Soaps are very soft after unmold even after 3 days

Soapmaking Forum - Soap & Candle Forums

Help Support Soapmaking Forum - Soap & Candle Forums:

beautifulsoaper

Active Member
Joined
May 2, 2022
Messages
44
Reaction score
12
Location
Pakistan
so this is a basic soap recipe I am using.
almond oil 5%
castor oil 6%
sesame oil 10%
coconut oil 25%
olive oil 39%
shea butter 15%

I'm using rose oil and geranium. Also, I use a 12% water discount and a superfatting at 4%. I also added salt to make the bars hard.

somebody please help me and check this recipe. I am getting very soft soaps.
I want to cure the soaps faster and unmold them quicker. Please tell me how to do it. I would really appreciate that. suggestions on fragrance are welcome too.
 

earlene

Grandmother & Soaper
Joined
Apr 30, 2016
Messages
9,487
Reaction score
11,471
Location
Western Illinois, USA
I don't usually use the 'Water Discount' feature built into soapee.com, so am unfamiliar with the way it works, but I ran your recipe through soapee.com using 12% water discount, and the way it looks to me, is that you may have too much water in this recipe. I find lye concentration or water:lye ratio more useful and get more consistant results with my calculations using that setting.

And without knowing a bit more about your process & recipe (exact recipe including water amount and lye amount, as well as amount of salt, including how & when added, and any other additives), it's hard to trouble shoot.

Some other possibilities are:
Type of mold (for me, some soaps have taken longer to set up in certain kinds of molds)
Batter taken to emulsion, or very light trace can take longer to set up than batter poured at thicker trace
Mis-measurement when weighing your ingredients (leaving something out or forgetting an oil, or scale malfunction)
Temperatures & environmental conditions also can effect set-up time.

I suspect the problem is a combination of more than one of these possibilities.

Please post more detail as I mention in the first paragraph so we can help a bit more. And tell us which soap/lye calculating tool you are using so we can understand how you arrived at the 12% water discount. (Or if you did your calculations long-hand. Also, what type of mould are you using, as well as if you are insulating after pouring.
 

Marsi

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2020
Messages
346
Reaction score
618
Location
australia
you have a fair amount of castor in your recipe
castor makes soap softer
as does sesame oil

the main ingredient is olive
if you did not gell your soap
expect it to take up to a week to become hard enough to handle

your soap should become hard
eventually
gelling your soap will firm it up a bit quicker

some folk use either vinegar (as water replacement) or sodium lactate (additive)
to make a harder soap
your recipe could tolerate a small amount of beeswax, if you like waxes

i agree with earlene
a little more information would be useful :)
 

Zany_in_CO

Saponifier
Joined
Mar 9, 2017
Messages
7,802
Reaction score
8,717
Location
SE Denver CO
Your recipe currently has 60% soft oils and 40% hard oils. That's fine. But. If you want a harder soap you can try upping the harder oils. Make sense? The Basic Trinity of Oils stater formula can help you to do that with just the oils you are using. It will then be ready to unmold and cut sooner and cure in a shorter amount of time.

I think you might be happier with this reconfiguration:​

coconut oil 25% (for hardness & lather)
shea butter 40% (high shea is wonderful. It will give the bulk you need plus conditioning.)
castor oil 5% (recommended max amount; boosts lather; too much causes stickiness.)
Try any mix of your 3 liquid oils to see which works best for you
30% olive oil, almond oil, sesame oil

RESULTS - NOTE: An INS Value of 160 indicates a "so called" perfect bar of soap.
An INS Valule of 145 is fine. It requires a slightly longer cure and adds conditioning.
Bar Qualities.png

TIP: When I want to adjust a specific quality in a bar, like "hardness" for example, I use SoapCalc to compare each oil side by side. First I enter Coconut Oil 100% (which we know to be the hardest of all) and hit "Calculate." The values show up in the right column. I then go down the list and tick each oil in the recipe, one after another and those values show up in the left column for comparison.

Castor - Left Column Coconut - Right Column
Compare Oils.png

I hope that makes sense. It's a fun way to learn more about what each fatty acid brings to the party when designing recipes. It also suggests where you need to make adjustments to get to where you want to be.

