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cbSoapworks

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Hello there fellow soap makers!

Im brand new to this forum and hope to gain some knowledge and share some knowledge.
Ive been making hot process soap for about six months. Learned a lot, started making money out of a hobby. Ive had hundreds of successful bars with different recipes since Ive started. But as luck would have it, Ive stumped myself and for the life of me cannot figure out what is going wrong with my most recent batches.

First off, Ive been using this exact recipe for many many batches now. Ive done all my cleaning and prep work the same way every time since I started making soap. Ive been using Crafters Choice raw materials since I started. My first few batch was made with Walmart Shorting which contains Tallow. The following batches were made without, replacing the shortening ingredient with a vegan option.
Attached are the recipes Ive been using for both style soaps (Vegan and NON vegan) In PDF form.
Also Attached are pictures of finished bars as well as the problem batches.

To rule out the major stuff, Ive used two different scales side by side and both were accurate with the readings. I measure all ingredients using Grams btw. Simply, the only difference between recent successful batches and the new batches were the raw ingredients.... with all my successful batches I used 8lb tubs of raw material and gallon containers of oils. For cost savings, I recently bumped up to the 28lb containers of raw materials. Since I received these materials, Ive been unsuccessful with 5 different cooks.

Every batch comes out super oily and will never harden...... EVER. weeks and weeks and weeks later

Which would make me think improper Lye or too much oil. So, batch after batch, double and triple checking all ingredients with different scales.... Ive had this problem over and over.

My final suspicion was bad Palm oil. The 8lb container was smooth and thick and creamy... this 28lb container was more gritty, yellow, oily and just didn't match prior supplies of palm oil. I melted down the entire 28lb container to a liquid, mixed really well and broke down into smaller containers for ease of use, thinking the stearic acid separated from the palm oil. After this was done.... I had the same problem.

So after the multiple fails with this bad palm theory, I took out the palm and went back to the shortening.... SAME PROBLEM! so that rules out bad palm oil? What else could it be?


Im at a complete loss with what my issues are... Ive used soapcalc since day one and it was never wrong before... Please see attached pictures and let me know what y'all think my problem is.

Ive lost a decent amount of money on lost sales and garbage product and want to me able to fulfill orders as soon as possible. Thank Y'all so much in advance.

Good Bars:
IMG_4088.jpg
Oily Problem Bars:
IMG_4089.jpg IMG_4090.jpg IMG_4091.jpg
 

Attachments

  • Non Vegan Crock Pot 3:2020.pdf
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  • Crock Pot Vegan.pdf
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atiz

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How old is your lye? Have you been storing it airtight? It is possible maybe that it got weaker, although not sure it could get so weak as to cause that much oiliness.
You could try making a small batch of another recipe with different oils and see if the same problem persists.
 

cbSoapworks

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The lye was stored as it should. But its actually never been opened the two times that I attempted. I had small containers of Lye and they had the seals on them still.
 

Millie

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I don't know much about hot process soap (I do cp, so I saw the water content and thought, "hey, there's the problem!"). If your recipes and technique are the same, maybe it is an ingredient problem.
Fragrances can cause trouble... Also your soaps are colorful, what are you adding there and how?

You could try making small batches of 100% oil soaps with each of your ingredients - if they are all bad it is your method, sodium hydroxide or water. Otherwise you'll know exactly which oil is off.

In cold process we do water relative to sodium hydroxide (2:1 is good), not oils, and we get pretty consistent results... maybe try a cold process batch? So much less work. Peer pressure :D
 

cbSoapworks

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Im really leading towards the ingredients being the issue at this point. Unless im completely missing something. As far as color, Its just activated charcoal/alfalfa powder/beat root, but that's added after the cook, right before I add fragrance, its actually quite difficult because its already gelled and i have to muscle it in there. But lately its been easy, since its so oily.

I may attempt the small 100% since i have a TON of raw product and would like to keep using anything that isn't spoiled. So figuring that out will be a big help.

I thought about cold process... Im just too **** impatient and the demand is so high, i can't wait for the cure times... first world problems

But thanks for the insight thus far, y'all
 

Millie

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https://classicbells.com/soap/cure.asp

Did your troubles start after scaling up your batch size by any chance? I noticed your recipes are labeled "crock pot..."
and I just thought of how I do my rice: 1:1 rice to water, plus 1/4 cup water. The extra quarter cup is for the water I know will evaporate. If you recently scaled up, you might need to decrease the water percentage.
 

Millie

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To be more clear, I use the same amount extra water whether I start with one cup dry rice or three. In a scaled up recipe you might have roughly the same amount of water evaporating as in your small recipe, and the rest that isn't necessary to dissolve the lye is just extra water in your soap. A large excess can cause the sort of problems you describe.
 

andralynn62

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Is cold process made with lye or hot process? Excuse my ignorance, I’m a newbie. All of done so far is with lye.
 

luluzapcat

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Lye can mean " any solution (liquid mixture) of any alkaline chemical (alkali) that can be used to make soap." That quote is courtesy of our Deanna (her lye discussion here) who is a deep font of soap info.

If you are using household lye sold as household drain cleaner, that's NaOH, which is the most common lye for both hot and cold process soaps.
 

cbSoapworks

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GUYS! y'all were 100% right. I can't believe what I'm about to tell everyone but I messed up.... Big time and its so stupid. I guess when I was ordering my Lye, I didn't pay attention and I actually ordered Potassium Hydroxide Flakes instead of Sodium Hydroxide Flakes. They come in the exact same containers and I just never took the time to read the container. I feel like a moron. But you live and you learn. Took me over 384oz of failed soap and this post before it was figured out and Y'all helped massively by making me check all components of my cook. Thank You so much
 

TeresaGG

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Well you now have lots of liquid soap base. The colors and texture might be a bit odd. It should be fine for home use and testing those recipes before considering sales.
Edit: That is if you didn't trash it all. One big thing I learned here is never trash a batch until checking here. So much is fixable.
 
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Problem is the ratio is off for making LS soap paste since NaOH is entered into the calc.

You really need to learn more about soapmaking before going into selling, and knowing what is good and what is not. Sorry, with your recipe you need a long cure time to help with the harshness of the high CO. Your cleansing number is 25 which is very harsh on the average person especially the folks that purchase soap.
 

TheGecko

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Ive been making hot process soap for about six months. Learned a lot, started making money out of a hobby.

You do know that it takes weeks and weeks to properly cure your soap? Too many folks who make soap via Hot Process are under the mistaken impression that ‘hot process’ means that their is ready to use when unmolded when it’s not. ALL you are doing with Hot Process vs Cold Process...is speeding up saponification. You STILL need a bare minimum of four weeks...six weeks is better....to cure your soap.
 
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You do know that it takes weeks and weeks to properly cure your soap? Too many folks who make soap via Hot Process are under the mistaken impression that ‘hot process’ means that their is ready to use when unmolded when it’s not. ALL you are doing with Hot Process vs Cold Process...is speeding up saponification. You STILL need a bare minimum of four weeks...six weeks is better....to cure your soap.
With both of those recipes, 3 months cure time might be advised at the least.
 
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