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Salt bar = mashed potatoes?! What happened?

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NewbiSoaper

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Tried to make a salt bar, ended up with mashed potatoes! Help!

Recipe:

Coconut 80% 11.2 oz
Avocado 15% 2.10 oz
Mango butter 5% .70 oz

Superfat 15% half avocado half mango
Dead sea salt 50%

Lye 7.7 oz
Water 14 oz

I don't think I ever really reached trace .. within 30 seconds I had a huge bowl of mashed potatoes - crumbly, chunky mashed potatoes. Currently at about 95 C. Dont think it went any hotter. Was at 60 ish when i added lye amd water mix.What do I do?
 
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shunt2011

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I think the biggest problem is you used dead sea salt. It shouldn't be used in salt bars. Sea salt, kosher salt or table salt work best. Fine . Also, you can't SF CP soap with oils you choose. Mix them all together before the lye. The only time you can choose your SF is with HP after the cook.
 

NewbiSoaper

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I think the biggest problem is you used dead sea salt. It shouldn't be used in salt bars. Sea salt, kosher salt or table salt work best. Fine . Also, you can't SF CP soap with oils you choose. Mix them all together before the lye. The only time you can choose your SF is with HP after the cook.
Ahh! **** sea salt! I was so excited to use it!

Sorry,should have explained that better but I was panicking! Lol. I mixed all the oils together before ading the lye.

I'm 3 fails for 3 attempts! Gah!

Anything I can do with this big bowl of crumbly clay like mixture? Lol
 

snappyllama

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I think your culprit is the dead sea salt. I've read it doesn't work in salt bars.

Your lye looks really high to me at 7 ounces. When I run your recipe though SoapCalc, I'm getting 2.06 as the necessary amount. Honestly, I'd probably chunk the batch with it being that lye heavy and having dead sea salt in it. Sorry. Maybe someone else will have a good idea on how to save it.

Also, you probably want to get out of the habit of calculating your superfat separately. It makes things way more complicated than necessary. The lye monster will eat what it wants... just put in your percentages into the calculator and then put in all your oils into the pot together. The only time you might want to worry with a special superfat is if you're doing HP and can add it after saponification is complete.
 

cmzaha

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You cannot use Dead Sea Salt, and always use fine salt, anything else is to abrasive. Also do not do much of a water discount if you happened to. Just curious when you added in your salt and fragrance? If you happened to use an ocean type or Salty Air type fo they accelerate very quick. Good catch Snappy, I noticed it but right over that one. Would certainly be why it went crumbly. You could hp the batch by adding in enough oil to make up for the lye you used but it is going to be around a 5 lb batch. I use the average of 8.5 oz lye in 61 oz of oils, so that was a huge miss. It is not Sea Salt that is a problem only Dead Sea Salt. Pacific sea salt is what I like the best
 
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cmzaha

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Ahh! **** sea salt! I was so excited to use it!

Sorry,should have explained that better but I was panicking! Lol. I mixed all the oils together before ading the lye.

I'm 3 fails for 3 attempts! Gah!

Anything I can do with this big bowl of crumbly clay like mixture? Lol
What were your other 2 batches that you failed on. It would be best if you post your recipe and we can help so you do not keep wasting supplies
 

snappyllama

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I wanted to add... If you're having troubles getting a good batch this is a really nice recipe:

Lard 55%
CO 20%
Castor: 5%
Olive: 20%

Superfat at 5%

You'll have a lot to time to work with it. Try it without worrying about fragrances or colors for now. If you cannot help yourself (I couldn't) pick a fragrance oil that gets excellent reviews for being well behaved in CP.

My procedure (this is just what I do - but you should have success if you follow the steps) :)

Get everything out and ready to go (gear, bowls, spoons, ingredients, mold). Put on safety gear. Banish small people, animals, and other distractions.