HTH :computerbath:
 

beautifulsoaper

Active Member
Joined
May 2, 2022
Messages
44
Reaction score
12
Location
Pakistan
I don't usually use the 'Water Discount' feature built into soapee.com, so am unfamiliar with the way it works, but I ran your recipe through soapee.com using 12% water discount, and the way it looks to me, is that you may have too much water in this recipe. I find lye concentration or water:lye ratio more useful and get more consistant results with my calculations using that setting.

And without knowing a bit more about your process & recipe (exact recipe including water amount and lye amount, as well as amount of salt, including how & when added, and any other additives), it's hard to trouble shoot.

Some other possibilities are:
Type of mold (for me, some soaps have taken longer to set up in certain kinds of molds)
Batter taken to emulsion, or very light trace can take longer to set up than batter poured at thicker trace
Mis-measurement when weighing your ingredients (leaving something out or forgetting an oil, or scale malfunction)
Temperatures & environmental conditions also can effect set-up time.

I suspect the problem is a combination of more than one of these possibilities.

Please post more detail as I mention in the first paragraph so we can help a bit more. And tell us which soap/lye calculating tool you are using so we can understand how you arrived at the 12% water discount. (Or if you did your calculations long-hand. Also, what type of mould are you using, as well as if you are insulating after pouring.

This is the exact details of the recipe: I use soapee calculator(Soapee Next)

1- have 98% purity set for NaOH.
2- 38% Water as a percent of oils
3-Superfatting at 4%
4-fragrance 3% of oil weight

input this recipe:

almond oil 5%
castor oil 6%
sesame oil 10%
coconut oil 25%
olive oil 39%
shea butter 15%

for 340 grams recipe:
water required: 129.2
NaOh:48.1

also using 1/2 teaspoon salt(2.84) for 453 grams of oil(or 1 pound of oil)

since i use 12% water discount: I'm using 113.69 grams of water.

this is how final recipe looks like:


Oil%Grams
100340
Almond Oil, sweet517
Castor Oil620.4
Coconut Oil, 76 deg2585
Olive Oil39132.6
Sesame Oil1034
Shea Butter1551
Total Water Weight113.69 grams
Total NaOH Weight48.1 grams

I hope this info is helpful for further refining of the recipe
 

earlene

Grandmother & Soaper
Joined
Apr 30, 2016
Messages
9,487
Reaction score
11,471
Location
Western Illinois, USA
Still don't know much about your process. Are you using a stick blender? Are you bringing the soap batter to emulsion? trace? thick trace? light trace? What kind of mold are you using? Silicone? Wood? Plastic? Cardboard box lined with plastic bag? What are the approximate temperatures of your soaping ingredients? All these things make a difference. Of course I am assuming you use the Cold Process method and not HP.

In any case, the specific oils and amount of water in your recipe does indicate that this soap will take some time to firm up, and it may remain on the soft side for quite some time, especially if you soap very cool and your mold is an ice cream tub (an example of a mold that holds in the moisture).

What happens when you remove the soap from the mold? Have you done so as yet? Do you let the soap sit in the open air to firm up even more? How long does it take to firm up? How old is your soap right now? Have you cut the soap yet?

Do you dissolve the salt in hot water? How do you add the salt?

I would alter the recipe to use lye concentration (30% or 33% for now) or water to lye ratio.

As for your specific oils, I think they are fine if that is what you choose and have available where you live. I have used a similar mix of oils and the soap was fine. It's the amount of water that is the major difference as regards set-up time. And probably the temperatures. I tend to encourage gel if the soap batter doesn't heat up well on its own.

So with this recipe and working in warm conditions, it should gel on its own. However if you are working in a cold environment and cool temperature oils and cooled lye solution, it can take a long time for it to gel and it may not gel at all, which means it won't be losing the water very fast.

If you want to speed up the water loss process for the current soap that you already made, put it back in the mold (if it is already out of the mold) and heat it up. You can do this via an oven process or you can do it with heating pads.

Oven process: (only if you mold is oven safe) pre-heat your oven to 150°-170°F or 65°-75°C. Put the molded soap inside the oven. If your soap is not warm to the touch, I'd let it warm up in the pre-heated oven for about 20-30 minutes, then turn off the oven. If the soap is warm to the touch, I would turn off the oven as soon as putting it into the oven. Keep the door to the oven closed and don't open it for a peek or anything for at least 8 hours. If you have an oven light and a window you can look inside that way (through the window in the closed oven door.) I often cover the soap inside the oven, though, so there is nothing to really see if I look through the window.

