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Nasty white streaks and spots

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Paddyfrances

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I really would appreciate some help with the problem I'm having with white steaks and spots in my rose soap.
I've mad nunerous batches of it over the last 6 months and everything has been fine till now.
The first picture shows the horrible streaks etc and the colour is decidedly wrong.
So I tried again and that's the second photo. The colour was right but the white marks are still there but not as bad.
I've not used any different ingredients at all and the methods have been exactly the same.
Can anyone please give me some advice as to what could be happening?
Thank you.

August 1sr 041.jpg

August 1sr 042.jpg
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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What was the recipe? What sorts of temperatures? Did you gel or prevent gel? What was your process (when did you add the colour, anything happen when you added the scent, things of that nature)?
 

Paddyfrances

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Would have helped if I'd said all that in the first message, sorry!
The recipe is 17% coconut oil, 6% caster, 47% olive pomace, 12% sunflower, 18% shea butter. Water is 32% discounted (hope that's the right term).
Everything is run through soapcalc.
At light trace I add the equal measures of Rose Geranium and Palmerosa EOs.
After mixing well I add the mica which I have mixed with a little of the oils first.
Everything is mixed well to medium trace and poured into the mould.
I have always soaped at 100 degrees.
I don't gel as I've always been rubbish at it so I put the mould into the fridge overnight then take it out and leave it to stand for a couple of days before cutting.
Up till recently I have had no problems at all but something is certainly wrong now.
 

nsmar4211

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How old is your lye? I have issues with more ash on my soaps when I get to the bottom of the bottles, three so far.... maybe it's ash? Does it zap?
Very pretty color , both of them...
 

DeeAnna

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Shea has quite a bit of stearic acid in it. Could the white streaks be bits of lighter colored stearic soap that hardened before the rest of the soap firmed up?

I use a wire cutter and sometimes see little bumps of harder soap -- stearic soap probably -- popping up on the cut faces of my soaps. They can look a bit lighter sometimes. Mine don't look exactly the same as the OP's soap bars, but similar.

To the OP -- have you zap tested the lighter spots and compared that to the "normal" areas of soap?
 
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Obsidian

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A lot of the smaller ones look like air bubbles to me. Not sure about the bigger streaks, do they go away when you rub them or use the soap?
 

Seawolfe

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Do they wash off? I only ask because they look the same color as the ash on the top of the soap in the first picture, so I'm thinking they might be ash. But it the second pic they do look kind of like stearic streaks.
 

Paddyfrances

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Sorry for the late response but had to babysit grandaughter.
I've zap tested both the white bits and the ordinary bits and there's no difference - no zap at all.
I've tried washing them off too but to no avail, they are still there.
Yesterday I had convinced myself it had to be either the EOs (even though I've used the same 2 bottles for the last four batches) so I did a small test batch with no colours or EOs added, just plain soap. And when I took it out of the mould 10 mins ago and cut it the little round bars are covered in circles of the white streaks - much much worse than the rose one.
I wish I knew what it was and how to avoid it.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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I was thinking along the same lines and DeeAnna, which is why I asked about recipe and temps. Are you soaping a touch colder than usually? Have you changed mould or are you getting your hard oils from a different supplier/the supplier has changed their source? It does look like something is hardening before the rest of the soap
 

nsmar4211

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Ok, so if you've used this exact same recipe before with no issues and no white stuff...something has changed.

Did you get a new materials supplier? Related to that, are both problem batches using the same oils from the same batch? Did your fridge temperature change? Is there reside on your stick blender (assuming you use one)? Is your room temperature different? Are you at the bottom of the shea butter clump so maybe something settled out? Is your lye old? Is it a different batch of lye? Did you switch brands of water (assuming you use distilled)? Are you using distilled ?

And, The plain batch, did you add the mica to it?

Just thoughts to ponder... at least you know its not the EO...

Edit: LOL great minds think alike...but I'm leaving my post :)
 

Paddyfrances

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Thank you for all your thoughts and questions.
I've double double checked everything and absolutely nothing at all has changed.
Same suppliers, same batches of oils and butters, same lye, same water, same room and fridge temps. Every single thing is the same.
So it must be me.
Time to try another test I fear.
 

cmzaha

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Using those two EO's I would seperate out and color before adding in the eo's. My Rose Geranium accelerates enough that it makes it hard to mix in colors. I usually keep shea in the realm of 10% which adds a nice feel without damaging lather. With the 18% shea I am with Dee Anna that it is shea with hardened quicker than the balance of the soap and by adding in the mica after your eo's it did not thoroughly mix in. To me the white spots do not look "nasty" they just look like hardened uncolored soap, such as can happen with hp.
If you happen to use raw shea, it can vary a lot. Many factors determine the color, scent, feel, etc of shea and I would bet the stearic content can vary. Keep in mind shea is hand made in villages. Try upping your oil temps and adding in your eo's after mixing in your mica. Possibly the soap started seizing from the eo's
 
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Jstar

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Im with Effy, Deeanna and Carolyn on the shea. I'd do another test run and use slightly higher temps. {I myself would do 2 tests..one with higher temps, and one with the gel phase}
 

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