Shrinking/warping soap problem

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holga_me

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Hi everyone!
I`m not a new soaper, but I`m new to this forum and don't know all the ethics yet. Frustration with this soap brought me here. It started with the urge of making soap one evening when I found out that I ran out of Olive oil. I had only 2 liquid oils to use in amounts I needed for the mold: canola and soybean. Neither I had any butters at that moment. I didn't expect much from this soap, as I read that canola DOS a lot and soybean just makes average soap.

So I ended up with the recipe like this:

19.05 % canola oil
19.05% palm oil
19.05% coconut oil 76
19.05% palm kernel flakes
23.81% soybean oil

superfat at 8%
lye concentration 27%
1.5 fragrance ratio

The soap turned out pretty decent. A lot of bubbles, but not drying. Scented with Key Lime fragrance it smelled awesome. My skin felt really good too. The only problem I have with it is aestethic. After it cured it shrunk horribly. Every bar from this batch looks warped inwards. Some bars even got tiny cracks like a desert.

I would greatly appreciate for help with troubleshooting as I really want to try this recipe again, but it definitely needs adjusting.

Thank you!
 

not_ally

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Holga, can't really figure out why the cracking/warping based on the above. My thoughts on the recipe, which you've probably already considered, and not sure if they have anything to do w/the issue at hand: the coconut and PKO are collectively almost 40%, and since their fatty acid profiles are similar in nature, that seems high/drying for most folks, although it seems to have worked for you?

Also, FO percentage is similarly v. high, I top out at 10% w/some fragrances and seem to be one of the heaviest handed soapers on the board in that respect. At 1.5 oz/ppo (that is your usage rate?) it seems like it would have to exceed the mftrs recommended max, I have never seen one that high. In addition to poss. skin irritation, I would expect some exudation/oil pooling w/so much FO, I do wonder if that has something to do with the weird warping.
 
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cmzaha

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I am one to use smell factor with a fo. I do not worry as much about what IFRA says and I have yet to see a manufacturer suggestion as to usage rate. Manufacturers do not have to join IRFA, it is strictly voluntary at this point. I have used so fo's quite high without any skin irritation and no complaints from customers.
I am quessing it is the amount of palm and palm kernel with the full water that caused the cracking. Full water can certainly cause warping and I would think with that much evaporation fine cracks could occur. Anytime I get the urge to use full water I get cracking. Even though palm and pko are not the same they are both very hard and soaps with high palm can easily crack after using the bar. Not sure if this cracking was before or after use. If after using the bar in the shower it is the getting wet and drying out that causes cracking
 

holga_me

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Thank you for your quick reply @not_ally. I used Wellington premium grade fragrance, and thats what they recommend maximum 1.5 oz/ppo so I went with it, but I didn't notice any sweat during cure time or oil pooling(never experienced it, so not even sure how it looks). Also, my water as % of oils is 38%. Is that too high/ could that be a problem? Would you recommend to discount it and how much? If I discount water it might accelerates
 

not_ally

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Oh, I wouldn't worry about the FO amt, then. When I have overused FO it sometimes beads up on the log, it literally looks like it is sweating. I generally just wipe it off, but do worry that is a sign that it is too high/will be irritating. As I said, I do tend to be heavy handed with the smells :)

I use 33% water, which a lot of people do, I think, just b/c it is a ratio that is somewhat discounted but still prevents noticeable acceleration. You could try that? I still occasionally use full water w/a tricky FO or formula I am wary of, but the 33% rate seems to work v. well. I have yet to go much lower b/c I am still relatively new to CP (tons of batches b/c I am an addict) but only about 6 mo in.
 

holga_me

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Would you recommend change oil amounts or discount water? Im trying to memorize, I think some of them crack after I slightly wet them just to clean up some ash on top. One that Im using in the shower didn't actually cracked. Here is the pictures, at that moment it was not cured yet, but you can see some warping towards center, it got worse. As for fragrance, I didn't have any complaints about it, so not sure that caused it. Scent is not too strong, no skin irritations and my skin reacts easy on stuff like that. The bar itself turned out creamy.

