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pal

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Today I made a batch of soap. I added the lye when the oils where at 120 degrees. As soon as I added the lye the soap gelled and I could hardly get the colorant and fragrance mixed in the batch. I decided to put the batch in the loaf mold. As I was spooning the soap in the mold I noticed that the lye water was separating from the soap. What caused this? I am at a loss.
 

lenarenee

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What was your recipe?
Was your lye water also very warm?
 

pal

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20% Castor Oil
18% Olive Oil
12% Safflower Oil
20% Stearic Acid
30% Coconut Oil, 76 deg

Water was at 38%
NaOH 11.38 ounces

This was a 5 lb batch
Lye Concentration was 27.32%
Water Lye Ratio was 2.67

I used SoapCalc Lye Calculator to arrive at this recipe.

My lye water was cold when I added it to the batch.

What went wrong and is there a fix?
 

snappyllama

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Have you ever made that before? The stearic acid insta-solidifies. i wouldn't attempt that recipe with CP... it should be HPed.

I'd dump it in a crockpot and cook it.

ETA: That's an interesting recipe in looking at the rest of it... 20% Castor is a lot. Normally that would make a very sticky bar. I'm not sure if the stearic acid would counteract that. What are you going for?
 

pal

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Thanks for your answer. I guess I have learned a good lesson. It was the stearic acid that must have caused such a reaction.

I was trying to come up with a recipe that had all the right traits. A bar that was creamy, bubbly, as well as firm (47) and on the upper end of cleansing. My fault was that I didn't use more Coconut oil and less Stearic acid. As far as the Castor Oil goes, this was an experiment. I have found that Castor Oil is a good balance for hard oils.

Thanks for your suggestion to recover with HP. I will give it a try.
 

topofmurrayhill

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Thanks for your answer. I guess I have learned a good lesson. It was the stearic acid that must have caused such a reaction.

I was trying to come up with a recipe that had all the right traits. A bar that was creamy, bubbly, as well as firm (47) and on the upper end of cleansing. My fault was that I didn't use more Coconut oil and less Stearic acid. As far as the Castor Oil goes, this was an experiment. I have found that Castor Oil is a good balance for hard oils.

Thanks for your suggestion to recover with HP. I will give it a try.
Stearic acid is generally okay when it's part of an oil molecule. When it's the acid by itself (free fatty acid), that's when it reacts with the lye instantly. The stearic flakes or beads you used are free fatty acid (FFA) rather than oil.

In cold process you can't really use more than 2 or 3% free stearic acid, and pretty much any amount you use will be noticeable. Adding so little to the recipe is usually not worth the acceleration, but you can more freely use high-stearic oils like tallow and tropical butters if you like.

As L-Snap says, it's all good in hot process. I also use it in transparent recipes that are cooked in a solvent.
 
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