Oily soap?

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Jen74

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First I want to apologize for asking so many questions in the last two days. I am the one who is having issues with my last batch of soap going rancid. Well yesterday I got some new oils and Made a batch of soap. Tonight after 24 hours I went to take it out of the molds to set it up to cure and it is super oily. I mean it is greasy to the touch. I made the recipe the same as usual but just left out the tiny bit of glycerin which would not have caused this. My husband said he noticed that when he was getting the lye ready and pouring it in the water it was a little clumpy. Not sure if that means anything or not. My recipe I followed was the one from SoapCalc : 9.18 ounces of distilled water, 4. 52 ounces of Lye, 6.40 ounces of Palm kernel oil, 25.60 ounces of Palm oil. I usually add in 1.6 ounces of glycerin, but didn't this time. I don't think that would cause this super oily issue though. I've never had this happen before. The oils smell fine and I cooked it for the same amount of time. I did notice that it seemed more liquidy when stirring it at the 15 minute intervals. Again, I didn't change anything. I used a new crock pot( ceramic) the same exact kind I always use though. Thoughts on what went wrong? The soap right now even feels too soft...
 

lenarenee

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First I want to apologize for asking so many questions in the last two days. I am the one who is having issues with my last batch of soap going rancid. Well yesterday I got some new oils and Made a batch of soap. Tonight after 24 hours I went to take it out of the molds to set it up to cure and it is super oily. I mean it is greasy to the touch. I made the recipe the same as usual but just left out the tiny bit of glycerin which would not have caused this. My husband said he noticed that when he was getting the lye ready and pouring it in the water it was a little clumpy. Not sure if that means anything or not. My recipe I followed was the one from SoapCalc : 9.18 ounces of distilled water, 4. 52 ounces of Lye, 6.40 ounces of Palm kernel oil, 25.60 ounces of Palm oil. I usually add in 1.6 ounces of glycerin, but didn't this time. I don't think that would cause this super oily issue though. I've never had this happen before. The oils smell fine and I cooked it for the same amount of time. I did notice that it seemed more liquidy when stirring it at the 15 minute intervals. Again, I didn't change anything. I used a new crock pot( ceramic) the same exact kind I always use though. Thoughts on what went wrong? The soap right now even feels too soft...
Can you post a screenshot of your recipe? I can't get the same measurements as you on soapcalc.

Do you have excess liquid or oil pooling in the mold, or dripping, oozing from the soap?

How is your scale? Electric or battery? Have you tested its accuracy lately?
 

Quanta

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If your lye is clumpy, that means moisture is getting into your lye container. Which means air is getting in also. Contact with moisture and carbon dioxide in the air will cause your lye to become soda ash, which does not cause oil to saponify. Basically, your lye is less pure than your lye calculator expected it to be, which means you ended up using less lye than you meant to, so your soap has a higher superfat. Off the top of my head, I don't know of an easy way to determine the purity of your remaining lye, but you will still need to treat it like lye. It will still have some strength. It won't be a canister of just soda ash.

I keep my lye canisters in a sealed plastic bag as an extra barrier, and haven't had a problem in my super humid house. Make sure you always check that the lid is on securely before putting it away, as well. Don't leave it open any longer than absolutely necessary. Do not put silica gel packets in the canister, because doing that is a nice way to dry out your silica gel packets. Any moisture already in them will get sucked out by the lye, since lye absorbs moisture more readily than silica gel does.

Can you post a screenshot of your recipe? I can't get the same measurements as you on soapcalc.
I entered it on soapmakingfriend and it came out right, so as long as everything was measured accurately, it should have been fine. Good idea about checking the scales though. Old batteries have ruined many a batch!
 

Jen74

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Can you post a screenshot of your recipe? I can't get the same measurements as you on soapcalc.

Do you have excess liquid or oil pooling in the mold, or dripping, oozing from the soap?

How is your scale? Electric or battery? Have you tested its accuracy lately?

I attached a picture of the soap, and the recipe. The soap is more oily, very greasy and softer than normal. I didn't check my scale, but it seemed to work like always. Seemed like the same amount of stuff. I will check it though , thanks for mentioning this. I don't know what went wrong.
 

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Jen74

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If your lye is clumpy, that means moisture is getting into your lye container. Which means air is getting in also. Contact with moisture and carbon dioxide in the air will cause your lye to become soda ash, which does not cause oil to saponify. Basically, your lye is less pure than your lye calculator expected it to be, which means you ended up using less lye than you meant to, so your soap has a higher superfat. Off the top of my head, I don't know of an easy way to determine the purity of your remaining lye, but you will still need to treat it like lye. It will still have some strength. It won't be a canister of just soda ash.

I keep my lye canisters in a sealed plastic bag as an extra barrier, and haven't had a problem in my super humid house. Make sure you always check that the lid is on securely before putting it away, as well. Don't leave it open any longer than absolutely necessary. Do not put silica gel packets in the canister, because doing that is a nice way to dry out your silica gel packets. Any moisture already in them will get sucked out by the lye, since lye absorbs moisture more readily than silica gel does.


