Too soft of soap, HELP!!

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LisaM

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Hi, I am fairly new at soap making and have a big problem, I have tried several different batches of soap using hot process. All my soaps seem really soft. Not sure why. I have used recipes from different places to try and not sure what I am doing wrong. What can make soap harder? I use FCO and have not used tallow, I tend to go with no animal fats, if this matters. I have let the bars sit for over a month after cutting and they are still really soft. ?? Any ideas would be appreciated.
 

LisaM

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The latest one I tried was

12oz avocado oil
2oz castor oil
4 oz cocoa butter
8oz Frac coconut oil
24oz olive oil
4oz shea butter
20oz water
7.1oz lye

before that....
14.8oz olive oil
8.8oz frac Coconut oil
8oz palm oil
4.8oz cocoa butter
3.6oz castor oil
15.2oz water
5.97oz lye

both come out very soft, even after letting sit for over 1-2 months.
Would cooking for a longer period of time hurt it? I am not sure what is wrong.
 

AlchemyandAshes

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Are you running your recipes through a lye calculator like SoapCalc? It will give you a number value for different qualities of your soap, such as hardness, conditioning, etc.
FCO is a different beast all together than the Coconut Oil 76* variety (and much more $$). I would nix the FCO in favor of Coconut 76* if I were you. I think that would help a lot.
In recipe #1, with about 85% soft oils - mostly Olive, and only 15% hard butters...it's going to take a while to firm up, especially with full 38% water. It's within "normal" range for hardness, but on the very low end. Just leave it to cure for a while longer and see if that helps. The longer Olive Oil based soap cures, the harder it gets.
In recipe #2, I'm suprised your soap is soft with a high INS number (higher is usually harder, and yours is a little above normal range).
When you say they are too soft, can you make an indent in them with a little pressure from your finger? Or are we talking cream cheese texture? Very rare for HP to stay so soft, so I think it's either the FCO or a mismeasurement somewhere. Try using a water discount next time and see if that helps...maybe 30% water instead of 38%.
 

LisaM

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Hi, yes, I do use the calculator and it seemed ok. The loaf is still very sticky and soft when I take it out of the mold where it be a day after or two days after. My fingers make indents when carefully trying to handle it. In the shower, you can squish the bar, and it doesn't last but a few showers it's so soft.
I will try your ideas as well, can't hurt. =) Thanks! I'll have to let you know how it works out.
 

judymoody

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As Shawnee said, FCO is not a good choice for soap. If you substitute regular 76 or 92 coconut oil for the FCO, I imagine your problems will be solved.

You might also try a water discount. Maybe 2 water to 1 lye ratio. That is assuming you are doing CP. If you are doing HP, you should probably stick to full water.
 

LisaM

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How long do you usually leave the soap in the crock pot after the "vaseline stage" or is it at that point you can take it out and put it into the mold? I have done it both ways, even "cooking" it for an hour after that stage.

Also, about super-fatting, is that just adding an additional oil after it's time in the crock pot, or do you set aside some of one of the oils for that, or is it just the calculator will calculate less lye in the recipe so all oils won't saponify?
 
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