What to Do: Used Lemon EO in CP Soap - Is This Causing the Sweat?

Soapmaking Forum - Soap & Candle Forums

Help Support Soapmaking Forum - Soap & Candle Forums:

Arlo

Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2018
Messages
24
Reaction score
2
Location
California
I made a CP soap yesterday. My plan was to use orange EO. When I learned that it would affect the color of the soap, I decided to combine it with lemon EO (1/3 orange; 2/3 lemon). Now with some limited research, I think that was a mistake. After 26 hours, I noticed some beads of "sweat" on the surface of the loaf. I blotted it with a paper towel but it keeps coming back and now it covers even more of the top. I thought it was hard enough to take out at 26 hours, but when I cut a piece it was quite soft so I stopped. I am now letting it sit exposed, just sitting on it's parchment paper which seemed like a logical thing to do, but what do I know!

I live in a relatively dry climate. The humidity in my house is 50.

In addition... I'm now seeing there are brown flecks that appear to be the ground dried orange rind I put in. This is going from bad to worse! I don't imagine there's anything I can do about this. Given that I'm a beginner and this was my first swirl, I'm fine with chalking this up to my lack of experience, but I want to learn from it!

I'd love some input on:
- what I did wrong (was it the lemon EO?)?
- what should I do? (should I keep blotting it?)
- is there hope for this soap???
orange swirl loaf 10-2-19.jpg orange swirl 10-2-19.jpg
Thank you!
 

Ashleigh

Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2018
Messages
72
Reaction score
154
Location
Canada
I would suggest first trying to blot it off again and put a fan on it. It is likely just sweating from the humidity so this will help dry it out. Have you zap tested?

The orange rinds aren't something that will dissolve during the soap making process (at least from my experience) so those spots are there to stay. They're an exfoliant and you may find they add a scratchiness to the soap depending on how finely ground they are.

I would suggest posting your recipe so the more experienced soapers can take a look to see if there's anything else that could be causing it the sweating, but that would be my first guess.

Very nice swirls :)
 

Arlo

Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2018
Messages
24
Reaction score
2
Location
California
Good idea about posting my recipe:
77% olive oil
10% canola oil
10% coconut oil
3% castor oil
superfat 4%
essential oil 3% (1/3 orange; 2/3 lemon)
Water % of oil: 38%

I have been blotting and it seems to be sweating less. No, I have not tried the zap test.
 

Obsidian

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2013
Messages
10,357
Reaction score
8,235
Location
Idaho, USA
First off, do not zap test this yet, its too young. Soap can take up to three days to fully saponify, I wait at least a week before testing to give the soap time to do its thing.

The EO shouldn't be the cause of this. Most likely the soap got a little too warm and caused it to leak. It could be FO, glycerin or even caustic water.

Its best to give the soap a chance to absorb the drops. A fan is a good idea to help dry it out.
If its still leaking when its ready to cut, then blot it.
 

DeeAnna

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
13,512
Reaction score
19,534
Location
USA
With that much canola and olive and using "38% water as % of oils", the lye concentration for your recipe is around 27%. (This is not "water as % of oils".) IMO, you'd be better off with a 33% to 40% lye concentration. You're on the edge of too much water for a high oleic soap -- that might be some of the reason why you're getting the liquid ooze.

Stepping on my soapbox -- This is a good example of why "water as % of oils" isn't helpful -- lye concentration or water:lye ratio are better ways to determine the water content for a recipe. -- Stepping off soapbox

I agree with Obsidian -- zap testing a fresh soap, especially if there are problem signs such as this ooze that is still oozing, isn't going to be helpful. If what you want to know is whether the soap is ultimately going to be skin safe, waiting a week (or even 2) before testing will give you that answer.
 

amd

Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2015
Messages
4,070
Reaction score
6,150
Location
South Dakota
I always have this problem when using EO's (maybe I'm special, I dunno, as others do not seem to have this problem). I add my EO to my oils upfront, so I know it isn't caused by not having mixed enough. I leave the soap for a few days (no blotting) and the EO slick goes away. It's a pain to cut at that point, but still better than trying to handle it with the ooze. I have accepted this as part of the nature of EO's, and that's why I don't use very many anymore.
 

Nanette

Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2019
Messages
513
Reaction score
410
Location
Tucson AZ y
I wonder if it is orange and lemon in particular that may cause oozing....I have never had that problem with other eos...
 

Arlo

Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2018
Messages
24
Reaction score
2
Location
California
Thank you all for your replies. I'm trying to digest them all... Particularly yours, DeeAnna, which I'm going to have to reread a few times to understand! I don't quite get this lye concentration stuff yet. But in the meantime I just wanted to add that I made a soap a few months ago (no swirl) with ground dried Meyer lemon rind and it worked out really well. Very pretty, no brown spots, but a different recipe: 90% OO, 6% coco, 4% castor; no superfat; no fragrance; no colorant. In my current problematic batch, the ground rind was added to just 1/2 the soap (the base).

