Soap stuck in mould!

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Just wondering if anyone has experienced something similar and why it might have happened.....

Made a test batch yesterday as wanted to add oatmeal so in 500g batch I added 1tbsp oatmeal. Stirred and SB into oils before adding lye.
I then made my soap as usual, soaping at around 40 degrees c..... but decided not to use a heating pad as I normally do so just let on the side to do it's thing......
24 hours later I went to unmould and the loaf was completely and utterly wedged in the wooden box..... I couldn't get a knife down in-between the silicone and wood and it would not push out from the release holes at the bottom. With a massive amount of hitting with my mallet and pushing quite hard on the holes it finally came out but why would this have happened? Could it have been the oats expanding? If they did then why go outwards and not upwards? I understand oats can heat up the batter, but it was pretty cool and the soap doesn't seem to have gone through gel.
Once I did get it out it was also quite a different bar of soap to my normal one.....slightly pliable around the edges and had an almost aged cheese look where i could separate a bar easily and it had a crumbly texture. I've set it aside to see what happens over the next few days but this one has me really baffled.

The only differences are that I added the oatmeal and didn't put it on a heating pad. Everything else totally fine. Scales calibrated, lye fresh, all oils added, water amount correct.....

Someone please enlighten me ;)
 
I mean to use this method on the current batch. As soap gets colder it contracts, making it pull away from the mold. https://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-...molding-cold-process-soap-from-plastic-molds/
Ah I see. Thank you for that. I actually battled with it enough this morning and got the silicone liner and loaf out of the wooden mould and it came out of the silicone fine but its just so weird how it swelled like that. It absolutely must have been the oatmeal...... if i ever happens again I'll do the freezer method! Thanks for the tip.
 
Ah I see. Thank you for that. I actually battled with it enough this morning and got the silicone liner and loaf out of the wooden mould and it came out of the silicone fine but its just so weird how it swelled like that. It absolutely must have been the oatmeal...... if i ever happens again I'll do the freezer method! Thanks for the tip.
Not gelling can result in uneven texture between the outside and inside, as you described, especially when pouring at thinner trace.

Also, if you happened to spill even a bit of soap between the silicone and the wood, that will act like glue and make it very difficult to remove the liner from the wood, exactly as you described. I've done this a few times when making designs that called for a tilted mold, and pouring down the wall of the liner. It really doesn't take much spillage to create a strong glue effect.
 
@BB25, I am curious about your crumbly texture. I made a batch two weekends ago in which I added oatmeal.
I'm not sure what I would call the texture, but I guess it could be described as crumbly. I made the exact recipe the day before but with no oatmeal, a different fragrance, and 2 of the same micas. I was trying to get "seafoam green." I thought the first attempt was too green.

The FO on the second attempt really accelerated, and was hard within minutes. The FO also caused discoloration. Even though I used T.D. to try to neutralize the discoloration, on unmolding, the loaf had a yellowed look on the part with only TD, and the "seafoam" green was more of an earthy blue green (not in a good way.)

The texture seemed dry and now that you mention it "crumbly." I assumed the moisture was just evaporated out, leaving me with a hard, crumbly bar. Now, I am wondering if the oatmeal contributed. Ten days later, my first batch that wasn't the "seafoam" I was after actually looks pretty good. I like the color and it has a nice texture. This second try seems like a fail. I'm hoping if I don't look at it for a couple weeks, it'll come around.

So, I'm wondering with you, does anyone think oatmeal can cause this heating up and/ or crumbly texture?
In batch 1, I made a little extra batter so that I could test the FO in a single cavity mold. It was fast moving, but not like what happened the next day to my loaf (using the same exact recipe.)

I want to clarify that I did not use "colloidal oatmeal." This was finely ground oatmeal that i ground myself. I've actually bought some colloidal oatmeal but, since I had already ground up this oatmeal, I went ahead and used my ground up oatmeal instead.

If it was the FO and not the oatmeal that had the bad effect, I'm glad I didn't waste my colloidal oatmeal on this batch! Unless this batch turns into a swan over time, I will keep it for my own use.
 
@BB25, I am curious about your crumbly texture. I made a batch two weekends ago in which I added oatmeal.
I'm not sure what I would call the texture, but I guess it could be described as crumbly. I made the exact recipe the day before but with no oatmeal, a different fragrance, and 2 of the same micas. I was trying to get "seafoam green." I thought the first attempt was too green.

The FO on the second attempt really accelerated, and was hard within minutes. The FO also caused discoloration. Even though I used T.D. to try to neutralize the discoloration, on unmolding, the loaf had a yellowed look on the part with only TD, and the "seafoam" green was more of an earthy blue green (not in a good way.)

The texture seemed dry and now that you mention it "crumbly." I assumed the moisture was just evaporated out, leaving me with a hard, crumbly bar. Now, I am wondering if the oatmeal contributed. Ten days later, my first batch that wasn't the "seafoam" I was after actually looks pretty good. I like the color and it has a nice texture. This second try seems like a fail. I'm hoping if I don't look at it for a couple weeks, it'll come around.

