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Topic: Additive Oils are Separating in MP Soap  (Read 834 times)
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cmarie14
« on: July 15, 2009 03:45:09 PM »

This may be one of those questions that seasoned soap makers roll their eyes at, but I'll go ahead. Smiley

I'm trying to add lanolin to a high-glycerin all natural shea butter soap base, and while some of it is mixing in, most of it is separating to the top.  I have a feeling what when I try adding hemp seed oil to a different batch, I may experience something similar.  I had been told that one can add these things in, but perhaps not?  Is there a way to help the lanolin/oil to stay mixed in?

Thanks for any help or clues you can give me! Smiley

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« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2009 11:32:55 PM »

Shoot, I typed up a big long reply on my phone this afternoon and lost it before it posted!

So, how much oil are you adding? Typical guidelines for mp are 1 tablespoon per 1 pound of mp soap base. If you are adding more than that, try cutting back and seeing if that helps. If you are adding that amount or less, maybe it has to do with the fact that it is a high glycerin mp, so it already has extra glycerin in it and is having trouble holding additional oil as well? I will admit I am totally guessing on that, I haven't used high glycerin mp before!

My only other idea is to make sure that your soap base and your lanolin are the same temp when you combine them, if one is significantly hotter than the other then  maybe they are setting up at different rates?
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« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2009 08:59:47 AM »

As a lanolin lover, I'd cut back even more than MareMare suggested. A little bit of lanolin goes a loooooooong way. With hemp oil you could totally add 1T. per pound of M&P, but with lanolin I'd cut it back to maybe 2tsp. per pound and try it.

Also, lanolin, like beeswax, has a pretty high melting point. How are you melting your stuff? In the microwave? I would try chopping your M&P into small cubes and adding your lanolin in small blobs (is there any other way to add it? lol) and melting them together in a double boiler, stirring constantly so that you're sure you have a pretty good, homogenous mixture. And then be sure to allow them to cool at room temperature (no freezing).

That sounds like it'll work to me. Hemp oil will add easily (using MareMare's suggestion of 1T/lb.), lanolin is just a strange substance. A GREAT substance, but a strange one. Smiley
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cmarie14
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2009 09:30:05 AM »

Thanks, guys. I'm going to try your suggestions.

  I'm trying to add it at a higher percentage because I want to use the soap as a wool wash bar for washing wool items used in cloth diapering.  So I had 30% lanolin.  I've seen people do it, but I may try cutting back - to me, the finished product may have too much lanolin for the purpose (you would fill the sink, placing the bar under the running water so a little dissolves into the water, and when you add your little wool pants, it would wash and also lanolize (and thus make them water resistant.)  LOL.  I think that there's so much lanolin in there that you'd get too much in your water...sticky wool...yuck.

I have a friend who is a chemist who said that it may also be a problem because the whole point of soap is to separate the oils, thus I need to find a way to make the two combine.  She said a detergent would do it, which I'm not willing to do, but she's doing some more research on it to see if she can find a solution.

Smiley
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cmarie14
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2009 09:32:20 AM »

Ah, and thanks for easing my worry that the hemp oil would act the same way.  The lanolin bars are my own experiment, low stakes.  The hemp oil I'm adding to another project is for a customer!
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« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2009 10:12:58 AM »

I'm trying to add it at a higher percentage because I want to use the soap as a wool wash bar for washing wool items used in cloth diapering.  So I had 30% lanolin.  I've seen people do it, but I may try cutting back - to me, the finished product may have too much lanolin for the purpose (you would fill the sink, placing the bar under the running water so a little dissolves into the water, and when you add your little wool pants, it would wash and also lanolize (and thus make them water resistant.)  LOL.  I think that there's so much lanolin in there that you'd get too much in your water...sticky wool...yuck.

I have a friend who is a chemist who said that it may also be a problem because the whole point of soap is to separate the oils, thus I need to find a way to make the two combine.  She said a detergent would do it, which I'm not willing to do, but she's doing some more research on it to see if she can find a solution.

I'm assuming you're referring to this when you say you've seen people do it? The critical thing to remember is that those soap bars are cold process and not melt & pour. While both make soap, there are things you can do with CP soap that you cannot do with M&P, and vice versa. Both have their pros and cons for certain situations. For this particular use, M&P might not be the correct vehicle to achieve what you want. (in fact on all the wool wash bars I pulled up, they were very adamant in stating they do not use M&P base, lol)

I'm not sure to what your friend is referring by detergents or separating oils. While chemists definitely are good people to turn to when figuring out chemical compositions, and defining some of those 10-syllable compounds found in commercial soaps, they don't necessarily know everything about soapmaking...

Hemp oil is so lovely; now I want to go make something with it!
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cmarie14
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2009 11:22:57 AM »


I'm assuming you're referring to this when you say you've seen people do it? The critical thing to remember is that those soap bars are cold process and not melt & pour. While both make soap, there are things you can do with CP soap that you cannot do with M&P, and vice versa. Both have their pros and cons for certain situations. For this particular use, M&P might not be the correct vehicle to achieve what you want. (in fact on all the wool wash bars I pulled up, they were very adamant in stating they do not use M&P base, lol)

I'm not sure to what your friend is referring by detergents or separating oils. While chemists definitely are good people to turn to when figuring out chemical compositions, and defining some of those 10-syllable compounds found in commercial soaps, they don't necessarily know everything about soapmaking...

Hemp oil is so lovely; now I want to go make something with it!

I've never seen those.  I did see some that looked like MP soap, but I could have been decieved.  Hmmm...maybe I need to wait on this project until I can get my hands on some lye...

I'm not sure exactly what she was saying either - she was thinking out loud.  I think she was trying to think about how chemicals and elements react and give me some things to try to reverse/prevent the reaction I was getting- she has a pretty good knowledge about how soap works and how it's put together, but she doesn't make it herself, so definitely not an expert. Tongue

I have a feeling I'm going to love the hemp oil!  I'm thinking of trying it for my own bars!
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« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2009 01:38:25 PM »

I will talk to my manfriend, he is a chemist and a soapmaker!
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