Regarding oven safe molds: I have safely used a variety of molds in the oven as long as my oven is not at food cooking temperatures. Cardboard boxes as molds, HDPE plastic molds, silicone molds, wooden molds. The only molds I do not put into an oven are the flimsy plastic used for M&P, that I bought at a hobby store in the past.

Heating pad method: Depending on your heating pad, pre-heat to medium heat (high may be too hot, depending on your heating pad). Cover the pad with a towel and don't actually use this method, so I don't know how long it takes before you would turn off the heating pad, but I'd check the outside of the mold and when it feels warm to my hands, I'd either turn it down to low or turn it off and re-check later to ensure it's still staying warm. Then leave it for several hours.

Using either method, once the soap cools naturally, let it sit out for a few hours to come to room temperature, then unmold. THEN, let it sit out in the room air to allow for a little more drying on all surfaces. If the soap surface (on the sides or bottom) feel like firm cheese, it's ready to slice into soap bars. Do a test cut of one bar and if you are happy that it's not too soft, cut all the bars and line them up to cure in the open air.

The bars from this particular recipe will probably require periodic turning to minimize warping of the bars. You can start testing the soap as soon as you like, but I'd probably wait a bit and do a zap test first just to be sure. See How to do the zap test at this link: Zap test | Soapy Stuff
 

beautifulsoaper

Active Member
Joined
May 2, 2022
Messages
44
Reaction score
12
Location
Pakistan
Still don't know much about your process. Are you using a stick blender? Are you bringing the soap batter to emulsion? trace? thick trace? light trace? What kind of mold are you using? Silicone? Wood? Plastic? Cardboard box lined with plastic bag? What are the approximate temperatures of your soaping ingredients? All these things make a difference. Of course I am assuming you use the Cold Process method and not HP.

In any case, the specific oils and amount of water in your recipe does indicate that this soap will take some time to firm up, and it may remain on the soft side for quite some time, especially if you soap very cool and your mold is an ice cream tub (an example of a mold that holds in the moisture).

What happens when you remove the soap from the mold? Have you done so as yet? Do you let the soap sit in the open air to firm up even more? How long does it take to firm up? How old is your soap right now? Have you cut the soap yet?

Do you dissolve the salt in hot water? How do you add the salt?

I would alter the recipe to use lye concentration (30% or 33% for now) or water to lye ratio.

As for your specific oils, I think they are fine if that is what you choose and have available where you live. I have used a similar mix of oils and the soap was fine. It's the amount of water that is the major difference as regards set-up time. And probably the temperatures. I tend to encourage gel if the soap batter doesn't heat up well on its own.

So with this recipe and working in warm conditions, it should gel on its own. However if you are working in a cold environment and cool temperature oils and cooled lye solution, it can take a long time for it to gel and it may not gel at all, which means it won't be losing the water very fast.

If you want to speed up the water loss process for the current soap that you already made, put it back in the mold (if it is already out of the mold) and heat it up. You can do this via an oven process or you can do it with heating pads.

Oven process: (only if you mold is oven safe) pre-heat your oven to 150°-170°F or 65°-75°C. Put the molded soap inside the oven. If your soap is not warm to the touch, I'd let it warm up in the pre-heated oven for about 20-30 minutes, then turn off the oven. If the soap is warm to the touch, I would turn off the oven as soon as putting it into the oven. Keep the door to the oven closed and don't open it for a peek or anything for at least 8 hours. If you have an oven light and a window you can look inside that way (through the window in the closed oven door.) I often cover the soap inside the oven, though, so there is nothing to really see if I look through the window.

Regarding oven safe molds: I have safely used a variety of molds in the oven as long as my oven is not at food cooking temperatures. Cardboard boxes as molds, HDPE plastic molds, silicone molds, wooden molds. The only molds I do not put into an oven are the flimsy plastic used for M&P, that I bought at a hobby store in the past.

Heating pad method: Depending on your heating pad, pre-heat to medium heat (high may be too hot, depending on your heating pad). Cover the pad with a towel and don't actually use this method, so I don't know how long it takes before you would turn off the heating pad, but I'd check the outside of the mold and when it feels warm to my hands, I'd either turn it down to low or turn it off and re-check later to ensure it's still staying warm. Then leave it for several hours.

