Occasional Fail

SoapMakingForum

Help Support SoapMakingForum:

Taiga

New Member
Joined
May 3, 2013
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
I have this happen on occasion. I think I did notice as I was pouring this a little bit of a funny texture here and there, but I had a friend in my shop waiting to go for coffee and was distracted.

Not enough mixing? Is it possibly a shea butter issue? :(

soap fail.jpg
 

lpstephy85

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 8, 2013
Messages
710
Reaction score
367
Location
Ohio
Looks like glycerin rivers to me. Did you use titanium dioxide in your colors?
 

Taiga

New Member
Joined
May 3, 2013
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Yes, I did! And come to think of it, the last time it happened I had also, for the first time just to try it.
I've never heard of glycerine rivers before, whats their story and how do I avoid?!
Thanks so much!
 

Taiga

New Member
Joined
May 3, 2013
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
I've done my googling and have now learned all about glycerine rivers. Thanks again. I can't believe I haven't come across this in all my troubleshooting searches.
 

DeeAnna

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
13,456
Reaction score
19,314
Location
USA
Some people call this "glycerin rivers", but that is a bit of a misnomer, since a true glycerine river would be soft and goopy. Some call it stearic streaking, but there's more than one fatty acid involved, not just stearic. Probably the most accurate name is just "streaking" or "mottling".

Soap is made of many different kinds of soap molecules. As the soap cools in the mold, some parts of the soap may harden before other areas do. That affects where a colorant such as titanium dioxide ends up in the soap. Also some soaps are clear and others are opaque, and the clear soap surrounded by colored or opaque soap can also create a streaked or mottled effect.

Any soap can streak, but slow cooling, allowing the soap to gel, adding titanium dioxide, and using palm oil seem to increase the chance of streaking/mottling. Here are some things to try if you want to reduce the chances of streaking:

Soap cool
Avoid gel
Put your powdered colorants in glycerin, oil, or water and let them stand for several hours before use so they get thoroughly wetted
Mix palm oil well before measuring it
Use oil-soluble titanium dioxide rather than a water-soluble or a water-and-oil soluble product

I also suspect the way the soap is put into and manipulated in the mold is also a factor, since the streaks are often parallel to the path the soap took when it was poured into the mold or parallel to the path created when the soap was swirled. My guess is that a thin batter is more prone to streaking, but some decorative effects can't be done with a thicker batter. It's a bit of a tradeoff.
 

Candybee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2009
Messages
642
Reaction score
358
Location
Shenandoah Valley, VA
I use water soluble TD and put it directly into my lye water. I also soap cool and don't force gel. I've never had those glycerin rivers show up in my soap.
 
Top