What happened to my beeswax/honey/shea soap?

Discussion in 'Lye-Based Soap Forum' started by SoapSisters, Jun 19, 2019.

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  1. Jun 19, 2019 #1

    SoapSisters

    SoapSisters

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    Hi everyone, I appreciate some thoughts about the soap I just made. I've used beeswax, shea and honey a couple of times before, but this time something went wrong! There are little brownish and white spots in the soap. Here's the recipe:

    Olive oil 70%

    Coconut oil 13%

    Shea butter 10%

    Castor oil 5%

    Beeswax 2%

    Total oils: 500 grams

    Goat milk as liquid

    2:1 GM to lye ratio

    Additive: 1 teaspoon honey

    Essential oils: juniper, litsea and orange blend (smells wonderful!) at 3%


    I dissolved the lye in frozen goat milk. That was fine. It was about room temperature when I added it to my oils.

    My oils: I combined my liquid oils (OO and CO) in one bowl and melted the shea, beeswax and honey together in a glass bowl in the microwave. Even at this point I noticed something was off, because there were what looked like little bubbles of oil that wouldn't combine with the rest. I wasn't sure if I had overheated or not heated enough. (Why didn't I stop at this point and reflect on the situation??!! Good question!) I then heated the OO and CO just a little so that the other mixture wouldn't solidify upon contact.

    I combined all the oils, added the GM/lye mixture, and the soap traced normally. I've done a zap test. No zap. Are the spots unmelted beeswax? Separated shea? Honey? (I searched the forum and found out there's such a thing as honey dots.) The texture of the brown spots seems soft, but there is also something that feels grainy in the soap.

    I've searched the forum for better (smarter!) ways to add honey, so I'm not asking anyone to repeat advice that's already been given. I just really wanted to know what the problem is and if the soap is okay to use. It's just for personal use.
     

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  2. Jun 19, 2019 #2

    TheDragonGirl

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    That seems like way too little honey to have done something odd, but I've never worked with beeswax before The little hard spots might be stearic? It doesn't seem a recipe high in stearic acid but thats all I can think of. Maybe someone will chime in with more experience. I've never had trouble using honey in my soaps though, and I use 1tbs ppo.
     
  3. Jun 19, 2019 #3

    Obsidian

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    I think those are honey spots. I'm betting the little blobs in your beeswax mix was the honey not mixing in since its a water based ingredient.

    One sure way to tell is to dig out a dark spot and taste it. If its sweet, its honey.

    The grittiness could be from oils cooling around the spots faster then the rest of the soap.

    As long as it doesn't zap, it's safe to use.
     
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  4. Jun 19, 2019 #4

    earlene

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    When your hot oils get bubbles like that on the surface, you can spray with alcohol and the bubbles will pop. Some hard oils tend to froth a bit when melting them in the microwave and rather than stirring down the bubbles, I find an alcohol spritz on the top is more effective. Don't worry about the alcohol remaining in your soap; you're only using a little bit plus it evaporates off quickly.

    Shea can get grainy in soap, particularly when it is heated then cools down too slowly. Here is a way to prevent that in future: https://www.fromnaturewithlove.com/library/sheabutter.asp
     
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  5. Jun 19, 2019 #5

    shunt2011

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    I agree with obsidian, honey is water soluble. probably beaded up in your mix. Also, if you didn't soap warm enough your beeswax or shea could have hardened too much.
     
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  6. Jun 19, 2019 #6

    SoapSisters

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    Thanks for all your help and advice!!! :)
     
  7. Jun 19, 2019 #7

    IrishLass

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    Right here, silly!
    I'd venture to say that the dark blobs are either honey spots and/or beeswax spots. I used to be plagued with honey spots whenever using honey in my soap until I changed my mixing method by slightly diluting my honey with a little bit of water and then adding it directly to my cooled-off lye solution before adding to my oils. Works like a charm at keeping honey spots at bay, and also at preventing overheating issues as my soap goes through gel (I like to gel all my soaps).

    I don't know how hot or cool you soaped, but beeswax can be tricky to soap. As long as you keep the batter temp above a certain level, though, it will do great. At least it does for me. For what it's worth, here is a blow-by-blow description of how I make my honey beeswax soap: https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/my-experimental-honey-beeswax-soap.55689/#post-536352

    The white spots look like stearic spots....most likely from the shea butter. Whenever I soap with butters and other high-stearic fats, I try to not let my batter temp go below 110 degreesF/43 degreesC. Whenever I do, I usually end up with stearic spots.


    IrishLass :)
     
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  8. Jun 20, 2019 #8

    SoapSisters

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    Thanks, @IrishLass! I'm going to try your method for adding honey next time!

    Maybe beeswax and shea butter in the same recipe is not a good idea? Because the beeswax needs high temps and the shea butter shouldn't get too hot?
     

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