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My soap becomes too hard after 3 hours

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Louis

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Hello soap makers, happy new year.
I'm a new soap maker. I made my first batch of and in the middle while I was still mixing, I added a foaming agent and the soap failed. Water separated and when I put into the form it became too hard .
My recipe was:
Neem oil 30%
Kernel oil 30%
Shea butter 20%
Honey 12%
Castor oil 4%
Cocoa butter 2%
Snail water 1%
Salicylic acid 1%
Lye 38% of oils
Water 62% of oils .
Please I need your help because I tried the second batch not adding the foaming agent and the water didn't separate but the soap still became too hard after a short time . And after some days, some white substance started coming out of the soap.
 

SoapySuds

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Hello!

Welcome to soap making!

Congrats on your first few batches of soap, whether it’s a success or not, you have made soap! :) Many many many batches lay in your future, some will be excellent and some will be disasters.

What is the foaming agent you added and then subtracted? Are there other ingredients not listed in this list? Because they could be contributing to the issues as well.

In perusing your recipe here, I see you have a percentage for honey of 12%. Depending on the weight of your chosen honey, it could be anywhere from 5-11 teaspoons of honey per pound of oils.

It is recommended that the addition of sugar and honeys (which are a foaming agent) not to exceed 1-2 tsp per pound of oils.

Sugar is a catalyst (speeds up the reaction of saponification) and will cause over heating in a loaf of soap.

Practically speaking, your soap will become ready to slice up in a few hours.

What kind of kernel oil? Palm? Peach? Apricot?

Have you ran this through a soap calculator? (Soapmakingfriend.com, soapcalc.net, etc)

Because you have your oils being a total of 86% and are missing 14% oils for a recipe.

Honey, salicylic acid, snail water, etc are not oils and should not be included as oils in your recipe.

I see you have also included salycilic acid in your soap!! Fancy ingredient!

Here’s what may happen with your acid: it will react with the base (lye, NaOH) and become a salt of sodium salicylate. I could be wrong, but @DeeAnna can clarify on the chemistry. you may want to rethink this ingredient.

The white substance could be soda ash or lye crystals, depending on how you measured (by weight or volume). Volume is so so different, let me tell you a yarn of some crappy soap I made by measuring out by volume.... nah, I’ll save it for another time ;)

If you substituted oils for oils in a recipe you found online and then other ingredients for oils in a recipe, you could have a lye heavy soap, excess of lye, and that would be excess lye making its way out of your soap.

Different oils have different saponification SAP values and use different amounts of lye to become soap, I wish they were easily swapped like cooking, but it’s not, however there are free soap calculators that do all the work for you!

Here’s a hug and some advice: save your special and expensive ingredients until you get down soap making with inexpensive oils. It’ll be nicer on the pocketbook, and you won’t kick yourself for wasting money and ingredients.

Either way, you’ve got a few batches of soap under your belt!

Try a coconut, olive oil, castor and palm oil soap to start! I know, no fun ingredients, but you’ll have fun with the process!:):thumbs::)
 

shunt2011

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Welcome!! Your recipe is way off to be a balanced soap. What kind of soap are you making and for what purpose? What kind of Kernel oil are you using? Are you running your recipes through a soap calculator and your recipe doesn't add up to a 100%. You don't count honey, or snail water. Those should be subtracted from your water amount. Also, using anything under 5% doesn't bring anything to the party. So, you've got bigger problems with your recipe. Why salicylic acid? That should also be separate from your lye calculation I believe. What foaming agent are you using?
 

Louis

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Welcome!! Your recipe is way off to be a balanced soap. What kind of soap are you making and for what purpose? What kind of Kernel oil are you using? Are you running your recipes through a soap calculator and your recipe doesn't add up to a 100%. You don't count honey, or snail water. Those should be subtracted from your water amount. Also, using anything under 5% doesn't bring anything to the party. So, you've got bigger problems with your recipe. Why salicylic acid? That should also be separate from your lye calculation I believe. What foaming agent are you using?
Thank you very much for your kind and quick response. I've learned a lot from your responses. I am making a soap that treats skin infections like acne, scabies, rashes, eczema stretch marks, fungi infections and that moisturizes, refreshes and revitalizes the skin. I think considering your responses, I redo a better batch but any other contributions will help.
 

shunt2011

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Hopefully you’ve done your homework to know that soap is a wash off product and not on the skin long enough and won’t do much of anything for what you’ve listed.

