Ugh, can’t seem to get it right.

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Katie68121

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It could be Stearic spots given your low soaping temperature of 88F. Even though you are only using 5% Shea Butter, it has eight times the Stearic than Palm Oil (according to SoapCalc) and the melting point of Shea Butter is 89F to 100F.

I would try increasing the temperature of your oils and Lye Solution to around 100F-110F because even if you are doing a plain Jane soap...no color, no scent...the temperature of your batter will start dropping once you start mixing your oils and lye and if you drop below the melting point, the oil or butter will start to re-solidify. That may not make a lot of sense since the saponification process heats up the batter and you are CPOPing so it shouldn't be an issue, but I know that there is a lot science in soap making that is way above my current pay grade.
Thank you! Yeah I thought it looked like stearic spots too, but idk for sure...(how would I know for sure?...lol) I will be soaping warmer next time, sticking with CPOP as well, do you or anyone else know is it ok to spray with alcohol and CPOP? I found 99 percent alcohol at my Target!
 

TheGecko

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Thank you! Yeah I thought it looked like stearic spots too, but idk for sure...(how would I know for sure?...lol) I will be soaping warmer next time, sticking with CPOP as well, do you or anyone else know is it ok to spray with alcohol and CPOP? I found 99 percent alcohol at my Target!

The few times I have done it, I just covered the mold with Saran Wrap.
 
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Gorgeous soap!
I used to get soda ash a lot, but now I don't much at all. Yours looks mostly like a soda ash issue to me. I started out with 28% lye concentration and since moving to 30-33% and CPOPping/gelling, I seem to have beaten the ash. I don't cover my soaps anymore (except with the mould wooden lid), or spray with alcohol. Another change which i think has helped is the move to soy wax. It can be recipe dependent, and I did used to use cocoa butter before switching to soy wax - so maybe that could have contributed? Who would know really with so many other variables. I soap about 40 degrees celsius BTW.
Hi Kiwi, I'm struggling with soda ash now and I thought I had beat the problem when I switched to 33 lye concentration. But when I started using soy wax I'm getting it again..I wonder if it's because I'm trying to soap no higher than 35 C trying to balance it and goat milk? I have no clue. I use soy wax at 15%. I cover the soap with saran, spray with 99% alcohol and yesterday I decided to leave in the mold for 48 hours instead of 24...I'm watching it. It's harder to get the ash off of little detailed embeds.. I use 7-10% kokum but I've used it before.. I may go back to the 415 soy wax.. I tried it but it seemed to accelerate more than the american soy wax I was using. If you have any suggestions I'd be happy to hear. Thanks!
 
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I use 20% 415 wax, I gel, I don't spray or cover with 'glad' wrap ( our brand of saran). But I do cover with a lid while gelling. I tend to soap around 40 - 45 degrees but lately I have been going as low as 35 with no problems. I find that gelling is key for me. I still get a bit of soda ash now and again but it's very fine layer and you don't really notice it. I use a 30% lye concentration.
 
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I use 20% 415 wax, I gel, I don't spray or cover with 'glad' wrap ( our brand of saran). But I do cover with a lid while gelling. I tend to soap around 40 - 45 degrees but lately I have been going as low as 35 with no problems. I find that gelling is key for me. I still get a bit of soda ash now and again but it's very fine layer and you don't really notice it. I use a 30% lye concentration.
I’ll try the 415, no saran or alcohol but cover with lid and 30% and see if it helps. Thank you! I’ll let you know
 

marie1964

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Hey soapers
I’m struggling to nail down my recipes and techniques. I keep coming up with cosmetic issues. This time I think is my first experiencing stearic spots... I also struggle with soda ash on almost every batch :( maybe someone can help inform me what I’m doing wrong? This batch I wanted to CPOP for the first time, so I soaped with lye solution and oils around 88F my recipe is as follows
Olive oil 40%
Coconut oil 25%
Sunflower oil 15%
Cocoa butter 10%
Shea butter 5%
Castor oil 5%
Lye concentration at 33%
 

marie1964

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Hey soapers
I’m struggling to nail down my recipes and techniques. I keep coming up with cosmetic issues. This time I think is my first experiencing stearic spots... I also struggle with soda ash on almost every batch :( maybe someone can help inform me what I’m doing wrong? This batch I wanted to CPOP for the first time, so I soaped with lye solution and oils around 88F my recipe is as follows
Olive oil 40%
Coconut oil 25%
Sunflower oil 15%
Cocoa butter 10%
Shea butter 5%
Castor oil 5%
Lye concentration at 33%
I would try increasing your hard oils if Soda Ash is the problem, I found when i started if i used a higher percentage of soft oils i would get more soda ash probelms, or sometimes i like a balance of equal amounts of hard oils and soft oils, also a slight water discount helps also , just bare in mind it may come to trace quicker if you reduce the distilled water so id advise letting your lye and oils get to a lower temp before mixing to slow down the trace and keep it workable for longer. It looks a really nice soap though.
 
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I use 20% 415 wax, I gel, I don't spray or cover with 'glad' wrap ( our brand of saran). But I do cover with a lid while gelling. I tend to soap around 40 - 45 degrees but lately I have been going as low as 35 with no problems. I find that gelling is key for me. I still get a bit of soda ash now and again but it's very fine layer and you don't really notice it. I use a 30% lye concentration.
@Katie68121 I apologize..I realized I posted on your thread. Didn't mean to highjack!
 

Shy1

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I have found the same as many others that a spritz of rubbing alcohol and covering works well, also using a water discount. However the draw back of a water discount is that if you need it to stay fluid for swirls, you have less time to work. There is a great you tube video from Lisa at I dream in soap that explains all of this really well.
 

Tara_H

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However the draw back of a water discount is that if you need it to stay fluid for swirls, you have less time to work.
This is not necessarily true in an absolute sense - there's a range at which a water discount will actually give a longer working time, although it also increases the impact of any accelerating fragrances etc.
I moved to a 38% solution for the purpose of having a more fluid batter for swirls; the fact that I don't really get soda ash any more is just a handy side effect.
 

Shy1

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This is not necessarily true in an absolute sense - there's a range at which a water discount will actually give a longer working time, although it also increases the impact of any accelerating fragrances etc.
I moved to a 38% solution for the purpose of having a more fluid batter for swirls; the fact that I don't really get soda ash any more is just a handy side effect.
Thanks Tara.
 
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This is not necessarily true in an absolute sense - there's a range at which a water discount will actually give a longer working time, although it also increases the impact of any accelerating fragrances etc.
I moved to a 38% solution for the purpose of having a more fluid batter for swirls; the fact that I don't really get soda ash any more is just a handy side effect.
I agree. I usually soap with a 40% solution (also to reduce ash), and it slows trace considerably for me.
 
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"Ditto" To All post above in regards to Prevention Of Soda Ash!!! @KiwiMoose adding 415 to soap helped w/ soda ash. I gotta share my recent "light bulb moment too in regards to "Soda Ash"
Ive done just about "all their is to do to prevent "Soda Ash" as mentioned above. But what had occurred to me is when I was getting low on Bees Wax and leaving it out in a few batches' then using what I had left in a few batches " in this last week" I realized the soap I had "NOT USED BEESWAX" Is The Soap That Got " Soda Ash". Hmmm I think the use of Beeswax or 415 soy wax? really helps in preventing soda ash. ✨💫👍🏼
 

TheGecko

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Wanted to add. Most of the time, you can just plane off Soda Ash. Or you can 'wash' it off your soap. Or you can get a clothing steamer (I have one).
 
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