Natural Goat Milk Base misbehaves

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LucyFae

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I'm sorry this is so long, but I figured I'd include the troubleshooting I've tried in the hopes that someone might have run into this before, even though its a longshot, and i think most members are more familiar with CP.

Aztec natural goat milk is giving me a run for my money. The other bases i bought are fine so far (knock on wood). I've used well over a dozen different bases from a few companies, including craft store bases, but this is the first that's just impossible for me to figure out, and unfortunately, I bought (and at this point wasted) a lot, and I really can't waste anymore time/sanity/money on unusable soap, and was hoping maybe someone here could help.

They have no info listed online other than ingredients, nor did they send any in the shipment. No directions/melt point. I took a chance since they had a lot of good reviews on this base, but maybe that was a mistake. None of the reviews include anything about temp/directions. The ingredients they list on their website and soap packaging:

Vegetable Glycerin
Sodium Stearate
Soidum Myristate (their misspelling, lol)
Sodium Cocoate
Coconut Oil
Palm Oil
Sunflower Oil
Purified Water
Goat's Milk
Titanium Dioxide
Germall Plus (side note, isn't this recommended at Temps lower than 122 or so?? Don't recall seeing it in MP before)

In order to get the base to mostly melt (to the point i always work with MP, where it's hot, mostly liquid, but not boiling and i can stir in the tiny remaining chunks), I have to get it around 150F, but once it cools even a few degrees, it develops a skin that won't stir in, and an insane amount of clumps that almost look like the clumps when CP soaping too cool with Shea. After a few seconds or so, the clumps stick together and get stringy, like snot when making liquid soap, getting bigger and bigger over the next minute or so, until the soap is one giant, lumpy, pile of goop with half of it being solid and unworkable.

It solidifies even as I'm pouring, so if I'm doing a cavity mold, I get one decent looking bar, and the rest are lumpy with chunks. Half of the cavity mold is solidifying while part is still liquid and I'm pouring. All the bars I've gotten in the mold, even the nice looking soap, have ZERO lather after cooling and unmolding. Ive tried several different molds. The soap doesn't smell scorched, and the base isn't boiling during heating.

I've tried melting to only 140 and taking out the larger unmelted pieces, but it still develops skin and clumps within seconds. I tried melting to 120-130, but the base was half melted and still tacky.

I've tried scraping the sides and not scraping the sides, doesn't make much difference. I've tried heating in small increments from 130F all the way up to180F with similar results.

I've used the microwave at full power and half power, in increments from 5-30 seconds. I've used the double boiler from low up to medium. I melted as low and slow as possible. I've melted as fast as I can without boiling.

I've tried cutting the base in tiny, tiny uniform pieces. I've tried adding a minute amount of vegetable glycerin at various points when melting. I tried glass pyrex and my normal plastic containers. I've covered it with plastic wrap and left it uncovered while melting - there was quite a bit of sticky condensation on the plastic wrap, so I'm thinking it's losing a decent amount of something... maybe Glycerin when being heated.

I've tried using no additives and it still happens. I've tried everything I can think of, and spent days googling and searching different forums and communities, and nothing has worked. I'm at my absolute wits end with this, and around 10lbs of zero lather "experiments," and i still havent successfully melted this base. It's really frustrating, and although at first I figured it was me, now I'm wondering if it's a defective base, or if the germall plus has something to do with it, or something else?

I called aztec last week with an unrelated question and while several employees I spoke to were nice, I don't have high hopes they can help with what's happening here, and I honestly don't know what else I can do. If anyone has literally any suggestions, I'm willing to try anything. And seriously, thanks if you read all that, I'm probably rambling incoherently at this point.
 
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Yikes, sorry to hear that. I had this exact same thing happen with some unmarked base that I received as part of a destash (soaper closing her business). All of the base that was in the original packaging worked just fine, but this one large hunk that was partially used, and stored in a zip-top bag, just wouldn't melt right, and would harden up as soon as it started cooling - as in, hard like candle wax! Honestly, it was so frustrating. We ended up throwing out the entire mixing bowl with the spatula stuck in the concrete-like base.

To this day, I don't know if it was a bad batch, or she had mislabeled it as M&P when it was really something else.

Sorry, I realize none of that helps you, other than to commiserate and say that you aren't crazy. I hope you can get some answers from Aztec and that they will do right by you!
 

LucyFae

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Yikes, sorry to hear that. I had this exact same thing happen with some unmarked base that I received as part of a destash (soaper closing her business). All of the base that was in the original packaging worked just fine, but this one large hunk that was partially used, and stored in a zip-top bag, just wouldn't melt right, and would harden up as soon as it started cooling - as in, hard like candle wax! Honestly, it was so frustrating. We ended up throwing out the entire mixing bowl with the spatula stuck in the concrete-like base.

To this day, I don't know if it was a bad batch, or she had mislabeled it as M&P when it was really something else.

Sorry, I realize none of that helps you, other than to commiserate and say that you aren't crazy. I hope you can get some answers from Aztec and that they will do right by you!
Thank you for commiserating. It's been super frustrating, but it definitely helps to know I'm not alone!

I did call Aztec. The rep told me to try heating it directly on the stove on low, not in a double boiler, in a steel pot. At least one other person has had this issue recently, since she said someone else just emailed about it, so I'm wondering if maybe this was a defective batch.

I haven't tried heating it directly on the stove, but I did ask her what the manufacturer gave for a melt temp, and she seemed surprised it was so high, at 55-65C, which definitely jived with my experience of it being the most fluid/workable around 150, although still not ideal. I don't think there's any way I'll be able to do any type of design, and even a single color plus scent will be difficult.

She said the water would evaporate off at such a high temp, but I tried melting it to 150F with a lid in the microwave, and while it's still pretty gooey, it's the most workable it's been. I'm thinking since it's winter, and my house gets really hot and super super dry, that's not helping the situation.

I did a search for the ingredients, and its definitely not SFIC, but it seems Candlewic sells the same natural goat milk mp. Candlewic was actually my first choice, but when I did my order, they were out of clear MP, which is the other base I regularly work with.

I'll update later with how it goes, in case anyone else is having the same issue. Had I not used most of the mp already, I mightve asked Aztec to replace it, but as is, I think I'm stuck with it.

And thanks again for listening to me!
 
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