My first transparent soap- the good the bad and the ugly

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Shahtura

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After experimenting a couple of times with making CP soap successfully, I have decided to up the stakes and try making HP transparent soap with a little purple color.

The recipe was as follows:

Palm oil 250 gram
Coconut oil 300 gram
Castor oil 250 gram
olive oil 200 gram

Lye 142 gram (5% discount)
Water 380 gram

Lavender essential oil 31 gram

For solvents :
Alcohol 360 gram
Glycerin 195 gram

Sugar 195 gram
water 145 gram

I will explain in detail what I did because I am not happy with the results and I solicit advice for what I have done wrong and maybe how to reuse it for a better final product. English is not my mother language so please bear with me.

I warmed up my crock pot on low and added the CO שמג PO. Once they have melted, I added OO+castor oil.

I prepared the lye + water+ 1.5 tsp sugar PPO solution and stirred it until it became transparent. I added the solution to the oils stirred it by hand and later with my stick blender until trace. I added the alcohol and covered the crockpot with the lid so alcohol doesn't evaporate. I continued cooking it and checking that it went thru all the stages , as far as I can tell (from trace to get, apple sause , mash potato until it looked like vaselin). The entire process took 2+ hours. I checked with my fingers the textures and made the zap test.

I added distilled sugar water and glicerin and turned off the crockpot and waited 15 minutes and at that time added lavender EO and a lttle coloring.

I tested a little in a glass that was stored in the freezer and checked for transparency. I poured the paste into my cavity molds and kept it in the fridge for some 36 hours. I took the bars from the molds and they have been sitting 3 days now.

The bars are not hard enough . They are a little flexible. Also they feel oily when I touch them. There is also a little clouding.

I will attach a few pictures and would love to hear critism about what I have done wrong.

One conclusion I have is that I can't hurry the learning curve. Trying to make HP for first time + trying to make the soap transparent + adding dye for first time , might be too much .

The white bars on upper left corner of last picture are the last ones from my CP trials that I am happy with and that I have got many compliments about their quality.

Thanks in advance for all comments .

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Viore

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I like the way it turned out. The purple is a very nice shade! I'm sorry I don't have any tips for you.
 

cmzaha

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Good Earth Spa has a decent tutorial for making transparent soap that will re-melt. It takes the surfactants and solvents to make a true m&p soap, but it will not be equal to what the "big boys" make. It will remelt, but it is such a low temp melt the poured soaps tend to wrinkle. Believe me it is NOT cost effective to make yourself.

[ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHS1V8HIwoE[/ame]

replacing your alcohol with propylene glycol will help. I have made one recipe, do not want to post it since I do not have permission, using 800 grams oil and 285 g propylene glycol, 70g glycerin and 345 g of a 57% sugar solution.
 

Cindy2428

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Very well done. An early soapy goal of mine was to make my own, but the quality of the mp soap out there has improved so much, it's just easier to buy.
 

topofmurrayhill

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I will explain in detail what I did because I am not happy with the results and I solicit advice for what I have done wrong and maybe how to reuse it for a better final product. English is not my mother language so please bear with me.

The bars are not hard enough . They are a little flexible. Also they feel oily when I touch them. There is also a little clouding.
Good work. The solution to the things you don't like are very simple.

This recipe has too much soft oil for this type of soap. Try 500 g palm, 300 g coconut, 200 g castor.

Don't add any sugar at the beginning. Impurities in the sugar can discolor your soap. There is also too much total sugar, which makes the soap like rubber. Use only the solvent sugar and decrease it to 156 g,

Eliminate the lye discount.

Be sure to use 95% alcohol.

The way that a slow cooker heats makes it difficult to use for this type of procedure without problems. Use a double boiler if possible. Be very careful with the alcohol. I prefer to use electric heat rather than a gas flame.

Don't do the HP with alcohol. It will be very difficult to prevent boiling away too much of it. There are various ways you can do this. For example, take it to the mashed potato stage, turn off the double boiler and leave it covered over the hot water for a few hours, then zap test.

Once you have neutral soap, dissolve it with the alcohol and glycerin. Seal it as tightly as possible and boil very gently for 30 minutes. If you see a thick head of foam on top, add alcohol to bring it down. For small batches, you will very likely need to add that extra alcohol by eye to dissolve all the soap. Before proceeding, check that the solution is clear and has no bits of soap suspended in it.

Make sure the sugar is completely dissolved before adding it to the pot. Cook for just a couple of minutes and hopefully it is ready to scent, color and pour.

Be sure to use distilled water.
 

Shahtura

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Good work. The solution to the things you don't like are very simple.

This recipe has too much soft oil for this type of soap. Try 500 g palm, 300 g coconut, 200 g castor.

Don't add any sugar at the beginning. Impurities in the sugar can discolor your soap. There is also too much total sugar, which makes the soap like rubber. Use only the solvent sugar and decrease it to 156 g,

Eliminate the lye discount.

Be sure to use 95% alcohol.

The way that a slow cooker heats makes it difficult to use for this type of procedure without problems. Use a double boiler if possible. Be very careful with the alcohol. I prefer to use electric heat rather than a gas flame.

Don't do the HP with alcohol. It will be very difficult to prevent boiling away too much of it. There are various ways you can do this. For example, take it to the mashed potato stage, turn off the double boiler and leave it covered over the hot water for a few hours, then zap test.

Once you have neutral soap, dissolve it with the alcohol and glycerin. Seal it as tightly as possible and boil very gently for 30 minutes. If you see a thick head of foam on top, add alcohol to bring it down. For small batches, you will very likely need to add that extra alcohol by eye to dissolve all the soap. Before proceeding, check that the solution is clear and has no bits of soap suspended in it.

Make sure the sugar is completely dissolved before adding it to the pot. Cook for just a couple of minutes and hopefully it is ready to scent, color and pour.

Be sure to use distilled water.
Thanks for your detailed and full of good tips reply. I will definitely use it next time I try to make such a soap.

My alcohol was 95% and I used distilled water. Next time I will use less soft oils. In fact I will use your suggested recipe.

I take to heart your advice to reduce sugar and eliminate lye discount.

I chose the crockpot method because I didn't want to use alcohol with a double boiler over a gas flame. I thought the crockpot is sealed well and I wouldn't have to seal it with bungees as Failor suggests.Using electric heat is a great solution when using alcohol.

One question remains and it is what can I do with this batch and will time improve those existing bars?

Again, thanks a million for this great advice.
 

topofmurrayhill

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One question remains and it is what can I do with this batch and will time improve those existing bars?

Again, thanks a million for this great advice.
There is no rebatching procedure for this type of soap as far as I know.

If you like to use the soap, enjoy it. You can try to perfect it next time. There are often a few problems the first time you do something, and this technique is pretty advanced. There are various types of transparent soap, but you don't need to give up on this method before you master it. You're very close.

Here is one of mine made with the same technique.
http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=59007

Finally, yes, the bars should improve over time. It's hard to say how much. When soap is rubber from sugar it tends to stay that way, but evaporation of alcohol should improve it.
 
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