So, I'm wondering with you, does anyone think oatmeal can cause this heating up and/ or crumbly texture?
In batch 1, I made a little extra batter so that I could test the FO in a single cavity mold. It was fast moving, but not like what happened the next day to my loaf (using the same exact recipe.)

I want to clarify that I did not use "colloidal oatmeal." This was finely ground oatmeal that i ground myself. I've actually bought some colloidal oatmeal but, since I had already ground up this oatmeal, I went ahead and used my ground up oatmeal instead.

If it was the FO and not the oatmeal that had the bad effect, I'm glad I didn't waste my colloidal oatmeal on this batch! Unless this batch turns into a swan over time, I will keep it for my own use.
It sounds like you have a mystery to solve here too!
I’m still uncertain of what could have caused my soap to swell in the mould and get stuck, I’ve never had this happen before but the only difference here was that I’d added oatmeal and didn’t put in my heating pad. I forgot to mention but I had an epic layer of soda ash on the top of it too, it’s no longer crumbly but is taking forever to harden. It’s just a really odd texture and I have no idea why it happened or how other people use oatmeal without any issue. I know soap makers that use it in every batch so would love to know where I went wrong. I did wonder if you need to add more water with an oatmeal recipe as oats absorb a lot of their weight in water and I wondered if this might contribute to a crumbly bar…. And of course the swelling issue but then, everything behaves in a different way in soap so maybe I’m going down completely the wrong thought path on this…..
Hopefully you’ll get some answers too and our mysteries can be solved!!

Just to also clarify, I didn’t drop any batter down the sides of the mould, it was clean when I finally got the silicone mould out of the wooden frame…..
 
@BB25, I didn't have a problem getting my soap out of the mold. But, I have a small 400ml loaf mold. I put it in a small box that came with some other commercial soap. To make it a tight, custom fit, I put a small stone tile on one side and one on the front. There is still a little looseness so I stuff a few rolodex cards on the 2nd side. So, I just yank out the index cards and my loaf can easily be taken out of it's box. I was able to yank the sides of the silicone mold away from the soap, without much of a problem. But, thinking back, I think it was a little trickier to actually remove the soap from the mold. I think I thought it was because the soap was, relatively speaking, harder, drier, and stiffer than usual. 😞 It does make sense that the oatmeal would absorb water/ liquid. The rest of the soap would be a little drier and a little bigger since the oatmeal has expanded.

So, you are definitely convincing me about the oatmeal as the culprit !!! I guess we need for a more experienced soaper to lead us out of the dark....
 
@BB25 Given all that you shared, it does sound like the oats soaked up your batch water. Probably 1 Tbsp was too much for that batch size, or your lye concentration, or both. What lye setting did you use?
 
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My lye concentration was 34%. This loaf also had poppy seeds. I didn't do anything to make it gel, I just put it in a styrofoam ice chest. I do believe this loaf gelled because it is darker through the middle of the loaf with lighter edges.

Then, it occurs to me that I made a little extra batter to try two other FO's.
In one single cavity mold, I also added oatmeal but no poppy seeds, I used an FO that had no vanillin and only at 3.6% (as opposed to 6%), I used a mica and no TD. It seemed to have a normal texture. I do not believe it gelled.
The 2nd single cavity mold had no oatmeal and no poppy seeds, and an FO with no vanillin. It also had a normal texture and I do not believe it gelled.

So, for mine, I think it was the combination of the oatmeal and the acceleration caused by the FO. I have found that my single cavity molds do not heat up and gel on their own except on one occasion when I tried an FO that accelerated pretty rapidly.
 
My lye concentration was 34%. This loaf also had poppy seeds. I didn't do anything to make it gel, I just put it in a styrofoam ice chest. I do believe this loaf gelled because it is darker through the middle of the loaf with lighter edges.
I've edited my post to clarify that I was actually asking about the OP's lye concentration in the batch referenced in the first post. Sorry about that!
 
@BB25 Given all that you shared, it does sound like the oats soaked up your batch water. Probably 1 Tbsp was too much for that batch size, or your lye concentration, or both. What lye setting did you use?
I used 38% lye concentration which is my normal amount, actually it’s 40% normally but I dropped it a little to give myself a bit more playtime to see how the oatmeal was in the batter……
I went through my shelves and found a batch I made with collodial oatmeal the week before (totally forgot about it!!!) and had no issues with this one whatsoever… my notes tell me it was a beautiful pour and it is one of my most luxurious soaps to date….. and everything was the same apart from the fact I gelled it and used oatmeal instead so using oatmeal as opposed to collodial oats Is definitely the issue here I think…..
 
I used 38% lye concentration which is my normal amount, actually it’s 40% normally but I dropped it a little to give myself a bit more playtime to see how the oatmeal was in the batter……
I went through my shelves and found a batch I made with collodial oatmeal the week before (totally forgot about it!!!) and had no issues with this one whatsoever… my notes tell me it was a beautiful pour and it is one of my most luxurious soaps to date….. and everything was the same apart from the fact I gelled it and used oatmeal instead so using oatmeal as opposed to collodial oats Is definitely the issue here I think…..
That sounds correct to me, too. Glad you figured it out!
 
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