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Soap Recipe Failure?

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speckledapple

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Hi, I recently attempted to make some soap with some recipes that I thought I fined tuned pretty well before hand. The after results sad to say was a little less than stellar and I think I screwed up but really have no clue how, as i thought i followed everything to the letter. One batch (the light colored one in the pictures) came out hard but really brittle and cannot be cut without breaking. The other one (the dark colored one) managed to turn out not so perfectly with something that looks like white spots throughout and rather un polished as I have seen other soap makers perform. Heres the recipe i used for both but it seems that I screwed up just somewhere. Any help would be well appreciated. Thanks.

Light colored one:
Coconut oil - 35%
Olive oil - 35%
Palm Kernel - 20%
castor oil 10%

added 1/2 tsp of kelp
1 tsp of camomile
2 tsp of lavendar

Dark colored soap:
Coconut oil - 35%
Olive oil - 20%
Palm Kernel - 25%
Castor oil - 20%

Any help would be great.......



 

busymammaof3

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I am not sure why the 1st one would be so hard and breaking. May it has something to do with the types of oils you used and how much of them. I know certain oils tend to make much harder bars than others. For instance, I made some soap for laundry. And since I wanted them super hard, so i could shave them easily with a paring knife, etc...into the washer...I used a very basic olive oil/coconut oil recipe.

The second one, hard to tell. Photo's a bit blurry and dark. But could it possibly be the lye? Maybe you accidentally used too much this time (which I believe can also cause very hard and brittle soap, even not enough water can I think). Maybe it wasn't given enough time to completely dissolve in the water?

Since you've made soap before...and even these batches before...that is pretty puzzling. I am not too experienced myself. Only been at this a year or so. I am eager to see what some more experienced soap makers say...as the morning progresses. Hopefully, if nothing else, you will be able to atleast rebatch them. Or use them in the washing machine, mop water or washing your tub, etc. :0)

Sorry I couldn't be more help! :0D
 

IrishLass

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Sorry your soaps didn't turn out. :(

In order for us to help you in the very best way we can, it would be very helpful if you could tell us how much lye and water you added to the batches. For instance, like BusyMamaOf3 said, too much lye is known for making very brittle soap, just like your soap in the first picture. Also- depending on how low your superfat level was, it could also be the very high amounts of your bubbly/cleansing oils (CO and PKO). I myself don't like to go any higher than 30% total on my bubbly/cleansing oils in my regular soap formulas, but for certain soap formulas I can go as high as 70% - 100% with the bubbly/cleansing oils as long as my superfat level is between 15% and 20%.

The soap in the second picture looks like it could be re-solidified fat to me, possibly the PKO. I've had that happen to me before when I soaped PKO at too low of a temperature. There's also the possibility that it could be undissolved lye, too. How old is the soap and have you tongue-tested the spots for lye zap?

Any extra info you can give us will go a long way in helping us to help you. :)


IrishLass
 

busymammaof3

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That's good info to know! I didn't realize that the lathering/cleansing oils could affect a soap like that. I just learned something new! :)
 

speckledapple

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I always use 33 percent water of oils in all my batches. Also there is a super fat discount i use of 5 percent. I figured it could have been the amounts of coconut oil for the first one, has i know coconut can make a brittle bar. But the second one i really just dont know. I mixed it right along with the first one in the same way almost. the only difference between the two was the final product. the first batch mixture was much more smooth as i poured it into the molds. the second one was lumpy which was irritating.
 

speckledapple

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also i havent tongue tested the soap as i just made the batch like friday and removed from molds on sunday. to be honest i didnt even know you could do that :p
 

mandolyn

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I don't think your %'s of any of your oils would cause these problems. I'm suspecting the amount of lye you used. Can you tell us how much you used. Are you using EO's or FO's?

Did you have rice-like lumps when you poured your second batch?

Are you stick blending?

Mandy
 

speckledapple

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The first batch % of lye was 31.48. The second batch was 31.66. Which gives it a ratio of about 2 to 1 for each batch. Also for the first batch i used FOs that are approved for in cold process type soaps. Same with the second one. The second batch lumps were just packed almost solid like you could cut it with a knife almost. It wasnt like the first one which was pretty smooth. The look between the two is obvious. And i used a stick blender for both. appro. 1min each.
 
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