Troubleshooting soap

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Feb 14, 2014
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I made CP soap with the same recipe many times, and I need expert opinions from you guys in this forum because sometimes my soap turns like this (attached picture) with the same process and recipe. I thought at first it is because I am starting to master batch the recipe, but turns out it's not, because other time I made them and it's just fine. Then maybe it's the temperature?

So basically the soap has a marble look and the marble vein is white/clear like fat. I don't see any difference in pH and texture/lather just the same. What do you think? Others I made is just the same without the marble white veins. Just solid purple color because it's lavender scented.

Happy soaping...

Why do you say it isn't because of the master batch?

Recipe would help, but I'm going out on a limb to say that you use something like palm or some sort of butter. They look like stearic streaks which can be caused by different types of fatty acid (and in our soap, salts) drying before another.
Just a guess here, but I agree with the Gentleman from Austria. Looks like stearic streaks. Years back I got a batch of Palm Oil from a trusted source. Three batches in a row I melted and mixed the individual one pound batches of the PO, and came out with streaks that looked real close to yours, on all three batches. Only thing I could figure, was when the supplier split the PO into individual containers it wasn't mixed properly. No amount of mixing on my part was going to fix that.
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I agree, either stearic streaks or glycerine rivers. I'm leaning more toward stearic streaks from not using well mixed palm if you use it in your recipes. I masterbatch in a 5 gallon bucket but always give the entire bucket a good mix before pouring off what I need.

Sharing your recipe may help as well.
One batch I made did the same (?) thing. The batch got quite hot after I poured. It cleared up after a few weeks.

20% CO
40% crisco
24% canola
coffee, beans, and bergamot EO

eta: It is now 8 weeks old, solid dark brown, with a trace of the rivers of you look very close.

This is how it looked at about a week:

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Thanks for the replies all, but let me try to give more info.
My guess as it wasn't the master batch is because with the same MB sometimes it came out OK (attached picture, sorry bad photo, but this one is smooth without marble of fats)

Recipe is:
Palm: 30%
Coconut: 10%
Cocoa Butter:10%
Palm wax:7%
EO is mixed lots of things ^^ Lavender, lemongrass, sandalwood, lemon and others.
No Titanium Dioxide used.

But weird thing is, sometimes it comes out OK, but some others will produce those marble fat (or what you guys called it stearic streaks?). So how can I make a consistent of without those streaks with these batch? I blended my master batch heavily when making and each usage.

Thanks all..

Lavender Ferden.jpg
I have read that if you just scoop the semi solid palm out of the container instead of melting the whole container, mixing, and then pulling out what you need can cause differences between batches because the different fatty acids (stearic especially) can settle to different layers in the container - so what you pull off the top can be different than what you pull off the bottom. So maybe thats how you get stearic acid streaks in some soaps but not others?

I have no idea about palm wax, but maybe it can do similar?

My only other idea is temps - if you soap cooler perhaps the stearic hardens up first and does that.
I suspect temperature as well. When heating oils that contain Palm, I can't skimp on the heat. The stearic bits don't melt until ...160? I think. So if you didn't hear the oils enough or let them cool before mixing the lye, the stearic could have started to re-solidify and possibly stick together causing the streaking.
I suspect temperature as well. When heating oils that contain Palm, I can't skimp on the heat. The stearic bits don't melt until ...160? I think. So if you didn't hear the oils enough or let them cool before mixing the lye, the stearic could have started to re-solidify and possibly stick together causing the streaking.

This sounds very reasonable. Logic dictates if all the inputs are the same, then the variance in final product must lie in the process. The above post on heating oils up and allowing them to cool down to the ideal soaping temp is a great tip. It's so tempting to take that shortcut of heating oils up to just the point Where they all melt. Try using a thermometer to check the highest temp of your oils then take the temp of both the oils and lye again at the time you combine them to make sure they are where you want them, then replicate that for each batch. I also wonder about the master batch g of oils. Do you reheat the entire master batch every time you make a batch? Finally, do you always insulate your batches the same way to promote gel?
I masterbatch my oils and I too use around 30% Palm. I don't reheat my oils at all once masterbatched. I just make sure I mix the entire 5 gallon bucket really well before dispensing my oils from the spigot for each batch. I soap room temp and never get stearic streaks. I've been doing this for the last 2-3 years now. It could be the palm was not well mixed before it went into the masterbatch and was stearic heavy. I insulate and gel all my soaps.
I actually do not reheat my oils in masterbatch just like shunt2011 does. When I made my MB I heated it up about 170-180 for the hard oils, then mixed it with the soft oils then blend them heavily until it's all mixed well then stored in room temperature in stainless pot (room temperature here is about 30 Celcius). After a day the MB become solid (like butter) and I insulate the pot with duct tape. Then I scoop them out, weight it, and heat that portion that I am going to make soap off it. After making, pouring into the mold, I just wrap the mold in newspaper and left in room temperature also. This I think promotes gel because room temperature here is quite hot and even without wrapping them with towels, but I could be wrong. But again this produces good solid colors and sometimes with streak (inconsistent)

I will try (from all of your suggestions):
- Heat up the palm oil well, mix them longer to create the MB.
- Check the temp when mixing, because I usually don't do this and maybe I can find the 'no streak' temp here.

Just to clarify though, is this marble stearic streaks bad beyond the aesthetic? I mean I check the pH it's all the same with streak or none and seems the lather/texture can't be noticeable during use of soap. Need more info and thoughts on this.

Thanks again all..