SOS!!!!! Beeswax not melting in crockpot!!!

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narnia

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Hi all! I have to make a batch of soap for a friend to be picked up tomorrow for Christmas gifts for her friends!! I am trying a new recipe with beeswax and it is NOT melting in the crockpot!! :-?

I have added all the other oils and they have all melted but the beeswax is still sitting in the bottom of the oils, unmelted!!! What to do???!! I am afraid that the other oils sitting in the pot will get overheated or be affected in a bad way!! I have the crockpot on the low setting.

Somebody please help!!!!!!!
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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I would never use an untried recipe for something like this - you can't be sure what the finished soap will be like and you are more prone to stresses with the process, neither of which are good things at all.
 

IrishLass

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Can you heat your oils and beeswax on the stovetop in a pot? Beeswax needs to be heated quite high in order to melt- about 150F or so.

I've only soaped with beeswax twice, but for what it's worth, each time I did so, my beeswax and oils did not become melted and totally clear until 200F registered on my Thermapen (I heated them on my stovetop in my stainless soaping pot). Once clear, I removed the pot from the heat and let the temp drop until I began to see things cloud up, which was about 119F. When things begin to cloud up, it means that things are getting too cool for the beeswax to stay in melted suspension). At that point, I put my pot back on the burner until things got clear again, which was 122F. It was at that point that I added my lye solution (which happened to be at 114F, by the way) and it all soaped fine.


IrishLass :)

Edited to add: ditto what the good Gent said.
 
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Seawolfe

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I usually melt the beeswax first, by putting the crockpot in the microwave. It just needs higher temps than the other oils.

You know this soap won't be any good for at least 4 weeks, right?
 

narnia

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Thanks everyone! It finally melted in the crockpot after I turned it to high! It took a looooong time! I wish I had known...I would have put the wax in first long before the other oils!
Also, soap made today will not be usable for Christmas. No matter if it is HP, CP, or CPOP.

Huh?? I have been reading that you can use HP right away.... I have been using our own soap right away... I bought some ph paper so I will test to see.
 
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KristaMarie

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Don't bother with the ph testing strips. They can't tell you if the soap is good, or even if it's not, actually. HP soap is SAFE to use right away, but it's not a quality soap yet. It still needs a cure as long, or longer, than CP soap.

Have you tried zap testing? That's how you're going to find out if your soap is lye heavy. There's a sticky here on how to do it.

If you have some other soap in your stash, use those as gifts :)


Edit: Nope. Stop. Do not give your soap as gifts. From reading your other thread, this looks like it might be your second batch ever? You need to learn how your soaps are going to hold up/change over time, you should not be giving anyone your soap yet.
 
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IrishLass

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Huh?? I have been reading that you can use HP right away.... I have been using our own soap right away... I bought some ph paper so I will test to see.
Like Krista said, pH strips will not tell you if a soap is safe to use. The best way to test if a soap is safe or not is to utilize the zap (tongue) test.

But even if a newly unmolded soap is safe to use (i.e., is zapless), it doesn't necessarily mean that it is 'ready'. When it comes to lye-based soap, there's a world of difference between 'safe to use' and 'ready to be used (or sold)'.

To explain- lots of chemical changes are still going on inside of a lye-based soap for several weeks after unmolding, be it CP or HP, or CPOP, etc... It's sort of like cheese or wine in that way. Like those things, soap greatly improves with a good cure. As it cures, soap gets milder as the pH lowers (on average, the pH will normally come to rest somewhere between 9 and 11), the lather will greatly improve, and also- a well-cured soap will last much longer.


IrishLass :)
 

narnia

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Don't bother with the ph testing strips. They can't tell you if the soap is good, or even if it's not, actually. HP soap is SAFE to use right away, but it's not a quality soap yet. It still needs a cure as long, or longer, than CP soap.

Have you tried zap testing? That's how you're going to find out if your soap is lye heavy. There's a sticky here on how to do it.