You’d do better to make a leave on product.

Soap will clean and either more or less cleansing. Also, Shea may be an irritant to those with skin sensitivities in soap.

You also haven’t clarified what kind of kernel oils you’ve used.
 

Louis

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Hopefully you’ve done your homework to know that soap is a wash off product and not on the skin long enough and won’t do much of anything for what you’ve listed.

You’d do better to make a leave on product.

Soap will clean and either more or less cleansing. Also, Shea may be an irritant to those with skin sensitivities in soap.

You also haven’t clarified what kind of kernel oils you’ve used.
Thanks a lot dear for your kind response. I used palm kernel oil
 

Dawni

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Hallo @Louis

Before you try the next batch please reread the earlier response regarding total of oils. All the oils/butters/fats/fatty acids should total 100%. Water and any other liquid, including honey and snail water, is a separate amount. Any additives like salt, clays, etc. are also separate. I'm not sure where salicylic acid falls under but definitely not with the base oils.

Having said that I'm going to play around with the oils you used, assuming that's all you have. If you have others, let us know.
Neem 30%
Palm kernel 23%
Cocoa butter 20%
Shea butter 20%
Castor 7%
Superfatted at 6%
To me, this is a more balanced recipe than the original. And while it may or may not help with the issues you mentioned, it should be ok soap. It will be better if you add an oleic oil like maybe olive, safflower or sunflower.

For the liquids I think 38% liquid as percent of oils is a little too much, if all else were correct. I myself use lye ratio coz it's the least confusing. Yours is around 2.8:1 whereas I'd use around 2:1 to 2.3:1. If including honey you need to subtract the weight of the honey from the amount of liquid given by the calculator. If it says 200 grams and your honey is 20 grams then your remaining liquids should total 180 grams.

I suspect it became too hard too soon because something is off with the recipe, and also the amount of palm kernel combined with the amount of shea. Neem I think also makes hard soap. Are you able to post a picture of the white stuff? It's hard to say what it is without being able to see it.

I hope you seriously read the advice you've been given before wasting expensive ingredients on another batch that might not be formulated correctly. If you post your recipe before making the soap, everyone can help you :)
 

Louis

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Hallo @Louis

Before you try the next batch please reread the earlier response regarding total of oils. All the oils/butters/fats/fatty acids should total 100%. Water and any other liquid, including honey and snail water, is a separate amount. Any additives like salt, clays, etc. are also separate. I'm not sure where salicylic acid falls under but definitely not with the base oils.

Having said that I'm going to play around with the oils you used, assuming that's all you have. If you have others, let us know.
Neem 30%
Palm kernel 23%
Cocoa butter 20%
Shea butter 20%
Castor 7%
Superfatted at 6%
To me, this is a more balanced recipe than the original. And while it may or may not help with the issues you mentioned, it should be ok soap. It will be better if you add an oleic oil like maybe olive, safflower or sunflower.

For the liquids I think 38% liquid as percent of oils is a little too much, if all else were correct. I myself use lye ratio coz it's the least confusing. Yours is around 2.8:1 whereas I'd use around 2:1 to 2.3:1. If including honey you need to subtract the weight of the honey from the amount of liquid given by the calculator. If it says 200 grams and your honey is 20 grams then your remaining liquids should total 180 grams.

I suspect it became too hard too soon because something is off with the recipe, and also the amount of palm kernel combined with the amount of shea. Neem I think also makes hard soap. Are you able to post a picture of the white stuff? It's hard to say what it is without being able to see it.

I hope you seriously read the advice you've been given before wasting expensive ingredients on another batch that might not be formulated correctly. If you post your recipe before making the soap, everyone can help you :)
Thanks a lot Dawni. I've considered completing my oils to 100% and considering honey and snail water as additives. This time I didn't add salicylic acid. The hardness of the soap this time was OK.
Talking about the white substance that came out of the Soap, I've uploaded two photos. You can see them.
I am gradually becoming a master. I believe that with your continuous mentorship, I'll be successful.
Thank you.
 

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