Why is my soap sweating?

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jennyannlowe

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This is my oatmeal honey goats milk soap. Made last night. I know I unfolded too soon. But why do all my soaps have this oily beading?

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galaxyMLP

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This looks like unmixed honey to me.

Did you add the honey at trace or dissolve it in water/ add it to your lye solution?
 

IrishLass

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I agree with Galaxy- that looks like classic weeping honey spots to me. I used to get those in my soaps made with honey until I changed the way I added my honey. What I do now is I mix the honey with a little of my batch water to thin it out some, then I add that directly to my cooled lye solution. It turns my solution a dark orangey-brown and makes the solution get a little hot (about 175F), but no other drama other than that, i.e., no hissing, no volcanoing, etc.. And it soaps beautifully without causing issues in my soap, i.e., no overheating even though I encourage full gel, and no more weeping honey or honey spots. And even though the lye solution goes dark, my finished soap only gets as dark as light to medium tan (pretty much the same color as your pictured soap). I learned the trick from a fellow soaper (Soapbuddy) some years ago and I've never looked back. It's as if mixing it directly with the lye solution takes all the orneriness out of the honey.


IrishLass :)
 

jennyannlowe

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I also wanted to add tussah silk but I was soaping cool. I knew it probably wouldn't dissolve in the lye water ice bath. So I put honey in little water with tussah silk and heated it up to dissolve and then let it cool to warm and added to my oils. Guess I shouldn't have huh?
 
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cmzaha

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Honey and Goat's Milk will cause overheating. To me it looks like it tried to overheat and you have a mix of weeping honey and fragrance if you used fragrance. When soap starts overheating it can cause separation or the beginning of separation and weep from your soap. If it had continued overheating you could have ended up with a volcano or alligators teeth, where you get a cavern of weeping oil in the middle of the soap. I measure my honey, warm it to liquid in the microwave and sb directly into my oils before my lye, then add my lye. I do this right before pouring in the lye mix so it does not cool off to fast, causing droplets of honey in the oil. Silk does not add heat, it only refuses to dissolve in much other than hot lye. Keep in mind silk is removed from the cocoon by floating cocoons in boiling water and is kept in a simmering pot until the unraveling process is finished. Hot liquid does not dissolve it, although I have yet to try hot glycerin for dissolving a cocoon. I see an experiment coming as soon as I can get some of our silk worms to cocoon and the moth emerges.
 

IrishLass

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Irish Lass - do you get a hot gel circle in the middle of your soap (that's my issue with honey)?
As the good Gent said, what you ended up with is partial gel. That's something I try to avoid by encouraging gel (i.e., insulating my mold and placing it in a warm place to hold the heat in).

I need to mention right here, though, that when making honey soaps, one needs to be very mindful as to how they go about their soaping procedure and also how they go about encouraging full gel, because of the overheating issues that honey is known to cause.

For what it's worth, the procedure that I use with mine- birthed from a fair bit of experimentation with my formulas and chosen lye concentration- works like a charm for me and my formulas. I can't guarantee that it will work with other formulas and/or other lye solutions, but for what it's worth, this is my procedure when making soaps with honey:

1) I soap with a 33% lye solution (which contains dissolved silk, as well as honey that was added in the manner explained in my previous post above)
2) My oils/hard fats are completely melted and are somewhere between 110F-115F when I add my warm (about 105F - 110F) honeyed lye solution to them.
3) I bring the batter to a nice med-thick trace and pour into my wooden mold, cover it with its wooden cover, plus 3 cloth diapers (or 'nappies' as our British members say) draped over top, then place it in a pre-warmed 110F oven, which I then turn off as soon as my soap is inside. My oven has a wonderfully convenient digital temp display that shows me how hot the temp is getting as the oven is heating up. Once it shows a reading of 110F, I turn the oven off.
4) Once my soap is in the oven and the oven turned off, I close the oven door and leave it alone to do its thing overnight (I soap at night before I go to bed).
5) Sometime the next day, usually about 18 hours later, I unmold and cut.

I get full gel every time with no overheating issues, and my finished soap does not have any weeping honey spots.

Oh, I should probably mention that I use 1 tablespoon of honey ppo.

RE: dissolving silk. It's as Carolyn said- you need to dissolve it in lye solution, preferably hot lye solution if you want it to dissolve in a timely manner. If you like to use silk and to soap cool on a regular basis, you should look into master-batching your lye solution. That's what I do. I make a up enough lye solution (with silk) to last me through 7 or 8 batches of soap. Lye solution keeps very well for a very long time (over a year, at least) as long as it is properly covered/stored.


IrishLass :)
 

cmzaha

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Like IL, I master batch my lye. I do 1 gallon and add my silk and 1 without silk. I usually toss in around 10 cocoons in a gallon. How much that equals in tussah silk I have no clue.

I did forget to mention when I soap with honey I usually use a 34% lye concentration. High liquid such as soap calcs default of 38% which is approx 25-27% lye concentration. Higher liquid causes higher heat build up
 
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