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Soap traces too quick for my liking

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Anna91049

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My soap recipe traces too quickly I feel and i can't do the swirls i want First I used a 33% lye concentration, 65% olive oil, 30% coconut oil and 5% castor oil....and then I added the fragrance oil and it seized up which made everything worse even though I was soaping at reasonable temperatures between 80 - 95 degrees F. Then for my second recipe I used 29% lye concentration, same percent oils as previous and still traced quickly like the previous recipe....and once again when I added the fragrance oil and much less this time, it seized up again!!! please help....how much lye concentration should I have and whats the best temperatures to work with.
 

dibbles

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Which fragrance oil were you using? I suspect that is what is causing the problem.
 

Anna91049

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Which fragrance oil were you using? I suspect that is what is causing the problem.
In my first recipe I used Vanilla FO and it seized up right away...but I read on their site (after making the soap) that you use 1% in your recipe, whereas I used 4% so I think thats probably what made it seize....but still even without the FO why did the soap trace so quickly even after lowering my lye concentration?
 

dibbles

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The next most likely reason is too much stick blending. You only need to do short 2-5 second bursts, and stir for 20-30 seconds before using the stick blender again.
 

Anna91049

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The next most likely reason is too much stick blending. You only need to do short 2-5 second bursts, and stir for 20-30 seconds before using the stick blender again.
ill give that a try, that may have been one of the culprits. thank you for the feedback, im just a newbie to this and even though I watched many tutorials and researched a whole bunch of info I still need more experience on my own.
 

SPowers

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When watching a video it's quite hard to tell if the blender is running all the time but they are using burts, stopping and stirring then a burst again. In the end the sb is used very little.
 

TheGecko

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even though I watched many tutorials
Here is the problem with watching YouTube videos...not understanding that the majority of those soap makers are making much larger batches of soap than you are. If you are using less than 35 oz of oils, you should only be using 2-3 second bursts here and there and stirring in between.

And yes...certain colorants, scents and additives can accelerate your soap batter. Sometimes a little, sometimes a LOT. It is always a good idea to make a test batch whenever using a new colorant, scent or additives the first time.
 

Ford

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another concern.... a lot of old YouTube videos which promoted stick blending. Because that is what was being done at the time.
 

Sudsmaster

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I've been going through the same problems with Vanilla FO. The picture on the right (with the two loaves standing up) I actually added Vanilla FO and Cinnamon EO. Very bad idea. Came to trace so fast, when I "poured" it out of the mixing pot into the molds, the mixture was already formed in the shape of the bottom of the pot. I had to smash blobs of soap into the molds fast and ended up with these ugly looking air holes all over and the top was cracked. I tried the exact same recipe again the next day, only no Cinnamon anything, just Vanilla FO. It seized up fast, but not as fast as with the cinnamon. I was able to pour about half in each mold, then had to slop the rest in. The left picture (with the two pink molds) is the result of the second try. It saponified fast and heated up fast, so I ended up with a slight crack down the middle of each. In both recipes I used 40 grams of Vanilla FO in about 1600 grams of oil (so around 2.5%). I even mixed both recipes crazy cold. Almost room temperature (83F on the oils, 87F on the lye/water). So I think @dibbles and everyone else on this post has the right idea, one or two bursts with the stick blender, hand mix the rest, then pour fast.
 

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Arimara

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In my first recipe I used Vanilla FO and it seized up right away...but I read on their site (after making the soap) that you use 1% in your recipe, whereas I used 4% so I think thats probably what made it seize....but still even without the FO why did the soap trace so quickly even after lowering my lye concentration?
I wonder, did you used a CP safe fragrance oil? Anytime you need 1% of an FO for a recipe, I'd suspect that it is for M&P.

@Sudsmaster Where did you get the fragrance oil from?
 

Sudsmaster

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@Arimara It's called Ola Prima Vanilla Essential Oil. Even though there's no such thing as Vanilla EO, it had a good scent and was reasonably priced.

Do you or anyone else on this thread have a good Vanilla FO suggestion?
 

GemstonePony

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@Arimara It's called Ola Prima Vanilla Essential Oil. Even though there's no such thing as Vanilla EO, it had a good scent and was reasonably priced.

Do you or anyone else on this thread have a good Vanilla FO suggestion?
Where did you get the FO from? Antahala Vanilla from Elements Bath and Body is my favorite vanilla FO.
 

TheGecko

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I have used several different Vanilla FOs at 5%-6% and have not have any problems such as you describe. Either you are using the Stick Blender WAY TOO MUCH or you aren't using a FO from a reputable supplier or a FO meant to be used in CP.
 

Arimara

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@Sudsmaster I saw that on Amazon. You should practically NEVER buy fragrance oils from amazon if you value your money and safety. They may cost more but it is always better to buy your FOs from a reputable soap supply vendor at the least.

@GemstonePony I might have to try that some time. I've rarely order from Elements though.
 

CpnDouchette

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I'm very new to soap making but I found videos stick blend too much. Recently I've had a lot more success with pulsing the blender for a couple of seconds, watch for the colour change, then stir. As I stir, I hold my stick blender above the batter and watch what happens. If it separates after 30 seconds or so, I know I haven't reached emulsification. So back in, pulse for 2 seconds, rinse, lather, repeat. Your recipe looks good and you should have a decent amount of time to work even at a 33% lye concentration.
 

GemstonePony

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@Sudsmaster I saw that on Amazon. You should practically NEVER buy fragrance oils from amazon if you value your money and safety. They may cost more but it is always better to buy your FOs from a reputable soap supply vendor at the least.

@GemstonePony I might have to try that some time. I've rarely order from Elements though.
I don't either, but I believe I've purchased at least 6 other vanilla FOs and hated them all. According to a post I found via forum search from someone who tried 50, this was the best.
 

Arimara

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I don't either, but I believe I've purchased at least 6 other vanilla FOs and hated them all. According to a post I found via forum search from someone who tried 50, this was the best.
I should try it then. I need to see if they have some jars and atomizers too. While I can get those locally, it's not quite what I want.
 
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