Theory: Coconut oil makes soap hotter than normal?

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Cherry Pit Soap Works

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Hi everyone, I've recently bumped my coconut oil in my recipe, and added some avocado oil. The changes aren't huge, but I have been having overheating issues with almost every single batch. No volcano, but cracks, sometimes bigger and sometimes smaller. I quit insulating and still the problem is happening. I'm using wood molds with Brambleberry liners and my mold have lids. I know silicone doesn't breathe, so maybe that's an issue too. I've let them sit without the lids in a cool room and they don't gel. But still cracks. It's like it overheats for 5 seconds, and them cools down and doesn't gel. Any ideas as to why this might be happening? I wonder if the bumped up coconut oil makes it hotter? Thanks
 

lpstephy85

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Hmm haven't heard that theory yet. What kind of FO/EO are you using?


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savonierre

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Lilac is an accelerator , I would guess that is the cause on the most recent batch, if your other FO's were florals, a lot of them tend to be accelerators and then make the soap over heat.
 

Lidyax

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It's possible. My 100% coconut oil soap always get very hot and gelled. Not so much if I mix it with other oils, especially olive oil. I think olive oil is 'cool' oil, or so to speak.


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Cherry Pit Soap Works

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Thanks guys, I appreciate the help. I'm going to mess with my recipe and see if that helps again.
 

shunt2011

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I too use wooden molds with lids that my husband made and lined with the BB silicone liners. I use 20-22% coconut in one of my recipes and use milk in all my recipes and find that they do tend to get a bit hot and mild cracks on top if I insulate with towels over the top. I do gelmy soaps but find that if I watch them and then just remove any insulation I have on the mold once it starts to gel that it's not a problem even with just the lid on. As previously stated it's probably your FO as some heat up more than others.
 

Cherry Pit Soap Works

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@shunt, I use high coconut too. I love what it brigns to my soaps and I use milks. I've never had this problem before this week. I'll try what you do and see if it works! Thanks!
 

neeners

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interesting!

my first soap ever was a goat milk 100% CO with 20% SF. it gelled. then my 3rd soap was 100% CO, 0% SF (a laundry soap), and it cracked on top as well! it did gel though. not sure why. my other soap recipes have high-ish CO percentages, and they haven't cracked, but they gelled. I don't have a wood mold, just a cardboard box, but I cover my soap just until I see complete gel. I do this b/c i'm in the tropics and RT is typically over 80 degrees
 

judymoody

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Yes, high % of coconut oil or similar (PKO, babassu) will tend to make your soap trace faster and gel hotter and more quickly although they shouldn't necessarily overheat and crack.
 

Cherry Pit Soap Works

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Hmmm, this is all very interesting. Seeing as I usually line with silicone, I'm going to try some freezer paper today and see if that makes a difference at all in overheating. Process of elimination I guess. I upped the coconut and lowered the palm, ideally wanting to not use it at all eventually. And more coconut vs. olive is less expensive as we all know. If anyone has any more suggestions I'm open. Thanks!
 

shunt2011

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Just remember to up your superfat if you use high coconut to account for the dryness, it may help. I don't usually get my cleansing over 17 except for my stinky man soap I have it at 20 but still superfat at 8%. It doesn't seem to dry my husbands skin out at all.
 

houseofwool

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When I made 100% CO laundry soap with a 0% SF, it gelled so quickly - within an hour or so of pouring the batter, it had already completed the gel phase and I was trying to find a place to put it so it would cool off.
 

Cherry Pit Soap Works

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@shunt, yes! I did remember this, but last minute and truthfully almost not at all:/ Sometimes I get in a hurry and forget all the details and mess up, luckily not this time. I agree about keeping the cleansing low, it all cleans, and I don't like to feel stripped. I did tweak my recipe today again and lowered my soaping temp by a little more than 10 degrees, so far so good. Nothing is overheating as of yet. So let's hope it stays that way!

So it looks like coconut in high percentages does heat up more!
 

Robert

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It's possible. My 100% coconut oil soap always get very hot and gelled. Not so much if I mix it with other oils, especially olive oil. I think olive oil is 'cool' oil, or so to speak.
The faster the rxn, the faster it makes heat, so the less time the heat has to escape and the hotter it gets. Other things being equal, coconut will saponify a lot faster than olive.
 

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