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penelopejane

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Hi
These are the first soaps my husband and I have made, so be gentle! :roll:

Can you please tell me what went wrong?
The recipe for both is 30% olive oil, palm oil, coconut oil and 10% castor oil.

The first one has no fragrance and has 1 dsp (half way between a tsp and a tbls) of pink clay. It has darker spots in it.

The second one has titanium dioxide and fragrant oil 30 ml in 1kg and it has dotty swirls through it and yellow/clear swirls on the top only.

Can you please tell me how to avoid these in future?

Soap dots.jpg

Soap Swirls.jpg

Yellow swirls.jpg
 

DeeAnna

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Your soap has streaks and/or mottles. You didn't do anything wrong -- soap has been doing this for as long as soap has been made. This is a cosmetic issue only -- some people like the look, others don't -- but it doesn't affect the quality of the soap.

Soap is made of many different kinds of soap molecules. If soap reaches gel temperature and is allowed to slowly cool in the mold, some parts of the soap may crystallize (harden) before other areas do. That affects where a colorant such as titanium dioxide ends up in the soap. Colorants are more likely to concentrate in the soaps that crystallize last.

Also some of the soaps themselves are more opaque (stearic, palmitic) and some are more translucent (oleic, linoleic), which in itself can cause mottling and streaking even without added pigments.

Ways to avoid streaking/mottling are to soap with a higher lye solution concentration to raise the temp at which the soap will go into gel and avoid letting the soap get hot enough to go into gel (don't CPOP, insulate less, use a fan, etc.).

You can learn more about this by reading about Auntie Clara's experiments:
http://auntieclaras.com/2014/05/glycerine-rivers-secret-revealed/
http://auntieclaras.com/2014/05/glycerine-rivers-trying-to-understand-them/
http://auntieclaras.com/2014/08/intentional-crop-circles-water-discount-as-a-design-tool/
 
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spenny92

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For what it's worth, I think they look lovely - especially for your first attempts!
 

dibbles

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I have to agree with spenny - maybe not what you had in mind, but still very pretty soaps. Congratulations on your first attempt - I'd say it was successful.
 

DeeAnna

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Yes, I forgot to "ooh" and "ah" in my earlier post -- I really like the pink and white swirl for its fresh bright look. The streaking in the white parts reminds me of lace. The soft blue-green soap is a restful, calming color and its stone-like texture makes me want to look closer -- is it stone or is it soap?
 

Seawolfe

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I think you just need to hydrate your clay a little more, mix it to a slurry with your water allotment next time before adding the lye. And I like the antique look of the TD crackle. Both are very pretty hand made soaps :)
 

penelopejane

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Thank you everyone for your comments and links. You are all very kind and helpful.

I now know the white TD problems is glycerine river and thanks to Aunt Clara should be able to avoid that if I want to by discounting the water. I added extra water to mix the TD in the white soap. So that was probably a mistake.

In the other soap the clay was mixed with extra water (so much for precision!) but I think the lye solution was too warm so we didn't have time to mix the plain soap thoroughly enough. Added to that we kept them insulated and looking at the links above I see a bit of cracking on the clay soap so that indicates it was overheated and must have dried at different rates.

So much to learn. Thank you for your help.
 

houseofwool

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If you are soaping warm, be really gentle with the stick blender.

I have a couple of batches that I make without the stick blender because they move so quickly.

As for the extra water from mixing the colorants? I wouldn't worry too much. The ratio of oil to lye needs to be precise. A little more water isn't going to be a problem.
 

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