What is this horrible gray stuff?

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PrairieLights

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This LS has been gorgeous until now, when I brought it out to add fragrances and bottle (at 6 wks). Opened for the first time.
This is the first time I actually used preservative. Liquid Germall Plus at .3 %. Kind of makes me not want to use preservatives - or use a TON.
It is gray - like when aluminum reacts. No real fuzzy stuff or anything that actually looks like mold... and it smells like wonderful LS... but WHAT?!?!?!?! in the world?!

LS 6 weeks (2).jpg


LS 6 weeks (4).jpg


LS 6 weeks (1).jpg
 

DeeAnna

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Did you use distilled water or tap water to dilute? What is your recipe?
 

PrairieLights

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Distilled water.
I have used this recipe before (without germall) without problems. Egads.
This is:
1/2 water 1/2 glycerin for lye
castor 10%
coconut 33%
olive 23%
shea 10%
sunflower 24%
SF 4%
1 t vitamin e at potato stage
1 t sodium lactate at dilution

I always sanitize everything and try to keep fam away by declaring it a "no fly" zone.

It is so strange..........Help!
(I am thinking it is trash......... which means I had better start a new batch today...)
 

DeeAnna

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Nothing is jumping out at me as being a problem, so I hope others may have some good suggestions for you.

I always use LGP in my diluted soap at 0.5% by weight. I've got a handful of batches under my belt and have never seen this kind of problem, so I can't say I'd blame the LGP without better evidence that it really is the culprit.
 

PrairieLights

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I agree. As much as I'd like to blame preservatives, I am reasonably sure that is not the problem. But it is so strange. It really looks like when aluminum reacts with... something familiar that is just not coming to me. I use stainless for my stick blender and whisk (if I use it)... spatula is that soaping rubber plastic stuff - wow, my brain is just not working to come up with the word!... bamboo stirring spoon if I use it... glass mason jar..... just no aluminum anywhere!
I hope someone can shed light on it before I just throw it out and try again (ack). The one picture does show the previous batch leftovers - same recipe - nice and golden without any gray. That batch is 4 months old.
:confused::confused::confused:
 

DeeAnna

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I looked at the canning jar lid and ring for deterioration too. Didn't see anything obvious in your pic.
 

cmzaha

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I also use LGP in all liquid and cream soaps with no problems. Sorry cannot help you with what it is, since it is gray.
 

Seawolfe

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When did you add the Germall? I know it needs to be below a certain temp for lotion making. But I thought that was just for it to be effective...

It cant be the superfat separating can it? I guess you could add some PS 80 to see if it is?
 

kchaystack

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The superfat you list is 4%, which is higher than most on here use. Could maybe you have weighed your KOH wrong, or it was old and not at full strength?

Also this is already diluted right? If it is - it could just be oil separating out ...
 

DeeAnna

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If this was white, I'd be wondering about superfat separating out too. The gray color is throwing me.
 

PrairieLights

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Me too - the gray is perplexing - spent so much time googling to find out if there is gray bacteria or something... It totally looks like it is reacting to something (to me).
4% SF doesn't worry me; sometimes I use 5%. The glimpse of soap next to this gray-film-on-top-soap was the same recipe and fine. The lye is not old. Everything but the top looks great.
If it is just some weird reaction, perhaps I can scoop the gray out and use the soap... (husband's solution)... but if it indicates a more insidious and harmful problem, our sensitive-skin family should not be using it. (nor should anyone, of course). And even a few days ago, everything looked fine from the outside. Ugh. I hate to throw out 1/2 gallon of soap.
And if some fat was lingering on the top, and it decided to go bad, it would smell... in my mind anyway. And then (again in my head) the butters or oils in my possession would also be indicating some form of naughtiness... Hmmmmmmmm........... I sit here with my head in my hands and tilt over to see on our right "the word association game" and realize I should probably log off before I .... gray.... HAIR... oops, there I go. This horrible gray stuff is my hair graying as I try to figure this out! ;-) Did I lose you? Ha.
 

Susie

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If you have a plastic turkey baster, I would probably be guilty of trying to suck off the grey stuff. I would not be tossing a half gallon of liquid soap.
 

Susie

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LOL, indeed! I use one in the aquarium (I do not use it for any other purpose.) to push "stuff" off the rocks to the substrate so I can vacuum it out. I have one in my soaping stuff for design purposes. I even have a couple in the drawer for actual food. (And yes, I know the other use.)
 
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Soapmaker145

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I think you are looking at a combination of excess oil plus unsaponifiable matter from your oils, most likely the Shea butter. They tend to float to the top during storage. Did you use raw or refined bleached shea butter?
 

PrairieLights

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Follow up: Turkey baster worked. Sucked it off, let it sit, and it stayed fine. Used it for our own soap and no problems. I am reducing the SF to 3%. First time using shea in LS and wonder if that is what threw my recipe off. Raw, refined, or bleached? Organic refined. It's grainy, too. :-( Thank you all for your help. Now off to ask for more help on lye master batching............
 

Saipan

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I don't know, but is it just me or is it wearing white sunglasses in the second photo?
 

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