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SoapyGoats

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SO:

-My soap keeps overheating:
1) - I've tried a bazillion different oil recipes
2) - I've tried putting my soap in the fridge and leaving it out
3) - I've tried soaping REALLY cool
4) - I've tried different Essential Oils & Fragrance Oils
5) - I've tried soaping room temp
6) - I've tried really cool oils and warmer lye
7) - I've tried really cool lye and warm oils

But it doesn't really separate, just doesn't have a really smooth look. So it's mostly cosmetic. ( btw, I LOVE my recipes :D they're amazing ;) )
It also doesn't have that "look" on all batches. I can do, say Mango Lemonade, one week, and it turns out beautifully. So I use that recipe and temperatures the next week for another batch. It separates slightly. It also sometimes and whatever batch it feels like ( doesn't matter which one) sticks to my knife at the bottom of a bar and breaks off. Another cosmetic issue, bars with broken bottoms.

WHY????

The only thing I haven't changed is using goats milk. Now, I use my own Goats' Milk, and it's very, very creamy. Like very creamy. ( makes amazing fudge...:p) And it separates in the freezer.
I also use silicon molds.

Does the weather have anything to do with it? I've tried everything I know of to try fix this, and it's NOT WORKING :( So it's getting discouraging, cause I really like a smooth looking bar of soap.)

My recipes in general consist of Coconut, Olive (herbal infused, if that makes a difference) Pastured Lard, and Castor, Apricot Kernel, Sweet Almond and some have specialty butters. Not a lot, generally around 5% more or less.

Any ideas of what's going on?http://www.soapmakingforum.com//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/extension/
 

snappyllama

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Have you tried soaping at room temp without known heating scents (like clove) and putting it into the fridge overnight? Are you getting cracks - is that what you see as not being smooth?

ETA: maybe a picture of the "not smooth' surface would help. :)
 

shunt2011

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If you could post some pictures of the problem maybe we can help out. Perhaps your recipe with your process too. There has to be a reason you are having so many problems.
 

SoapyGoats

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Have you tried soaping at room temp without known heating scents (like clove) and putting it into the fridge overnight? Are you getting cracks - is that what you see as not being smooth?

ETA: maybe a picture of the "not smooth' surface would help. :)
No, I haven't tried that. I left the soap in the fridge for a couple hours, till it was firm and cold, but overnight it heated up again ( I'm guessing...couldn't look at it at that point :D)

Nope, no cracks. Here are some pictures of varying "looks": ( note: these soaps are all different recipes, to show that the oils don't really matter, it seems like)

This is a soap made with the FO "Dragons Blood".
Dragons Blood.jpg

This is a soap made with the FO "Lime & Sugarcane" with a sugar topping ( smells AMAZING, love this FO!) Showing the not smooth look and broken bottom.
Lime & Sugarcane w sugar top.jpg

Soap made with Essential Oils of Rosemary & Peppermint:
Rosemary & Peppermint.jpg

And this is a a salt soap with EO's of Tea Tree & Lime, so totally different recipe: ( the holes are salt) Cut at 6 or so hours and pictured at 3-4 weeks old.
Salt Soap w Tea Tree & Lime.jpg


http://www.soapmakingforum.com//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/extension/

Oh, I do cold process Goats Milks Soaps.

There should be a reason...I just haven't found it...so need some new perspectives on the situation! :)
 

DeeAnna

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Your soap honestly doesn't look like it overheated to me - I'd expect separation, "alien brains", cracks, etc. for a soap that got overly warm. Yours looks fine. No cracks. No separation. No alien brains. Warming up is normal for saponification, and your soap looks pretty normal to me. What I do see are speckles in the soap, which aren't due to overheating. The speckles may be due to your soaping method or your general approach to recipe making, so posting your recipe (weights, please, no percentages!) and your general method may be more helpful.
 

Seawolfe

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Im not seeing why you think its overheating? Do you just not want it to gel?
 