Using either method, once the soap cools naturally, let it sit out for a few hours to come to room temperature, then unmold. THEN, let it sit out in the room air to allow for a little more drying on all surfaces. If the soap surface (on the sides or bottom) feel like firm cheese, it's ready to slice into soap bars. Do a test cut of one bar and if you are happy that it's not too soft, cut all the bars and line them up to cure in the open air.

The bars from this particular recipe will probably require periodic turning to minimize warping of the bars. You can start testing the soap as soon as you like, but I'd probably wait a bit and do a zap test first just to be sure. See How to do the zap test at this link: Zap test | Soapy Stuff

Thank you for your thorough response. I am using a hand blender and bring the soap to thin trace(since I'm scared if i bring it to thick it will solidify quickly and I wont have much time). AlsoI am using a silicone mold. and both of my liquids(oils and lye are almost at 45-50 degree celsius).

and yes I'm using the cold process method.

would you recommend altering any percentage of these or swapping it with any cheaper oils? if so do mention their names.

also regarding salt, would you recommend half teaspoon or full teaspoon per pound of salt? and i add the salt in the lye solution(which is hot)(I add salt after making the lye)

I live in a hot area and to force the gel phase I put a cloth for 2-4 hours.

Regarding lye to water ratio, can you please break it down for me? Like what will be the exact grams for this particular recipe. just need to confirm my own calculation.
 

earlene

Grandmother & Soaper
Joined
Apr 30, 2016
Messages
9,487
Reaction score
11,471
Location
Western Illinois, USA
Thank you for your thorough response. I am using a hand blender and bring the soap to thin trace(since I'm scared if i bring it to thick it will solidify quickly and I wont have much time). AlsoI am using a silicone mold. and both of my liquids(oils and lye are almost at 45-50 degree celsius).

and yes I'm using the cold process method.

would you recommend altering any percentage of these or swapping it with any cheaper oils? if so do mention their names.

also regarding salt, would you recommend half teaspoon or full teaspoon per pound of salt? and i add the salt in the lye solution(which is hot)(I add salt after making the lye)

I live in a hot area and to force the gel phase I put a cloth for 2-4 hours.

Regarding lye to water ratio, can you please break it down for me? Like what will be the exact grams for this particular recipe. just need to confirm my own calculation.
First, I suggest you dissolve the salt in water BEFORE mixing in the lye. As for how much salt, you could try more salt, as it doesn't hurt the soap to use more salt, but try the reversed mixing method first.

But the main difference I would make with your recipe is to use Lye Concentration and not water as percentage of oils. What you have right now is a 27% lye concentration (or a ratio of 2.69 water to 1 of lye) and that is a lot of water. With that much water, it's going to take some time (some being a long time) for this particular soap to lose water and become hard. If you were doing HP (Hot Process), this much water would be fine, but for CP, you really don't need to start with as much water. Water evaporates out pretty fast in the HP method, but with CP soap it takes a lot longer for water to work its way out of the soap, particularly if you are soaping on the cool side. Your temps are fine for your oils, but it's a lot cooler than doing Hot Process.

What have you done with this soap? Is it still in the mold? Do you know if it heated up and gelled? Have you removed it from the mold yet?

It will harden up eventually, but it takes longer if it doesn't heat up and gel. With this much water, it should gel, but if kept too cool it will not gel, which means it will take even longer to heat up. If you don't mind waiting, which I usually don't, just leave it and wait (possibly a few days to a week) and perhaps it will be hard enough to unmold. Then take it out of the mold and let sit open to the air a bit longer, then cut when it feels like a firm block of cheese. Then allow the individual soaps to cure in the open air, turning periodically to minimize warping.

What have you done with this soap? Is it still in the mold? Do you know if it heated up and gelled? Have you removed it from the mold yet?

Using the Soapmakingfriend SoapBuilder calculator (link) when I input your recipe this is what I get: See pdf below called Beautifulsoaper recipe 1.

