My first soap volcano experiment :)

SoapMakingForum

Help Support SoapMakingForum:

Ashraf Emam

Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2020
Messages
14
Reaction score
12
Location
Egypt
Hi beautiful group, I want to share with you my first liquid soap volcano experiment, and by experiment I don't mean I did it in purpose I mean it's the first time to happen to me.

Well, to make this post useful and helpful to everyone I will start by saying that my soap consists of coconut oil, olive oil, castor oil and sunflower oil. I am using 98% pure KOH, 2:1 water to lye, no glycerin in water :) ..

Usually I wait for the oils mix temperature to reach about 60 Celsius (140 F) and the lye around 65 C (149 F) .. This time I didn't catch the temperature at the right time, and I just assumed that it seemed OK as I was in a hurry and have many other things to do.

When I first mixed everything in the slow cooker the soap separate at first, goes rapidly to apple pie stage, mashed potato in the bottom .. and suddenly when everything seemed to be back on the track.. YES .. the soap started to go up .. up .. higher .. higher .. no matter what I do I can't stop a chemical reaction .. turning off the heat, adding cool water, nothing will stop it once it started the volcano ..

Now I knew that my lye temperature was around 85 C (because I boiled the water to purify it then added the KOH in a hurry) .. my oils mix was around 70 or 75 C ..

The lesson I have learned today was .. You will never stop learning .. and don't trust your soap no matter how long or how many time you did it before .. Well, I guess that's all .. Thank you wonderful group.
 

AliOop

Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
3,712
Reaction score
5,726
Location
US
While I don't have enough experience with LS to say why the volcano happened, I am wondering if you tried to use a whisk to stir it down vigorously. This always works for my HP volcanos, because it releases the hot air that is trapped, and allows the batter to cool and deflate.

In any event, I hope your batch was not a total loss.
 

Ashraf Emam

Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2020
Messages
14
Reaction score
12
Location
Egypt
While I don't have enough experience with LS to say why the volcano happened, I am wondering if you tried to use a whisk to stir it down vigorously. This always works for my HP volcanos, because it releases the hot air that is trapped, and allows the batter to cool and deflate.

In any event, I hope your batch was not a total loss.
Thank you, No my batch wasn't totally lost .. and I did tried the whisk but the volcano was so rough that no whisk can handle it. It's a chemical reaction due to the high temperature and it happened fast, the regular temperature should be around 45 C - 55 C for both the oils and the lye .. In my case I went over 80 C
 

Zany_in_CO

Saponifier
Joined
Mar 9, 2017
Messages
5,637
Reaction score
4,851
Location
SE Denver CO
2:1 water to lye,.
While 2:1 water to lye ratio works in some cases, it's best to use 3:1 water to lye ratio to avoid exactly what happened to you.
Usually I wait for the oils mix temperature to reach about 60 Celsius (140 F) and the lye around 65 C (149 F)
Combine when oils are 60° C (140° F) and lye is 71° C (160° F) Maintain 71° C (160° F) while bringing the batch to trace. If temps are too low, it takes longer to trace.
.. the soap started to go up .. up .. higher .. higher .. no matter what I do I can't stop a chemical reaction .. turning off the heat, adding cool water, nothing will stop it once it started the volcano ..
I've been there, done that! More than once! LOL Exciting, isn't it? When that happens, I quickly move the container to the sink and stir it down. This is difficult to do with a slow cooker/crockpot unless you can lift the ceramic pot out. I bring my batch to trace first before placing it in the slow cooker/crockpot.
Now I knew that my lye temperature was around 85 C (because I boiled the water to purify it then added the KOH in a hurry) .. my oils mix was around 70 or 75 C ..
If temps are too high, the batch may bloat up and over the sides of the container. Also, high heat increases the speed in which the chemical reaction takes place.
85° C (185° F) lye solution. 70° C - 75° F (158°- 167°F) oils is hotter than recommended but I think you might have been okay if you had used the 3:1 water to lye ratio. ;)

ETA: Thanks for sharing your adventure! :thumbup:
 
Last edited:

Ashraf Emam

Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2020
Messages
14
Reaction score
12
Location
Egypt
While 2:1 water to lye ratio works in some cases, it's best to use 3:1 water to lye ratio to avoid exactly what happened to you.

Combine when oils are 60° C (140° F) and lye is 71° C (160° F) Maintain 71° C (160° F) while bringing the batch to trace. If temps are too low, it takes longer to trace.

I've been there, done that! More than once! LOL Exciting, isn't it? When that happens, I quickly move the container to the sink and stir it down. This is difficult to do with a slow cooker/crockpot unless you can lift the ceramic pot out. I bring my batch to trace first before placing it in the slow cooker/crockpot.

If temps are too high, the batch may bloat up and over the sides of the container. Also, high heat increases the speed in which the chemical reaction takes place.
85° C (185° F) lye solution. 70° C - 75° F (158°- 167°F) oils is hotter than recommended but I think you might have been okay if you had used the 3:1 water to lye ratio. ;)

ETA: Thanks for sharing your adventure! :thumbup:
Waw!! Thank you for being so informative .. you are great in analyzing and sure enough you are great in making soap .. Good day to you :)
 

Nibiru2020

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2021
Messages
49
Reaction score
73
Location
Austin, TX USA
I use a 4:1 Water / KOH ratio. Really cuts down on volcanoes and makes it easier to mix with distilled water after saponification.

Where did you buy 98% KOH? Just curious... I can get 92% from Amazon, but that's the purest I've found without going to a lab chemical supplier.
 

Ashraf Emam

Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2020
Messages
14
Reaction score
12
Location
Egypt
I use a 4:1 Water / KOH ratio. Really cuts down on volcanoes and makes it easier to mix with distilled water after saponification.

Where did you buy 98% KOH? Just curious... I can get 92% from Amazon, but that's the purest I've found without going to a lab chemical supplier.
It really depends on the country you are from, I am from Egypt and for several reasons (not to be mentioned here) this type of industry (producing KOH and NaOH) is so important and the final products is well know for their quality.
 
Top