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RoseF

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Hi all, thanks for letting me be part of the community - I've been lurking these threads for about six weeks to read up on everything! I think I'm addicted to soap. :/

So I've made three batches of cold process. Made loads of mistakes on numbers one and two, but learned loads in the process and have adapted things accordingly. I just have a question about my third batch that I just made this afternoon. Got everything prepped, oils and lye both pretty much 90°F, so off I went. Was blending the mixture and it got really really thick under the surface, but there were clearly still oils on top so I mixed a little without the power on, and incorporated everything, pulsed a couple times until it got to the stage where I was confident that it had all mixed completely (i.e. not false trace). However, it was pretty much at medium to thick trace immediately! There was no thin trace at all, it went from zero to thick.

I didn't add in my fragrance till the end to mitigate any acceleration, and stirred it in by hand as it had gotten so thick by that point. It loosened it up a small bit (as it was an essential oil this time), but still was way too thick even for the chunky drop swirl I had planned! My previous effort pretty much seized as soon as I added the FO, so I know that was the problem then! I'm just wondering - obviously there could be numerous factors - is it because of not moving the blender around enough so it just repeatedly blended the bottom of the container? Blending too high? Something with the recipe? I did use a water discount just for fun to see what would happen, so maybe that was it. My recipe was 50% olive oil, 40% coconut oil, 5% castor oil, and 5% sweet almond oil. Used a superfat of 5%, and the lye solution was 2:1 water to lye, so essentially 33% solution.

Thanks in advance for any help or advice - I'll need it all! I still think this batch is gonna turn out nice as I managed to glop it all into the mould, but would love to get more confident with everything. :)
 

lsg

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Welcome to the forum You might want to lower the percent of coconut oil and make up the difference with sweet almond or olive. Using a water discount can cause soap to form a thick trace faster. Your FO can also be a factor. I always check the reviews before I purchase an FO.
 

RoseF

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Welcome to the forum You might want to lower the percent of coconut oil and make up the difference with sweet almond or olive. Using a water discount can cause soap to form a thick trace faster. Your FO can also be a factor. I always check the reviews before I purchase an FO.
Yeah I might try cutting down the coconut oil next time and see if it slows things down a little. I just didn't wanna have to wait extra long to use it if there is a very high liquid oil content! I've tried looking for reviews for the fragrance that I used in a previous batch that seized it completely, but unfortuantely I couldn't find any - I bought my fragrances from the UK site Soapkitchen.
 

penelopejane

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Watch this video.
SB for 2 seconds (seriously) at a time then hand stir and wait for one minute then do it again. Over SB Is the culprit but I agree that anything above 15% coconut doesn’t agree with my skin or my frugal streak as high CO soaps just dissolve away so quickly.
 

Iluminameluna

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Welcome to the forum! Glad you're finally joining in! Maybe tell us about yourself in the Introduction thread?
But on top the recipe. Are you using someoneelse's recipe or your own? Because that would be one of my first suggestions. If you start with someone else's tried and tested recipes, you know exactly what goes wrong if and when it does.
You also don't mention how much time you spent actually stick blending. Most good teachers tell you that stick blending more than about 2 mins total will get you to soap on a stick in a heartbeat, unless you're soaping with only lard and olive oil, 2 oils /fats that are very slow to trace.
One more suggestion, if I may, write down a small note with all the essentials of your recipe, like percentages, amounts, superfat (SF), your water to lye ratio, etc, then when you have questions, you can just take a quick photo that you can upload here. It would answer most of the questions that anyone would have that would want to help.
 

shunt2011

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It's likely a combination of things that caused your issue. FO can be a big one, is it made for CP soap? Over blending is huge for most beginners. Just pulsing the blender and then stirring is key. Too much blending can cause it to thicken more quickly. Pomace Olive Oil also has a tendency to move a bit more quick.
 

RoseF

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Watch this video.
SB for 2 seconds (seriously) at a time then hand stir and wait for one minute then do it again. Over SB Is the culprit but I agree that anything above 15% coconut doesn’t agree with my skin or my frugal streak as high CO soaps just dissolve away so quickly.
Wow, that video is a godsend, thank you! I think my blending really was the issue this time

Welcome to the forum! Glad you're finally joining in! Maybe tell us about yourself in the Introduction thread?
But on top the recipe. Are you using someoneelse's recipe or your own? Because that would be one of my first suggestions. If you start with someone else's tried and tested recipes, you know exactly what goes wrong if and when it does.
You also don't mention how much time you spent actually stick blending. Most good teachers tell you that stick blending more than about 2 mins total will get you to soap on a stick in a heartbeat, unless you're soaping with only lard and olive oil, 2 oils /fats that are very slow to trace.
One more suggestion, if I may, write down a small note with all the essentials of your recipe, like percentages, amounts, superfat (SF), your water to lye ratio, etc, then when you have questions, you can just take a quick photo that you can upload here. It would answer most of the questions that anyone would have that would want to help.
It's my own recipe, I was looking to use oils that I could source locally and inexpensively for my first tries! I've been making detailed notes of every single attempt - amounts, ratios, and what I noted happening etc so I could keep track. Next time I will just post that straight up. Definitely gonna mess around with the ratios of oils now though. :) Also I would say that in total I only blended for about 60 seconds, it was pretty quick! But definitely wasn't moving it around enough, or pulsing to get it properly incorporated.

It's likely a combination of things that caused your issue. FO can be a big one, is it made for CP soap? Over blending is huge for most beginners. Just pulsing the blender and then stirring is key. Too much blending can cause it to thicken more quickly. Pomace Olive Oil also has a tendency to move a bit more quick.
Was using pure olive oil, but I definitely was blending incorrectly I think! I used essential oil in this one, and got the usage rates from an online calculator, so hopefully that was not too much of an issue this time around
 

SPowers

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I use a 60% lard; 15% palm; 20% CO and 5% Caster recipe and I love it. Except for misbehaving fragrances, it gives you lots of time for the fun stuff. I love it!
 
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