Understanding crumbly soap

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Lyma

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Hi there,

I made a batch yesterday and pour into mold almost without trace at all. However it was well emulsified.
My stick blender burned out a few days ago and had to blend with a paint mixer which makes hours for tracing a cold process castille soap.
Next day while unmolding, all around the soap block was extremely crumbly and white (the wires were breaking through cutting), the four edges at the bottom were soft like marmalade and all of the rest was normal as usual.

The soap didn't separate, didn't zap at the crumbly part, all of the other part is darker and had passed through gel phase.
It's a repeated recipe, didn't change a thing, so obviously the non trace made the soap crumble.

I'm always reading that non trace is one of the reasons for crumbly soap, but i would like to know why this is happening? What makes soap crumble so intensely when we pour before trace?
Did the soap block has evenly saponified as it didn't zap and the problem it's just an aesthetic issue?
If it's just soda ash that went deep in the soap, is it still safe to use, or it would be better to use only the middle part of the block?
 
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shunt2011

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If you post a picture that would help us troubleshoot. You did 100% Olive Oil what was your SF and lye concentration?
 

soapmaker

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Hi there,

I made a batch yesterday and pour into mold almost without trace at all. However it was well emulsified.
My stick blender burned out a few days ago and had to blend with a paint mixer which makes hours for tracing a cold process castille soap.
Next day while unmolding, all around the soap block was extremely crumbly and white (the wires were breaking through cutting), the four edges at the bottom were soft like marmalade and all of the rest was normal as usual.

The soap didn't separate, didn't zap at the crumbly part, all of the other part is darker and had passed through gel phase.
It's a repeated recipe, didn't change a thing, so obviously the non trace made the soap crumble.

I'm always reading that non trace is one of the reasons for crumbly soap, but i would like to know why this is happening? What makes soap crumble so intensely when we pour before trace?
Did the soap block has evenly saponified as it didn't zap and the problem it's just an aesthetic issue?
If it's just soda ash that went deep in the soap, is it still safe to use, or it would be better to use only the middle part of the block?
What a coincidence. Two days ago I made a batch of 60% OO, 20% sunflower oil, and 20% CO, 34% lye concentration, no scent, no colour 5% superfat. Have been making this recipe for years without incidence, using SL. This time I used salt because it is a slow tracing recipe so thought it wouldn't affect it, 1 t. ppo. I brought it to very light trace. What a surprise when I went to cut it yesterday. It was hard. And I mean hard!! My husband cut it for me, went slow and didn't break any wires but the soap was cracking and splitting around all the edges especially the bottom. It doesn't zap at 2 days old. So I thought it was the salt! Could it be that I didn't bring it to the proper trace?
 

Lyma

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If you post a picture that would help us troubleshoot. You did 100% Olive Oil what was your SF and lye concentration?
Yes it is 100% olive oil, 2% superfat, 40% lye concentration. I make big batches and put in on a block mold. The batch is ok, as i've made it many many times in the past. The non trace is obviously the only difference and the factor for this crumbly result.
I just need to know why non trace makes soap crumbly (mostly in the edges) and if it's safe to use.
Is it for example the crumbly part soda ash, so that part has changed it's lye concentration?
 

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soapmaker

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Looks exactly like mine. I can't see why it wouldn't be safe to use if it doesn't zap but the chemists will have to answer.
 

shunt2011

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I'm leaning to it didn't get mixed well enough. However, as long as there's no zap it should be fine in time. I dislike Castille and high OO soaps personally, even after a year or two cure. :)
 

soapmaker

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My customers love it. So you think it had nothing to do with salt instead of SL?

Sorry, not trying to take away from the OP's question.
 
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Lyma

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Inadequate mixing is for sure the reason for the crumbly result. Just wanted to know why this is happening. Why when reaching trace after 24 hours unmolding it's like soft cheese, and when not reaching trace it's hard like rock. And it's zap free, so it's not because of excess lye.
 

Marilyn Norgart

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I just had 2 batches get all dry and crumbly on me--I have made the same soap numerous times and I know I blended mine enough. I have cracks running diag. and the top looked like cobblestone on some of them. the first batch I was thinking I just didn't add all the oil but its not zappy either but full of ash. I have used the scent from the same bottle with no problem too. it was my last soap of the year and I hate to end it like that (I am being superstitious :) )
 

soapmaker

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I just had 2 batches get all dry and crumbly on me--I have made the same soap numerous times and I know I blended mine enough. I have cracks running diag. and the top looked like cobblestone on some of them. the first batch I was thinking I just didn't add all the oil but its not zappy either but full of ash. I have used the scent from the same bottle with no problem too. it was my last soap of the year and I hate to end it like that (I am being superstitious :) )
That sounds like the soap I used to make before learning the importance of a water discount. It didn't seem to me it was overheating but that's what I learned from this forum. After using a 34% lye solution, I never had that happen again and no ash.
ETA: Until this last batch that I put salt in. But perhaps it wasn't mixed well enough either.
 

ilonaliss

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I know this is an old thread, but I just had a crumbly loaf. I usually put SL in my soaps but the last two batches used sea salt instead and both were crumbly at the edges when I cut them. I poured both at thick trace. Coincidence?
 

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