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New soap maker worried about lye pockets

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Kbhandmakes

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Hi
I just made my first batch of Hot Process soap in crockpot. The recipe called for %100 coconut oil with a 20% SF... So the lye/water was 12oz H2O and just under 4oz NaOH...used about 30 to 32 oz of 76 degree coconut oil...it traced after about 10 minutes or less...it was heating in the crockpot so it was probably sped up... It cookedlid closed on low from 530 to about 630..i wanted to shoot for solid 60 minutes... It was checked and stirred 3 times during the whole 60 minutes...itgelled out looking like vaseline and mashed potatoes...i removed it from heat and it cooled to 150per candy thermometer...so i added about 3. Oz of fragrance oils mixed and molded asap...used wax paper to press in mold better...then removed it and let it harden 14 hours in mold in vented area...it was thinner so i didnt think it really needed w4 hours...zap test passed...but notice internal white splotches after cutting this am...worried its lye pockets...no white speckles...just a few white spot on inside....is this lye pocketing????
 

BattleGnome

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Can you post a pic? I don't hot process but seeing what you're talking about will help others give advice.
 

Steve85569

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Most likely not lye pockets with the recipe and method used. My bet without pictures would be stearic spots on steroids. Just to be sure zap test a spot ( it will taste like either soap or coconut oil). With the 20% SF that the recipe uses and cooking for an hour ( like the instructions say) there shouldn't be any unreacted lye left.

That recipe is the one that hooked me into soap making but I haven't made it in a long, long time.:)

Welcome to the forum!
You're going to really love learning and using the knowledge available here.
 

Kbhandmakes

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Most likely not lye pockets with the recipe and method used. My bet without pictures would be stearic spots on steroids. Just to be sure zap test a spot ( it will taste like either soap or coconut oil). With the 20% SF that the recipe uses and cooking for an hour ( like the instructions say) there shouldn't be any unreacted lye left.

That recipe is the one that hooked me into soap making but I haven't made it in a long, long time.:)


Welcome to the forum!
You're going to really love learning and using the knowledge available here.



Hi,
I am hoping it looks like coconut oil globs maybe...thanks and when this is cure after i do a ph test...is this a skin safe soap??? I am worried it will be overdrying
 

Arimara

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Hi,
I am hoping it looks like coconut oil globs maybe...thanks and when this is cure after i do a ph test...is this a skin safe soap??? I am worried it will be overdrying
That depends on your skin. More people are tolerable of that recipe when salt is present, or so it seems. I'm not one of those people.

Also, to give you a heads up- you will practically have to cure that batch for at least 6 months before you really get any decent use out of it. Coconut oil is not known for it's staying power when saponified and a lengthy cure will help offset how quickly that batch would go.

In the meantime, I strongly suggest that you play around on a soap calculator or peruse the forum for a more balanced and much longer lasting soap recipe. Many of them should not break your bank.
 

toxikon

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Hi, welcome!

I agree with others that it looks like stearic spots, which is completely harmless. It looks like your soap is ready for a 4-6 week cure in a well-ventilated area.

Just a note on pH tests, you won't get reliable results pH testing a solid bar of soap. pH tests are better suited to liquids, not solids. But with your 20% superfat, you don't need to worry about any extra lye, so your soap will be safe to use after it cures. All lye-based soaps end up with a pH of approximately 9-10.

As for overdrying - the oils you use and your superfat determine how "drying" a bar will be. Coconut oil is notoriously drying, but with your 20% superfat, you should be able to negate a lot of that.

Now that you have your first batch under your belt, learning more about what properties different oils bring to the table is a great next step. Here are some common oils/butters that soapers like to use: lard, tallow, palm oil, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, castor oil, rice bran oil, shea butter. They can be combined in a myriad of different ways to create VERY different soaps! Learning about each oil will help you formulate your own recipe - which is a very rewarding experience.

There is tons of great information on this forum, so you'll have plenty of reading to do.

Good luck!
 

