Small bumps on soap surface...

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Hello! When I cut a recent batch of hot process soap, I noticed small bumps on each bar. I have not seen this in past batches. I have been experimenting with different soft oils and had been using lye flakes (from Wholesale Supplies Plus) but then recently bought more like a typical sodium hydroxide granule off of Amazon. The only other thing is I have been tring different waxes, in the pic below I used candellila wax at 5% for 25 ounces of soap. I just cut a batch with soy wax and have not noticed anything off yet. I unmolded the batch below after 2 days and it have been curing for 4 days. Also have been noticing little white spots, thought maybe I was mixing in dried bites of soap? Any ideas are welcome. Thanks to everyone!!
 

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Could be bits of unmelted wax. It's pretty common problem if a person is new to using wax in their soap.

Similar bumps also happen when soap is cut with a wire cutter. There are harder and softer regions in most soap loaves, and a wire will slide around the harder bits. The solution to that is to either use a blade to cut the soap or to plane a thin shaving off the cut surfaces. Or just accept the bumps.
 
I'm just amazed you managed to get such a pretty ombre with 5% candelilla! I would have expected it to move too fast, you must have had a nice slow mix otherwise.
Thank you!! I have been experimenting with when to stop mixing and start adding my additives and get it in the mold. I used to stick blend and mix well beyond "mashed potato" stage and it way really thick. Now, when I see it is just starting that phase & at around 180 degrees, I don't wait, add everything and mold right away. I have been getting nice fluid batters. Not sure if what I am doing it right or not, but ph is good and it seems fine so I'm going with it. I have used some of my bars and they are pretty nice to me. If I am using more then one color. I use a separate measuring bowl that has been sitting with hot water in it until I need it, that way the bowl is warm when I mix additional colors not in my crockpot. I just wish the lines were straighter in the ombre, but not bad for my first time.
 
Not sure if what I am doing it right or not, but ph is good and it seems fine so I'm going with it.
Your soaps shown above are so pretty! I hope you don't mind if I provide a little feedback on a question you didn't ask. ;)

1. All soap is going to be at least 9 pH, or it will break apart into an oily mess. Anyone who tells you otherwise doesn't understand the science.

2. The pH level in your soap isn't directly correlated with excess lye in the soap. To confirm that there is no excess lye, the zap test is the best option available to home soapmakers, i.e., those who don't have labs in their home.

3. Inexpensive pH test strips are notoriously unreliable, and often show a pH level several points below the actual pH. If you still want to test, you must do it correctly, using high quality pH strips or a pH meter, and diluting the soap to a 10% soap-in-water solution.

Here is a good link about how to do ph test correctly. The only thing about this article about which I disagree is her claim that "handmade soap typically shows a result between 8 and 10." I would posit that this is because the testers are using cheap pH strips that are meant for testing pool chlorine; these will almost always show a result several points lower than the real pH. Using better quality strips will provide a more accurate range between 9 and 11.

The article referenced above also helps you to decide whether pH testing of your soap is even worth to you. Personally, I never test mine, but some of the reasons she provides in favor of testing may be important to you - and that's fine. I just want to be sure that you are spending the time and money on pH testing for reasons that are valid, and not because of old soaping myths.

Hope that helps, and keep up the nice work!
 
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I assumed that the ombre was CP, I didn't realize it was HP. I have never done HP but I didn't realize you could do such a nice design with it. It usually looks so much more rustic. ETA: Ali and I cross-posted, I agree that PH testing with soap is not helpful/mostly a waste of money. I don't test much anymore but if something looks hinky I just do the zap test.

After having bought what sometimes seems a like a multitude of PH testers for various things over the years, they are alway expensive and a PITA to use so if I can safely avoid using them I say "hallelujah" and take the road of least resistance.
 
Your soaps shown above are so pretty! I hope you don't mind if I provide a little feedback on a question you didn't ask. ;)

1. All soap is going to be at least 9 pH, or it will break apart into an oily mess. Anyone who tells you otherwise doesn't understand the science.