SoapyGoats

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Your soap honestly doesn't look like it overheated to me - I'd expect separation, "alien brains", cracks, etc. for a soap that got overly warm. Yours looks fine. No cracks. No separation. No alien brains. Warming up is normal for saponification, and your soap looks pretty normal to me. What I do see are speckles in the soap, which aren't due to overheating. The speckles may be due to your soaping method or your general approach to recipe making, so posting your recipe (weights, please, no percentages!) and your general method may be more helpful.
Okay, thanks for clearing that up :)
I expect it to warm up, and just couldn't really figure out what it the speckling look to be called.

Im not seeing why you think its overheating? Do you just not want it to gel?
That separated look, but it wasn't really separated/overheated. Kind of, I guess :)
 

Obsidian

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The cracked bottoms are most likely from waiting too long to cut or from using a knife with a thick blade. Switching to a wire cutter would probably help with that. How log are you waiting before you cut?

Not sure what the little specks are in the top two bars, maybe air bubbles or steric spots?
 
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SoapyGoats

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What I do see are speckles in the soap, which aren't due to overheating. The speckles may be due to your soaping method or your general approach to recipe making, so posting your recipe (weights, please, no percentages!) and your general method may be more helpful.
So what are the speckles caused by?


Soaping method:
Generally is, melt my oils, cool them down to below 30*C. Mix my EO's, FO's, clays, etc. Mix my lye/milk ( milk is mostly frozen, a little bit is liquid) Try keep that below/around 30*C. Mix oil/lye/milk to light trace. Add clays/salts. Mix and add scents. At a medium trace pour into mold. Let set. Cut 12-24 hours later.

General approach to recipe making:
Well, that's a little harder to explain....generally start with the 30% Coconut, 30% OO, 20-25% Lard. And play with the remaining 15-20% with castor oil, apricot kernel oil, etc. I am still working on finding my "dream" recipe that I can use for everything, kind of hard cause I tend to over complicate it! So I use a couple different recipes yet.


Recipes: ( I use SoapMaker 3 for my recipes) And of course I have more recipes then these...don't all soapers :D...but these are my mostly used/recent-er recipes (if that makes sense, lol)

This is the Rosemary/Peppermint recipe:
8.4oz Herbal Infused OO
7.2oz Coconut
6oz Lard
1.2oz each of Castor & Apricot Kernel Oils
3.1oz Lye
7.7oz Goat Milk

So far I'm liking that one. Have to try it out yet :)
On some of my past recipes I leave out the Apricot Kernel Oil and just up the first 3 oils to make up the difference.

Recipe used for Lime & Sugarcane:
6oz Coconut
8oz Infused OO
6oz Lard
2oz Shea Butter
2.8oz Lye
6.9oz Goat Milk

Recipe used for Dragons Blood:
6.6oz Infused OO
5.3oz Lard
5.3oz Coconut
1.1oz Castor Oil
1.1oz Avocado
.9oz Cocoa Butter
.9oz Shea Butter
2.8oz Lye
6.8oz Goat Milk

And this is the salt soap recipe: ( I upped the salt 4oz from my last batch of salt soap, because I wanted more grittiness, so we'll see how this one is. Love the lather on the last batch!)

11.2oz Coconut
4oz OO
.8oz Castor
2oz Lye
5.9oz Goat Milk
12oz salt


Hope this helps you all figure it out :)
 

SoapyGoats

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The cracked bottoms are most likely from waiting too long to cut or from using a knife with a thick blade. Switching to a wire cutter would probably help with that. How log are you waiting before you cut?

Not sure what the little specks are in the top two bars, maybe air bubbles or steric spots?
Okay, I was wondering. Cause I do just use a standard kitchen knife. Were would I get a wire cutter in Canada?
Generally it's around 12 hours at which I cut it.
 

Obsidian

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I would cut a bit sooner, if you use a lot of hard oils like lard and/or butter it can make a more brittle soap. I can cut my high lard soap around 8 hours.
Not sure where you can get a proper soap cutter but a wire cheese cutter works well and can be found in most grocery stores or baking supply store.

