Soap too soft and creamy day 2 – after saponification process

SoapMakingForum

Help Support SoapMakingForum:

alexanderte

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2016
Messages
64
Reaction score
27
Location
US
I tried to make soap yesterday following this very simple recipe:

Superfat
5%

Lye
115.54 g (4.08 oz)

Liquid
337.5 g (11.90 oz)

Olive oil
900 g (31.75 oz)

This was my second batch. If I recall correctly then the soap after the saponification process of my first batch was a lot more solid. This time it was really soft and creamy.

If I’ve done anything wrong then it might be that the scale wasn’t resting on a stable surface. That might have confused the scale, and it might have done the weighing incorrectly. :-?

I probably need to throw this away?

bad-soap.jpg
 

Rusti

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2015
Messages
398
Reaction score
502
Location
Southern IL
What oils did you make your first batch out of? Lots of more experienced folks than I have mentioned that a 100% OO soap will take much longer to unmold sometimes.
 

alexanderte

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2016
Messages
64
Reaction score
27
Location
US
What oils did you make your first batch out of? Lots of more experienced folks than I have mentioned that a 100% OO soap will take much longer to unmold sometimes.
For the first batch I was using extra virgin olive oil – I used no additional oils. For this one I switched to regular olive oil.
 

kchaystack

Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2015
Messages
1,906
Reaction score
2,080
Location
Monroe, LA
Castille soap can take several days to a week to get to harden depending on several factors. It looks like you used full water. If you used a silicon mold that will also need longer to unmold.

Give your soap about a week, then zap test. If there is no zap - it should be ok to use.

It will also take about a year for 100 olive oil soaps to cure.
 

alexanderte

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2016
Messages
64
Reaction score
27
Location
US
Castille soap can take several days to a week to get to harden depending on several factors. It looks like you used full water. If you used a silicon mold that will also need longer to unmold.

Give your soap about a week, then zap test. If there is no zap - it should be ok to use.

It will also take about a year for 100 olive oil soaps to cure.
What does full water mean? I used a larger percentage of water this time than for my first batch. I used 38% which was recommended by SoapCalc. There is no other reason why I used this amount. I need to look further into this.

I’ll let it rest for a week. It looks a bit funny because I cut it when it was so soft, but I’ll be glad if I can use it.

A year!? Wow. I’ll let it cure for a year, but I need to learn some recepies that needs only 4–6 weeks of curing. I really want to use soap that I’ve made myself. :mrgreen:
You can use 100% Castile after a few months cure it just gets harder over time so will be less likely to go mushy.
Do you know how many months?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

kchaystack

Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2015
Messages
1,906
Reaction score
2,080
Location
Monroe, LA
What does full water mean? I used a larger percentage of water this time than for my first batch. I used 38% which was recommended by SoapCalc. There is no other reason why I used this amount. I need to look further into this.

I’ll let it rest for a week. It looks a bit funny because I cut it when it was so soft, but I’ll be glad if I can use it.

A year!? Wow. I’ll let it cure for a year, but I need to learn some recepies that needs only 4–6 weeks of curing. I really want to use soap that I’ve made myself. :mrgreen:

Soapcalc defaults to 38% water as % of oils. This is anywhere from a 26 -28 % concentration. This is the lowest concentration lye solution as I would use. If you used even more water, this means you dropped your lye concentration even lower and that is not ideal for cold process soap (but ok for hot process)

When I make castille soap, I use a 40% lye concentration. There is a button under section 3 of soapcalc that says lye concentration. this means you will use LESS water, and the soap will trace faster and be ready to cut sooner.

It still needs a long cure tho.
Do you know how many months?
This is a question that differs from person to person. 3 to 6 months is ok for some people.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

alexanderte

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2016
Messages
64
Reaction score
27
Location
US
Soapcalc defaults to 38% water as % of oils. This is anywhere from a 26 -28 % concentration. This is the lowest concentration lye solution as I would use. If you used even more water, this means you dropped your lye concentration even lower and that is not ideal for cold process soap (but ok for hot process)

When I make castille soap, I use a 40% lye concentration. There is a button under section 3 of soapcalc that says lye concentration. this means you will use LESS water, and the soap will trace faster and be ready to cut sooner.