1. Weigh water into the lye solution container.
2. Weigh lye
3. Add lye to water in the lye solution container. Stir until lye is completely dissolved.
4. Weigh lard and coconut into the oil container.
5. Heat oil container until lard and coconut are completely melted. Do not overheat.
6. Weigh olive oil and castor into the oil container. If you're adding a fragrance, put it into the oil container now.
7. Once the temp of everything is relatively cool ( little above room temp), add lye solution into the oil container.
8. Put stick-blender into oil container and burp it to release any trapped air. Pulse it periodically while mainly just stirring.
9. Once you have emulsification (the batter is doesn't have any free floating oil on top), you can split your batch up if coloring. Stir in color.
10. Mold it and then just wait until it's hard enough to unmold.
11. After unmolding, zap test soap after 3 days.
12. Let soap cure for a minimum of 4 weeks. It's nice to test it about once a week to feel the changes that take place.
 

NewbiSoaper

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I think your culprit is the dead sea salt. I've read it doesn't work in salt bars.

Your lye looks really high to me at 7 ounces. When I run your recipe though SoapCalc, I'm getting 2.06 as the necessary amount. Honestly, I'd probably chunk the batch with it being that lye heavy and having dead sea salt in it. Sorry. Maybe someone else will have a good idea on how to save it.

Also, you probably want to get out of the habit of calculating your superfat separately. It makes things way more complicated than necessary. The lye monster will eat what it wants... just put in your percentages into the calculator and then put in all your oils into the pot together. The only time you might want to worry with a special superfat is if you're doing HP and can add it after saponification is complete.
... I thought it sounded like a lot of lye as well and in hind sight, shold have double checked it. Oh well.

I have started mixing all of the oils together, sorry if It sounded like I didn't - special thanks for Susie for that suggestion.

I think I'll chuk it and try again another day! At least I am learning a lot from my mistakes!
 

NewbiSoaper

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I wanted to add... If you're having troubles getting a good batch this is a really nice recipe:

Lard 55%
CO 20%
Castor: 5%
Olive: 20%

Superfat at 5%

You'll have a lot to time to work with it. Try it without worrying about fragrances or colors for now. If you cannot help yourself (I couldn't) pick a fragrance oil that gets excellent reviews for being well behaved in CP.

My procedure (this is just what I do - but you should have success if you follow the steps) :)

Get everything out and ready to go (gear, bowls, spoons, ingredients, mold). Put on safety gear. Banish small people, animals, and other distractions.

1. Weigh water into the lye solution container.
2. Weigh lye
3. Add lye to water in the lye solution container. Stir until lye is completely dissolved.
4. Weigh lard and coconut into the oil container.
5. Heat oil container until lard and coconut are completely melted. Do not overheat.
6. Weigh olive oil and castor into the oil container. If you're adding a fragrance, put it into the oil container now.
7. Once the temp of everything is relatively cool ( little above room temp), add lye solution into the oil container.
8. Put stick-blender into oil container and burp it to release any trapped air. Pulse it periodically while mainly just stirring.
9. Once you have emulsification (the batter is doesn't have any free floating oil on top), you can split your batch up if coloring. Stir in color.
10. Mold it and then just wait until it's hard enough to unmold.
11. After unmolding, zap test soap after 3 days.
12. Let soap cure for a minimum of 4 weeks. It's nice to test it about once a week to feel the changes that take place.
A big part of my problem is that I don't want to use tallow or palm and don't habe olive oil, I am trying to use what I have on hand before placong another order. But I will deff write this recipe down and give it a try in the future! Thanks for all of your suggestions!
 

snappyllama

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Feel free to post your next recipe before you try it. Everyone here is happy to help. :)

ETA: AO is a nice substitute for OO in recipes. I sub it in all the time. Just make sure to recalculate your recipe when making substitutions.
 

NewbiSoaper

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Feel free to post your next recipe before you try it. Everyone here is happy to help. :)

ETA: AO is a nice substitute for OO in recipes. I sub it in all the time. Just make sure to recalculate your recipe when making substitutions.
I think I will take you up on that! I'm gonna toss this batch but have two more to rebatch this week. I deff be posting the recipe before trying! Ya'll are very helpful!!
 

Steve85569

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If you are set on a salt bar recipe:
Coconut oil.
water
lye
salt at 50% to 100% of the weight of oil.
SF 5 to 15% to personal taste.

Always run any recipe through a trustworthy lye calculator and double check your weights before adding together ( don't even ask how I learned).:mrgreen:
 

Susie

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You need to learn to run every recipe through a lye calculator for yourself. Take some time to play with the lye calculator, running various recipes through it until you get comfortable with it. Then, bring your recipe to us to critique before you waste any more oils. I prefer Soapee.com. It is just more user friendly to me.

