What soapy thing have you done today?

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I’m on holiday for the past few weeks and have been recovering from surgery.
So tire more easily, but slowly been tackling all my inventory and finally adding them to soapmaker.(still a long way to go)

I called in a carpenter to measure and quote for some extra overhead cupboards for my soaping stuff which is stored in every nook and cranny I can find.

Yesterday I decided to sort out my hard oils as they usually come in plastic bags inside of a box. I prefer to pour them into buckets for ease of use and they can be sealed. It was 40 degrees Celsius plus and my previously hard coconut oil was liquid so that was easy to pour.
I left my palm oil outside in the shade for a few hours and it melted and that was done.

For the first time I bought PKO and saw that this took a long time to melt and furthermore it hardened so quickly as well.
I got my son to assist as it was a big block, and some spilled on the floor as we poured. Oh the clean up! The oil hardened so quickly we had to scrape it off first before mopping up numerous items.

Now I’m seriously wondering how to use PKO. I had been thinking to use it as half of my CO, but I’m worried the batter will accelerate and I won’t be able to make swirls etc.

Can anyone who uses this regularly kindly offer some tips and assistance?
As always, so grateful for all the support and support from all of you.

Thank you so much.
 
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@bookworm
Oof, what a mess! Nearly sounds like a wax spill. If I had to choose between cleaning up a wax spill or a lye spill, I'd decide for the lye 😑.

Was this PKO the variant with natural composition (refined/RBD), or hydrogenated (“PKO flakes”)? The non-hydrogenated PKO behaves almost identical to coconut oil (i. e. it fully melts on skin and causes a strong cooling sensation). I haven't worked with hydrogenated PKO yet, but from the data sheets, at 40°C any type of PKO should be a clear, freely running liquid 🤔.

In any case, lauric oils (PKO, CO, babaçu), used at moderate percentages (20% or less), are rarely the culprit when it comes to false trace (hampering swirls etc.). It takes a lot of heat energy to break up their molecular crystal structure (hence the stubborn melting & cooling effect!), and this energy keeps (at least should keep) the molecules from forming a solid again any time quickly, especially when there are other fat molecules (soft oils) in the way.
Do you have some dirty scrap PKO left over (or some of the salvaged stuff to spare)? You could, e. g. blend it 1:2 with some liquid oil, just to play around with it, observe the melting behaviour of PKO-containing oil blends, and gain self-confidence in handling this stuff.
I myself never had acceleration issues with PKO (neither with CO).
 
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I use PKO either instead of CO, or as an even split with CO in my recipe. Just like CO, it speeds up my recipe just a tad.

I don't use more than 20% total CO + PKO. You may experience more acceleration if you use more of it.

But I do love it and find it is worth the trouble of melting (or excavating into manageable chunks) so it can be divided into a smaller container.
 
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Thank you both you @ AliOop & @Resolvable Owl.

@AliOop, I'm fairly certain I read your advise to someone else about using PKO, & as I have such confidence in you, I decided to try some.

So glad for the tips.

Do you melt yours separately from the other hard oils?

@Resolvable Owl, as per your suggestion I'm thinking to make a teeny batch to test first. Unfortunately I threw away the scrapings, so I'll use from the clean batch.

Below is the website description of the PKO I purchased:-

Highly sought after RSPO Palm Kernel Oil is a wonderful ingredient for Cold Processed Soap. Replace some of the Coconut and/or the Palm Oil for a harder, whiter, silkier bar. Palm Kernel is a hard, solid white oil, and has a higher melting point than regular Palm. Its use ensures a big and stable lather and creates a smoother, tighter texture than Palm Oil.

Also known as PKO, it is very stable, resists oxidation and has an excellent shelf life.

Use Palm Kernel Oil in Cold Process Soap at 10 - 20% - however, it will speed up trace a bit!

Thank you once again, greatly appreciated.
 
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@bookworm thank you for the kind words. I've learned much from wonderful soapers here, and it's fun to pass that on to others who are enthusiastic about learning.

To answer your question, I melt the PKO with the other hard oils, which are typically some combination of lard, tallow, and CO - sometimes a touch of cocoa butter. As an aside, since I don't use a high percentage of shea butter, and since it melts easily, I tend to add it to the rest of the already-melted hard oils.

FWIW, I've never tried the heat transfer method with PKO, and probably wouldn't - just in case there wasn't enough heat to fully melt it. I sometimes get false trace with PKO when using room temp MB lye solution. I either stick-blend through it, or stir and wait a few minutes for the batter to heat up and smooth it out.

HTH, and have fun with your PKO!
 
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I wholeheartedly second @AliOop !

