What are these white speckles?

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rosyrobyn

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Does anyone know what happened here? The batter looked nice and smooth when I poured, popped it in the oven for about an hour at 170F then turned it off. I peeked in several hours later and this is what I saw:

SpeckledSide.JPG


SpeckledTop.JPG
 

DeeAnna

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Perhaps a bit of overheating during full gel based on the bubbling on the soap where it touched the mold. Also I'm thinking the grainy bits on top of the soap might be bits of stearic soap that can develop when a soap goes into gel and then cools slowly. Or the grainy bits might possibly be ash -- it can sometimes look like that too. Hard to say.

First suggestion -- if you feel it's important to CPOP, heat the oven to about 150 deg F, and then turn it off when you put the soap in the mold. Your soap probably doesn't need that much heat for that long. Second suggestion -- try soaping with a more concentrated lye solution (less water). Try 30% lye concentration for starters if you have been using "full water". Work up to 33% lye concentration and see what works best for you.

ETA -- Thought I'd add there's nothing wrong with the soap as far as being good to use. This is mainly an appearance issue.
 
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rosyrobyn

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I recently used a similar recipe to this one and it had a partial gel when left on the countertop so I thought I would try CPOP to prevent that. I forgot to preheat the oven so I think I overcompensated by leaving it in the oven with the heat on.

Is the soap still safe to be used? Is it just an aesthetic thing or should I rebatch? It doesn't zap.
 

KristaY

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That happens to me when I CPOP in certain individual cavity molds. Makes me crazy. There's a theory that using certain types of silicone can react like that during CPOP. I tried all the suggestions DeeAnna just gave and it helped reduce the bubbles but didn't eliminate them which probably just speaks to the type of silcone I have. I don't get them at all if I just leave them to saponify on the counter at room temp so that's the route I take these days. It doesn't go through gel phase (which I normally prefer) but that's a heck of a lot better than those ridiculous, annoying bubbles. :evil:
 

rosyrobyn

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Forgot to add the recipe I used:

25% OO
20% CO
50% lard
5% castor
1/4tsp purple ultramarine (just a touch for color so I can tell one batch from another)

SF 5%
Lye concentration 33%
Batch size: 1.3lbs
Soaped at 110F
 

KristaY

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I recently used a similar recipe to this one and it had a partial gel when left on the countertop so I thought I would try CPOP to prevent that. I forgot to preheat the oven so I think I overcompensated by leaving it in the oven with the heat on.

Is the soap still safe to be used? Is it just an aesthetic thing or should I rebatch? It doesn't zap.
I ended up shredding mine and adding as confetti to another batch. Not only did it look horrible but it had an odd texture I didn't like, almost sticky/greasy. That went away after about a week of curing but since those buggars were such an embarrassment, into the salad shooter they went.
 

rosyrobyn

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Confetti it is then. It was sticky coming out of the mold compared to my other batches that all popped out nice and smooth. I'll give this recipe another try today and skip the CPOP. I'd rather have a partial gel than this weird soap.
 

Seawolfe

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I gave up on CPOP after some overheated and sticky batches. I use heating pads and insulation if needed.
 

DeeAnna

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I've done pretty much the same thing, Seawolfe. Started out with the "170 for 1 hour" method and ran into problems. Nowadays if I want to keep a soap warm during saponification, I usually preheat the oven on its "keep warm" setting (about 140 F) for 5-10 minutes, turn the oven off, and put my soap in. That seems to work pretty well most of the time.

But more often of late I lightly cover the soap with a towel and that's usually good enough. If a soap doesn't get hot enough so it stays rather soft and powdery feeling, I'll do an after-the-fact CPOP to the saponified soap. That actually works surprisingly well -- the soap firms up and gets that slightly translucent waxy "gelled" look that I like, just as if I CPOP'ed it during saponification.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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Confetti it is then. It was sticky coming out of the mold compared to my other batches that all popped out nice and smooth. I'll give this recipe another try today and skip the CPOP. I'd rather have a partial gel than this weird soap.


Still give cpop a go - it's not the method itself that went wrong per se, rather it was done at too high a temperature.
 

navigator9

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The definition of CPOP seems to have changed over the years. Back when I learned to soap, going on ten years now, this was how I understood it. Turn your oven on to it's lowest setting and put your mold in to pre-heat while you're soaping. When you're ready to pour, take the mold out, pour, put it back in the oven, and turn the oven off. I leave it in the oven overnight and unmold and cut the next morning. I CPOP almost every batch, and I've used silicone molds from various suppliers, Upland, WSP, Nurture, Ebay, Aliexpress, Kudos, Etsy, different colors of silicone, log molds and individual molds and I've never had bubbling or blisters...ever. I have had "brains" when I forgot to turn the oven off right away, but never the blisters that people get on the surfaces of the soap that touch the mold. We've been over this many times in this forum, trying to get to the bottom of what causes it, with no definite answer yet, but I think many of us feel that overheating is at least part of the problem. The purpose of CPOP is to gently warm the soap enough to insure gel all the way to the edges, that's it. Not to cook the soap. I hope someday we can figure it out.
 

