Using Water Discounts & Curing Time

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TeriDk

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Hello all. A few questions on water discount:
Does it work with milk?
If I use a 40% water discount, 2# loaf, about how long would the cure take and is the soap as nice?
Thanks.
 

shunt2011

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I agree, there is more to curing than just water. Soap still needs 4-6 weeks and some need even longer for a good quality bar. No shortcuts for me.
 

kchaystack

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shunt2011

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I wonder where the info that cure=dry soap comes from? When I first started making soap and was researching, I never ran across this.
I see it on facebook groups all the time....they even recommend using a dehydrator. Some of those groups scare the bejeezus out of me. :)

I didn't find that in any of my research when I first started either. I'm thinking it's those that want to make it and sell it in a hurry decided it might be a bright idea. Which, it's not.
 

Obsidian

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That explains it then, I stay away from FB groups like they are the plague. Too many self entitled know it alls for the most part and the few people who are knowledgeable, are often ignored or ridiculed.
 

shunt2011

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I am a member of 2 of them and I mostly just read and cringe a lot of the time. If I started posting I'd make some enemies.
 

navigator9

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Any misinformation that pops up on the internet, gets posted and reposted until people start to believe it's true. That's why it's so important to do your own research, and not believe every single thing you read. There are websites and books that are generally accepted as sources of reliable information. If you take everything floating around on the internet as factual......look out! :crazy:
 

TeriDk

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I should clarify that I either read or saw a video on this site....or maybe it linked elsewhere. What I recall is that you still need to cure but not as long and when the weight remains the same, it is done curing and ready for use. I see here that quacks abound (not here which is why this is my go to place for all things soapy) and what was stated is not correct so thanks for getting me back on track. I don't subscribe to FB/soap sites and certainly won't bother but I love learning new things, especially if it involves soap. A fascinating craft it is!

I made a peppermint-tea tree soap using a 38% water discount based on what I read/saw. It will have cured 4 weeks, in lieu of my normal 8 weeks that I like, when I offer it for sale. Should be ok to go.

I understand this comes up in new threads often. Wish I had more time to search the threads but I don't....sorry.
 

hmlove1218

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Just had a though and want to know what everyone thinks.. Is it possible that dehydrating soap could actually slow the curing process because it sucks out all of the water that is needed to help form the molecular structure of the soap? Or am I just way off? lol
 

DeeAnna

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"...soap using a 38% water discount..."

I understand that "water discount" means the idea of using less water in a soap recipe compared to the water amount that is considered to be "full water." My chemistry funny-bone hurts furiously when these terms are used, but they're firmly embedded in the soap maker's lingo, so I deal with it.

BUT I have never seen a setting on any soap recipe calculator that is labeled "water discount." There is "water as % of oils" and "water:lye ratio" and "lye concentration". Any one of these three settings can be used to create a recipe with a "water discount".

To make matters worse, the "water as % of lye" setting is often confused with "lye concentration" setting, and the two are quite different.

Teri -- You can choose to use a "water discount" as a general goal, but it's not a setting you can use to create an actual recipe. So ... what specific setting are you using when you talk about a "38% water discount"? I'm honestly not sure what you mean....
 
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TeriDk

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"...soap using a 38% water discount..."

Teri -- You can choose to use a "water discount" as a general goal, but it's not a setting you can use to create an actual recipe. So ... what specific setting are you using when you talk about a "38% water discount"? I'm honestly not sure what you mean....
It was a lye concentration of 38%, 22.24 % of water to oil weight, water/lye ratio of 1.6316:1. I typically use a lye concentration of 26.7, 38%, 2.7453:1 respectively..I other words I never messed with the lye/water ratios on the soapcalc until I read about using less water. I live at 6300ft, effects? This is a 1st for me so I am trying to understand the concept.

If using less water does nothing for shortening the cure time, I'm not seeing a benefit other than less weight once you remove it from the mold. What is the benefit of using less water?

There was a question about the possible effects of using less water affecting the curing of soap, any thoughts on that? As always, thank you all for your input. This site is a great resource.