Highly sought after RSPO Palm Kernel Oil is a wonderful ingredient for Cold Processed Soap. Replace some of the Coconut and/or the Palm Oil for a harder, whiter, silkier bar. Palm Kernel is a hard, solid white oil, and has a higher melting point than regular Palm. Its use ensures a big and stable lather and creates a smoother, tighter texture than Palm Oil.

Also known as PKO, it is very stable, resists oxidation and has an excellent shelf life.

Use Palm Kernel Oil in Cold Process Soap at 10 - 20% - however, it will speed up trace a bit!
😬 What a glorious little piece of PR blah! Some useful information in there, but diluted with soothing words for CP newbies, and seasoned with some questionable semi-knowledge.
Just a detail: it is outright impossible to compare PO and PKO. Oils don't have a “melting point”, but a melting range. PO is notorious for having one of the widest melting ranges of all oils (depending on what you call room temperature, it has a consistency anywhere between a buttery solid and pancake batter) – you have to heat it up quite a bit to get all the stearin granules melted, but it will keep a somewhat buttery creaminess (no “snap” like chocolate) even in the fridge. PKO, though, is one of those with the sharpest melting profiles.
Not to mention the entirely different fatty acid composition, that makes PKO a terrible replacement for PO when you're using PO to create a hard, long-lasting bar soap.

And what is a “tight texture”, and do I want to have it in soap???
 
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Yesterday I wrapped all the soaps for donation to one of the local homeless shelters, and today's soapy thing will be DH dropping them off there. It was ~100 soaps, most of them full-sized. The only ones I cut down were the ones that wouldn't fit into the cello bags. Normally I do cut them all, but most were quite well cured, and I didn't want to break a wire on the cutter.

Now the curing rack is pretty much empty, except for the last 8 bars of a huge rebatch soap that a friend really loves; he will get the rest of those when he runs out of the current installment.

Of course, I still have quite a few bars in my private stash. DH goes through soap pretty quickly, so the next soapy thing will be to sort through my "gotta try this" list and decide which ones to make next. :)
 

gww

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I tried my first aloe soap today. Still a meat heavy recipe. The soap when I just molded it looks a bit pink compared to my very normal white that the meat makes. My daughter brought all her soap making stuff to my house at xmas and she had bought a giant aloe leaf. My wife always has aloe around and rather then waste what my daughter bought, I thought I would try it and see if it was worth it. Time will tell.
Cheers
gww
 
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Day job canceled for a few days until I can get a post-exposure test. Guess as soon as I get over my anxiety attack I’ll go make soap! I have a batch half way made, just have to get it done!
 
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I’ve been strategizing this dang soap for a week! It’s very possible that all my flowers floated off their stems and/or I have a ton of air pockets. Finally just had to go for it. Scented with Sambucs from NS which I think smells green herb and floral, but non specifically gendered. Here are my left over soaps. At least they’re cute.
 

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gww

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Should have turned the oven on or put in a cool place.
aloe.jpg

Is the pink normal in soap with fresh aloe instead of water or did I let it get too hot when mixing the lye. Just curious cause it does not smell and is not my first partial gel and they all seem to clean ok.
Cheers
gww
Ps good luck on your test member tashabird
 
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@gww
That's a colour that is at least not the normal case for aloe vera. Have you removed the “blood” from the aloe leaves? (placing the AV gel into water to wash away the tiny amount of brownish sap).
There are threads to find in SMF (and elsewhere in the interwebz) about AV: why the dark, liquid sap should be avoided, and one should only use the gel without that sap (the stuff bottled as “AV juice” is the crystal clear, colourless gel that turns liquid when it's puréed and cooked). Someone to jump in who is more expert on aloe than me?

Keep us posted how it behaves through curing, and what effect on lather you notice!

Maybe @TheStrand is interested in this happy accident?
 

gww

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Resolvableowl
I did not remove the latex from the leaf. I done had it frozen in cube trays by the time I figured that out. It was clear to milky when I froze it. I guess I will rub a little on the inside of my arm at the elbow and see what it does before I use it whole hog.

I got a feeling it is going to work ok for me as I have never had an allergy that I know of but do know some are allergic to latex. Too late to worry about now and I will know more in 4 to 8 weeks. I did watch several videos and my lye solution seemed to progress properly and straining chunks looked the same as the videos.

I have used up all my stuff again, almost and so this might be my last hurrah for a bit and so it is what it is. My cutter did a good job anyway. :) I am interested in comments though.
Cheers
gww

Ps I did read it will darken if you let it get too hot and I did use cubes but did not also mix with the container in an ice bath.
 
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