DeeAnna

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I suppose the "170 degree for an hour or more" version of CPOP is on a par with "HP needs no cure" and "lye and fats must be at the same temp" and similar ideas. As long as these myths are kept alive in various internet sources and soaping books, we're going to have to deal with them.

I can't tell you why I knew about the "170 degree for an hour or more" CPOP method early on in my soaping career, but I did and I used it for a number of batches. Finally stopped after realizing it was causing more problems than it was solving.
 

IrishLass

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Right here, silly!
I can't tell you why I knew about the "170 degree for an hour or more" CPOP method early on in my soaping career, but I did and I used it for a number of batches. Finally stopped after realizing it was causing more problems than it was solving.
I was just reading a bunch of old CPOP posts from 2002 - 2005 in the archives of the soap forum where I happened to have cut my soaping teeth 10 years ago. It was some very good reading........ It proved to me that no matter what new info comes to light, the old arguments still rage on. lol

Anyway, in the earlier posts going back to 2002, a good handful of the more experienced soapers back then wrote that the ideal time and temperature for CPOP were variable- based on whatever it took to get the soap to go through gel. Some people liked to set their oven to 200F, some to 180F, some to 170F, some liked to leave the oven on for 1 hour, some for 2 hours, some turned it off as soon as the soap gelled and then left it in the oven overnight, while some took it out as soon as it gelled and left it covered on the counter to cool, etc.... And then there were others who stated they had quit CPOPing because of problems with bubbles forming, etc.. These latter ones had found out that it was plenty enough to just insulate the mold and/or use very low heat instead to encourage their soap to gel.

Then as time went on, though (closer to about 2005/6), it seems that less and less of the more experienced soapers would chime in anymore whenever a newbie came on to ask about how to CPOP, leaving an opening for incomplete info to oftentimes get propagated without being challenged. More and more of the questions began to be answered (unchallenged) like so: "CP as normal, stick the soap in the oven @170F for 1 hour, then turn the oven off and leave it in there overnight."

It was also interesting to read in the earlier 2002/3 posts that several were CPOPing to cut down on or bypass cure, which I think may have been the reason for some of the higher temps and longest times in the oven.......but then some of the more experienced at CPOPing would chime in every so often to say that they had found out through the trial and error of leaving their CPOPed soap to sit out for several weeks longer before using, that cure actually mattered very much. Their cured CPOPed soaps were longer-lasting and milder than their younger versions....... LOL Fourteen years later and the myth of the quick 'n easy cure still rages on.


IrishLass :)
 

DeeAnna

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What is old is new again, hey? Thanks for the history lesson, IL. As always, your posts are always a good read and educational. I was struck by your perception of the ebb and flow in information over time -- I wonder why the more experienced soapers were so scarce or quiet in the 2005-06 era?
 

Steve85569

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I'm surprised that the chemists didn't chime in to remind us all the soap will gel at different temperatures based on lye concentration, sugars present and oils used.

But then I guess I just did.:think:
I have had similar recipe's gel on the counter. I like DeeAnna's approach. Leave it out and covered "wait and see". If not to my liking I can always put a little heat on it.
 

TeresaT

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I'm impatient. I CPOP. I like the look of a gelled soap. (And, burning your hands on unsaponified soap really sux!) I turn the oven on to "warm" when I start my gathering of supplies. I turn it off just after I fill the mold. This is about the only time I use the digital thermometer. I check the oven temp. If it is too hot, I leave the soap out for a little while until the oven cools off. But usually, I just put the mold on a cookie sheet and cover it with a box or some plastic wrap, put it in the oven and then go to bed. I've only had a problem one time and that's the first time I tried to "CPOP" my soap. And did it completely wrong. I thought CPOP meant to cook the soap in the oven. So I poured it, put it in the oven and it volcanoed. Burning soap stinks and it's a PITA to clean up, although my oven was sparkling. Lesson well learned.
 

DeeAnna

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I remember that one, Teresa -- you were pretty miffed about it! :)
 

rosyrobyn

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Tried again yesterday and left the mold on the countertop overnight. Same recipe just looks so much better! I'm still going to try to CPOP but I think I'll wait until I'm doing larger batches like a log mold. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm thinking a larger batch would be easier to maintain temperature. So much to learn, thank you everyone!

IMG_0190.JPG
 

Steve85569

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I'm impatient. I CPOP. I like the look of a gelled soap. (And, burning your hands on unsaponified soap really sux!) I turn the oven on to "warm" when I start my gathering of supplies. I turn it off just after I fill the mold. This is about the only time I use the digital thermometer. I check the oven temp. If it is too hot, I leave the soap out for a little while until the oven cools off. But usually, I just put the mold on a cookie sheet and cover it with a box or some plastic wrap, put it in the oven and then go to bed. I've only had a problem one time and that's the first time I tried to "CPOP" my soap. And did it completely wrong. I thought CPOP meant to cook the soap in the oven. So I poured it, put it in the oven and it volcanoed. Burning soap stinks and it's a PITA to clean up, although my oven was sparkling. Lesson well learned.
Funny. That's how I clean my oven too.:mrgreen:
NOT fun AT ALL. But it does leave me with a real clean oven.
 
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