It still needs a long cure tho.
Water % of Oils, Lye Concentration, Water : Lye Rato – are these the same thing expressed in different ways? I get approximately the same amount of water when setting Water % of Oils to 19.25% as when setting Lye Concentration to 40%.

I know nothing about this – just curious. :)

Edit: By the way – for the first batch I used the Bramble Berry Lye Calculator. I think it has a water percentage that is lower than 38%, but it is not stated anywhere that I could find what percentage it uses.

Edit 2: Got the same water amount with Bramble Berry Lye Calculator as SoapCalc when setting the water % to 33%.

Edit 3: Found this post: http://www.lovinsoap.com/2012/12/calculating-your-water-amount-for-soapmaking/ – some simple guidelines: 2 times lye, 1.5 times lye, and 1.1 times lye for different situations. Interesting stuff!
 
Last edited:

Arimara

Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2015
Messages
3,434
Reaction score
2,545
Water % of Oils, Lye Concentration, Water : Lye Rato – are these the same thing expressed in different ways? I get approximately the same amount of water when setting Water % of Oils to 19.25% as when setting Lye Concentration to 40%.

I know nothing about this – just curious. :)

Edit: By the way – for the first batch I used the Bramble Berry Lye Calculator. I think it has a water percentage that is lower than 38%, but it is not stated anywhere that I could find what percentage it uses.

Edit 2: Got the same water amount with Bramble Berry Lye Calculator as SoapCalc when setting the water % to 33%.

Edit 3: Found this post: http://www.lovinsoap.com/2012/12/calculating-your-water-amount-for-soapmaking/ – some simple guidelines: 2 times lye, 1.5 times lye, and 1.1 times lye for different situations. Interesting stuff!
Lye Concentration and Water : Lye ratios are the same things expressed differently. Water to Lye ratios are a more generalized outlook of lye concentrations and can help you get a feel for how to use lye concentration when the time is right for you. The same cannot be said of the water percentage. That function causes the water amounts of your recipes to vary in proportion to the weighed amount of oils that you use. Lye concentration and the ratios keeps your water amounts more consistent and really depend on the amount of lye needed to saponify your oils. The highest you can go is a 50% lye concentration or 1:1 water to lye. You may want to avoid that unless you're using a more advanced technique or something to that effect.
 

alexanderte

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2016
Messages
64
Reaction score
27
Location
US
Lye Concentration and Water : Lye ratios are the same things expressed differently. Water to Lye ratios are a more generalized outlook of lye concentrations and can help you get a feel for how to use lye concentration when the time is right for you. The same cannot be said of the water percentage. That function causes the water amounts of your recipes to vary in proportion to the weighed amount of oils that you use. Lye concentration and the ratios keeps your water amounts more consistent and really depend on the amount of lye needed to saponify your oils. The highest you can go is a 50% lye concentration or 1:1 water to lye. You may want to avoid that unless you're using a more advanced technique or something to that effect.
I’m not fully able to grasp the difference, but I sort of understand. Any idea why the water relative to oils instead of water relative to lye is the choice aimed at beginners in SoapCalc? Is there a reason why I shouldn’t think in terms of water relative to lye from the beginning of my soapmaking “career”?

I’ll try the 1.1 : 1 water–lye ratio tomorrow when doing another attempt at making a castile soap.
 

penelopejane

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2015
Messages
5,460
Reaction score
4,250
Location
Sth Coast, NSW, Australia
Do you know how many months?
You can use Castile after 6 weeks but you will find it goes mushy quickly. You will have to dry it out between uses. It is generally ok in the shower once a day. This is when people give up and say they hate Castile soap.

After 2 months you will notice it is harder. People still give up on Castile soap at this stage.

After 6 months it is harder and more creamy.

After a year it is starting to get really hard and even more creamy.

