What did I do wrong?

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MrWalker1750

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Here was my recipe:
45% Olive Oil
20% Coconut Oil
15% Safflower Oil
10% Castor Oil
5% Shea Butter
5% Cocoa Butter

The last time I used Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter, I used around 10% of each and my soap traced really quick. I tried different fragrances and had the same quick trace.

So on this recipe I reduced the amounts to 5% each and I mixed just beyond emulsification. Everything seemed to go well. I separated and colored and poured into the silicone loaf mold. I usually set the set mix in the fridge afterward to prevent gel-ing. And I'm usually able to cut the next night.

Well...the mix was still really soft. So I let it sit out for a day...and another day...and another day almost nearly a week. And I just had to remove it (partly because I needed to use that mold).

It ruined. The top of the soap seemed hard, but the bottom was very soft play-do like texture.

What did I do.
 

shunt2011

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How much lye and liquid did you use? What size batch? You have a whole lot of liquid oils (70%) in there and 10% Castor could be part of the problem as well. I generally don't exceed 5-7%. Freezing it before unmolding would have probably helped too.
 

penelopejane

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This has happened to me before and I think I didn't reach trace. Do you think this might have happened to you? I use just about the same recipe as you (including with 10% castor) and have done lots of successful batches.

I even warmed the oven to 100deg F turned it off and put the soap in wrapped in a blanket overnight. One of mine is still soft and sort of translucent 2 months later. The other is firmer but translucent and a bit weird. I think I should have kept mixing a bit longer with both.
 
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dixiedragon

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What temps were your oils and lye water when you mixed? It is possible that you got "false trace" meaning the oils cooled enough to begin solidifying.

But also with your 70% of soft oils (especially the olive) it might just take a while to firm up.

You say you can usually cut the next day - this same recipe?
 

MrWalker1750

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Thank you all for the responses. I forgot to add this detail as well the liquid portion of the lye mixture was goats milk.

What temps were your oils and lye water when you mixed?
It was 100 degrees oils, and 90 degrees lye mixture.

You say you can usually cut the next day - this same recipe?
When I say I can usually cut the next day, with all other recipes I've used. This one no. I've made a similar recipe with more hard oils and I cut it the next day. I've made a bastille soap with 60% Olive oil and 25% coconut oil and cut it the next day.

Thanks again for your help
 

lionprincess00

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Thank you all for the responses. I forgot to add this detail as well the liquid portion of the lye mixture was goats milk.



It was 100 degrees oils, and 90 degrees lye mixture.


When I say I can usually cut the next day, with all other recipes I've used. This one no. I've made a similar recipe with more hard oils and I cut it the next day. I've made a bastille soap with 60% Olive oil and 25% coconut oil and cut it the next day.

Thanks again for your help

Exactly how many oz or grams was the gm, water, lye and oils? Sorry if you mentioned it (i didnt notice if you did). It'll help to troubleshoot :)
 

Steve85569

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When I poke the percentages ( no weights) of oils in to soapcalc and leave the defaults on it shows 62.17 grams of lye to a pound of oils ( 13.5% to weight of oil).
 

MrWalker1750

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12.3 oz Olive Oil
5.46 oz Coconut oil
2.7 oz Castor Oil
4.1 oz Safflower oil
1.3 oz Cocoa Butter
1.3 oz Shea Butter
3.6 oz Lye
9 oz of Goat Milk
 

Rowan

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I'm new to running other people's recipes through soapcalc, but as far as I can tell with the figures you gave, you have an 8% superfat and 28.5% lye concentration. IMHO I think the superfat is too high and the lye concentration is too low with such a high proportion of olive oil. I would be tempted to try the same recipe with a lower superfat of 5% and set the lye concentration to 33%.

I'm sure someone with more experience will be along to advise. I think your recipe should firm up with time, once the water has evaporated. I've had some really soft recipes firm up much better out of the mould.
 

Obsidian

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I make my soaps with a 8% SF, including my castile. It doesn't affect how fast/slow it sets up. First thing I though is it wasn't mixed enough. I would give it a couple days, if its still soft on bottom or zaps, you can rebatch it.
 

IrishLass

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I ran things through SoapCalc and this is what I was able to glean:

-Your recipe is very much on the soft side and has a fairly high amount of linoleic acid in it (18%-worth, which could make things DOS-prone)

-Your use of 100% milk as your liquid more than likely will have bumped your 8% superfat up to a higher %. I don't know exactly how high without knowing the fatty content of your milk, but it's not out of the real of possibility that your soap could actually have at least as high of a super-fat as 10% or so.

-The 28.5 lye concentration (water to lye amount) is pretty much considered to be a 'full-water' amount, which is not the best amount of liquid to use with a soft recipe. Basically, soft recipe + high liquid = a soap that will take forever to harden and unmold........especially if it did not gel.

From your description of it being partly hard and having soft play dough-like texture on the bottom, it sounds like it either didn't gel all the way, or it wasn't mixed as thoroughly as you may have hoped it was.

Do you still have the soap? If so, I'd go ahead and keep it, cut it into bars and let it cure. It may turn out quite lovely on your skin.

Next time, I'd do these things differently with the formula:

-I'd use less liquid (a 33% lye concentration is good with this kind of formula, i.e., a 2:1 water:lye ratio);

-I'd reduce the safflower until the recipe contained a max of 15% linoleic tops, and add the extra to the olive;

-If using all-milk as my liquid, I'd take the super-fat down to 5%.

-I'd mix things a little bit more thoroughly.


If you ever find that you have a hard time removing soft soap from a mold, stick it in the freezer for a day or 2. It should unmold quite nicely then.


IrishLass :)
 

MrWalker1750

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Thank you all for your help and suggestions. I am going to make soap tonight using Irish's suggestions. Thank you so much.
 

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