Also, lard/tallow/palm provide some hardness to soap that you are going to have to make up for somehow. I think folks use butters. But trying to work around those is one difficulty to overcome. Another difficulty is that you do not have a basic oil that most people use somewhere in their soap. You are making soap with both arms tied behind your back. Pick one or the other to deal with, but please work with us on the fact that you need OO, or one of the oils folks have suggested. Your absolute resistance to obtain oils that are available at most grocery stores in any town of a reasonable size is hindering your capability to make good soap. We are trying to help you. Please help us help you.
 

NewbiSoaper

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You need to learn to run every recipe through a lye calculator for yourself. Take some time to play with the lye calculator, running various recipes through it until you get comfortable with it. Then, bring your recipe to us to critique before you waste any more oils. I prefer Soapee.com. It is just more user friendly to me.

Also, lard/tallow/palm provide some hardness to soap that you are going to have to make up for somehow. I think folks use butters. But trying to work around those is one difficulty to overcome. Another difficulty is that you do not have a basic oil that most people use somewhere in their soap. You are making soap with both arms tied behind your back. Pick one or the other to deal with, but please work with us on the fact that you need OO, or one of the oils folks have suggested. Your absolute resistance to obtain oils that are available at most grocery stores in any town of a reasonable size is hindering your capability to make good soap. We are trying to help you. Please help us help you.
I did run the recipe through a calculator for myself. Obviously I made a mistake somewhere - to be expected as a newbie.

As for the oils, as a vegetarian and somebody who is against the treatment of animals who are raised for food, animal products are out.

As for palm, i know more then Id like to about the deforestation, destruction and wildlife that is displaced and killed to harvest it, so that is out as well.

And for olove oil, my supplier has been out for months, they get it in and within the day it is gone. Unfortunately, I don't live in the US and grocery store prices for olive oil are crazy. Because of this, I do have a few butters and other oils that it seems people use as a substitute which I am trying to work around.

Ubfortunately, these are the perameters I am faced with. Despite them, ans with a little exposure, I am sure Ill come up with something decent. Thanks for your input Susie.
 

NewbiSoaper

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If you are set on a salt bar recipe:
Coconut oil.
water
lye
salt at 50% to 100% of the weight of oil.
SF 5 to 15% to personal taste.

Always run any recipe through a trustworthy lye calculator and double check your weights before adding together ( don't even ask how I learned).:mrgreen:
I'm not really dead set on a salt bar, just looking for something to help with a bit of acne. I have activated charcoal and dead sea salt, just figured I would give one of them a try.

I'll have to write your recipe down and give it a try one of these days.
 

Obsidian

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Salt bars are great, my absolute favorite. I use a very simple recipe 80% coconut and 20% olive oil or some other liquid oil. Butters really aren't that great in salt bars. I've tried different % of salt, my favorite is 35% but I do go up to 50% at times. My SF is 20%, 15% just isn't enough for me.

Curious, when did you add your salt? You didn't specify but it almost sounds like it was added before the lye? Get yourself some plain sea salt (not dead sea) or even table salt (no iodine) and try another small batch. Hand stir the salt in after the soap has reached trace. I'd recommend using individual molds if you have them, learning timing for cutting salt bars was the most difficult thing for me.
 

Susie

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I did run the recipe through a calculator for myself. Obviously I made a mistake somewhere - to be expected as a newbie.

As for the oils, as a vegetarian and somebody who is against the treatment of animals who are raised for food, animal products are out.

As for palm, i know more then Id like to about the deforestation, destruction and wildlife that is displaced and killed to harvest it, so that is out as well.

And for olove oil, my supplier has been out for months, they get it in and within the day it is gone. Unfortunately, I don't live in the US and grocery store prices for olive oil are crazy. Because of this, I do have a few butters and other oils that it seems people use as a substitute which I am trying to work around.

Ubfortunately, these are the perameters I am faced with. Despite them, ans with a little exposure, I am sure Ill come up with something decent. Thanks for your input Susie.
OK, so where do you live? Not the city, just the country. We have folks from all over the world, and someone is bound to have a potential solution for you.
 
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