I have to read up on the zap test as I've never done it. I will wait as suggested. It never occurred to me that the soap might not be safe to use!

This morning sweating has stopped, but I did blot a lot last night. But brown spots are more present, looking like DOS. Still too soft to cut.
 

DeeAnna

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
13,512
Reaction score
19,534
Location
USA
It might be the particular EOs causing this problem, although I've not heard anyone really try to test this to provide reasonably reasonable evidence about citrus EOs causing sweating. I'm not certain I'd hang my hat on that theory just yet. It could be higher humidity than usual, warmer ambient temperatures than usual, slight overheating in the soap or soaping warmer than usual, the use of additives with sugars, the amount of scent whether EO or FO (FWIW, I've gotten droplets on soap with FOs), pouring at emulsion or thin trace vs thicker trace, a higher water content in the soap, etc.
 

Arlo

Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2018
Messages
24
Reaction score
2
Location
California
So many variables when troubleshooting! I see that several of the citrus EOs that Brambleberry sells are not recommended for CP, although I don't know what happens if you do use one. One called Orange 10x IS ok for CP, but another orange is not. Lemon is not. Not sure what the 10x means, but my EOs do not say 10x. I don't think I'll want to use my two EOs again!
 

DeeAnna

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
13,512
Reaction score
19,534
Location
USA
Regular citrus EOs don't survive long in soap. I suspect that's why BB doesn't recommend them for soap making -- too many unhappy customers.
 

Arlo

Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2018
Messages
24
Reaction score
2
Location
California
I'm sorry to once again impose on you experienced soapmakers. My poor soap has really gone through a lot. First it sweated, then it got brown spots, then it lost its scent and now its lost its color! The picture shows what it looks like now, with a still-unwashed pitcher in the background that shows what the color looked like before. I don't understand why it maintained its color but the soap didn't.

One nice thing is that when it started losing its color today (about 48 hrs after making it), many of the brown spots disappeared!

DeeAnna suggested too low a lye concentration might have caused the sweating. Could the lye concentration be the cause of all these problems, including the loss of color?
orange swirl 10-4-19.jpg
 

Arimara

Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2015
Messages
3,455
Reaction score
2,578
What colorants did you use and where did you get them from?
 

Obsidian

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2013
Messages
10,357
Reaction score
8,235
Location
Idaho, USA
I'd wait to judge the colors until you cut. I've had some fade on the surface but not inside. Have no idea what causes it.
 

DeeAnna

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
13,512
Reaction score
19,534
Location
USA
"...Could the lye concentration be the cause of all these problems, including the loss of color?..."

I think you're wanting to find a "problem" where there might be no problem at all. This color change might be a normal thing for whatever material you used to color the soap.

The alkalinity (high pH) of soap alters a lot of things. Since the high pH of soap is not going to go away, the changes that happen in response to soap's high pH are just normal things that will happen. If the changes are unacceptable, then a person might need to choose other ingredients that are more stable when used in soap.

I don't have any idea what you used as a colorant, but I can't say I'd leap into blaming the lye concentration for all the things you think are "wrong" with your soap. Relax. It's a learning process....
 

Becky1024

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2019
Messages
139
Reaction score
173
Location
USA
Your soap sweating could also be caused by low quality EOs. When I first started out, I bought EOs based on price and I ran into a few loaves that sweated the first couple of days. If you bought yours from a well known soaping supply company your EOs should be ok.

Citrus scents are well known for fading in cp soap. You need a 10 fold orange EO for the orange scent to stick. Lemongrass or litsea cubeba have close to a lemon scent and stick better too.
 

Arlo

Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2018
Messages
24
Reaction score
2
Location
California
Thank you, DeeAnna, for your encouragement. I get it! I just need to relax and keep trying. The colorants I used were micas that said "CP Soap Stable". In one of the colors (not obvious but there were actually 3 colors; even if the colors stayed vivid, my choices aesthetically were not good) I used kaolin clay. All were purchased online. Also, in the base I put ground dried orange rind.

@becky1014: The EOs were bought at a local herb store. The brand is Now. The store carried several brands of EO (I'm sure mainly used for aromatherapy, probably not soap) and the brand I chose was the least expensive. Thanks for your input on citrus scents.

I was able to cut the soap this morning. Lots of brown spots but in general a pastel look. Not something I'll be giving as gifts! Thanks to everyone for your feedback and support.
 

Becky1024

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2019
Messages
139
Reaction score
173
Location
USA
Arlo, Now was one of the brands I had problems with. I found if I let the soap sit a few days the liquid absorbed back in the soap and did not harm it.
 

TheGecko

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2019
Messages
1,770
Reaction score
2,615
Location
Oregon
The EOs were bought at a local herb store. The brand is Now. The store carried several brands of EO (I'm sure mainly used for aromatherapy, probably not soap) and the brand I chose was the least expensive. Thanks for your input on citrus scents.
I use the Orange 10x (distilled 10 times) EO and Lemon EO from BrambleBerry and have used them separately and together without any problems.
 
Top