I entered it on soapmakingfriend and it came out right, so as long as everything was measured accurately, it should have been fine. Good idea about checking the scales though. Old batteries have ruined many a batch!

I will check my scale to be sure. So I'm guessing this soap is a bust and not going to be usable with how greasy and oily it is? It is even softer than normal after the 24 hours in the molds.
 

Quanta

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I will check my scale to be sure. So I'm guessing this soap is a bust and not going to be usable with how greasy and oily it is? It is even softer than normal after the 24 hours in the molds.
Not necessarily. I would let it sit for at least another few days to see if it hardens up any. If not, there might be ways to rebatch it to add more lye. I've never had to rebatch anything though so you'll have to search the forum.
 

Jen74

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Not necessarily. I would let it sit for at least another few days to see if it hardens up any. If not, there might be ways to rebatch it to add more lye. I've never had to rebatch anything though so you'll have to search the forum.

Would you leave them sit in the molds longer or take them out?
 

lenarenee

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I will check my scale to be sure. So I'm guessing this soap is a bust and not going to be usable with how greasy and oily it is? It is even softer than normal after the 24 hours in the molds.
This is weird. Here is what I got when I entered your recipe into soapcalc. Notice that my version has more lye! The "water as a weight of oils" is slightly different than what you had too. I don't know why.
 

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Jen74

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This is weird. Here is what I got when I entered your recipe into soapcalc. Notice that my version has more lye! The "water as a weight of oils" is slightly different than what you had too. I don't know why.
Hmm, not sure. I compared mine to yours, but I don't add any fragrance at all to my soaps. I see that yours had added fragrance. I've used my SoapCalc recipe several times already with no issues until now. I checked my scale too and it was good. Maybe it was the lye?
 

The_Phoenix

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Hmmm. Very curious indeed. Do you store your lye in a tightly sealed container?

A few weeks ago I was in a hurry while making the lye solution and did not thoroughly dissolve the lye in the container (of course, it took a few batches to realize this error). I make a big batch of lye solution (it’s called master batching but I won’t overload you with that rabbit hole) and pull from that when I make soap.

Made soap as usual. My soap, 18 hours later (which is my normal “I can’t wait any longer!) time to cut. The soap was soooooo soft. I was perplexed! I’m super detail oriented so I knew I measured everything correctly. Next batch of soap…same thing! It wasn’t until the next batch of soap that I noticed that there was lye at the bottom of my big batch of lye solution. Oops.

It was a big lesson in paying attention to the little things. Anyway, the reason my soap was so soft was because my lye solution was short on lye, and you need lye to turn all those glorious fats and oils into soap. Without enough lye I had a high super fat %. A high super fat % = really soft soap.

All those unsaponofied fats are “free,” which increases the likelihood that they might go rancid. This could very well be yet another culprit. If your lye is not tightly sealed it will attract water from the air. This makes sense why you didn’t have a problem in the winter—low humidity. And why you now have an issue—high humidity.

Could you post a photo of your lye containers and where you store them? For how long have you had the lye that you used for this newest batch??
 

Jen74

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Hmmm. Very curious indeed. Do you store your lye in a tightly sealed container?

A few weeks ago I was in a hurry while making the lye solution and did not thoroughly dissolve the lye in the container (of course, it took a few batches to realize this error). I make a big batch of lye solution (it’s called master batching but I won’t overload you with that rabbit hole) and pull from that when I make soap.

Made soap as usual. My soap, 18 hours later (which is my normal “I can’t wait any longer!) time to cut. The soap was soooooo soft. I was perplexed! I’m super detail oriented so I knew I measured everything correctly. Next batch of soap…same thing! It wasn’t until the next batch of soap that I noticed that there was lye at the bottom of my big batch of lye solution. Oops.

It was a big lesson in paying attention to the little things. Anyway, the reason my soap was so soft was because my lye solution was short on lye, and you need lye to turn all those glorious fats and oils into soap. Without enough lye I had a high super fat %. A high super fat % = really soft soap.

All those unsaponofied fats are “free,” which increases the likelihood that they might go rancid. This could very well be yet another culprit. If your lye is not tightly sealed it will attract water from the air. This makes sense why you didn’t have a problem in the winter—low humidity. And why you now have an issue—high humidity.

Could you post a photo of your lye containers and where you store them? For how long have you had the lye that you used for this newest batch??

Yeah that makes total Sense what your saying about the lye. This is the bottle of lye I have been using. I had my hubby mix the lye and water solution outside so as not to breathe it in the house. We always do it this way, but it was hot and humid out. He didn't leave the container of lye open long at all, but maybe enough for moisture to get in? I attached a picture of the lye. I just store it in a box in my closet.
 

