Soap turning soft when used.

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Hi!
i have been making cold proces soap, but it is turning a little soft and sticky when used and is not hard soap as when it has just been cut.
What can be the problem?

The recipe is
10 % almond butter
7% castor oil
12% cocoa butter
15% coconut oil
33% olive oil
23% shea butter
And a bit of clay

superfat 5%
lye concentration 38%
I also take out half of the water and add that same amount with coconut milk.
In the beginning I had a higher amount of coconut oil, but I felt like it was too drying on my skin.

Thank you.
 

amd

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Define what you mean by soft? Most handmade soaps will become softer as they absorb moisture when being used. This is why it is important to dry soaps between use.
 
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It’s as if the outer layer can be peeled of easily and it feels sticky. And it leaves bits of soap where it has been standing to dry between washing.
 

amd

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That sounds pretty normal to me! Keep in mind if you're expecting your handmade soap to act like commercial soap, it's not going to. Commercial soap is made with no superfat, and usually has synthetic detergents and/or other chemicals added to it so that it doesn't get soft... but your skin pays for it.

You could try dropping your superfat by 1 or 2% so that more of your oils are converted to soap. I found that when I changed my SF from 5% to 3% that my skin couldn't feel a difference, but the amount of "scuzz" my hubby was cleaning out of our drains was greatly reduced.

Although wait... you have 10% almond butter?? do you mean almond oil? If you mean almond butter like what you buy at the store for putting on your toast... I would take that out of your oil calculation, and use it as an additive. If it's an almond butter blend (like the green tea or avocado butters you can buy at various suppliers), then carry on.
 
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Wow thank you! I will definetly try to reduce the superfat to 3%.
I’m so sorry, it’s almond Oil that I used;-)

I do still feel that the soap is a little drying for my skin allthough I reduced the coconut Oil. Can this be because I dont let the soap cure for the 4-6 weeks before I use it?
 

Obsidian

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Make sure your soap is sitting on a good draining dish with lots of air flow. If I leave my soap on the build in ledges in the shower, they will get gooey.
Instead, I use a stainless steel wire rack so absolutely no water is left pooling around the soap.
 
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Yes. I let my soaps cure for 8 weeks because I like a nice hard bar. And your Shea Butter is a little high...it will contribute to the stickiness.
Which oil/butter do you recommend that I increase the amount of instead of shea butter if not the coconut Oil?

Wait, you're using it right away? Let it cure 4-6 weeks, then try it again. Soap is ALWAYS better after a proper cure time.
It is so hard to wait, but maybe I should try that;-)
 

SoapSisters

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i have been making cold proces soap, but it is turning a little soft and sticky when used and is not hard soap as when it has just been cut.
What can be the problem?
I recently started experimenting with soy wax, and I love how hard it makes my soap. I use 20% soy wax and find it's enough to prevent that "outer layer peeling off" that you wrote about. I've found, though, that the cure REALLY MATTERS with my soy wax soap. At 1-2 weeks it hardly lathers. At 4-6 weeks, there's wonderful and plentiful lather! You can do a search here on SMF for suggestions about what kind of soy wax to buy + recipe suggestions. Good luck!
 

penelopejane

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Which oil/butter do you recommend that I increase the amount of instead of shea butter if not the coconut Oil?
I'd increase the Olive oil and let it cure longer.
I'd also drop the Castor oil to 5%. I know it is only 2% less but it will make your soap sticky at higher than 5%.
Are you sure you are using 38% lye concentration and not 38% water as a % of oils?
 

SPowers

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Are you using sodium lactate? Doesn't that help with the hardness?
 

TheGecko

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Which oil/butter do you recommend that I increase the amount of instead of shea butter if not the coconut Oil?
You can use Palm Oil, Mango Butter, Babassu Oil, Lard or Tallow.

Are you using sodium lactate? Doesn't that help with the hardness?
Sodium Lactate is mainly used to make the soap easier to remove from the mold and is generally limited to 1 teaspoon per pound of oils.
 

CatahoulaBubble

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It's your lack of cure time. Your soap isn't losing any moisture and it's not developing it's crystalline structure. Also the reason you're finding it drying on your skin is because you aren't letting it cure. Fresh soap is a lot stronger and strips more oils off of your skin because the soap hasn't developed it's profile. Also that amount of shea butter in soap is a waste. Try just using 3% shea butter in your recipe and just let it cure for the full 6 weeks. You'll find a soap of a different color that will give you a true profile you can work off of to develop the right recipe.
 

amd

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Also that amount of shea butter in soap is a waste.
I disagree. I use 15%shea with 5% cocoa butter in my regular recipe, and have a vegan recipe that is right around 32% (I think, I'll have to look) and they're both lovely soaps. To me anything less than 5% is why bother. I think the op needs to allow the soap to cure properly and then decide if the recipe needs tweaking. I think the lack of cure is more a concern than the recipe itself. I would use the recipe, personally.
 

shunt2011

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You can use Palm Oil, Mango Butter, Babassu Oil, Lard or Tallow.



Sodium Lactate is mainly used to make the soap easier to remove from the mold and is generally limited to 1 teaspoon per pound of oils.
Babassu is a replacement or can be used in conjunction with Coconut oil. It is a cleansing oil.
 
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