap.com/oils-chart/
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
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  9. Feb 10, 2019 #9

    cmzaha

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    High CO soap can be a bit stripping of the skins natural oils but some people love it and offset the stripping aspect with higher superfat. It all is what you like. I do admit with the percentage of CO you used I would have upped the superfat to 7 or 8%

    Overheating could occur with the lye being hot or on the warmer end and the oils being warmer than normal. Of course the word warm is subjective. Many of us here soap with oils that are warmed enough to just be clear and room temp lye. Since using higher CO your batter would tend to heat on it's own so if you also use quite warm lye and oils you have encouraged it to heat up and could cause cracking.
     
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  10. Feb 10, 2019 #10

    Meena

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    ETA: Hardness of soap is a function of ratio of hard oils to soft, and to curing time. Soap gets harder as it cures because the excess water evaporates.

    Slightly embarrassed to admit I don't know why that lye % is 'beneficial'. :oops: I've been at this a whole month, but a friend here who has soaped more than 30 years (IIRC) recommended that to me as a good general number. And, as mentioned in another post, I was subsequently told that a lesser % (more like 30%) would make it easier to achieve gel on the principle of more water, more heat, as @cmzaha said.
     
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  11. Feb 10, 2019 #11

    Menny

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    I just put in the numbers in Soapcalc and it calculated the lye concentration. Then I used the small kitchen weight.

    Mmmmm....30 years experience. I'll try that percentage as well :thumbs:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 12, 2019
  12. Feb 10, 2019 #12

    cmzaha

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    The 33% lye concentration is the average for a nice workable batter. Soap Calc defaults to 38% water as percent of oils which averages around 27%. This will usually give more work time for swirls but will also cause what is referred to as glycerin or crackling at time from higher heat. More liquid or lower lye percentage more heat. There are time I want more working time so I lower my lye percentage to 30%. After time you will find your sweet spot for lye concentration. When I make 100% OO soap I use 45% lye concentration, since OO is very slow at tracing, especially at 100%. Lard is also a slow tracer but not as slow as OO. I am not talking about Pomace, it will trace quicker.
     
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  13. Feb 10, 2019 #13

    LaToya

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    @Menny No it's not at bad thing you just have to double-check it in SoapCalc to make sure that you are getting the soapsproperties that you want and that you have accurate measurements for the amount that you are making.
     
  14. Feb 10, 2019 #14

    Dawni

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    This page should help you with the soap calc numbers :)
    There's also a page on the same site regarding water and lye which I highly recommend as well.
    But you are right about coconut, it does make nice bubbles. Most use it up to 20% and you'll find it bubbles with even less. You've already gotten good advice on that though so I won't expound more.
    It's great! You should be proud you didn't just pick up someone else's recipe and soaped it. It's all part of learning. You'll get your foamy soap with some tweaking soon, you'll see ;)
    Soft soap generally just needs a longer curing time, especially for high olive oil soap. More than the usually recommended 4-6wks. Unless you messed up somewhere lol :p
     
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  15. Feb 10, 2019 #15

    SaltedFig

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    I think the question of what happened has been covered (the soap overheated, possibly due to the higher coconut oil content and perhaps exaggerated by environmental factors, like insulation/wrapping and/or heating).

    I would like to say that I actually like the effect you have in your soap. If you are to look at this month's soap challenge, you will see that if you made another, plain white, small batch, possible just with olive oil and lye, and pour it over the top (into the cracks) you could exaggerate those cracks and make yourself a very interesting looking soap :)
    https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/february-challenge-soap-stones.73535/

    (The olive oil soap suggestion for the cracks would counteract a little the very cleansing action of coconut soap, and you could use your 40% lye concentration again for this - I make my olive oil soaps at about this lye concentration :)).

    PS. Sugars in your soap recipe help boost bubbles too, so you might be able to lower your coconut oil a little, without loosing bubblage ;)
     
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  16. Feb 11, 2019 #16

    KiwiMoose

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  17. Feb 11, 2019 #17

    Menny

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    Hi,
    Just completed my second attempt :)
    Attached the recepie and foto.
    What do you think?
    By the way, how many hours do I heed to wait for cutting the soap?
     

    Attached Files:

  18. Feb 11, 2019 #18

    penelopejane

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    Did you really use KOH (potassium hydroxide) instead of NaOH (sodium hydroxide)?

    Next time I would do a 500g batch while you are testing recipes.
     
  19. Feb 11, 2019 #19

    Zing

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    I gel my soap and it's usually ready to unmold and cut after 24 hours. Per @dixiedragon "When your soap is firm with some give, like a block of cheddar, it's ready to cut. Cream cheese or brie - too soft to cut. Parmesan - waited to long, it will be brittle."
     
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  20. Feb 11, 2019 #20

    Menny

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    Hey now that you're asking I notice that in the calculator I pressed the KOH bottom, but I used NaOH.............
    What should I do now?

    I've checked in the calcaulator, and change to NaOH, the lye should be 143. It means I used way more sodium then I should have.... And that explains what happened to me in the last one...:(
    Is there anything I can do now to save the batch?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 12, 2019

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