Quantcast

No idea where i keep going wrong!?

SoapMakingForum

Help Support SoapMakingForum:

mikvahnrose

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2016
Messages
91
Reaction score
16
It's either not coming to trace or tracing too fast!
Today i just got pools of oils or lye pools. I thought it was a glycerin river, but i touched it and it zapped me.
And still soft after 3 days of sitting in the mold!

Kitten Love is going on. Like i really don't know. My first soap ever was better than the latest ones i made and i didn't have a lick of clue what i was doing. I was just using Brambleberry, putting oils and amounts i wanted there (but i didn't know what qualities the oils gave) and it was great soap. Didn't have everything i wanted out of that soap. But it was way better than the recipe i have now.

Now i'm using soap calc, using hard oils like coconut and palm, that comprise of 60% of my oils. And i'm getting all these issues. I am measuring everything out in grams rather than oz as i heard it is more accurate. But yet all these problems are occuring i NEVER dealt with before.

It's so frustrating. Is it my recipe? My ingredients? The lye? What am i missing here that this is happening. Urgh:cry:
 

shunt2011

Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Apr 2, 2012
Messages
15,436
Reaction score
9,703
Location
Michigan
Post your recipe and process and we can help troubleshoot. It can be frustrating sometimes.
 

mikvahnrose

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2016
Messages
91
Reaction score
16
40% Palm
25% Coconut
20% olive
5% Almond
5% Castor
5% Shea

5% Superfat

Like this recipe should be Hard! It's soft and gets stuck to the mold. I can push my finger in it, despite it curing for 3 days in the mold already. i wouldn't be able to get it out of the mold any sooner if i tried. I'm not using any sugar to speed up process or using e.o oils that could affect it either.

Now there are pools of some fluid. Glycerin? Oil? Lye? I suppose a mix of all?
It's just frustrating me so much, and i hate wasting product like this.
 
Last edited:

penelopejane

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2015
Messages
5,398
Reaction score
4,132
Location
Sth Coast, NSW, Australia
Sounds like you are having trouble reaching trace.

Go to this thread and look at post 3 and watch the video that is called:
Stickblending to emulsion.
http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=60959

Depending on your ingredients (lard is difficult apparently but don't ask me about that!) the recipe will trace more quickly so you have to learn each different recipe. But newbies video is really excellent. You want to make sure you at least reach emulsion so that all the oils combine.

Your recipe is fine, btw. Shea and coconut have to be well melted so as not to cause spots in the soap but it should be a good hard bar so I think the problem could be reaching trace.
 
Last edited:

DeeAnna

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
13,306
Reaction score
18,833
Location
Northeast Iowa, USA
Honestly, percentages aren't very helpful. People measure in grams or ounces not %'s, so we need to know if the weights are correct, just in case you made a math error. Also what is your method -- how do you make your soap? Loaf mold, individual molds, slab mold? Freezer, fridge, on the counter, insulated, heated in the oven?

You're having trouble and the more detail you give, the more likely you're going to get good advice.
 

mikvahnrose

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2016
Messages
91
Reaction score
16
And this recipe also gets more ash than my first soaps ever did! Even with spraying alcohol on it!

I do 500 grams standard on soap calc.
So I measure out the percentage needed for each oil in grams. So like 40% Palm, I get 200 grams. And I make sure my scale is calibrated once a week.

I do countertop. Soap around 110 degrees. Sometimes 120 degrees. Then I spray alcohol and cover it. But my house is very cold. Usually around 66 degrees Fahrenheit. So I know that can affect it as well. I do 30 percent lye concentration per suggestion of others.

I try to unmold after 48 hours, but it's still tacky and squishy like chewed gum. Then I try to force it out of the mold to harden more, and gets ash like crazy even with spraying
 

Arimara

Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2015
Messages
3,371
Reaction score
2,453
For your batches of problem soaps, we need to know how much lye and liquid you have used in each attempt as well as the amount of any extra additive you've used. I personally don't mind if you list your recipe in percentages as long as you state your oil weight and the amount of lye and liquid used.
 

mikvahnrose

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2016
Messages
91
Reaction score
16
Total weight: 500 grams

Palm: 200 grams
Coconut: 125 grams
Olive: 100 Grams
Almond Oil: 25 grams
Castor: 25 grams
Shea butter: 25 grams

Lye Concentration: 30%

Water: 165.32 grams
Lye: 70.85 grams

5 grams titanium dioxide.
 

kchaystack

Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2015
Messages
1,906
Reaction score
2,078
Location
Monroe, LA
So, some thoughts:

1. Look at your hydroxide container and make sure it is Sodium Hydroxide, not Potassium Hydroxide (I have done this before - order the wrong thing and not notice for 3 batches)
2. Are you using a stick blender to bring your batter to trace?
3. How are you mixing your TD? are you using extra water or are you using water from the total lye?
4. what are you using as a mold? are you wrapping it up to hold in heat?
 

lenarenee

Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2014
Messages
3,698
Reaction score
3,308
When you say pools of oil and lye - are you talking about an ounce here and there, or several ounces? Is there more soap or oil in the mold?

