Soap not harden in mold

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Aristolholy

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First of all sorry for my bad english,
Pls help iam making bar soap using NAOH but its not harden at all in mold, its been one month already, iam suspect its because of my bad NAOH because its clumped, if the NAOH is the culprit then how to resolve the problem??? Can i still use that soap???
Ohh yeah iam using hot process to try fasten the trace time, so iam using hot process bar soap
And this is not my first time making bar soap, its my fourth time, but all before it was a success, but this time its harden so fast when iam cook it just after 5 minutes its become hard trace so hard that the paste like hardened candle, so after that iam turn off the crock pot and place the hard paste in silicone mold, i left it overnight and its become jelly paste in mold, iam wait for one week and its still jelly paste, so iam cook it again in crockpot, its quickly harden again like before, so iam place it again in mold, now its one month already and its still jelly paste in mold, please help

Here my recipe :
102 gram olive oil
130 gram coconut oil
Naoh 35 gram
Water 78 gram
Oh yeah iam suspecting its a bad NAOH because its clumped and not heating when iam doing the naoh water solution (iam doing this fourth time and this is the first time the solution not heating)
So i think the NAOH potency is reduced so iam adding another 5 gram NAOH so the total become 40 gram
Please help me, iam also upload the pic of my jelly soap in mold, the first day iam place it in mold and now one month later its still same
 

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earlene

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Clumpy NaOH, means that it has absorbed water from being exposed too long to your humid air. This can happen when the lid is left off the container for too long, and if you have a lot of empty space inside the container which air gets in & stays even after you close the lid, and also if you don't have an air-tight seal. It's probably all of those things. I suspect you have high humidity in Indonesia right now.

So what you ended up with is soap with an unknown purity (not whatever your lye calculator is set at) and that results in an unknown amount of oil that does not saponify. In this case, it sounds like a very large amount of unsaponified oil, which is why the mixture remains a paste and does not harden.

It can be fixed, but it may not be worth the trouble to you because it would require some complex procedures & calculations to text the true lye purity of the NaOH still remaining in your lye container (the clumpy lye that you still have in the container.) You would first need to purchase the chemical phenolphthalein to test the lye. See this article on how to test lye purity: NaOH or KOH purity check | Soapy Stuff

Then after you know your true lye purity, you would have to determine how much lye you actually needed to create the soap you intended to create and how do some more math to figure out the difference between what you needed and what you actually used. Then you would have to re-batch the paste with the additional lye to save the soap. That is not impossible, but it is a lot of work. And if phenolphthalein is hard to obtain, expensive for you or you have to wait a long time for delivery, that would be other factors to take into account when deciding if you want to go that route.

An easier choice would be to first figure out a better way to store you NaOH so that it remains as pure as possible by doing some reading here at SMF about lye storage methods many of our members have shared for ensuring the lye does not get clumpy (by keeping the moisture out). I use the method described in this thread: My lye storage setup
Then replace your clumpy NaOH with brand new NaOH and use a storage method that will prevent you lye crystals (or beads, or whatever type of lye you purchase) stay dry and are not exposed to moisture during storage. Also, always be sure to close the lye container right away when measuring your lye. Leaving the container open to humidity in the air for even a short period of time gives NaOH the opportunity to draw moisture tow itself.
 

Aristolholy

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But then why my paste harden like candle when iam cook it at crockpot??? When heated its harden very fast and become solid like candle, but when its cool its become jellylike
What happen???
 
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WhittanyWho

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I recommend tossing this and disposing of your lye if it isn't heating up properly and is clumpy. It isn't a huge batch of soap. I know you invested some materials and a good bit of time in it, but I think you should call this a learning experience and move on. I've lost soap to bad lye before, and while it is frustrating, it is a good learning experience to know what to look for and how to work around issues.
 
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But then why my paste harden like candle when iam cook it at crockpot??? When heated its harden very fast and become solid like candle, but when its cool its become jellylike
What happen???
It sounds possibly like false trace to me, or a naughty ingredient. Are you using any fragrance oil, essential oil, or anything with alcohol in it?
 
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Kamahido

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Someone on another forum recently had the exact same problem. They made several different batches with the same bad results. As they were packing up their supplies to give up on soap making entirely they said they found the problem. The bottle of lye was Potassium Hydroxide, not Sodium Hydroxide.
 

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