After 1 1/2 to 2 years it is a beautiful soap.

If you add 1 tsp of salt ppo it will not be so mushy. It is such a nice soap that it is worth the wait in my opinion. If you don't have allergies or eczema you can add 1 tsp of honey ppo for more bubbles if that concerns you.
I’m not fully able to grasp the difference, but I sort of understand. Any idea why the water relative to oils instead of water relative to lye is the choice aimed at beginners in SoapCalc? Is there a reason why I shouldn’t think in terms of water relative to lye from the beginning of my soapmaking “career”?

I’ll try the 1.1 : 1 water–lye ratio tomorrow when doing another attempt at making a castile soap.
There is science behind this and a good explanation from DeeAnna (our resident science teacher) and others:
http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=53642

It is better to use the "Lye Concentration" as it has more meaning when you actually think about the process. You just have to get used to it.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

TeresaT

I see you.
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 7, 2015
Messages
2,269
Reaction score
2,456
Location
Chatta-Vegas, TN
I’m not fully able to grasp the difference, but I sort of understand. Any idea why the water relative to oils instead of water relative to lye is the choice aimed at beginners in SoapCalc? Is there a reason why I shouldn’t think in terms of water relative to lye from the beginning of my soapmaking “career”?

I’ll try the 1.1 : 1 water–lye ratio tomorrow when doing another attempt at making a castile soap.
I would not recommend using a 50% (1:1) concentration until (1) you have completely read through the thread posted by PenelopeJane wherein DeeAnna explains the science behind the lye concentration and (2) you understand completely the science of lye concentration. The lye concentrations we regularly use (26% to 40% as kchaystack pointed out) are extremely strong and quite dangerous. To use a 50% concentration without having a specific purpose to do so is, in my opinion, asking for trouble. I am offering this advice to you because I consider myself an "experienced" soaper, and still managed to burn the crud out of my hands on raw soap.

I did a zap test on a soap I made and it passed. So, I washed my hands with the soap. After about 15 seconds of lathering up, my hands were on FIRE! I quickly switched the tap to cold and flooded my hands with cool running water for about 5 or 10 minutes.

I had nasty burns on my hands after 15 seconds with partially saponified 2:1 concentrate lye (my normal 33.333% concentration). Imagine what can happen if you accidentally splash 1:1 lye solution or raw batter on yourself? I'm pretty gutsy and daring. I have a "try anything attitude" when it comes to making soap (I love vinegar as a water replacement!), but I would not soap with a 50% solution.
 

Susie

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2013
Messages
9,713
Reaction score
9,214
Location
Texas

Arimara

Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2015
Messages
3,434
Reaction score
2,545
I’m not fully able to grasp the difference, but I sort of understand. Any idea why the water relative to oils instead of water relative to lye is the choice aimed at beginners in SoapCalc? Is there a reason why I shouldn’t think in terms of water relative to lye from the beginning of my soapmaking “career”?

I’ll try the 1.1 : 1 water–lye ratio tomorrow when doing another attempt at making a castile soap.
1. Water relative to lye is generally how many soapers first learned how to soap, from my general understanding. There's nothing wrong with it some recipes but when it comes to castiles and some other recipes (another type of soap that uses primarily coconut oil), this setting will give you not-as-nice results.

2. Many of the soapers here prefer the latter two settings because of the more consistent results you get from them relative to the batch size of the soap. I was going to continue but I lost my train of thought. ALso, Penelope gave you a link that will help you tremendously. DeeAnna's advice is one of the biggest gems you can come across here and well worth the read.
I would not recommend using a 50% (1:1) concentration until (1) you have completely read through the thread posted by PenelopeJane wherein DeeAnna explains the science behind the lye concentration and (2) you understand completely the science of lye concentration. The lye concentrations we regularly use (26% to 40% as kchaystack pointed out) are extremely strong and quite dangerous. To use a 50% concentration without having a specific purpose to do so is, in my opinion, asking for trouble. I am offering this advice to you because I consider myself an "experienced" soaper, and still managed to burn the crud out of my hands on raw soap.

