Too much water in soap! Can I save it?

Soapmaking Forum - Soap & Candle Forums

Help Support Soapmaking Forum - Soap & Candle Forums:

babysoapmaker

Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2017
Messages
10
Reaction score
7
So I made a batch of (please leave cringe to the end) 86% canola oil and 14% coconut oil soap. I have a container of each and want to experiment cheaply with color/fragrance, so I just picked a mix that would let me use the same percentage of oils until I run out of both. I have no expectations about how the soap will actually perform but I would like it to be soap. :mrgreen:

I used SoapCalc to figure out the amount of everything, but I made a mistake when using it and added too much water. All the other amounts are correct, so I figured it would be OK, just take longer to set. Unfortunately it's been a week and the soap is still not hardening up. :think:

I know how I screwed up in the calculator so I can figure out how much extra water I added. Is there any way I can save this soap? Can I "rebatch" it and add in the extra lye and oils? Or is this batch a goner?
 

Nao

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2017
Messages
216
Reaction score
114
I've made an 80% rapeseed soap and it took literal months for it to set up, so it's probably not so much the extra water as the high amount of canola oil that makes it stay soft for such a long time.
 

DeeAnna

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
13,569
Reaction score
19,709
Location
USA
You need to give the recipe -- ALL ingredients in WEIGHTS, not percentages -- as well as how you made the soap for the best help.

But I get the impression you may be thinking the NaOH weight is somehow based on the water weight. If so, that idea is absolutely incorrect. The NaOH weight is based only on the weights of the fats.

And Nao is right -- a soap that is very high in linoleic acid such as yours is likely to be very soft, even if made with an appropriate amount of water.
 

babysoapmaker

Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2017
Messages
10
Reaction score
7
Yeah you guys are right on all counts. My mistake was, I accidentally swapped the percentages initially in the recipe, measured out the water and lye separately, realized the oil amounts were completely messed up, fixed the recipe, took out the extra lye from the container, forgot to change the amount of water. But when I look at the recipes again the water amounts are the same. (There was no extra water for coloring or anything, I was going to try that on the next batch. This one just had some lavender EO.)

So I guess I will wait some more and see, and use a different recipe for testing things on. Sorry, this was a silly question on multiple levels. :eh:

This was my recipe if anyone is curious:

 

Kittish

Enthusiastic Newbie
Joined
Jun 12, 2017
Messages
1,365
Reaction score
1,378
Location
High altitude desert in southern Nevada
So, when you use SoapCalc, the default is to figure water as a % of the weight of the oils. This results in a LOT of water in your soap (looks at that water to lye ratio- it's almost 3:1). What I do is click on the water to lye ratio, and generally use a 2:1 ratio of water to lye. The ratio is easier for me to wrap my head around than lye concentration. So changing the way water is figured in your recipes might help some.
 

BattleGnome

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2016
Messages
1,652
Reaction score
1,468
Is CPOP an option? A few months ago my NaOH didn't mix (user error) and I had to add a ton of water to get it to dissolve. After CPOP it didn't actually gel but I had useable soap (with some fantastic glycerin lakes).

While it looks like water isn't actually the issue, it might speed things up after a warm nap
 

babysoapmaker

Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2017
Messages
10
Reaction score
7
Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I tried CPOPing it last night because my molds are oven-safe, but it didn't have much effect, so I am trying to rebatch it by doing up a recipe with 2:1 water:lye and 2lb of fat (1lb of what's in my existing soap, 1lb of lard) and only added the extra lard, lye, water that wasn't in the original recipe. It traced really fast (yay!) and looks okay to me so far. If this batch doesn't turn out after this I am just going to call it a learning experience. :mrgreen:

I also picked up a bunch of extra lard and (on sale!!) coconut oil so I can do a nice from-scratch recipe next time.
 

