"soaping at room temperature"

Discussion in 'Beginners Soap Making Forum' started by MGM, Jan 12, 2019.

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  1. Jan 12, 2019 #1

    MGM

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    This feels like such a n00b question, but I've been unable to find the answer (I might be bad at Googling)...what does it mean to "soap at room temperature"? I've seen recommendations for oils and lye to be within 15F° of each other, but that they can be anywhere from about 100°-130°F. In special cases, you might go higher or lower. When you "soap at room temperature"...are your oils at room temperature? My coconut and palm oils would be hard as a rock! Is your room at room temperature? What does it meeaaaaaannnn?
     
  2. Jan 12, 2019 #2

    shunt2011

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    Room temp means your lye and oils are just that, room temp or just warm. I master batch my lye and oils most times. I warm my oils just enough that they are clear and just warm to the touch. I add my lye and soap as usual.
     
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  3. Jan 12, 2019 #3

    steffamarie

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    In a blend of oils, often the total mixture will remain liquid but will cloud up as the hard oils solidify at such cool temperatures. But yes, it literally means your oils and lye are at room temp lol. This is good to keep things moving slowly but may result in false trace due to your hard oils solidifying. You’ll have to experiment with your own personal recipes. I typically soap cool - 80 or 90ish - but not COLD. Room temp for me would be around 60 which is just too cold for my hard oils. I find that 80 gives me an advantage when I’m doing intricate designs.
     
  4. Jan 12, 2019 #4

    Snowbell

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    For me it lye water being baby bottle warm, and your oils clear. Both are warm but not hot.
     
  5. Jan 12, 2019 #5

    MGM

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    Thanks everyone! I will have to try this...but perhaps I'll use my mother-in-law's room temperature rather than ours....she keeps her house around 80F whereas we're closer to 68F....
    I am looking for something slow-moving, but also want to avoid false trace.
    Can someone recommend a good beginner recipe that works well at "room temperature" range?
     
  6. Jan 12, 2019 #6

    shunt2011

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    I use lard, so if you’re not opposed to it her you go. 45% Lard, 30% OO or Rice Bran, 20% CO and 5% Castor. (Fixed, sorry)
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
  7. Jan 12, 2019 #7

    dibbles

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    ^^^This is a good recipe, but I think she means 5% castor. Lard is so easy to work with and makes a wonderful soap.
     
  8. Jan 12, 2019 #8

    Chris_S

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    Thank you for adding this i was thinking why add lard twice lol never even clicked it would be castor oil. Think ill give this recipe a bash i really really like my unscented goats milk and lard soap i made a few month ago its annoyingly soft still though so want to give lard another chance :)
     
  9. Jan 12, 2019 #9

    MGM

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    No, not opposed to lard...I don't eat it because most contain TBHQ which is a preservative my kids are allergic to, but I'm thinking that won't last through saponification (plus it's a wash-off). Quite looking forward to lard, TBH....I only wish I'd read Marie Rayma's eloquent explanation before I bought my 5L pail of palm....

    I do see you like lard *so much* that you listed it twice :p ....commenters then said maybe you mean CO for the 5% at the end, but you've got CO, at 20%...is something missing? I'm betting you use 5% CO but you forgot a whole other oil in there....

    OH WAIT...I was reading CO as castor oil and 20% seemed high. THEY were reading CO as coconut oil and of course they're right.
    And I think we're all right that it's 5% castor oil at the end

    45% lard
    30% OO or Rice Bran
    20% Coconut Oil
    5% Castor Oil

    Case closed!

    thanks!
     
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  10. Jan 12, 2019 #10

    Marilyn Norgart

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    how warm is your lye? I have been reading up on this cuz I don't want some of my soaps to go thru gel. but it really confuses me. I watched a video where a lady made up her lye the day before and melted her oils and then made the soap but I was wondering if cold lye would make the oils hard
     
  11. Jan 12, 2019 #11

    shunt2011

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    My lye is at room temp. I gel all my soaps. If you Soap at 33% it’s harder to get gel though partial is possible depending on your soap vessel. Less water harder to gel.
     
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  12. Jan 13, 2019 #12

    Marilyn Norgart

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    ooops I meant to say NOT to go thru gel. I have tried less water but still wind up getting a partial gel. question though--if I use less water would that up the likely hood of the soap seizing?
     
