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Topic: A crumbly kind of salt bar.  (Read 1816 times)
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RavingRosemary
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« on: June 15, 2010 03:00:12 PM »

Here I am again, filling the air with question marks.  A few weeks ago, I gave into salt bar envy and produced these....



They're pretty and smooth on the top, but the bottom half of the bar is very rough and sandy looking--kind of crumbly.  I'm pretty sure it's Wrong (though it's visually interesting).  Do you guys think it might be lye heavy?  Too much salt?  I hope they're salvageable, but willing to pitch this batch and give it another shot if I can figure out what I did wrong.

Thoughts?

Thanks!
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MareMare
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« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2010 03:46:48 PM »

How much salt did you use? It looks like it didn't mix in/dissolve and sunk to the bottom of the bars?
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« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2010 04:02:09 PM »

1 cup (about 7 oz) for 40 oz. of oil... I thought the same thing you did, but then there are some folks who use equal amounts of oils and salt and apparently have no problem?  I used fine salt, not coarse... maybe that was it.

I love the way it looks!  But not if it is lye-heavy.
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« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2010 04:05:28 PM »

Hmm that's probably about the amount I use. I've used both fine and coarse, I don't think it matters. Have you tried washing with it? My skin's so sensitive if I touch something that's not cured my skin freaks out. If it was lye heavy you should be able to tell.
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RavingRosemary
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« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2010 04:42:04 PM »

Eeps.  Time for more experimentation... what should I watch out for?

Thanks, MareMare!  You're a hero.
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« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2010 10:07:56 PM »

lol, I don't know, when I'm cutting the new soap I can feel a tingly on the skin. Did you check your measurements and recipe and soap calculator and figure out if you biffed something up? If not and it came to trace all right then I doubt it's lye heavy. Did you have a pool of unsaponified oil on top of it after it had set up?
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RavingRosemary
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« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2010 08:14:46 AM »

No pool of oil.  Everything is normal except the texture.  I'm kind of freaked out by this... I ran everything through a lye calculator (it's a different recipe than I usually use; way more coconut oil) and it seemed fine, but my cheapo scale might have betrayed me.  I feel like it leaves my hands a little slimy... it could be paranoia, but I'm willing to pitch this out and try again (with a better scale!).  (Or try again later.  Boo.)

Le sigh.  Thanks for helping me puzzle this out!
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« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2010 01:33:20 PM »

If you're just going to pitch it, maybe try melting it down first and see what happens. Maybe re-mold into small molds or something? I think if that happened to me I would re-melt and add even more salt and then mold in tiny ice cube trays or something and package as single use body scrubs.
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dreadlocklove
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2010 01:36:34 PM »

I'm no pro at soapmaking, and I have no idea if this is relevant to your problem or not but apparently crumbling can happen when you use regular log molds.  Slab molds with dividers, where cutting isn't required, work best.  

Also, what superfat percentage did you work with?  Could this have affected the result?

ETA:  "with dividers"
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« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2010 01:37:58 PM »

Slab molds still require cutting. Or do you mean the kind with dividers? I've wanted some of those forever but they're super spendy Sad
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