If you have some other soap in your stash, use those as gifts :)


Edit: Nope. Stop. Do not give your soap as gifts. From reading your other thread, this looks like it might be your second batch ever? You need to learn how your soaps are going to hold up/change over time, you should not be giving anyone your soap yet.
Actually, my first batch came out great. I gave a bar of that batch to a friend and she liked it so much, she wanted more to give as gifts. I used other people's recipes, so it should be fool-proof. I didn't just throw together a bunch of ingredients. I even ran those recipes through the soap calc to make sure of all the ingredients.

That first batch of soap behaved just fine over time and made our skin and hair nice and soft.
 

snappyllama

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We don't want to rain on your parade, because we've all been there. .. wanting the share the awesomeness that is homemade soap. It can be sooo much nicer than store-bought and is a pretty cool feat (at least to me). The problem is this:

There are a lot of other people's recipes that aren't great. They can develop DOS (a.k.a dreaded orange spots that are a sign of rancidity). Unless you test it yourself over time, you won't know. Incorrectly made homemade soap can also injure people. To be certain you need to zap test and use a recipe over time on yourself and carefully chosen test subjects (er, loved ones in your family that have been annoyed with soap talk so much they know what to look for and can probably make soap themselves - sorry DH). Like other folks mentioned, there is a ton of inaccurate information out there so it's hard to know what to believe. For instance, HP and CP is perfectly safe to use once it stops zapping, but it's not great to use yet. Both need an extended curing time to allow water to evaporate (so it doesn't melt to nothing in the shower) AND to allow the actual structure of the soap to change which improves lather and makes the soap much more mild. Fresh made soap can be harsh. Your skin might be able to tolerate it, but your giftees might be more sensitive. You are opening yourself up to liability issues.
 

dixiedragon

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I actually think it's okay to gift your first or second efforts. Yes, the soap might develop DOS. But it's a gift. If it's no good, the recipient is free to throw it out. I don't think a homemade gift carries the same expectations of quality that we have of BUYING homemade soap (or anything else).

That being said - even HP soap is not going to be ready by Christmas. You could put a label on it - "don't use until January 30" or something - I've done that. Try washing your hands with it = i've found that when I use a bar of soap that is a week old, it leaves my hands dry, almost chapped feeling. And the lather is sort of gluey.
 

Wildcraft_Garden

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But if the soap is then going on to a 3rd person, I would not even consider it.
I concur. I gifted my immediate family and friends with some of my first batches, but it could be a bad idea to have it gifted third party. You don't know those people, and there are real liability issues - especially with uncured soap. Or at the very least awkwardness between you and your friend if something happens.
 

DeeAnna

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I still squirm about the soap I have given to my friend De. She put all of the bars in a cardboard box in the cabinet in the bathroom. All of the soap that was not shrink wrapped got DOS. Real, real bad all-over funky-smelling I'm-ashamed-it-was-my-soap DOS.

I have no idea what atmosphere lurks in her bathroom cabinet, but it is very, Very Bad For Soap. The samples of the same soaps in my "bone pile" stash at home were fine, believe it or not.

From that experience, I learned a couple of lessons.

One is that DOS can happen to even the best of soap if stored under the wrong conditions. (Soapsmith, a respected soaper, did some experiments that show similar results[/URL].)

Another is that I cannot assume anything about how or by whom my soap will be used or how it will be stored once it's out of my hands. As a result, I package my soaps for gifts exactly as if I were selling them -- tested recipe, full cure, full shrink wrap, proper labeling.
 

Susie

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It is. My ex in-laws (we are fairly close) won't try my soap because they bought some hand made soap, "and paid $5 for a single bar of soap!" that was too young. She told me that my soap, "would be drying and melt super fast, so they will stick with the store bought stuff, thank you very much."
 

narnia

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Thanks everyone, for all the input!

I did the zap test (held my tongue on the soap for 5 seconds even) and it was fine. I washed my hands in it....my hands do feel slightly dry, but kind of like normal after washing my hands in liquid castile soap.

I have taken all your advice to heart and will plan better in the future.
 
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