What is it? Dreaded... white spots?

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Marru

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Hello!

I've been making CP soaps with a high percentage of olive oil. Lately I've noticed some white spots on some of my bars. I hope you can see them in the centre of the picture. They were definitely not present when I cut the soap and the only thing I can think of is DOS. Though they're supposed to be orange...

Really appreciate any help you might have!

20160312_144317.jpg
 
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Susie

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LOL, TOMH!

Seriously, though, if you would post your entire recipe (including any additives) in weights, some of those brilliant folks should be able to tell you exactly what is going on.
 

Marru

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We call those curiously odd white spots (COWS). Sadly, the entire bar may eventually turn white.
Do you have any idea what causes them?
LOL, TOMH!

Seriously, though, if you would post your entire recipe (including any additives) in weights, some of those brilliant folks should be able to tell you exactly what is going on.

The recipe is:
72% olive oil
25% coconut oil
3% cocoa butter

and 33% lye concentration

The only additive used in this batch is white kaolin clay, 2 teaspoons (5-6 grams) for 1300g of oils.
 
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topofmurrayhill

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Do you have any idea what causes them?
When you see round spots like that, the cause is probably in the center of them. How did you go about adding the clay? I'm wondering if maybe it didn't disperse entirely evenly. Maybe the spots are caused by little lumps and whatever liquid they released...or absorbed.

I think a few people might wonder about stearin spots from the butter if it wasn't melted, but something like that would be visible from the start, not some time after you cut.
 

Marru

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When you see round spots like that, the cause is probably in the center of them. How did you go about adding the clay? I'm wondering if maybe it didn't disperse entirely evenly. Maybe the spots are caused by little lumps and whatever liquid they released...or absorbed.

I think a few people might wonder about stearin spots from the butter if it wasn't melted, but something like that would be visible from the start, not some time after you cut.
I mixed the clay with some of my oils. In another batch i mixed the clay with the essential oils. It could be something to do with the kaolin clay because so far it's only the batches with kaolin clay that have those spots. I have soaps with pink and green clays as well and those are fine.
I noticed the spots about 3-4 weeks after cutting.
 

cmzaha

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Could be the clay, but hard to tell in the picture, some think white kaolin helps whiten the batter but I do not find it help much with color, so they could be some smallish lumps of un-mixed clay. I find it much better to mix clay with some of your liquid reserved from your liquid requirement. Clays just make a thick slurry when added to a little oil, but you can add it into the soaping oils and SB well before adding your lye. Some people add their clays to their lye water, but I prefer to add them directly into my oil bucket. It is a fallacy when it comes to thinking mixing clay with fo is going to help a fading fo. In my opinion it does nothing.

If your soap does not zap it is fine and don't worry about the spots. Soaps likes to do it's own thing. DOS is Orange. I agree that your soap is probably going to turn white it does not always all at once to a nice even color. Your soap still looks wet and un-oxidized but the edges are white so I am sticking with it is going to turn white. I will also mention not all orange spots are DOS, they can be fragrance that did not completely mix or honey, if used, that did not mix.
 

Marru

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What sort of olive oil are you using?
Extra virgin olive oil, just from a local supermarket.

Could be the clay, but hard to tell in the picture, some think white kaolin helps whiten the batter but I do not find it help much with color, so they could be some smallish lumps of un-mixed clay. I find it much better to mix clay with some of your liquid reserved from your liquid requirement. Clays just make a thick slurry when added to a little oil, but you can add it into the soaping oils and SB well before adding your lye. Some people add their clays to their lye water, but I prefer to add them directly into my oil bucket. It is a fallacy when it comes to thinking mixing clay with fo is going to help a fading fo. In my opinion it does nothing.

If your soap does not zap it is fine and don't worry about the spots. Soaps likes to do it's own thing. DOS is Orange. I agree that your soap is probably going to turn white it does not always all at once to a nice even color. Your soap still looks wet and un-oxidized but the edges are white so I am sticking with it is going to turn white. I will also mention not all orange spots are DOS, they can be fragrance that did not completely mix or honey, if used, that did not mix.

Thank you so much for your reply! I will try to mix the clay with water next time, thanks!
It's a really bad picture but really the color is pretty even, yellowish. With the exception that the edges are slightly lighter color. That's another issue I have. My soaps won't often gel all the way through. Right now my oils and lye are about 46 degrees celsius (114F) when I mix them together. I have a wooden mold (with a lid) and silicone liners. So again, I'm not sure why it's not all nice and evenly colored. Any opinons on that?
 
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topofmurrayhill

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I have a wooden mold (with a lid) and silicone liners. So again, I'm not sure why it's not all nice and evenly colored. Any opinons on that?
I noticed the lighter edges but didn't really see partial gel. However, if that is a problem you can put the mold in the oven for a while at 170 F or lower after you put the batter in the mold. What lye concentration are you using? It's possible you can get a better gel with more water, but it depends on where you're at currently.
 

