Soap going mushy

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Tracy von Elling

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Hello everyone,
I am wondering what I'm doing wrong. My soap goes mushy after a few days of using it. It's on a pebble/stone soap holder that is meant to keep the soap dry. I am finding even if it's only used a few times a day and there is no water collecting in it it's going mushy. I do have 50% coconut in it as I love this bubbly recipe. I add sodium lactate to my recipe too. Could it be the superfat in my recipe or just too much coconut? I add sugar also to increase bubbles and do use 10% castor oil. I really want to figure this out as I give my soap away to others too and the fact that it is going mushy isn't good. Nobody has said it is but if it is for me, it probably is for them too.
My recipe is usually something like this: Coconut - 50%, Castor - 10%, Olive - 30%, Cocoa butter: 10% Superfat 15%.
Sometimes I only do 40% coconut oil, no coco butter and 20% Lard.
Any help would be so appreciated.
 

The_Phoenix

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That's a very hard bar, given your percentages. Your superfat and % of coconut oil could be a contributor. For how long have you let the soap cure?
 
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The 10% castor, high super fat and the olive oil contributes to that. Normally 30% percent oo isn’t a problem, but it’s an oil that absorbs a lot of water. Castor oil is a humectant that attracts water. So with a 15% sf you’ve got a lot going on there.

I don’t know any reason why coconut oil would cause the mushiness. 100% co bars don’t get mushy, in my experience, they are more soluble so get used up faster.

Try 5% castor, keep the 30% olive oil if you can cure the soap at least 2 months.

Why such a large sf? For moisturizing? That’s a harsh amount of coconut oil for most people’s skin. 30% is challenging for most of us, I use 15 or 20 percent.

If you decide to try a lower co, you can add palm, lard, more olive or another liquid oil. High olive oil soaps take longer to cure, and still susceptible to getting mushy, but not to the extent you’re getting now. I also think soaps with butter also take longer.
 
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Here is your recipe plugged into SMF calculator. You’re longevity number is a 17. This soap is just going to melt away. I would bring the coconut oil down to 30, castor down to 5 and add lard at 25%. And cut the superfat at least in half. I use 5% personally
D8B737ED-D1C2-4DDD-BF73-FC9BAD7524F2.png
 

Tracy von Elling

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That's a very hard bar, given your percentages. Your superfat and % of coconut oil could be a contributor. For how long have you let the soap cure?

The soap has cured for 4 to 6 weeks. I saw on soap calc it made a hard bar that's why I'm pretty confused.

The 10% castor, high super fat and the olive oil contributes to that. Normally 30% percent oo isn’t a problem, but it’s an oil that absorbs a lot of water. Castor oil is a humectant that attracts water. So with a 15% sf you’ve got a lot going on there.

I don’t know any reason why coconut oil would cause the mushiness. 100% co bars don’t get mushy, in my experience, they are more soluble so get used up faster.

Try 5% castor, keep the 30% olive oil if you can cure the soap at least 2 months.

Why such a large sf? For moisturizing? That’s a harsh amount of coconut oil for most people’s skin. 30% is challenging for most of us, I use 15 or 20 percent.

If you decide to try a lower co, you can add palm, lard, more olive or another liquid oil. High olive oil soaps take longer to cure, and still susceptible to getting mushy, but not to the extent you’re getting now. I also think soaps with butter also take longer.

I am using so much coconut because I wasn't enjoying the other many recipes I tried with less coconut. I was hearing from others that they want bubbles and so did I. And true, 100% doesn't get mushy so it maybe isn't that.
I was doing 5% superfat for 20 % coconut oil. The class I went on a few years ago mentioned those amounts so at some point I did the math and got to 15% superfat. I will lower the castor and keep olive oil at 30% and do a longer cure. I did do a higher olive oil with a long cure at one time and it went mush too. Thank you for your advice and reply to my post.

Here is your recipe plugged into SMF calculator. You’re longevity number is a 17. This soap is just going to melt away. I would bring the coconut oil down to 30, castor down to 5 and add lard at 25%. And cut the superfat at least in half. I use 5% personallyView attachment 49374
I have only ever used soap calc so this is awesome. I never saw a longivity before now. Thank you.
So that's really sad that it isn't a long lasting bar. I had no idea.

Here is your recipe plugged into SMF calculator. You’re longevity number is a 17. This soap is just going to melt away. I would bring the coconut oil down to 30, castor down to 5 and add lard at 25%. And cut the superfat at least in half. I use 5% personallyView attachment 49374
Thank you for your suggestions. I'm going to try that for sure.
 
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How about doing a 100% coconut bar at 20% sf then? They melt away quickly, but you’ll have lots of bubbles and no mushiness.
Have you heard of using sugar as a bubble booster as well? Some use as much as a tablespoon per pound of oils, but most use 1 tsp (I think).

Sodium citrate boosts bubbles a little too, plus it’s a chelator that binds to the minerals in hard water which causes soap scum.

And look into almond oil, which some people think adds a little to the lather.
Good luck!
 

Tracy von Elling

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How about doing a 100% coconut bar at 20% sf then? They melt away quickly, but you’ll have lots of bubbles and no mushiness.
Have you heard of using sugar as a bubble booster as well? Some use as much as a tablespoon per pound of oils, but most use 1 tsp (I think).

Sodium citrate boosts bubbles a little too, plus it’s a chelator that binds to the minerals in hard water which causes soap scum.

And look into almond oil, which some people think adds a little to the lather.
Good luck!

I usually add 1 teaspoon of sugar for 800 grams of oils (added into my lye water solution) so hopefully this is right.
I haven't added sodium citrate before. I will see if I can find this to purchase.
And I'll look into almond oil too.

I think I'm going to make a batch of 100% coconut oil along with another recipe that has been suggested her. I appreciate the help so thank you!
 

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