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white spots....please help

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DanDan

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Hi guys, I made my 5th batch of soap today using a basic recipe of:

25% coconut
25% shea
40% olive
10% castor

I decided to get a bit adventurous with this batch and swap half of the distilled water with pureed rice for my lye solution.
I added 50g cocoa to my liquid oils and at the very last minute I decided to add chocolate FO once I reached trace.
The batter was silky smooth but when I put it in the mould these unsightly white crispy spots started to appear one by one.
I initially thought that it might be the pureed rice cooking from the heat...is that possible? Now I'm wondering if it could be lye spots or stearic spots?
I'd hate to throw this batch away, even though the spots are making me feel creeped out.
I run every batch through soap calc.20200928_184005.jpg20200928_183954.jpg20200928_183946.jpg

Your expertise and advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

lenarenee

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What tool did you use to mix the batter? What tool did you cut the bars with? What temp were your oils and lye, and we’re they clear when you started?
At the moment I’m thinking air bubbles and stearic spots, but not ruling out globules of rice starch, especially with white bits sitting openly on the top surface. Starch doesn’t saponify.

And welcome to the forum! How does the chocolate fo smell?
 

DanDan

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What tool did you use to mix the batter? What tool did you cut the bars with? What temp were your oils and lye, and we’re they clear when you started?
At the moment I’m thinking air bubbles and stearic spots, but not ruling out globules of rice starch, especially with white bits sitting openly on the top surface. Starch doesn’t saponify.

And welcome to the forum! How does the chocolate fo smell?
Hey there, thank you 😊 I'm excited to be here...so I mixed the batter with a combination of the stick blender and a silicone spatula to medium trace. I cut the bars with a stainless steel blade (the type that comes with the soap cutter). I soaped at room temperature (no thermometer) my oils were clear and warm to the touch. My lye was warm to the touch, however it was not clear as I mixed it (thoroughly) with the pureed rice. I also used a sieve when adding the lye to my oils.

The soap smells like chocolate cake....
Thank you for teaching me that starch doesn't saponify....is it best to leave the soap uncoloured if using starch in future?
 

lenarenee

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Thank you for teaching me that starch doesn't saponify....is it best to leave the soap uncoloured if using starch in future?
Sounds like your temps were just fine.

I don't know why you want to use rice or starch. If you must use rice; how about using rice WATER instead of pureed rice? Cook some rice, drain and save the water, and eat the rice yourself! (sounds like a winner there!).

Now, butters and oils like palm contain stearic acid, which can (for lengthy reasons I don't want to get into now) can show up at little bits in the soap, and even larger areas of soap that look slightly different in color than the surrounding soap. It's only an aesthetic problem.

I asked what cutter you used because a stick blender than put a lot of tiny bubbles in the batter, and cutting with a wire cutter can break those encapsulated air bubbles and make them more noticeable.

If you want to use rice and the little bits bother you, then yep, leave it uncolored.

Smells like chocolate cake....now I'm hungry!
 

DanDan

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Sounds like your temps were just fine.

I don't know why you want to use rice or starch. If you must use rice; how about using rice WATER instead of pureed rice? Cook some rice, drain and save the water, and eat the rice yourself! (sounds like a winner there!).

Now, butters and oils like palm contain stearic acid, which can (for lengthy reasons I don't want to get into now) can show up at little bits in the soap, and even larger areas of soap that look slightly different in color than the surrounding soap. It's only an aesthetic problem.

I asked what cutter you used because a stick blender than put a lot of tiny bubbles in the batter, and cutting with a wire cutter can break those encapsulated air bubbles and make them more noticeable.

If you want to use rice and the little bits bother you, then yep, leave it uncolored.

Smells like chocolate cake....now I'm hungry!
Lol yes I may well just leave the rice on my dinner plate from now on...I did get a few air bubbles in the batter, who knew stick blending was a fine art. At least I now know the soap is safe to use! Thank you so much for a great answer.
 

lenarenee

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Lol yes I may well just leave the rice on my dinner plate from now on...I did get a few air bubbles in the batter, who knew stick blending was a fine art. At least I now know the soap is safe to use! Thank you so much for a great answer.
You're very welcome, glad to help!

Have you seen videos where soapers "burp" their stick blender - inserting into the batter and carefully banging it against the bottom of the bowl without raising the bell outside of the soap batter? Supposed to help with air bubbles. Some also bang their molds after pouring the soap to make bubble rise to the surface. I don't know if it works as I don't do either.

If you ever question the lye safety of a finished bar of soap - try the zap test. You'll find a sticky in the forums on how to do it correctly (licking a bar of soap isn't the answer!)
 

GemstonePony

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Here's how @Dawni does rice soap
 

DanDan

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You're very welcome, glad to help!

Have you seen videos where soapers "burp" their stick blender - inserting into the batter and carefully banging it against the bottom of the bowl without raising the bell outside of the soap batter? Supposed to help with air bubbles. Some also bang their molds after pouring the soap to make bubble rise to the surface. I don't know if it works as I don't do either.

If you ever question the lye safety of a finished bar of soap - try the zap test. You'll find a sticky in the forums on how to do it correctly (licking a bar of soap isn't the answer!)
Yes I have been watching soapers stick blend for some months now and I actually burp my stick and bang my mould. I'm making an error somewhere along the way, plus my stick blender feels very powerful even on the lowest setting....although this batch had far less air bubbles than my first so I'll hopefully be bubble free by batch 10!

Licking soap has never been an interest of mine so I'll definitely be reading the sticky on how to do it right!

Have a great day 😊

Here's how @Dawni does rice soap
Thank you I will follow this method the next time I give it a go
 

Dawni

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Several others have used rice puree. The most recent one, cold processed, being @Misschief. She has posted her method in that thread and a few others I think. Do a search on rice, you'll find em :)

I'm sorry about your soap. If you do try again make sure your rice is cooked til overly soft and your slurry has no hard bits in them. And then SB with your oils thoroughly. Good luck!
 

DanDan

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Several others have used rice puree. The most recent one, cold processed, being @Misschief. She has posted her method in that thread and a few others I think. Do a search on rice, you'll find em :)

I'm sorry about your soap. If you do try again make sure your rice is cooked til overly soft and your slurry has no hard bits in them. And then SB with your oils thoroughly. Good luck!
Hey @Dawni ...Thank you so much for the advice and tips 😊. It's a lesson well learned! I'll definitely be following the method used by @Misschief and yourself on my next attempt.
 

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