Marru

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I noticed the lighter edges but didn't really see partial gel. However, if that is a problem you can put the mold in the oven for a while at 170 F or lower after you put the batter in the mold. What lye concentration are you using? It's possible you can get a better gel with more water, but it depends on where you're at currently.
Yeah, it's just the edges that are lighter. I'm using a 33% lye concentrate. With my batch it's 1300g oils, 182g lye and 369g water. As I have quite a bit of olive oil I thought I should have less water. But I will try with more water next time. Thanks!
 

IrishLass

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Right here, silly!
For the partial gel with your 33% lye concentration- yep- you can either try a lower lye concentration (i.e., adding more water), or else you can continue soaping at the 33% concentration and encourage full gel by sticking your filled and covered mold in the oven for a bit.

I mostly soap the same as you- i.e., I use a 33% lye concentration and I pour into silicone or mylar-lined wooden molds w/covers- and I am best able to achieve full gel by doing all of the following:

1) Soaping anywhere between a 110F - 120F soaping temp
2) Pouring at med-thick trace
3) Covering my mold with it's cover (as well as a few cotton diapers draped over top)
4) Placing the covered/insulated mold in a preheated 110F oven which I then turn off as soon as I shut the oven door.
5) Then leaving it in there to sit and do its thing overnight all by its lonesome (I normally soap at night, right before I go to bed......unless I'm making salt bars or high % CO bars, that is. Those types can't be left alone for more than a few hours, so I make those particular formulas during the day.)
6) I unmold and cut sometime the next day, anywhere between 18 to 24 hours or so after pour (salt bars and high % CO excepted, of course).


IrishLass :)
 

Marru

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Thanks for the advice! Medium-thick trace is a bit tricky with this recipe because of all the olive oil, it just takes forever! But next time I make soap I'll take all of your recommendations into account :). Really appreciate your help!
 

penelopejane

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Thanks for the advice! Medium-thick trace is a bit tricky with this recipe because of all the olive oil, it just takes forever! But next time I make soap I'll take all of your recommendations into account :). Really appreciate your help!
I do exactly the same as IL except I pour at light trace.

I think the spots and uneven colour might be from unevenly mixed hard ingredients. I now melt my butters and hard oils, add them to the soft oils and add honey (melted in a little reserved oil or water) or clay (made into a slurry with a little reserved water) or additives then stick blend them well at this stage before the lye. This makes a big difference I think.

Then I add the lye and SB it only to light trace with the SB. If I need any further mixing I do it by hand.
 

Marru

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I do exactly the same as IL except I pour at light trace.

I think the spots and uneven colour might be from unevenly mixed hard ingredients. I now melt my butters and hard oils, add them to the soft oils and add honey (melted in a little reserved oil or water) or clay (made into a slurry with a little reserved water) or additives then stick blend them well at this stage before the lye. This makes a big difference I think.

Then I add the lye and SB it only to light trace with the SB. If I need any further mixing I do it by hand.
Thanks for your help! I will try with my next batch. But do you know why the spots become visible a few weeks after I've cut the soap? I've purchased the book Scientific soapmaking in the hopes of figuring out something about the spots because they are freaking me out :( And I don't know who or where to ask for help or opinions. I've done some reasearch online and found this thread: http://www.latheringsforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?p=59520&sid=40179c5177f24cd4064ebe9ff9a27ee8

The author seems to have the same problem. Too bad it's a topic from 2004 :grin:
 

Dahila

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clay should be mix with water not oil, and it is clay. I actually add it to the oils but I give it a good mixing then mix when pouring the lye , Never had spots of clay
 

Marru

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clay should be mix with water not oil, and it is clay. I actually add it to the oils but I give it a good mixing then mix when pouring the lye , Never had spots of clay
I've now noticed a few spots on my pink clay soap as well and the spots are white. I think if it was clay I could see a difference in the texture of the spots, but they are smooth just like the rest of the bar. But of course I will mix my clay with water next time just to be sure. :)
 

penelopejane

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I've now noticed a few spots on my pink clay soap as well and the spots are white. I think if it was clay I could see a difference in the texture of the spots, but they are smooth just like the rest of the bar. But of course I will mix my clay with water next time just to be sure. :)
I've also seen spots like that on soap where people have used shea butter.
I don't know about the time factor but "things" happen as soap cures. :)
 

NicoleS

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I know it has been awhile since this post, but I am really suffering with this problem on my soaps. Again, high extra virgin olive oil content. The white spots appears to be growing and actually taking over the bars. A bit frustrating, as I have used the very same recipe successfully for quite sometime. I am think it has something to do with olive oil quality, almost as though a better quality is causing this. Any further ideas?
 

shunt2011

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I know it has been awhile since this post, but I am really suffering with this problem on my soaps. Again, high extra virgin olive oil content. The white spots appears to be growing and actually taking over the bars. A bit frustrating, as I have used the very same recipe successfully for quite sometime. I am think it has something to do with olive oil quality, almost as though a better quality is causing this. Any further ideas?
Hello and welcome! you would be much better off posting a new topic post. You'll want to post your recipe and pictures of what you want help with as well. That way folks can help troubleshoot.

You'll also want to introduce yourself in the introduction forum and read all the stickies/rules when you have time.

We have a great group of helpful, smart people.

:)
 
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