What are these funny spots in my soap??

SoapMakingForum

Help Support SoapMakingForum:

AndreaMakesSoap

Active Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2012
Messages
31
Reaction score
0
Location
Surrey, BC Canada


Sorry the pic is so large! It's better seen here: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Em4fOFBbQc0/U ... C_1227.JPG

Anyone know what those yellowish spots are in the bottom of my soap? There's also a line of it on top of the white... ??

This was a typical recipe for me, which I've used at least a dozen times: Olive, Canola, Coconut, Palm and Castor Oils with Shea butter and a bit of sodium lactate. The bottom layer has TD because I wanted it white, and I knew the fragrance (Coffee Cake Spice from NDA - YUM!) would discolor (it's still yellow, oh well). The top is just the base color swirled with brown. It soaped really well, and I was super excited about it. I CPOP'd at 150 degrees for maybe 40 mins. I find if I do this, along with the SL, I can cut the next day, which is nice.
The next day I unmolded because the soap seemed quite hard, but a lot of the bottom stuck to the mold (even after prepping it with a thin layer of oil - maybe that was the problem??). After cutting I discovered the yellow spots in the bottom. They're about the size of rice and a different consistence than the soap, they're harder than the rest of the soap.
I haven't heard or seen anything like this. Have you???

Thanks for any help :)
Andrea
 

Cosmo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2012
Messages
214
Reaction score
194
Andrea, have you zap tested your soap? I've had spots like that caused from concentrated lye in those areas.
 

AndreaMakesSoap

Active Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2012
Messages
31
Reaction score
0
Location
Surrey, BC Canada
Good suggestion, that's what I thought originally as well. Although the brown swirls don't zap, the white/yellow doesn't zap, and the little spots don't zap either... ????????
 

Cosmo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2012
Messages
214
Reaction score
194
Weird indeed! I've never had it happen, but I've heard this can happen when stearic binds together in soap? Maybe it's stearic spots? Did you use a lot of palm? Maybe that with the shea was too much stearic?
 

Lynnz

Crafty Addict
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 16, 2009
Messages
1,984
Reaction score
357
Location
Wanganui New Zealand
Interesting I would say the spots are stearic for sure.................Are you near the bottom of your container of palm? Wonder if at some stage it melted and had some seperation occur this will cause all kinds of issues when soaped after the fact.
 

lovetosoap

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2009
Messages
73
Reaction score
2
I think it is residue in the lye. A couple brands of lye I have used caused these spots. Other brands do not. I had a bad batch of lye that I purchased from a soapmaker selling at at farmers market. She claimed she got it for a dollar a pound from an Amish community that lived close to her. I had horrible spots with the lye. the spots were not caustic either.

Then I strained the lye through a coffee filter before pouring it into my oils. It made a huge difference. There was quite a bit of undesollved residue in the filter. I suggest straining your lye solution before using it.
 

Genny

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2010
Messages
3,746
Reaction score
930
Location
NW Wisconsin
It looks like stearic and with them being harder then the rest of the soap, it sounds like stearic as well.
 

AndreaMakesSoap

Active Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2012
Messages
31
Reaction score
0
Location
Surrey, BC Canada
Cosmo said:
Weird indeed! I've never had it happen, but I've heard this can happen when stearic binds together in soap? Maybe it's stearic spots? Did you use a lot of palm? Maybe that with the shea was too much stearic?
I've never heard of stearic spots before, how interesting! Although not so cool for my awesome smelling soap! Haha. Is the soap still useable, or should I chuck it? I only use 15% Palm Kernel Flakes, and 5% Shea, although I soaped quite cool, close to room temp.

Lynnz said:
Interesting I would say the spots are stearic for sure.................Are you near the bottom of your container of palm? Wonder if at some stage it melted and had some seperation occur this will cause all kinds of issues when soaped after the fact.
I'm in the middle of the palm bag - but it's kernels, not a jug. I find them easier to work with. I figured working with a large amount of palm that you heat up over and over could cause problems.

lovetosoap said:
I think it is residue in the lye. A couple brands of lye I have used caused these spots. Other brands do not. I had a bad batch of lye that I purchased from a soapmaker selling at at farmers market. She claimed she got it for a dollar a pound from an Amish community that lived close to her. I had horrible spots with the lye. the spots were not caustic either.

Then I strained the lye through a coffee filter before pouring it into my oils. It made a huge difference. There was quite a bit of undesollved residue in the filter. I suggest straining your lye solution before using it.
I've used this lye dozens of times and I haven't had any problems with it like this. I bought a large jug of it months ago and haven't finished it yet, so I doubt it's the lye. I did have some silk powder in with the lye water, but it was dissolved before I added it to the oils.

I'm so glad for this forum, what a big help! I guess I need to keep a better eye on my temps. I've soaped too hot a few times, which caused seizing, but I didn't figure soaping too cool would hurt anything. They say you learn something new every day!

:D
 

Lynnz

Crafty Addict
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 16, 2009
Messages
1,984
Reaction score
357
Location
Wanganui New Zealand
I understand that if there has been seperation it is pretty much a matter of melting down and stirring the jibbers out of it just once. I had a soapy friend who experienced a lot of what you have just experienced and had to melt down 15kg almost. I am nervously approaching the bottom of my box of palm bought from the same supplier and getting nervous :D
 

Latest posts

Top