 

dillsandwitch

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I get the same sorta look on some of my soaps. I find its tiny weeny little air bubbles in there from either being careless with my SB or not banging the mould on the counter enough or hard enough. its purely cosmetic and doesn't affect the soap in any way. At least in mine. Im sure yours would be the same
 

RogueRose

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I think you should post some good soap pics as well. I don't think these look that bad. Ideally you could do a side by side (either cut bars in half and take pics, or use image editor and copy them) to make it easier to see.

I wonder if this isn't just a case of "maker perfection" where it is fine to others/user, but it bothers the person who made it. It seems a common issue with people who make things :)

Also, the bottom breaking - let me guess, you are cutting with a knife or blade of some type. A wire cutter can relieve this issue or try pulling the knife towards you once you hit the cutting board until it is out of the soap. Another thing is to put the soap on top of something dense (like soap or wax) that can be cut into - cut through the soap into the soap/wax block below and that breaking bottom issue can be avoided.
 
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navigator9

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I get the same sorta look on some of my soaps. I find its tiny weeny little air bubbles in there from either being careless with my SB or not banging the mould on the counter enough or hard enough. its purely cosmetic and doesn't affect the soap in any way. At least in mine. Im sure yours would be the same
For what its worth, banging the mold on the counter will help to remove large air pockets, like if you glopped mashed potato-thick batter into your mold, but it will not remove the tiny little air bubbles caused by air trapped in the bell of your SB, or air sucked down the shaft of the SB.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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Indeed - but you may want to keep your PPE on, as some people have been known to bang too vigorously and the batter can glop out and it will still be caustic
 

snappyllama

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Most of the pictures look like air bubbles to me too. I get them from air bubbles in my oils if I don't pour my liquid oils down the side of something while measuring them. They look like champagne bubbles. Sometimes leaving them in a pot for a bit lets the teeny bubbles to work their way to the surface and pop. No amount of banging the mold will make them go away once they are in the batter (I've tried).
 

newbie

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I agree with the others in thinking there are loads of small bubbles in the soap causing the appearance you are trying to improve. Pay really close attention the next time you make soap, even to the sound of the SB. I can hear when air is getting incorporated because the sound is rougher and clearer. When the bell is completely submerged and all air out from under the bell, the sound of the blending if muffled and smoother sounding. You can also see if air is getting in there from the look of the soap right at the surface while you're blending it. It should be extremely smooth and glassy in its reflection of light. If it looks at all pebbly or frothy or rough, there are air bubbles in there.

Otherwise your soap looks great!
 

SoapyGoats

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I think you should post some good soap pics as well. I don't think these look that bad. Ideally you could do a side by side (either cut bars in half and take pics, or use image editor and copy them) to make it easier to see.
Will do!

I wonder if this isn't just a case of "maker perfection" where it is fine to others/user, but it bothers the person who made it. It seems a common issue with people who make things :)
Hehe, got me there! :D I'm a perfectionist...I'll get pictures of some of my soaps that I want ALL my soaps to look like.

Also, the bottom breaking - let me guess, you are cutting with a knife or blade of some type. A wire cutter can relieve this issue or try pulling the knife towards you once you hit the cutting board until it is out of the soap. Another thing is to put the soap on top of something dense (like soap or wax) that can be cut into - cut through the soap into the soap/wax block below and that breaking bottom issue can be avoided.
Yup, I'm using a knife, and a rather thick one. Am going to try find a wire cutter soon!

http://www.soapmakingforum.com//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/extension/

I agree with the others in thinking there are loads of small bubbles in the soap causing the appearance you are trying to improve. Pay really close attention the next time you make soap, even to the sound of the SB. I can hear when air is getting incorporated because the sound is rougher and clearer. When the bell is completely submerged and all air out from under the bell, the sound of the blending if muffled and smoother sounding. You can also see if air is getting in there from the look of the soap right at the surface while you're blending it. It should be extremely smooth and glassy in its reflection of light. If it looks at all pebbly or frothy or rough, there are air bubbles in there.

Otherwise your soap looks great!
Okay :)
I tap the SB bell to get the air out, but when I add my clays/salts or whatever, they bring air in...how do I get around that? I can definitely hear the air in the bell when I add them. Thanks for the look-for tips!

Thank you! :D
 

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