IMG_9850.jpg


IMG_9839.jpg
 

holga_me

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I am quessing it is the amount of palm and palm kernel with the full water that caused the cracking. Full water can certainly cause warping and I would think with that much evaporation fine cracks could occur. Anytime I get the urge to use full water I get cracking. Even though palm and pko are not the same they are both very hard and soaps with high palm can easily crack after using the bar. Not sure if this cracking was before or after use. If after using the bar in the shower it is the getting wet and drying out that causes cracking
Im apologizing that Im posting the same questions. I`m new to the forum and figured if I click Reply it will link my post as a Reply to yours, but I guess I have to use Quote? So, the above post was for you 😄

I never used 3 similar hard oils in one soap before, but this time I wanted to make hard bar of soap, and I don't use animal fat in my soaps, everything veggie only. So I always struggle with a hard and a lasting bar that doesn't feel dry to my skin.
 
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Seawolfe

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I think discounting your water will help, like not_ally says. And when you cure - you want it to be gradual and complete - so no huge temperature or humidity swings, cool and dark with good air circulation, turn the bars over every few days. But I wouldn't go crazy - its HANDMADE soap, I think these imperfections add to the charm :)
 

holga_me

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Thank you for all your suggestions! I didn't think I would get such a quick responses. :thumbup:
I`m going to make it with 33% water of oil weight and see if it makes any difference in shrinking. And I want to get rid of canola oil in this recipe
 

not_ally

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I kind of like canola in soap, but have been scared off by the tales of canola-related DOS. Carolyn (who posted above) loves it though, she says it is fine (she adds ROE to help out there), maybe she will chime in further. If I were going to use it consistently I would either add ROE or a combination of BHT/citric acid/EDTA (you can search threads here for DOS and chelators - not necessarily related, but a way of filtering/limiting search results) and probably find a bunch that address DOS if you want to keep using canola.

Are you an all-veggie soaper? If not, I highly recommended lard. Threads galore from all the lard-worshippers on that.
 

MorpheusPA

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I find my small cuts (the end of the loaf, usually, plus sometimes the last leftover pour into a muffin cup) will warp when drying. One end piece I just dropped into the shower is curved like a telescope's mirror.

Water discounting it tends to reduce that effect considerably! The more I discount, the less it warps.
 

Sudsmaster

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Hi everyone,

Similar topic, different question. I've been using the same silicone loaf molds for years now. The inner dimensions are 8 inches in length, and after pouring soap in and letting it sit for 24 hours, I pull out a nice loaf that's about 7 7/8 inches in length. Bit of shrinkage, but I made it work by cutting my bars every 1 1/8 inches thick (giving me 7 bars). After a week or so on the drying rack, the bars shrink about an 1/8 of an inch lengthwise as well.

Recently, I switched to a silicone mold with an inner dimension length of 18 inches, I'm doing the same recipes as before, but I have about double the length shrinkage 1/4 inch as before. Any ideas on how to stop the shrinking? At least for the first 24 - 48 hours, so I can get the loaf cut evenly into bars.

My recipe is about 51% saturated fats, 49% unsaturated. I use sodium lactate (1 tea p.p.o.) E.O.s and mica colors can't be the problem because I tried just an oil and lye recipe, but it still shrank. My lye to water ratio is 1.6:1 (38.46% lye concentration), which I thought was pretty low and enough of a water discount to avoid shrinkage. Maybe not? Could a particular type of oil or butter cause shrinkage? Temperature when mixing oil and lye? Covering vs. not covering the loaf after pouring?

Thanks..
 

TheGecko

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The soap turned out pretty decent. A lot of bubbles, but not drying. Scented with Key Lime fragrance it smelled awesome. My skin felt really good too. The only problem I have with it is aestethic. After it cured it shrunk horribly. Every bar from this batch looks warped inwards. Some bars even got tiny cracks like a desert.
Similar topic, different question. I've been using the same silicone loaf molds for years now. The inner dimensions are 8 inches in length, and after pouring soap in and letting it sit for 24 hours, I pull out a nice loaf that's about 7 7/8 inches in length. Bit of shrinkage, but I made it work by cutting my bars every 1 1/8 inches thick (giving me 7 bars). After a week or so on the drying rack, the bars shrink about an 1/8 of an inch lengthwise as well.
For both of you, it almost sounds like your soap is trying out too fast. Soap does shrink…I’ve had more than one end piece warp, but it was a thin slice and it was summer.
 
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