Not knowing the costs of oils in Pakistan or their availability, my suggestions may or may not work for you, so I will just make suggestions with the oils I know you have (the ones listed on your recipe). Here's a variation on your recipe that would harden up faster & be ready to cut sooner. (See pdf below called Beautifulsoaper recipe variation.) The longevity number (how long the soap will last in use) comes up some, which is hard to do with those oils alone, but if you don't use harder fats like for instance, Cocoa Butter, Palm Oil, Soy Wax, or animal fats, then it's harder to increase your palmitic and stearic acids in the soap, which is what helps bring longevity up. (I don't bathe with soap made from animal soaps, so I don't use them unless making soap for others in my family who do, so not using animal fats is perfectly fine.)


But so would your original recipe harden up faster, if you only changed the water amount via the Lye Concentration or Liquid to water ratio so you are using a lot less water.

See the pdf links below for the different Soapmakingfriend calculations. I titled the files according to what they represent. Beautifulsoaper recipe1 is your original recipe with no changes. Beautifulsoap recipe 2 -31percent-lye-conc. has a 31% lye concentration. Notice it uses less water, but nothing else about the recipe is changed. Beautifulsoaper recipe 3 has the 2:1 Water to Lye ratio, again less water still, but nothing else was changed. Beautifulsoaper recipe variation is the one I made oil amount changes to, as well as the water amount.

The following graphics show the difference of water amounts based solely on changing from water as percent of oils to lye concentration or to liquid-to-lye ratio:

Original 38% liquid as percent of oils (I never use this setting) results in 190 grams of water:

1651937442077.png






31% Lye Concentration requires 157.35 grams of water

1651937487485.png




2:1 water to lye Ratio requires even less water - 141.39 grams

1651937526660.png


If you take a look at these 2 graphs below, you can see the 'longevity' number changes (based on the Palmitic + Stearic acid content in the soap):

1651937705080.png


Also when you read he pdf (the files from the soap builder calc) you can see that the resulting printout/file actually shows the exact water to lye ratio or lye concentration or water as % of oils for each different recipe change. That is listed in the very first column at the top left side of the page.

I am not sure if the pdf files will open for you; I don't often add files to posts, so it they don't maybe someone can troubleshoot with me how to add them so they can be opened.
 

Attachments

  • Beautifulsoaper recipe 1.pdf
    267.9 KB · Views: 5
  • Beautifulsoaper recipe 2 - 31percent-lye-conc.pdf
    269.3 KB · Views: 1
  • Beautifulsoaper recipe 3 - 2to1-water-to-lye-ratio.pdf
    268.6 KB · Views: 2
  • Beautifulsoaper recipe variation.pdf
    269.1 KB · Views: 3
  • 1651937426579.png
    1651937426579.png
    62.9 KB · Views: 3

beautifulsoaper

Active Member
Joined
May 2, 2022
Messages
44
Reaction score
12
Location
Pakistan
First, I suggest you dissolve the salt in water BEFORE mixing in the lye. As for how much salt, you could try more salt, as it doesn't hurt the soap to use more salt, but try the reversed mixing method first.

But the main difference I would make with your recipe is to use Lye Concentration and not water as percentage of oils. What you have right now is a 27% lye concentration (or a ratio of 2.69 water to 1 of lye) and that is a lot of water. With that much water, it's going to take some time (some being a long time) for this particular soap to lose water and become hard. If you were doing HP (Hot Process), this much water would be fine, but for CP, you really don't need to start with as much water. Water evaporates out pretty fast in the HP method, but with CP soap it takes a lot longer for water to work its way out of the soap, particularly if you are soaping on the cool side. Your temps are fine for your oils, but it's a lot cooler than doing Hot Process.

What have you done with this soap? Is it still in the mold? Do you know if it heated up and gelled? Have you removed it from the mold yet?

It will harden up eventually, but it takes longer if it doesn't heat up and gel. With this much water, it should gel, but if kept too cool it will not gel, which means it will take even longer to heat up. If you don't mind waiting, which I usually don't, just leave it and wait (possibly a few days to a week) and perhaps it will be hard enough to unmold. Then take it out of the mold and let sit open to the air a bit longer, then cut when it feels like a firm block of cheese. Then allow the individual soaps to cure in the open air, turning periodically to minimize warping.

What have you done with this soap? Is it still in the mold? Do you know if it heated up and gelled? Have you removed it from the mold yet?

Using the Soapmakingfriend SoapBuilder calculator (link) when I input your recipe this is what I get: See pdf below called Beautifulsoaper recipe 1.

