Oils on top of curing soap

Soapmaking Forum - Soap & Candle Forums

Help Support Soapmaking Forum - Soap & Candle Forums:

Garden Gives Me Joy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
168
Reaction score
125
Location
United States
Is the sky falling?

My 'cold' process batter got a 'little' hot when mixing, ie around 75 C. It is now in a tall cylindrical PVC log mold that traps heat exceptionally well. I decided to leave the top off and realized a layer of obviously separated oil that is roughly 0.25 inch thick siting on top of the soap. When I investigated with a knife, the soap had already hardened below.

What happened? I have done this recipe before, without this type of drama!

What went wrong? There are no sugars, which I realize are notorious for causing issues like separation and volcanos. The batter does however have avocado puree. Do I need to make a better effort at keeping the batter cool? Is it possible that the oils were too cool for the lye that I combined with oils when the lye was (roughly 70 - 73 C)? Will I need to ditch this or re-batch it ... or can it still work out somehow?
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2014
Messages
4,079
Reaction score
4,128
I'd let it set a couple days and see if the oil reabsorbs. If not, and you're sure that your recipe is correctly formulated and measured, them maybe a rematch is in order.
Off the bat I'd guess it was overheating. It can be caused by the fragrance, the water amount, even the avocado because it does contain carbohydrates/sugars.

Even cold process saponification creates heat, and yes, there are ways to help keep it from getting too hot but there are factors (like fragrance oil, additives, etc) that will still cause heating regardless.
 
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Messages
12,507
Reaction score
12,995
Location
Southern California
In my opinion, you soaped way too hot, especially when using cylindrical PVC log mold which is a pretty small diamater mold, so you caused the batter overheat and your fragrance may have also contributed to the problem. I soaped for years with Avocado oils and never noticed any problems with overheating but I also soaped with room temp lye and cool oils. While I would melt my solid oils many times they would still be cloudy. Hopefully the oils will re-absorb. You will just have to wait and see.
 

Garden Gives Me Joy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
168
Reaction score
125
Location
United States
This Palm Olive inspired formulation with avocado puree worked marvelously before when I tested it in open silicone molds. Indeed, HUGE molding difference! I am very new to fragrance oils and gather that, along with the trapped nature of log molds, the 'green tea' fragrance oil, which I added at only 1.5%, was sufficient to also raised the temperature.

As you can see in the video below, the clear thin oil from last night has turned into a thick sludge, I can not imagine it becoming reabsorbed but will wait with fingers crossed. For more context; this batch is 1.2 lb. So the mold stands roughly 1.5 feet tall. .... So convenient space-wise BTW!

I really took for granted too that there are hidden sugars even in avocado. Thanks! I tended to think of sugars only re milks, oats and sweet fruits.

Will definitely aim for room temperature! However, I confess that I actually wanted high temperatures as a way to beat my high humidity (in this tropical rainforest climate). For instance, a cousin formulation (with lots of aloe, not avocado) actually gained weight after it had already lost 4% of its weight during its first month of curing. Panicked, I decided that I should aim to hermetically wrap the soaps after that point of 4% weight loss. Needless to say, I have learned my lesson and aim for room temperature, knowing that heat will be produced anyway through emulsion, the log molds, etc. I figure I will just have to watch the weights like a hawk.

Happy for any further thoughts or suggestions.





Tried re-loading the video.
 
Last edited:

Garden Gives Me Joy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
168
Reaction score
125
Location
United States
ezgif.com-gif-maker.gif

Trust this works. I converted the video into a GIF.

BTW, it's been 24 hours after taking this video and the sludge is still there, likely only marginally less than in the image. The soap is very firm underneath. This batter is 90% hard oils with the balance being olive oil.
 
Top