Soapy soaping problems

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sugar_soap

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Hi there, been at this for about 2 years but still consider myself a newbie.

I've been having some issues with my soaps lately: they are not drying out and taking ages in the mold. At first I thought the recipe was too liquid based (10% Sweet almond oil, 7% castor oil, 15% oo, 30% co & 38% lard / 5% sf / 30% lye concentration) After a week this still had not dried out and when I forced it out of the mold all the corners were sort of torn off

So I worked a bit on my recipe ( 1% beeswax, 7% castor oil, 20% oo, 30% co & 42% lard / 5% sf / 35% lye concentration) and popped it in the freezer. Took it out after 24 hours and another 24 hours later it's still weeping oils/water/whatever.

I'm thinking it may be because of the humidity we have (December: 80% humidity here :banghead: ) but I really need to get to the bottom of this cos I'm fed up of ruining otherwise good soap, especially since I'm getting confident enough to experiment with swirling and stuff. Would a dehumidifier be of any help?

Rant over :p
 
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dixiedragon

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Have you tried gelling?

What is the texture of your soaps when you unmold them?

Describe your mold.

Have you tried greasing your mold with mineral oil? Not olive oil or any other oil that will saponify.

When you freeze your soap, try running some hot water over the mold. That will thaw the soap a bit and (hopefully) create a slippery layer between the mold and the soap.
 

galaxyMLP

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*How* do you keep your lye? If its hot and humid and your lye is old, it could be reacting and loosing potency by reacting with the air if its not properly stored. When you said its humid where you are, thats the first thought I had.
 
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KristaY

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Holy smokes! 80% humidity? I wouldn't even know how to breathe in air that heavy, lol. Since I live in a very arid climate, I can't speak to how a dehumidifier might work. Let's wait for someone else to come along and address that. But I agree, your high humidity is probably playing a big part.

I'd suggest dropping your water a bit. I've been routinely using a 1.8:1 water:lye ratio (35.7%) and it's working really well for me. Some like a 1.5:1 (40%) concentration. Also, try adding sodium lactate at 2%. I use SL in all my recipes, especially when using silicone molds, and I have to unmold & cut at 8-10 hours or I have a hard time making pretty cuts.

Good luck!
 

Seawolfe

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Does your lye have clumps? Id almost suspect a bad batch or that your lye has absorbed too much moisture and become less effective.
 

galaxyMLP

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just noticed I said "why do you keep your lye"... lol. I dunno, maybe because he/she wants to make soap?? I suspect it may be the humidity.

Krista, it can get to 100% humidity (I've seen it over 100% too. Don't ask me how.) in the part of Florida where I live. It's a good thing everything is air conditioned here. You pretty much don't go outside those days. But thats because its also usually 100 F too. The humidity is not bad. I have trouble breathing when it gets below 35% humidity. Its funny how that works.
 

Susie

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I live in a really humid environment, also, and I do not have those sorts of issues. I am suspecting a lye problem, also.

I keep my lye in the original bottle, then in a ziploc bag, then in a lidded bucket with some clay based cat litter. I weigh my lye when I get through using it, and write that on the bag. Then I weigh it again before I use it the next time. If it has gained weight, I either have to do math (see the smoke coming out of my ears?), or toss the lye, depending on how much weight it gained. The weight is moisture that has absorbed. I have not had to toss any since I started using the bucket with cat litter, but I keep weighing it. Before then, I had to toss a couple of bottles.
 

lsg

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You might keep you lye and new soap in a room with a dehumidifier. I have a dehumidifier in every room of our basement. My craftroom is in the basement so I don't want a damp environment. You can buy room dehumidifiers at a reasonable price on Amazon.com
 

sugar_soap

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:eek: lots to think about but thanks for your input

So

1) yep lye was clumpy. I had just bought it and it sort of didn't seem to reach such a high temperature when mixed with water

2) mold is silicone and never lined it with anything

3) I tried CPOP for the first time. There was a noticeable difference but then the design was a sort of 'plop and mesh' as mixture just solidified when I added fo's. But I'm definitely going to use that again as it got me curious


KristaY - you wouldn't believe the bad hair days I go through....I tried the last batch with a 35% lye solution and froze it. The soap came out ok from the mold but as it's thawing it looks like it's oozing oil or smthing. Might be just the excess water from freezing? At least that's what I'm hoping it is
 

KristaY

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galaxyMLP;564223 Krista said:
KristaY - you wouldn't believe the bad hair days I go through....
It surely is interesting how we adapt to our environment. Several years ago we took a trip down to Mexico in July and stayed on the beach. Between the 95% humidity and 100+ degrees, I couldn't wait to get back to AZ. At that time I was working in a city along the Colorado river. The day I went back to work my car thermometer said "132" but since the average humidity there is about 10%, it felt much cooler than the Mexican beach. Go figure! As for humidity hair....I cringe when I think about it, lol.:crazy:
 

dixiedragon

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I live in Alabama, very humid! We get 80% humidity in the summer. I store my lye in the basement. I get mine in 50# bags. The bags have some kind of liner so I leave them as is. When I open a bag, I distribute the lye into gallon-sized plastic jars. I seal the jars shut with duct tape. I've had lye be good 5 years later with this method.
 

Dahila

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Even I make soap for some time, I master batch my oils but not the lye, I prepare it when I make the soap, I weight lye into sealed containers, as many as I know I will use today or tomorrow. Lye attracts moisture so quickly and I do not know from where if in my basement (where I weight it) is 42% humidity, I am very careful to keep it at this level. Anything around 50% or more will fungus develop and in houses we have, dry and light, when it get's moisture is done:)
 

Susie

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If the lye is clumping, it has absorbed moisture. If it is new lye, call whomever sold it to you. If it is old lye, toss it and buy new. You can't make good soap with clumpy lye. There is just no way to know how much moisture it has absorbed.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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I'm wondering if masterbatching lye is an idea for those in humid places. It can still be impacted by damp rather of course, but I would imagine it would be less noticeable with a lye solution than with dry lye
 

Susie

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Craig-I think it would solve the problem nicely. However, I am making very little soap these days and life is about to get even busier here shortly. So I don't really know how long it will be before I need to use it again.

That is what I would do if I sold, though.
 
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IrishLass

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Susie- master-batched lye lasts a very long time if properly stored. I periodically test mine out and it it's still perfect beyond a year's time. I make sure to weigh everything before-hand and keep track of any changes in weight. So far, there have never been any changes.


IrishLass :)
 

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