2. The pH level in your soap isn't directly correlated with excess lye in the soap. To confirm that there is no excess lye, the zap test is the best option available to home soapmakers, i.e., those who don't have labs in their home.

3. Inexpensive pH test strips are notoriously unreliable, and often show a pH level several points below the actual pH. If you still want to test, you must do it correctly, using high quality pH strips or a pH meter, and diluting the soap to a 10% water solution.

Here is a good link about how to do ph test correctly. The only thing about this article about which I disagree is her claim that "handmade soap typically shows a result between 8 and 10." I would posit that this is because the testers are using cheap pH strips that are meant for testing pool chlorine; these will almost always show a result several points lower than the real pH. Using better quality strips wlll provide a more "typical" range that would fall between 9 and 11.

The article referenced above also helps you to decide whether pH testing of your soap is worth it at all to you. Personally, I never test mine, but some of the reasons she provides in favor of testing may be important to you - and that's fine. I just want to be sure that you are spending the time and money on pH testing for reasons that are valid, and not because of old soaping myths.

Hope that helps, and keep up the nice work!
Yes! Thank you so much. I am pretty new to hp soaping and am still figuring things out, but love is so far. I tried cp but really don't like it. Lol! I feel I can control more aspects of soaping with hp.
 
Yes! Thank you so much. I am pretty new to hp soaping and am still figuring things out, but love is so far. I tried cp but really don't like it. Lol! I feel I can control more aspects of soaping with hp.
That's great! I did nothing but HP for 5-6 years when I first soaped.

Now I mostly make CP soap, mostly because I'm lazy and it is faster, lol. But I still HP my shave soap, and also use HP whenever I'm using a very naughty fragrance that will accelerate my CP batter too much. ;)
 
I assumed that the ombre was CP, I didn't realize it was HP. I have never done HP but I didn't realize you could do such a nice design with it. It usually looks so much more rustic.
Nope, it's hp. Along with my technique above, I also hold a little water back with some coconut milk powder and add it at the end. I also keep a bottle of distilled water handy and spray my soap as I mix here and there. My supernatural is added at the end along with sodium lactate and sorbitol. So far it's all been working to make a more fluid batter for me.

That's great! I did nothing but HP for 5-6 years when I first soaped.

Now I mostly make CP soap, mostly because I'm lazy and it is faster, lol. But I still HP my shave soap, and also use HP whenever I'm using a very naughty fragrance that will accelerate my CP batter too much. ;)
I know! That happened to me couple times, excelled batter and also ricing, noticeable gel rings, and my fragrance didn't seem to smell as nice either. Now that I understand the process more and have found my own way of doing things, I think I will stick with hp. I admit, when I first started, I tried it because I found a lot of info that said you don't have to cure it as long as cp, found out that is misleading. But I still like hp better. I wonder why there aren't more hp soapers?
 
I wonder why there aren't more hp soapers?
Not sure of other's reasons, I can tell you why I mostly do CP now:

1. I don't have to spend time cooking: just mix, pour, and go (this is true for LS, as well)

2. I don't have to clean up a cooking pot, or even worse, a heavy crock from a crockpot (they hurt my wrists).

3. I like the smoother look of CP bars.

4. I like the opportunity to do more designs.

Still, every now and then I miss the smell of cooking soap... but that's when I can make some shave soap, since HP works best with that recipe due to the stearic acid. :)
 
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Hello! When I cut a recent batch of hot process soap, I noticed small bumps on each bar. I have not seen this in past batches. I have been experimenting with different soft oils and had been using lye flakes (from Wholesale Supplies Plus) but then recently bought more like a typical sodium hydroxide granule off of Amazon. The only other thing is I have been tring different waxes, in the pic below I used candellila wax at 5% for 25 ounces of soap. I just cut a batch with soy wax and have not noticed anything off yet. I unmolded the batch below after 2 days and it have been curing for 4 days. Also have been noticing little white spots, thought maybe I was mixing in dried bites of soap? Any ideas are welcome. Thanks to everyone!!
The bumps are probably from using a wire cutter. They will go away when you plane your soaps.
 
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