Not knowing the costs of oils in Pakistan or their availability, my suggestions may or may not work for you, so I will just make suggestions with the oils I know you have (the ones listed on your recipe). Here's a variation on your recipe that would harden up faster & be ready to cut sooner. (See pdf below called Beautifulsoaper recipe variation.) The longevity number (how long the soap will last in use) comes up some, which is hard to do with those oils alone, but if you don't use harder fats like for instance, Cocoa Butter, Palm Oil, Soy Wax, or animal fats, then it's harder to increase your palmitic and stearic acids in the soap, which is what helps bring longevity up. (I don't bathe with soap made from animal soaps, so I don't use them unless making soap for others in my family who do, so not using animal fats is perfectly fine.)


But so would your original recipe harden up faster, if you only changed the water amount via the Lye Concentration or Liquid to water ratio so you are using a lot less water.

See the pdf links below for the different Soapmakingfriend calculations. I titled the files according to what they represent. Beautifulsoaper recipe1 is your original recipe with no changes. Beautifulsoap recipe 2 -31percent-lye-conc. has a 31% lye concentration. Notice it uses less water, but nothing else about the recipe is changed. Beautifulsoaper recipe 3 has the 2:1 Water to Lye ratio, again less water still, but nothing else was changed. Beautifulsoaper recipe variation is the one I made oil amount changes to, as well as the water amount.

The following graphics show the difference of water amounts based solely on changing from water as percent of oils to lye concentration or to liquid-to-lye ratio:

Original 38% liquid as percent of oils (I never use this setting) results in 190 grams of water:

View attachment 66662





31% Lye Concentration requires 157.35 grams of water

View attachment 66663



2:1 water to lye Ratio requires even less water - 141.39 grams

View attachment 66664

If you take a look at these 2 graphs below, you can see the 'longevity' number changes (based on the Palmitic + Stearic acid content in the soap):

View attachment 66665

Also when you read he pdf (the files from the soap builder calc) you can see that the resulting printout/file actually shows the exact water to lye ratio or lye concentration or water as % of oils for each different recipe change. That is listed in the very first column at the top left side of the page.

I am not sure if the pdf files will open for you; I don't often add files to posts, so it they don't maybe someone can troubleshoot with me how to add them so they can be opened.
Thank you so much for such an informative answer. Really made me learn a lot of things. I am concerned about using high percentage of shea butter? Is that okay if we use shea butter up to 25%?
 

DeeAnna

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
14,030
Reaction score
21,197
Location
USA
This recipe should make a firm-ish soap especially since your temperatures are moderately warm. It makes no sense that your soap should be so soft.

I agree with Earlene about using lye concentration rather than"discounting" from "water as % of oils". You'll see more consistency from recipe to recipe. And it's actually easier once you get used to it. And people will know without question what you're talking about.

My only question is this -- are you absolutely certain you are using sodium hydroxide, NaOH, also called CAUSTIC soda? Make sure you're not using potash, or caustic potash, or just soda (with no "caustic" in front).
 

beautifulsoaper

Active Member
Joined
May 2, 2022
Messages
44
Reaction score
12
Location
Pakistan
Yes, actually there are soapers here who create lovely luxury bars with much higher percentage of shea.

just to confirm one thing, have you ever seen someone getting their hand itchy due to high percentage of shea butter used in the soap?

once i used 33% coconut oil without superfatting it and it made my hands itchy and red. so i want to make a soap that even sensitive people can use.

whats your thought on this recipe(influenced by the variations of your recipe)

salt(1 tea spoon per pound of oil)
4 % superfat
2:1 water to lye concentration
shea butter 25%
castor oil 6%
sesame oil 10%
coconut oil 25%
olive oil 34%

(cant use coco butter. its very expensive here)
 

earlene

Grandmother & Soaper
Joined
Apr 30, 2016
Messages
9,487
Reaction score
11,471
Location
Western Illinois, USA
High CO will make me itchy, too. I have not read of anyone getting itchy from high shea butter in, but it is in the family of things some folks with latex allergies cannot use. I have a latex allergy, but am able to use shea butter. Others with latex allergies steer clear of it. My allergy is not severe as some folks I know have to latex.

