Soap turned brown when i added lime.

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ajsp

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Hello there.

I just made my third ever batch of soap. The first two (Lard plus olive oil, and Lard plus coconut oil) came out great, but today...something happened.

A few days ago I made a Lime and Honey syrup (for eating), but as I tried it, the smell was so good i thought it would make a nice scent for a soap.

I put my oil, and just a small amount of lime syrup on the hob to gently warm, prepared my lye water (I checked the measurements twice, and so did my wife)

I added the lye water to the oils, just like the last two times, but this time immediately a rust colour, spread through the soap until the whole thing was a terrible brown.

I carried on (might as well see how it turns out), poured the soap into my mold (an empty milk pack) and left it. When I checked back, the soap had bubbled over the top of the mold and the wole thing was a big mess.

So, does anyone know what happened?

Was it a reaction of the lime to the lye, which is my guess?

Thank you all.
 

Obsidian

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I'm thinking it was more likely the honey that caused the discolor and the soapy volcano. When you add something that has sugar in it and it gets too hot the sugars can burn turning it weird colors, this can happen with milks too. Burnt honey usually turns more of a orange so it possible that the lime also affected the color.
Another fun thing about sugars is it can make your soap overheat and volcano right out of your mold as you discovered. If you want to try honey again, leave out the lime, soap cool and put the soap in the fridge to prevent gel. The nice lime/honey scent wouldn't have came through in the soap anyways.
 

Susie

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I use no more than 15 g honey per 32 oz oil batch. Honey overheats soap far worse than the same amount of sugar for me. I have no idea why.
 

ajsp

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Thank you for the replies.

Based on what you think happened, when I clean up the lava spill and crack my mold tomorrow, do you think I will end up with serviceable soap, or should I bin it and call it a good lesson?
 

shunt2011

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Thank you for the replies.

Based on what you think happened, when I clean up the lava spill and crack my mold tomorrow, do you think I will end up with serviceable soap, or should I bin it and call it a good lesson?
You will need to wait until you cut it to see how it turned out. I had a overheat a couple times whenI first started and they were full of craters and liquid and zapped. Those were thrown away.

If it looks okay when cut and no zap you will have soap.
 

Susie

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You will need to wait until you cut it to see how it turned out. I had a overheat a couple times whenI first started and they were full of craters and liquid and zapped. Those were thrown away.

If it looks okay when cut and no zap you will have soap.
^This. But you can always rebatch it.

Cut the soap inside a plastic tub of some sort to save any liquid. Then plop all the liquid into a crock pot and grate the solid soap into the crock pot. Then heat and stir the soap until it all comes together. Re-mold the resulting soap. It won't be pretty, but it will be usable after 6 weeks.
 
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ajsp

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Chop the limes into thin slices. Pack into a small jar. Cover to the top with honey. Leave it overnight. Then eat the limes skin and all (it's lovely, all the sourness is gne) when all the slices are gone use the remaining limy honey in yougurt or brush on chicken. Probably shouldn't add it to soap!!!

That's all it is. These were organic limes too (important in this case because you are eating the skin, for juice I wouldn't care) so there should be no unknown chemicals or additives. In there.

Was it a mistake to use three oils? I used Lard, Olive pomice and coconut oil.
 

dixiedragon

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Your lime honey sounds loooovely! I'm going to do that!

I see no problem with your soap recipe - I regularly use 6 oils in my soap. It's the honey. The sugars in the honey cause the soap to heat up. And since you were using a mold that was a tall, column shape, there was no place for the heat to go but up through the top. In the future, if that happens, put on gloves and goggles and stir stir stir! That will help heat release and help the soap to un-separate. You had a pretty severe volcano, so I think that, had there been time, you might have done better to dump the soap back into the soap pot or some other large container, and stir stir stir! Or even stick blend some more.
 

Seawolfe

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You added three things that you always want to research before adding to soap:
1) sugar - can cause overheating and volcanoes, but at the right amount is lovely for added bubbles
2) organic material - can cause DOS or scratchiness, or in the case of lavender buds look like brown mouse poop. But when done with a light hand can work well and look very pretty.
3) acids - can react with lye, sometimes its not a big deal, sometimes you will neutralize the lye and increase the superfat too much or cause separation. Some acids can be beneficial for hard water or as chelators (such as citric acid or TOMH's experiments with vinegar) but you need to increase the lye with careful calculations to compensate.

This is how we learn :)

Oh and I'm sorry, but you probably noticed the scent didn't last as well, right? Very little in the way of "kitchen" scents survive the lye monster.
 

Seawolfe

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Why make one mistake when you can make 3!

Thanks for the information.
Well, all of those have their place in soaps, but as you now know, they can also throw things off a bit :) Nothing like experimentation!
 

cmzaha

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Chop the limes into thin slices. Pack into a small jar. Cover to the top with honey. Leave it overnight. Then eat the limes skin and all (it's lovely, all the sourness is gne) when all the slices are gone use the remaining limy honey in yougurt or brush on chicken. Probably shouldn't add it to soap!!!

That's all it is. These were organic limes too (important in this case because you are eating the skin, for juice I wouldn't care) so there should be no unknown chemicals or additives. In there.

Was it a mistake to use three oils? I used Lard, Olive pomice and coconut oil.
I have to try the lime in honey. They sound great. Thankyou for the recipe. Sorry about your soap that is a bummer. No, it was not a mistake to use 3 oils
 

ajsp

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Make sure you slice the limes real thin. I made them too thick the first time and they ended up too tough.

Just like soap, a mistake or two always makes a better result in the end.
 

ajsp

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I'm back.

As recommended I tried rebatching the disaster volcano soap. I couldn't grate it because it kept slipping and breaking so I sliced it into small cubes.

It took a while to melt down, and it never really went totally smooth.

Still this is the result...

https://goo.gl/photos/PJq3QezwExUZ1zij8

I don't know what the light patches are, but it's definitely soap. It's sudsy and smooth, but very very soft right now.

I'll let it dry out and try it. I think I'll restrict this one to me only and make a fresh batch for my kids soap.

Thanks for all the advice.
 
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