New to CP - white specs or bubbles - what happened?!

Discussion in 'Lye-Based Soap Forum' started by zazazing, Sep 21, 2012.

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  1. Sep 21, 2012 #1

    zazazing

    zazazing

    zazazing

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    Hi there,

    I am new to soap making and this was my third try w/ CP. The first one went well but stuck to a pvc 8 bar mold (from new directions - the kind that's a block and you cut into bars) in the center. The second one wrinkled all along the backside. This is the third one I have photo'ed. I don't know what happened! I tried something different and stuck this batch in the fridge to see what a nongelled soap would be like. It's an olive, coconut, palm, palm kernal recipe. The batter and mixture seemed normal and traced and looked well mixed. The oils and lye were around 112. I put it immediately in the fridge after pouring and it stayed in there about 36 hours. At 48 hours I put it in the freezer to help me unmold it since it had stuck the time before. A couple hours later I removed it from the freezer but it had stuck again in the center despite using a bit of petroleum this time as well. There were a ton of little white specs on the bottom towards the center. I can't tell if they're millions of air bubbles or if they're lye or something else. I tried the zap test and it seemed fine. I touched it and it didn't irritate. It's all so disheartening. I still haven't had a good, normal looking batch and they seem to be getting worse! This mold is also killing me - I don't know how to make the soap not stick to it. If anyone has any insight on this particular oddity or any other tips that might help, I sure would love to hear it! Thanks so much!

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  2. Sep 21, 2012 #2

    IrishLass

    IrishLass

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    Welcome to the forum! :)

    I'm so sorry you are having such troubles with your mold. I know how frustrating that can be. I have no experience with that specific mold, but I use heavy-duty decorative plastic MilkyWay molds from time to time and I have good results doing what you've been doing with the freezer thing, although I've always used mineral oil instead of vaseline to grease mine.

    Hmm.... When you pull it out of the freezer, what do you do next? I ask because I have really good results with tipping the frozen mold over and running some warm water over the bottom of it. When I do that, the soap just pops right out like magic. At this point, I should probably mention that I use sodium lactate in all my batches. Sodium lactate does many wonderful things in soap, not the least of which is to help soap to unmold easier from plastic molds. I use 1 tablespoon of the liquid kind per pound of oils, added to my lye water.

    As for the spots- those are no strangers to me. :) They are called 'stearic spots' caused by soaping certain fats too cool. I get them whenever I soap PKO and butters at too cool of a temperature. The remedy is very simple- just soap a little warmer. When using PKO and/or butters, I like to soap with my oils/fats at 120F and my lye solution just warm to the touch. That helps my hard fats to stay fluid enough for long enough in order for the lye to react with them properly so that my finished bars come out spot-free.

    IrishLass :)
     
  3. Sep 21, 2012 #3

    Hazel

    Hazel

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    I also use mineral oil for problem molds. However, Anne Marie/Soap Queen mentioned on her blog that cyclomethicone works for acrylic molds. I don't know if it would help you but I thought I'd mention it.
     
  4. Sep 21, 2012 #4

    LisaNY

    LisaNY

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    What IrishLass said. Hate those darn little stearic buggers! I use a fairly high amount of palm, so I have to soap warm.
     
  5. Sep 21, 2012 #5

    honor435

    honor435

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    try silicone molds they work awesome, the soap pops right out.
     
  6. Sep 21, 2012 #6

    zazazing

    zazazing

    zazazing

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    Wow! Thank you guys so much! You have given me hope to try a 4th batch!

    I am going to look into sodium lactate and mineral oil. Anything that will help make these molds work. The reviews had been very good so I purchased way too many in various shapes and sizes to toss them all! Although I did just purchase a Freshware silicone bar mold on Amazon for just in case.

    I'm wondering if the stearic spots were accelerated by putting it in the fridge and making the temperature cool down more dramatically? I am comparing all my botched batches and I do like the creamy color of the ungelled version so I'm thinking I'd like to go more in that direction.

    I also forgot to mention there was a little castor oil (5%) and mango butter (4%) in the recipe in addition to those basic oils. Do you know if either make soap a little stickier and more difficult to unmold? My 2nd attempt had been an olive oil bar that didn't use either of those and that one had unmolded fine, but I think it overheated b/c it had wrinkly "brains" on the top.

    Thank you guys so much for the input - I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. This is such a great resource, even just reading through posts on the various topics.

    Thanks again!
     

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