I thought of and then forgot to mention your lye as a possible problem. So please pay close attention to what DeeAnna said. KOH (potassium hydroxide) is a different lye, mostly used in Liquid Soap and not often used in Bar Soap (and when it is, it is only used in a small percentage to NaOH - sodium hydroxide).

It has happened that there have been reports of accidentally using KOH instead of NaOH and the soapers did not at first realize, but upon later reading the label, discovered that was in fact the case.

Another possibility with lye is that the purity may be much less than you think. Lye purity can be compromised by simple interaction with the ambient water in air. Leaving the lid off the container for too long, or not properly closing the lid can introduce air into the container and the lye then interacts with the air by pulling the water molecules out of the air and results in lower lye purity.

If you can verify by the label that you have the right kind of lye, sodium hydroxide (caustic soda), then it is possible that your lye is weaker than 98% purity. How are you storing it? I see that in some cases it can be purchased in small plastic bags and not the firm plastic bottles I am used to here where I buy mine. (link) That particular product would have to be stored in an air tight container.

If you want to know how to test your lye purity at home, check out this link: NaOH or KOH purity check | Soapy Stuff
 

beautifulsoaper

Active Member
Joined
May 2, 2022
Messages
44
Reaction score
12
Location
Pakistan
High CO will make me itchy, too. I have not read of anyone getting itchy from high shea butter in, but it is in the family of things some folks with latex allergies cannot use. I have a latex allergy, but am able to use shea butter. Others with latex allergies steer clear of it. My allergy is not severe as some folks I know have to latex.

I thought of and then forgot to mention your lye as a possible problem. So please pay close attention to what DeeAnna said. KOH (potassium hydroxide) is a different lye, mostly used in Liquid Soap and not often used in Bar Soap (and when it is, it is only used in a small percentage to NaOH - sodium hydroxide).

It has happened that there have been reports of accidentally using KOH instead of NaOH and the soapers did not at first realize, but upon later reading the label, discovered that was in fact the case.

Another possibility with lye is that the purity may be much less than you think. Lye purity can be compromised by simple interaction with the ambient water in air. Leaving the lid off the container for too long, or not properly closing the lid can introduce air into the container and the lye then interacts with the air by pulling the water molecules out of the air and results in lower lye purity.

If you can verify by the label that you have the right kind of lye, sodium hydroxide (caustic soda), then it is possible that your lye is weaker than 98% purity. How are you storing it? I see that in some cases it can be purchased in small plastic bags and not the firm plastic bottles I am used to here where I buy mine. (link) That particular product would have to be stored in an air tight container.

If you want to know how to test your lye purity at home, check out this link: NaOH or KOH purity check | Soapy Stuff
Its nice to hear that shea butter does not cause any allergy. Regarding purity, i store it in air tight container so I don't think thats the issue. and yes I am using caustic Soda(NaOH)

I'll update you with the batch i made soon.
 

beautifulsoaper

Active Member
Joined
May 2, 2022
Messages
44
Reaction score
12
Location
Pakistan
High CO will make me itchy, too. I have not read of anyone getting itchy from high shea butter in, but it is in the family of things some folks with latex allergies cannot use. I have a latex allergy, but am able to use shea butter. Others with latex allergies steer clear of it. My allergy is not severe as some folks I know have to latex.

I thought of and then forgot to mention your lye as a possible problem. So please pay close attention to what DeeAnna said. KOH (potassium hydroxide) is a different lye, mostly used in Liquid Soap and not often used in Bar Soap (and when it is, it is only used in a small percentage to NaOH - sodium hydroxide).

It has happened that there have been reports of accidentally using KOH instead of NaOH and the soapers did not at first realize, but upon later reading the label, discovered that was in fact the case.

Another possibility with lye is that the purity may be much less than you think. Lye purity can be compromised by simple interaction with the ambient water in air. Leaving the lid off the container for too long, or not properly closing the lid can introduce air into the container and the lye then interacts with the air by pulling the water molecules out of the air and results in lower lye purity.

If you can verify by the label that you have the right kind of lye, sodium hydroxide (caustic soda), then it is possible that your lye is weaker than 98% purity. How are you storing it? I see that in some cases it can be purchased in small plastic bags and not the firm plastic bottles I am used to here where I buy mine. (link) That particular product would have to be stored in an air tight container.