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cmzaha

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Try lowering your superfat to 2 or 3% and see if you like the feel better. With Palm that high, it will usually produce a waxy feeling bar of soap. Also, bar soap produces enough glycerin during the saponification process and does not need added glycerin which can make the soap softer, but I do not know your reason for adding in extra glycerin.

With such a hard soap high in palmitic acid using the dual lye method would help make your soap more soluble and lather quicker and better. The rate that works for me is 95/5% NaOH/KOH sorry this was a little off topic.
 

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Would you leave them sit in the molds longer or take them out?
Take them out! Oils, IME especially palm oil, loves to creep into silicone and stay there until it comes out again when you need it the least. Oil-soaked silicone is a pain to clean.
Put the soaps on a smooth, easy to clean surface (glass, plastic wrap) for some time, and watch if the oils reabsorb. I had a batch of high-palm HP soap lately that also came out quite oily, but the oils reabsorbed after a few days, and now the bars feel “dry” (no longer greasy) and like soap. Our recipes have in common that they are low in soft oils, idk, as if they were important for a HP soap to feel “clean” after unmoulding?

Your bars appear orange – Is this the lighting, or did you add red (unrefined) palm oil? If so, it's difficult to see rancidity/DOS emerge.

Regarding the scale – as long as you're weighing everything on the same scale, it's not so important that it is working exactly (absolute numbers), possible errors will just level out over the various ingredients.
 

Jen74

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Take them out! Oils, IME especially palm oil, loves to creep into silicone and stay there until it comes out again when you need it the least. Oil-soaked silicone is a pain to clean.
Put the soaps on a smooth, easy to clean surface (glass, plastic wrap) for some time, and watch if the oils reabsorb. I had a batch of high-palm HP soap lately that also came out quite oily, but the oils reabsorbed after a few days, and now the bars feel “dry” (no longer greasy) and like soap. Our recipes have in common that they are low in soft oils, idk, as if they were important for a HP soap to feel “clean” after unmoulding?

Your bars appear orange – Is this the lighting, or did you add red (unrefined) palm oil? If so, it's difficult to see rancidity/DOS emerge.

Regarding the scale – as long as you're weighing everything on the same scale, it's not so important that it is working exactly (absolute numbers), possible errors will just level out over the various ingredients.

The soap is more of the color of the palm oil, like a yellowish. I took them out of the molds and set them out and notice a couple of them have yellow spots. I am not sure what this is, but wouldn't this be too soon for this to be DOS only two days after making them. They feel gross and greasy. Something definitely went wrong here. I have made this recipe several times and never had this issue. I do not think it is the oil. I mean we used the same exact amounts of everything as we always do. I am guesing it has to do more with an issue from the lye. It must be the lye. I ordered more fresh Lye and when it gets here will make a new batch. I am thinking about adding sodium citrate to help prevent rancidity. Your thoughts?
 

earlene

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What I have seen happen with soapcalc (& one reason I stopped using it) is that when updating a recipe after design, then making another change and updating again (going to the next screen), sometimes the updates didn't all take.

I haven't used it in so long, I don't know how many times that happened, but it was more than once.

I prefer to work with on-the-fly formula correcting calculators such as the one here at SMF or soapee.com. There are others, but those are the ones I have the most experience with in terms of making dependable changes automatically.

Also, when you check your scale, I suggest using balances made specifically for calibrating scales.
 

ResolvableOwl

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I am thinking about adding sodium citrate to help prevent rancidity. Your thoughts?
Yes, do this!

All this is very strange… These DOS are really too fast to develop like “normal” DOS does, there must be other influences. Back to the silicone: can it be that, in fact, something is inside the silicone that gets leeched out while the hot soap is in there, and either gives coloured spots, or accelerates rancidity like crazy? Do/did you use the silicone moulds for anything else?

Not long ago, I had an unsettling experience with silicone that looked clean, yet gave my soap a yellowish appearance not unlike DOS, immediately after unmoulding! I had had red palm oil in them before.

With your next (test) batch, try out to put some of the batter into a different container (yoghurt cup or so), and see if the discolouration occurs there too.
 

Jen74

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Yes, do this!

All this is very strange… These DOS are really too fast to develop like “normal” DOS does, there must be other influences. Back to the silicone: can it be that, in fact, something is inside the silicone that gets leeched out while the hot soap is in there, and either gives coloured spots, or accelerates rancidity like crazy? Do/did you use the silicone moulds for anything else?

Not long ago, I had an unsettling experience with silicone that looked clean, yet gave my soap a yellowish appearance not unlike DOS, immediately after unmoulding! I had had red palm oil in them before.

With your next (test) batch, try out to put some of the batter into a different container (yoghurt cup or so), and see if the discolouration occurs there too.
[/QUOT


I actually used new molds this time. I will try and add a little like you said, to a different container when I make the next batch. I have to figure out how much sodium citrate to add. Make 2 lbs of soap usually in a batch.
 

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