Zany_in_CO

Saponifier
Joined
Mar 9, 2017
Messages
6,052
Reaction score
5,611
Location
SE Denver CO
Unfortunately it's been a week and the soap is still not hardening up. :think: ... I know how I screwed up in the calculator so I can figure out how much extra water I added. Is there any way I can save this soap? Can I "rebatch" it and add in the extra lye and oils? Or is this batch a goner?
Okay, Baby, I'm wondering if you understand how to use the info SoapCalc provides? Your numbers should fall within the Recommended Range to make viable soap. If I happened to get numbers like yours, where none fit within the range, I would not have gone forward with making the batch -- until I tweaked a bit. Simply adding more coconut oil would make a huge difference.

Soap Qualities (Recommended “Range” in parentheses)
16 Hardness (29 - 54)
9 Cleansing (12 - 22)
80 Conditioning (44 - 69)
9 Bubbly (14 - 46)
7 Creamy (16 - 48)
96 Iodine (41 - 70)
84 1 INS (136-165)

As for rebatching it, adding extra lye and oils may work, if you feel confident about the amounts. Unfortunately the formula isn't all that great to begin with, so why bother? If it t'were me, I would rework the formula to get the numbers to fall within the ranges. Then make up a second batch and add the first batch to the second, and include the extra lye and oils for the first batch.

Hope that makes sense?
 

RobinRogers

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2019
Messages
61
Reaction score
83
Location
Murphy, NC
So I made a batch of (please leave cringe to the end) 86% canola oil and 14% coconut oil soap. I have a container of each and want to experiment cheaply with color/fragrance, so I just picked a mix that would let me use the same percentage of oils until I run out of both. I have no expectations about how the soap will actually perform but I would like it to be soap. :mrgreen:

I used SoapCalc to figure out the amount of everything, but I made a mistake when using it and added too much water. All the other amounts are correct, so I figured it would be OK, just take longer to set. Unfortunately it's been a week and the soap is still not hardening up. :think:

I know how I screwed up in the calculator so I can figure out how much extra water I added. Is there any way I can save this soap? Can I "rebatch" it and add in the extra lye and oils? Or is this batch a goner?
I am new to this. One of my earlier bars was so soft because of too much water. I cut it up and made a mosaic bar with white of the same scent. It is beautiful!!!
 

Relle

Administrator & Bunny Fanatic
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Sep 23, 2010
Messages
11,992
Reaction score
4,085
I am new to this. One of my earlier bars was so soft because of too much water. I cut it up and made a mosaic bar with white of the same scent. It is beautiful!!!
The person you have quoted and are replying to hasn't been here in 7 months, so probably won't see your post. This post is from july 2017.
 

EllenC

New Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2021
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Location
Philippines
Hi. I make 100% virgin coconut oil for my CP soap. Most of the time I end up with gel like batch. I mix lye solution and the oil at room tempersture since I'm in a tropical country. Should I add more water to it? I usually double the amount of water. Sometimes I get the right consistency but more times I don't. Thanks in advance for any suggestion.
 

Susie

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2013
Messages
9,745
Reaction score
9,287
Location
Texas
Hi. I make 100% virgin coconut oil for my CP soap. Most of the time I end up with gel like batch. I mix lye solution and the oil at room tempersture since I'm in a tropical country. Should I add more water to it? I usually double the amount of water. Sometimes I get the right consistency but more times I don't. Thanks in advance for any suggestion.
Double the amount of water in relation to the lye, or double the amount called for when you run it through a lye calculator? You should always use a lye calculator to determine the amount of alkali and water in relation to the amount of oils you are using.
 

AliOop

Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
4,751
Reaction score
7,971
Location
US
Thanls a lot I will do that and give an update on what happrned.
Also, double-check what type of lye (caustic soda) you are using. If your soap is only turning into a gel and not a firm bar, you may be using potassium hydroxide instead of sodium hydroxide. Otherwise, it sounds like you are using too much water. Definitely use a soap calculator to determine the correct amounts.
 
Top