possible ricing problem

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Skye19

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Thank you for posting these photos. They are very helpful but I'm not sure where my problem fits in!

I used Litsea Cubeba, Sweet Orange and Palmarosa in cold processed soap and after I added the essential oils very suddenly there were what looked like slivered almonds through the batch. They were larger and flatter than what looks like ricing. Any suggestions as to what would have caused this? Is this soap safe to use?

I started adding the lye to the oils at about 38 C so was not too hot. Any suggestions as to cause appreciated.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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Hi, I moved this to a new thread so that we don't clog up the picture thread with discussions.

What was your exact recipe and process? That will help people to troubleshoot
 

Skye19

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Thank you and my apologies, I didn't realise it was a picture thread. I am also new to using Forums. Will pay more attention next time!

Recipe used was:

500g Palm Oil
250g Coconut Oil
250g Olive Oil
400ml distilled water
134 g caustic soda

20g Palmarosa EO
10g Sweet Orange EO
6 g Litsea Cubeba EO

I mixed the lye and oils at about 37 C and used a blender to bring to trace. I then added the room temperature EOs. Before I had time to fully mix in the EOs it had developed what looked like almond slivers.

I really like the scent of the soap and would like to try it again but would appreciate any comments on what may have gone wrong.

Many thanks.
 

lsg

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I had that trouble with a batch curdling right after I added the fragrance oil. I just kept stick blending it, stopping every little bit to let the stick blender cool off. It took several minutes, but I finally beat the soap back into submission.;)
 

Skye19

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Thanks very much. Appreciate the advice. I'll give it another go before I move on to Plan B!
 

houseofwool

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37° is still pretty warm for a floral essential oil. I'd shoot for closer to 25°.
 

houseofwool

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I much prefer to soap at, or near room temperature. It slows things down.
 

Skye19

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Thanks for the tip. I haven't made a lot of soap but I have never gone lower than about 35°C and I always made sure the lye and oils were at the exact same temperature. This would take me ages. From further reading it seems that I don't have to be so exact. Will try mixing at a lower temperature and will let you know how it goes. Thank you!
 

houseofwool

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I suggest making your lye solution the day before or first thing in the morning so it has time to cool.

Then melt your hard oils until just barely melted.

Then add your room temp liquid oils.

I find this drops the temperature low enough that the outside of the pot feels cool to the touch. When I take the temp, it is somewhere between 70-80°. Adding in room temp lye solution drops it a few more degrees.

Soaping cool generally slows down trace which is important with floral or spice EOs.

All of this assumes that the issue is the EO. :)
 

Skye19

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Thank you so much for your advice. I have remade the recipe but mixed the oils and lye at 25°C as suggested. It worked perfectly and looks great. I also added in some pink clay.

Do you always mix at this lower temperature or only for florals and citrus? Also, will I be able to use the other batch that had the "almond slivers"? I wouldn't give it to friends as it looks a bit ugly but don't want to waste it.

Thanks once again.
 

Skye19

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Thanks very much. I'll give that a try and see how I ago. Appreciate all your advice.
 

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