If you want to know how to test your lye purity at home, check out this link: NaOH or KOH purity check | Soapy Stuff
Thank you so much earlene. You are wonderful. My soap turned out beautiful.

Need to tell you one thing. I just got my hands on palm oil so would you recommend me adding that too to increase the longetivity?
Its in liquid form right now because of the hot weather here.

How much palm oil you would recommend me to add and what should we decrease from other oils?
 

earlene

Grandmother & Soaper
Joined
Apr 30, 2016
Messages
9,487
Reaction score
11,471
Location
Western Illinois, USA
Yes, I would definitely use the palm oil and eliminate at least one of the liquid oils. Play around with the recipe in the lye calculator to see how the properties change as you re-adjust the percentages.

Remember that hardness and longevity are not the same. You probably want both, but for a long-lasting bar of soap, pay attention to what increases the longevity number in the SoapmakingFriend calculator as you alter the percentages of particular oils.
 

beautifulsoaper

Active Member
Joined
May 2, 2022
Messages
44
Reaction score
12
Location
Pakistan
What is the maximum percentage of palm oil we can use?
I mean i dont know whether it causes itchiness or not or some other issue like over drying as we are also using coconut oil.
Please suggest a good percentage.
Currently im using castor oil, sesame, coconut, olive, shea butter with 2:1 lye water concentration and salt.

Would be great if you can give me a recipe according to this. Also we will add palm oil to this too
 

TheGecko

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2019
Messages
3,056
Reaction score
5,781
Location
Oregon
2- 38% Water as a percent of oils

Why would you think that the above is a 12% “water discount”? Never mind, I just saw your last post and realized that you were subtracting…50-38=12. That’s now how it works (not to mention that there really is no such thing as a ‘water discount’).

I can tell you right off the bat that for the amount of ‘soft oils’ your have in your recipe, you have WAY too much water. Combined, it’s going to take a good 12 - 15 weeks for your soap to cure.

First thing I would do is recalculate your water/lye as Lye Concentration and use 33% to start. Make a small test batch and see how that works for you. You could also try at 35% Lye Concentration.

Second thing to try, if the first doesn’t give you the results, reduce your Soft Oils/increase your Hard Oils by at least 10%. You could use Shea Butter, Kokum Butter, Mango Butter, or Palm Oil. I would not go higher on the Coconut.

Try one thing at a time instead of a whole bunch of things at once.
 

earlene

Grandmother & Soaper
Joined
Apr 30, 2016
Messages
9,487
Reaction score
11,471
Location
Western Illinois, USA
What is the maximum percentage of palm oil we can use?
I mean i dont know whether it causes itchiness or not or some other issue like over drying as we are also using coconut oil.
Please suggest a good percentage.
Currently im using castor oil, sesame, coconut, olive, shea butter with 2:1 lye water concentration and salt.

Would be great if you can give me a recipe according to this. Also we will add palm oil to this too
As long as your are using Palm Oil and NOT palm kernel oil or palm kernel flakes (also known as PKO), there is no impact of over-cleansing (which is what causes the itching, I think) in combination with Coconut Oil. PKO is like Coconut Oil (and so is Babassu Oil), but Palm Oil is more like the animal fats, such as tallow, lard, and Hydrogenated Soy Oil (also known as Soy Wax, even though it is not a true wax.) Unless a person has an allergy to palm, and that could be pretty bad considering it is added to so many food products worldwide, subbing Palm Oil (a hard oil because in cool temperatures it is solid) for the soft oils (which remain liquid even when cooled) should not produce itching after using the soap.

As far as recommended percentages, it's all over the chart if you do a search for "the" recommended percentage in soap. I have seen sites that suggest "up to 33%", but there are plenty of soapers who use larger percentages and some who make 100% palm soap. So it's really up to the discretion of the soapmaker.

Here is one of many 100% palm oil soaps that one can find with an internet search: 100% Palm Oil Soap Recipe - HerbAlcochete

And here is a thread about palm oil percentages used by some of our SMF members: High palm oil soap question
 

dibbles

Supporting Member
Joined
May 6, 2015
Messages
7,960
Reaction score
10,598
Location
Minnesota
Read through the links that @earlene provided as there is information there that will be helpful to you. I have never used sesame oil in soap, so I don't know anything about it, but you might try something like this as a start:
Screenshot 2022-05-12 085007.jpg
 
Top