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Topic: Soap Curdling and not setting  (Read 1083 times)
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soulcrochet
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« on: January 16, 2012 01:26:12 AM »

Hi there,

Been making soap for about 4 years now. I'm wondering if any of you guys have come across this problem. When I pour lye into the oils, and I start mixing with my blending as I'm pouring, it is still curdling and setting too fast.

There are a couple of things I'm doing different. One is pouring the lye into the fat and not vice versa. The other one is using really expensive, good beeswax at a 5% ratio.

This is baby soap so I haven't added any thing extra, no essential oils, no additives at all.

I usually wait until both lye and oil are baby bottle warm or BBW, a term I saw here first Cheesy

now I have about 15 pounds of grainy unusable soap? I have no idea what to do and I never want to make soap again. I mean I will.. but I'm so depressed about it.

Help!
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« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2012 10:04:44 AM »

Oh bummer Sad  Pouring the lye into the oils is normal. Can I ask why you're using beeswax? You have to soap at a much higher temp when you're using beeswax, so I think baby bottle warm would be too cool. Usually people use beeswax for a harder bar, but if you're using a good recipe with the proper combo of oils you should get a nice hard bar without it.

Are you sure it's unusable? Maybe re-batching, or shredding and making a confetti soap?
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« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2012 10:12:52 PM »

Hey MareMare,

You always come to the rescue. Even when I had issues with E.O's and how much I should actually use. Thanks so much.

It's the same recipe I've been using for ages. I've even reduced the beeswax significantly but this is beeswax from a beekeeper as opposed to buying from a supply store. it is beautiful, sticky, golden and lovely. Buh.

I'm going to make one small batch again, and pour oils into the lye this time and see if that makes a difference but I don't think it will.. maybe a higher temperature will be the key.

Otherwise, I guess I could just add activated charcoal, the EOs and make it a scrubby charcoal bar.

I think soap and I have broken up Sad
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« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2012 08:25:36 AM »

I've been having a real problem recently with the batch thickening much more quickly than I need it to..  here's the recipe from this week:

34 oz olive oli
32 oz coconut oil
30 oz palm oil (shortening.. the spectrum stuff, it's 100% palm)

14 oz lye
16 oz water
13 oz coconut milk (which I cooled in the fridge and added to the oils, not to the lye

4 oz Brambleberry Oatmeal, Milk, and Honey scent (love!)
2 oz Brambleberry Almond FO

It came to trace really quickly but was a nice thin consistency.  It set up to pudding consistency in like 2 minutes though, I barely got it to pour :-/  I've had a few thick batches in a row, it's impossible to do swirl and I'm getting a lot of air bubbles..  any ideas?  This batch ended up being really pretty, but I would have had more sellable bars if it hadn't thickened so quickly!
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« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2012 01:24:05 PM »

Is that your usual recipe? I think more olive oil and less coconut/palm might make it set up more slowly. Or maybe these particular FO's are accelerants?
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« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2012 03:14:05 PM »

Is that your usual recipe? I think more olive oil and less coconut/palm might make it set up more slowly. Or maybe these particular FO's are accelerants?


My usual recipe is something like that, but I'll totally back down on the other two oils and see what happens!  I've been adding more of the other two steadily for a while, I'll back it back down Smiley

sorry to interrupt, Soulcrochet!  Keep at it, don't give up!
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« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2012 03:27:05 PM »

I usually use about 45-50% olive oil and then 30 ish coconut and the rest palm/shortening if that helps at all, it's my base recipe after experimenting for years.
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« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2012 03:30:39 PM »

I usually use about 45-50% olive oil and then 30 ish coconut and the rest palm/shortening if that helps at all, it's my base recipe after experimenting for years.

That's so much cheaper than what I've been doing!  Thanks MareMare, your advice is always awesome and appreciated!  I guess I thought more coconut and palm would harden the bar, but I don't really see a difference..  I'll boost the olive oil and try again..  Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2012 03:52:08 PM »

No prob! Remember olive makes a hard bar too, it just takes longer to get there Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2012 07:44:25 AM »

I've never soaped with Beeswax, but I do make lip balm with it. And I imagine that you would have to soap it at the top end of the temperature range in order to get it fully blended with everything else. I know that it can cool pretty quickly in my lip balms, and I often have to reheat it.

If you try it at a warmer temp you should let us know if it works!
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