  13. Jan 15, 2019 #13

    amd

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    I've played with lots of temps and situations. My first batch, maybe first two - I know it didn't last very long - was the painful process of matching temps. After that I moved on to thermal transfer - using fresh made lye to melt hard oils. I made my lye, measured out each oil, and carefully added each oil to the lye and hand stirring, allowing the hard oils to melt before adding the next oil. (Carefully adding the oils to avoid splashing the lye out of the pot - dangerous! Knowing better now, I recommend putting all the oils in the bowl and adding the lye to that in one go.) That worked well for me for a year and a half, through several different recipes while I was experimenting to find a recipe I loved. When I started selling, I very quickly switched to masterbatching my oils and using fresh lye. Masterbatching oils: I melt 12lbs of oil together and pour into a bucket and let it cool. I remove what I need for each batch. My current recipe is 65% hard oils, and the masterbatched oils have the consistency of a loose balm, slightly looser than vaseline (if I remember vaseline correctly, I haven't touched the stuff in years). This year I moved on to masterbatching lye, so my lye is about 120°F when I add it to my oils. If the soap dungeon is chilly, I might warm up my oils in the microwave for 30-60 seconds to loosen it up a bit, but it's not hot, more like slightly warmish. About the only thing I haven't done is adding room temp lye to completely melted oils... oh, wait... yeah, I did that too with my first beer soap. It worked fine. So all that said... there's a lot of ways to make soap.

    One thing that I noticed is that even room temp lye and room temp oils will warm up when combined. I believe this is the "energy" of the saponification process [disclaimer: not a scientist nor do I play one on TV]. I feel that this reaction would override the concern of cold lye making the oils hard. YMMV depending on what/how much hard oils you have. It might not be enough if you had something like stearic acid, or a ton of cocoa butter in the recipe.
     
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  14. Jan 15, 2019 #14

    dixiedragon

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    I also like to make my lye water the night before. This is because I am impatient and I am very very apt to say, "It's cool enough," when it's not! I am a soaper who must use a thermometer for this reason.

    Whether it will make your oils harden up depends on the oils and how cool. My personal preference is to heat my oils to 90 or so and use room-temp lye water, which is about 70 for me this time of year. In the summer's it's closer to 80.
     
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  15. Jan 15, 2019 #15

    Marilyn Norgart

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    thank you, I am going to try this this coming weekend after I check out what temps my oils harden up at---does it matter at all if the oils are warmer than the lye water?
     
  16. Jan 15, 2019 #16

    Marilyn Norgart

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    thank you very interesting!! does your soap gel doing this? I don't mind the gel but there are a couple soaps I want to do with out the gel and nothing ticks me off more when it gels but only 3/4 of the way. do you make soap with milk? and the beer soap sounds interesting
     
  17. Jan 15, 2019 #17

    dixiedragon

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    There used to always be a strict rule that your oil and lye water HAD to be within 10 degrees of each other. Deanna explained that's because if your lye water is much cooler than your oils, that when you pour the lye water in the oils it could become steam. Which would obviously be bad. But that only happens at much higher temps. I've added room temp lye water to 120 oils and never had a problem.
     
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  18. Jan 15, 2019 #18

    DeeAnna

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    I make beer soap fairly often. Beer soap heats up a fair bit while saponifying, so it will be tough to keep it from gelling without a lot of fussing. I'm not into fussing, so I let it do its thing. I don't ever insulate or CPOP beer soap -- I want to keep it from overheating, in fact.

    I usually make high lard recipes and I warm my fats until they are just clear. That's usually around 90-100 F / 33-38 C. I usually use room temperature lye solution. The initial batter temp is typically around 95-105 F / 35-40 C right after mixing the ingredients with a stick blender for a second or two.

    The soap batter often warms slightly right at first for a couple of reasons. One is if you add any water-based liquid to the lye solution, there is some temp rise due to what's called the "heat of solution." The other reason for a slight temperature rise is the heat created by the start of the saponification reaction. This isn't always consistent, but I've seen this temp rise enough times to not be surprised.
     
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  19. Jan 15, 2019 #19

    Marilyn Norgart

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    I really appreciate your and DeeAnna's help in explaining this to me!!
     
  20. Jan 15, 2019 #20

    Marilyn Norgart

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    again thank you soo much, between you and dixiedragon I am understanding this process more. I use lard and coconut oil and a liquid oil (the liquid oil kind depends on my mood at the time) with the lard and coconut oil being the higher percentages but not by much. I love the suds I get!
     

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