I did a zap test on a soap I made and it passed. So, I washed my hands with the soap. After about 15 seconds of lathering up, my hands were on FIRE! I quickly switched the tap to cold and flooded my hands with cool running water for about 5 or 10 minutes.

I had nasty burns on my hands after 15 seconds with partially saponified 2:1 concentrate lye (my normal 33.333% concentration). Imagine what can happen if you accidentally splash 1:1 lye solution or raw batter on yourself? I'm pretty gutsy and daring. I have a "try anything attitude" when it comes to making soap (I love vinegar as a water replacement!), but I would not soap with a 50% solution.
I don't mean to double post like this but this is sound advice and to your benefit more often than not. There are few times you may need to make up a 50% lye solution for but they are more advanced projects that you're not quite ready to tackle. I'm telling you from personal experience, get a good understanding of lye concentrations and/or ratios BEFORE you try to venture off with different soaps (ie- milk soaps, beer soaps, ghost swirls). Once you get a good understanding, then sky's the limit for you.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

The Efficacious Gentleman

Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Messages
8,997
Reaction score
9,102
Location
Austria
Even after 6 months, home made Castile can be disappointing, depending on your expectations. Of course you CAN use it at 6 weeks, but then there are lots of things that one CAN do, but that doesn't make them good ideas!

I would start to make other recipes for a bit, leaving your Castile alone to cure for a nice amount of time. More balanced recipes only need 4 weeks to cure, which is much easier for a beginner to deal with
 

alexanderte

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2016
Messages
64
Reaction score
27
Location
US
I guess I need to work on my patience. Two years is a while. But I see no reason why I can’t do both. I can make Castile soap that will be ready in 1–2 years, and I can try recipes that cures faster at the same time. I plan on having a curing rack of some sort, and I label my batches with a number – and I’ve got more detailed batch information on my computer.

I read the thread with posts by DeeAnna. Very clear, fun, and helpful read! I will use water relative to lye from now on.

What lye concentration do you recommend for a Castile soap? 40%?
 

alexanderte

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2016
Messages
64
Reaction score
27
Location
US
I did another Castile batch today with 5% superfat, 40% lye concentration, 35 °C/95 °F. Took ages to cool down the lye water. Ended up filling the sink with cold water. Temperature and timing is complicated!

I hope it won’t take more than 24 hours before it’s ready for cutting.
 

kchaystack

Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2015
Messages
1,906
Reaction score
2,080
Location
Monroe, LA
I did another Castile batch today with 5% superfat, 40% lye concentration, 35 °C/95 °F. Took ages to cool down the lye water. Ended up filling the sink with cold water. Temperature and timing is complicated!

I hope it won’t take more than 24 hours before it’s ready for cutting.
You really do not have to let the lye cool. The heat will help speed up trace as well, which is really helpful with this kind of soap. ANd it might also promote gel phase, which will let you cut sooner.
 

alexanderte

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2016
Messages
64
Reaction score
27
Location
US
You really do not have to let the lye cool. The heat will help speed up trace as well, which is really helpful with this kind of soap. ANd it might also promote gel phase, which will let you cut sooner.
Okay, that would save me a lot of time. It starts out at around 80 °C/176 °F. Can I mix it with the oil at that temperature? And do I need to heat the oil?
 

cmzaha

Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Messages
11,922
Reaction score
11,504
Location
Southern California
What is usually going to happen with a 50% Lye Concentration 1:1 is the fact it is going to trace much faster and I find in some recipes it can leave the soap dry and brittle. Yes, I have played with 50% concentrations, lol sometimes accidently. I do find a 50% works well in pure light olive oil, will usually trace very quickly with pomace, I do not use EVOO so no help there.
Theresa, I do not find any difference between a 30% solution versus a 50% solution or even straight lye crystals when it comes to acquiring a burn on the skin. It all burns equally in my opinion. Unfortunately I am a great one for getting bit by lye, since it can get above my short nitrile gloves
 
Top