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Question about Sunflower oil

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gigisiguenza

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After the last few batches, which had trace issues, I decided to go back and look through my notes and see what the heck I have been doing differently that could be causing the problem. What I realized was that the only difference is that instead of using 20% OO, I was using 10% sunflower and 10% OO.

Is sunflower oil known for having trace issues? I've checked every other aspect of the recipe, comparing amounts on every ingredient used successfully in past batches that I was able to reach emulsion, stay in emulsion or light trace for quite some time, and successfully create swirls - the only difference has been the addition of the sunflower oil.

I'm stumped by this as all the sources I've read have said it is interchangeable with OO and an affordable alternative.

Any feedback on this would be greatly appreciated.

TIA :)

G
 
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shunt2011

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Sorry I can't be of any help. I haven't used sunflower in my soaps. I do use it in my scrubs but that won't help you any. Hopefully someone who uses it will pop in with an answer for you.
 

Obsidian

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I only used sunflower in a few soaps but I didn't notice increased trace.

Just because a oil is interchangeable with another, doesn't mean they soap the same. Take lard and palm for example, they can be used interchangeably but palm traces quicker while lard traces slowly.
 
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KristaMarie

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I use HO sunflower in most of my recipes, but haven't noticed a difference in trace time. Is it possible your SO batch was soaped warmer?
 

cmzaha

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I use regular and HO Sunflower in a lot of soaps with nary an issue. I love sunflower and avocado together. I actually have a great dislike for anything over 20% OO in soap, so I use a lot of Sunflower and Avocado
 

gigisiguenza

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Well I guess it's not the sunflower oil then. That leaves me with the suggestion made by several people - the castor oil. Which I just don't get. I've used either 5% or 10% in every recipe, including successful and unsuccessful swirls.

How is it the castor could work perfectly in previous combos that had *no* sunflower oil, but cause a problem with the recipe that does?

Is that possible?
 

ngian

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Maybe it is for the environmental conditions, if it is warm there because of summer season, or maybe it is for the old olive oil and sunflower oil. If sunflower acts just like olive oil when it gets old, then there will be more Free Fatty Acids in the oils that causes fast trace.

Castor is said to be a fast tracer but in such small amount of 5-10% I don't think that it will be the only reason for your issue.

Nikos
 
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gigisiguenza

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Maybe it is for the environmental conditions, if it is warm there because of summer season, or maybe it is for the old olive oil and sunflower oil. If sunflower acts just like olive oil when it gets old, then there will be more Free Fatty Acids in the oils that causes fast trace.

Castor is said to be a fast tracer but in such small amount of 5-10% I don't think that it will be the only reason for your issue.

Nikos
Hmmmm lots to consider. The environment is stable in my apartment, always around 74 thanks to air conditioning. And the humidity is the same. The oils are new, so I don't think it's that... but...

Would melting the oils in the microwave change them? I've previously melted them by nuking the hard oils in short 30 second bursts, stirring in between. Once melted, I added my liquid oils to that then blended them. I've shortened this process by putting the whole bucket of combined oils in there and nuking for minute at a time, stirring in between. The oils are often too warm after that, so just have to let them sit and cool for a little but while I prep other things.

Could nuking any of the oils be changing their properties in a such a way that it's accelerating trace?
 

cmzaha

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Hmmmm lots to consider. The environment is stable in my apartment, always around 74 thanks to air conditioning. And the humidity is the same. The oils are new, so I don't think it's that... but...

Would melting the oils in the microwave change them? I've previously melted them by nuking the hard oils in short 30 second bursts, stirring in between. Once melted, I added my liquid oils to that then blended them. I've shortened this process by putting the whole bucket of combined oils in there and nuking for minute at a time, stirring in between. The oils are often too warm after that, so just have to let them sit and cool for a little but while I prep other things.

Could nuking any of the oils be changing their properties in a such a way that it's accelerating trace?
Yes it would unless you are letting the entire bucket of oils cool back down to your normal soaping temp. You need to take your oil temp with a probe or candy thermometer not a infra red, which takes surface temp. I melt all hard oils first then add in liquid oils to cool the batch of oils down.
If you ever try a slow trace recipe with and without even 3% castor you will notice it makes a considerable difference in trace time. But I am betting it is your oil temp
 

gigisiguenza

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Yes it would unless you are letting the entire bucket of oils cool back down to your normal soaping temp. You need to take your oil temp with a probe or candy thermometer not a infra red, which takes surface temp. I melt all hard oils first then add in liquid oils to cool the batch of oils down.
If you ever try a slow trace recipe with and without even 3% castor you will notice it makes a considerable difference in trace time. But I am betting it is your oil temp
cmzaha - it makes sense... it's the only variable left. I will try your suggestion regarding how to melt. Perhaps when I've been assuming the oil is cool enough because it looks ok on the thermometer and feels o.k. to the touch, it has actually been too warm.

Tyvm for the feedback. Let's hope tonight's adventure goes more smoothly :)
 
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