Do you have any idea what the temps of your oil and lye water were?

With that amount of hard oils, I'm wondering if you got false trace which caused separation.

Do you have a crock pot?
 

cmzaha

Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Messages
11,749
Reaction score
11,050
Location
Southern California
I would try upping your Lye Concentration to 32-33% and keep the temp in your 110º F range. You can also control the temp by using your lye warmer than room temp. With your amount of palm you should not get false trace unless your lye is quite cold. My veggie recipe is very similiar to yours other than I up the palm to 45% , lower the coconut to 15%, 10% shea, 3-5% castor, remainder is usually avocado and canola or OO. I would guess my temps are around 110-115ºF, although I do not check.

This really should be a good bar of soap with no problems.
 
Last edited:

roryk

Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2016
Messages
8
Reaction score
1
Yea the first thing I would look at is your lye, I accidentally made a bar of soap with 60% EVOO, using potassium hydroxide and it was forever soft. recipe is fine, just make sure the liquid levels are accurate and you have an accurate idea of what trace should look like so you don't fall for false trace.
 

mikvahnrose

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2016
Messages
91
Reaction score
16
Lye is in fact sodium hydroxide. double checked.

I used bramble berry titanium dioxide that is both water and oil soluble. I mixed it with a portion of my oils that later i mix back in.

I soap around 110 degrees for the oil. Lye is depending. Sometimes the lye is 110, sometimes 100 or 95. This time i made the mix where both were the same temp at 110 degrees.

I used a stick blender. Reached medium trace that i was able to do swirls, but last time i (time before this) it didn't reach trace and was milk thin even after mixing it for 20 minutes.

The pools of liquid looked like it was around an ounce or two?

So idk how the same recipe had two incredibly different results, and both were failures in the way it set up.
 

penelopejane

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2015
Messages
5,398
Reaction score
4,132
Location
Sth Coast, NSW, Australia
Was the TD through the whole bar or only part of the bar?
I am asking because i wanted to know if you made up for the oil used to mix the TD by putting some oil back in the other part?
 

navigator9

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2014
Messages
2,713
Reaction score
3,092
Location
New England
When you use the stick blender, do you use it in bursts and stir with it in between? Sometimes, when using just the SB, the batter can seem to be reaching trace, but if you turn the SB off and just stir, things loosen up again. So I'm wondering if this may be what's happening to you.

The only time I ever ended up with pools of oil on top of my soap was fairly recently, and I've been making soap for a long time, so I'm very familiar with trace. But what happened to me, was that I tried making a really huge batch in an enormous stock pot, and I really thought I had everything mixed well, and had reached trace, but I think the size of the pot was just too much for my little SB, and there were portions of the batter that didn't get mixed in well enough with the rest.

So I would recommend alternate blending and stirring, and maybe taking your soap to a little heavier trace than you'd like, just until you feel really comfortable with the whole process. Another thing I always do is this, just before I pour, I take the spatula and stir the pot well, making sure to scrape the sides and bottom, and give it all a final stir before I pour. This can also eliminate streaks that sometimes occur. Don't be discouraged, we learn lessons from every failed batch. You'll get over this hump.
 
Last edited:

DeeAnna

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
13,306
Reaction score
18,833
Location
Northeast Iowa, USA
Just to clarify the thing about weights vs percentages: ~I personally~ don't have a problem with percentages either. But what I see sometimes is the ~soaper with the troubles~ is having trouble with how percentages are used. If I know the actual weights of ingredients that the soaper used, then I KNOW what went into the soap post. It doesn't matter whether or not there was a math error somewhere along the way -- and that kind of error happens just often enough for me to be wary of troubleshooting someone else's recipe if given in percentages. THAT'S why I ask for weights.
 

dixiedragon

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2013
Messages
6,472
Reaction score
4,886
Location
Birmingham, Alabama, USA
Are you certain your stick blender is working correctly? It is possible for the motor to run but for the blade to not turn.

Are you sure about your temps? It really sounds to me like you got false trace. Are you soaping where it is cold?
 

artemis

Mostly Harmless
Joined
Feb 27, 2016
Messages
1,895
Reaction score
2,719
Location
Sol system, Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha
What about your scale? Apparently, mine doesn't measure correctly when the batteries are low. I had a few batches turn out soft. I changed out the batteries and haven't had a problem since.
 
Top