Here's a pic of the subject in question. 3 oz when I removed it from the mold on 10/15/15 and 3 oz today.

image.jpg
 
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DeeAnna

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"...If using less water does nothing for shortening the cure time, I'm not seeing a benefit..."

Really? I've spent a fair amount of time trying to educate folks about the benefits of using less water and about the use of the lye concentration setting, rather than blindly using that "38% water as % of oils" setting. Here are some pros/cons that will hopefully change your mind on this matter --

Less water => harder soap at the time of unmolding so you can unmold and cut sooner, faster rate of saponification which is good for recipes high in unsaturated fats (castile being the prime example), less chance of emulsion failure (separation) in the mold, less likely to go into gel, max temperature during saponification is higher, less likely to show streaking or mottling (aka glycerin rivers).

More water => slower rate of saponification which is good for recipes high in lauric and myristic acids (100% coconut oil being the prime example) and for accelerating fragrances, slower to come to trace (fancy decorative swirls and such), max temperature during saponification is lower, more likely for the soap to go into full gel on its own.

As you become familiar with your go-to recipes, you'll figure out what basic lye concentration works best for your soaping style. Once you find that sweet spot, then you can deliberately vary the lye concentration to get the soap to behave differently for various recipes, decorative techniques, accelerating fragrances, and different additives.

ETA: The "water as % of oils" number can be correlated to the lye concentration and water:lye ratio ONLY for recipes that have the same average saponification value. If you change the fats in the recipe, the relationship between "water as % of oils" and the other two will also change.

For an introduction to using lye concentration rather than "water as % of oils", please see this thread:
http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=54095

...and read the full explanation here:
http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=53642
 
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Susie

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I made a peppermint-tea tree soap using a 38% water discount based on what I read/saw. It will have cured 4 weeks, in lieu of my normal 8 weeks that I like, when I offer it for sale. Should be ok to go.
No, you should not sell any soap until it has cured the proper length of time for that soap. Each recipe has a specific length of time it needs to cure. If you prefer 8 weeks, then you are talking about selling something you don't think is the best product you can make. Is this really how you want to do business?

Also, if we are having to explain this, then you are no where close to selling. Period. You should already have, "been here, done this, can write the book."
 

fuzz-juzz

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I am a member of 2 of them and I mostly just read and cringe a lot of the time. If I started posting I'd make some enemies.
Haha that's what I do if I have spare time to kill.
One FB group that I belong to is pretty full on with stupid advice, and admins and long-term members pride themselves with great knowledge about soapmaking.
They advise packaging CP soap and selling after a week.
And also using it after a day because soap is pretty much safe.
Sigh....
Makes my blood boil but there's nothing I can do.
OP, here on SMF is where the all right info is, please stay away from those know-alls on FB etc..
 

IrishLass

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Right here, silly!
If using less water does nothing for shortening the cure time, I'm not seeing a benefit other than less weight once you remove it from the mold. What is the benefit of using less water?
Ditto all the reasons DeeAnna listed, but just to share my personal experiences....... with less water I can unmold and cut my batches much sooner (which comes in especially handy for my soaps made with high amounts of olive oil)- which frees up my molds so that I can make more soaps sooner instead of having to wait days sometimes; 'glycerin rivers' are a rarity for me; and I can get my batter into the mold quicker, which is nice for a midnight soaper like myself who doesn't want to still be cleaning up my mess at 2 in the morning. lol


IrishLass :)
 

TeriDk

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No, you should not sell any soap until it has cured the proper length of time for that soap. Each recipe has a specific length of time it needs to cure. If you prefer 8 weeks, then you are talking about selling something you don't think is the best product you can make. Is this really how you want to do business?

Also, if we are having to explain this, then you are no where close to selling. Period. You should already have, "been here, done this, can write the book."
I appreciate your thoughts. I've been making soap for over 5 years. It is this forum that recommended a 4-6 week cure. I simply chose to let my soap cure for 8 weeks. I always, always use my soap before I give or sell to anyone....always! I have bought handcrafted bars that burned my skin so I now make my own which is why I go with 8 weeks. Call it extra safety step if you will.
 

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