IrishLass

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Kbhandmakes said:
I did zap test...no zap what so ever
Excellent. That is the best confirmation that the spots are not lye pockets. :) I am convinced they are nothing more than harmless stearic spots from the coconut oil.


Hi,
...thanks and when this is cure after i do a ph test...is this a skin safe soap??? I am worried it will be overdrying
As long as your soap passes the zap test, it is safe to use.

RE: pH testing: pH testing won't tell you the most important thing you need to know- whether or not there is any un-reacted lye in your soap. Only a zap test will tell you that.

Also- a pH test will not tell you if your soap will be overly drying to your skin. The biggest determiner of that is your formula (which oils/fats you used) and the superfat %.

For what it's worth, a normal pH for lye-based soap can range anywhere from 8 to 12.4. A pH of 12.4 sounds pretty high and scary, but according to the irritability index chart shown in this post by our DeeAnna , Johnson's Baby Soap with oatmeal (which you'll see has a pH of 12.4), rates as being less irritating than other soaps on the list that have a lower pH than that, which just goes to show that pH is not as important a determining factor in relation to dryness/irritability as some make it out to be.

If you find your soap to be too drying to your skin, either change your formula or change the superfat %.


IrishLass :)
 

Obsidian

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I'm leaning towards the spots being bits of dried soap mixed into the more fluid soap. Very common with HP, especially if you scraped the sides when you were stirring.
I've made and used 100% coconut soap with 20% SF, I quite like it, doesn't dry my skin out and I have fairly dry skin to begin with. A nice long cure is essential though. I wouldn't use it for at least 6 months.
 

Kbhandmakes

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This is the second batch. Red palm sunflower coconut and oliveoil...sea salt lemon grass and activated charcoal! :)
 

Kbhandmakes

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That depends on your skin. More people are tolerable of that recipe when salt is present, or so it seems. I'm not one of those people.

Also, to give you a heads up- you will practically have to cure that batch for at least 6 months before you really get any decent use out of it. Coconut oil is not known for it's staying power when saponified and a lengthy cure will help offset how quickly that batch would go.
In the meantime, I strongly suggest that you play around on a soap calculator or peruse the forum for a more balanced and much longer lasting soap recipe. Many of them should not break your bank.

We actually used it after 3 weeks and it was great! Very sustainable lather plus lots of it! We used the bar about everyday and its lasted almost a month. We have about a week left of usage. The bar was very hard so it lasted really long. It does seem moredrying though than the second batch barsmade with more than one oil.
 

Kbhandmakes

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I'm leaning towards the spots being bits of dried soap mixed into the more fluid soap. Very common with HP, especially if you scraped the sides when you were stirring.
I've made and used 100% coconut soap with 20% SF, I quite like it, doesn't dry my skin out and I have fairly dry skin to begin with. A nice long cure is essential though. I wouldn't use it for at least 6 months.

Ive been told that you dont have to cure HP soap as long. I cure for 3 to 4 weeks once theyre cooked. I lnow they can be used as soon as they come from the mold but we dont. Why would it need to cure for so long?...thatseven longer than CP
 

cherrycoke216

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Ive been told that you dont have to cure HP soap as long. I cure for 3 to 4 weeks once theyre cooked. I lnow they can be used as soon as they come from the mold but we dont. Why would it need to cure for so long?...thatseven longer than CP

Because 100% coconut oil has lots of lauric acid. It's a shorter chained acid that is very stripping. And she said she has very dry skin. So even with a 20% superfat to set back the drying lauric acid, it will still benefit from a longer, proper cure. Your mileage might vary.
Hot process is done after cooked. But it still needs to cure like you said. For it to become milder and water evaporation.
 

Susie

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HP needs to cure longer than CP because it typically has more water to get rid of, and the soap has not finished making the crystalline structure. There is a difference between "safe to use" and "good to use". HP is "safe to use" right after unmolding (as is CP after gel), however, it is not going to be good. It still takes longer for the lovely lather to develop, and the longevity. "Good to use" happens after a proper cure. Compare a 1 week old HP bar to a 6 week old HP bar of the same recipe, and you will then understand.
 
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