Teach Soap

Soap Making Recipes, Tips and Tutorials
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 6:35 am 
I tried CPOP yesterday for the first time. I wanted to give it a try to see if it would help keep my layers together better. I made two batches in two different molds - one was a 1lb wooden mold and the other was a regular kitchen metal loaf pan lined with freezer paper. Both batches of soap were the same recipe containing lard, castor, olive and coconut.

The batch from the wooden mold seems to have come out well (so far) but the batch in the metal loaf pan started separating even as I was slicing it this morning. I will try to post photos later.

I put nearly 3 lbs of soap into the metal loaf pan. Was that too much soap in too deep of a container? Could the metal pan have caused some kind of problem? Are certain recipes not good candidates for CPOP?

BTW, there were beads of oil here and there when I sliced both batches. Was that fragrance? Is that anything to be concerned about?

Thanks!


Last edited by Midnightstorm on Sat Jan 15, 2011 5:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 7:25 am 
Some pics of the problem:

Pic #1 http://www.flickr.com/photos/31748458@N06/5338813629/

Pic #2 http://www.flickr.com/photos/31748458@N06/5338813915/

Pic #3 This pic shows the oil and the separation: http://www.flickr.com/photos/31748458@N06/5339426678/


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 9:02 am 
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I'm not experienced enough to make any diagnosis on your batch, but curious if you used a recipe close to the one I sent you a while back... and what coloring you are using, and what temp oven for how long? Are the different layers the same other than the color?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 9:29 am 

Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:40 am
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I make a lot of layered soap and have never had anything like that happen. I also CPOP most of my batches. Sorry they didn't turn out. At what point did you pour each layer? Maybe that info can help us help you figure it out.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:00 am 
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Are you sure both layers completely gelled?

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:31 pm 
How can I tell if both layers gelled? Here is the recipe I used for each pound (and layer) of soap:

8.50 oz Lard
3.80 oz Olive Oil
3.30 oz Coconut Oil
0.50 Castor Oil
2.174 Lye
5.31 Water
1 oz fragrance

My recipe called for sugar to be added to the water before I added the water to the lye but I forgot to do that on every one of the layers. I don't know if that could have caused any problems.

Anyway, depending on which layer I was making, the oils were mixed with the lye water at 117 degrees on the bottom layer, 120 degrees on the middle layer, and 139 degrees on the top layer.

I do remember that I may have put too much Castor Oil in the top white layer because my scale was acting up and I had to guess at the amount of Castor. And that was the layer that was the quickest to separate in the batch in the metal pan. Could that be the problem?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 2:28 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2008 1:27 pm
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Location: Beaverville, IL
Midnightstorm wrote:
How can I tell if both layers gelled? Here is the recipe I used for each pound (and layer) of soap:

8.50 oz Lard
3.80 oz Olive Oil
3.30 oz Coconut Oil
0.50 Castor Oil
2.174 Lye
5.31 Water
1 oz fragrance

My recipe called for sugar to be added to the water before I added the water to the lye but I forgot to do that on every one of the layers. I don't know if that could have caused any problems.

Anyway, depending on which layer I was making, the oils were mixed with the lye water at 117 degrees on the bottom layer, 120 degrees on the middle layer, and 139 degrees on the top layer.

I do remember that I may have put too much Castor Oil in the top white layer because my scale was acting up and I had to guess at the amount of Castor. And that was the layer that was the quickest to separate in the batch in the metal pan. Could that be the problem?

OK let's see if I can take this one...
I'd get rid of the metal pan(unless you're for sure it's stainless steel) but I highly doubt that is causing your seperation problems. Forgetting the sugar wouldn't do anything, sugar is just a lather booster. The extra castor shouldn't be the issue either, just extra superfat. The oil you're seeing will most likely reabsorb. I can make the same recipe...fo...10 times in a row and every now and then you'll get different results. Chalk it up to soap fairies. As for why your soap is seperating? I'm guessing from the way you are explaining the different layers/temps you are pouring them over a period of time (several hours/day in between)? If so, this will most likely cause this issue. When I do layered soaps I pour my bottom layer, throw it in the oven. As soon as it sets up enough that it doesn't move in the mold I pour the next and so on. If the soap is allowed to do it's process and begin it's cool down (as in overnight) it may not stick properly. Hope this helps! Here's a pic of one of mine...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/31103770@N07/5340225369/

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 3:26 pm 
Wow! I love your layered soap. It's beautiful. I'll have to keep practicing so I can do that someday.

I made my layers within 30 minutes of each other. I poured one layer then started mixing the next layer. And I poured that next layer over the first just as soon as I got it to trace. So there wasn't much time that lapsed between them.

I didn't realize I could go ahead and put the first layer in the oven while I was preparing the next layer. Does that help things?

Why does it matter if my metal pan is stainless steel if there is freezer paper between it and the soap? Just curious. Also, will the heat eventually dry out my wooden mold?

Do you always use CPOP method for your layered soap?

Thanks for your help!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 3:57 pm 
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If your metal pan is not stainless steel and any part touches your soap, the metal ions could end up in your soap. It also causes a chemical reaction with lye and could make the pan or the soap a somewhat black color.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 4:01 pm 
If metal ions get into soap, does that mean the soap is poisonous???


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 7:11 pm 
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Midnightstorm wrote:
If metal ions get into soap, does that mean the soap is poisonous???

Probably not, but I tend to err on the side of caution.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:17 am 
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I've been using one of the microwavable plastic loaf pans for my mold and it works really well. it is also oven safe so I can use it for CPOP.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:23 am 

Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2008 1:27 pm
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Location: Beaverville, IL
Midnightstorm wrote:
I didn't realize I could go ahead and put the first layer in the oven while I was preparing the next layer. Does that help things?

Why does it matter if my metal pan is stainless steel if there is freezer paper between it and the soap? Just curious. Also, will the heat eventually dry out my wooden mold?

Do you always use CPOP method for your layered soap?

Thanks for your help!


Putting it in the oven usually helps speed up it solidifying so you can easily pour the next layer. The heat will not dry out your wooden mold, most likely just the opposite. My wood mold that DH made for me 3 years ago is soft now from all of the oils. The wood over time will absorb oil but won't hurt it. I use CPOP for everything I make with the exception of my milk soaps. Just my personal preference but I don't care for un-gelled soaps as much and CPOP allows me to speed things up.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:39 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:37 pm
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I don't have an answer as to why your separation happened but I can tell you I had a similar experience. I was only pouting one color but I ofetn have a situation where the top of my soap pot is a different consistansy that the bottom of my soap pot. So I poured half the batter, turned away, got my spoon and stirred the soap batter in the pot before pouring the rest, evidently some minute oil separation happened with the batter on the mold so when I poured the rest and it gelled and cooled there was a smell gellied line in some bars.

on perhaps two bars the bottom pour and top pour separated right at that line.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 5:25 pm 
Well that's as good an explanation as any. It's a distinct possibility because I often have a minute or two when I'm getting situated before pouring that next layer.

The funny thing is, the first couple of times I poured layers they worked fine. One difference that I did think of - The first two times when the layers worked okay, I was using 1/3 coconut oil, 1/3 olive oil, and 1/3 palm oil. I've had two other soap batches separate since then and both times, I was using a recipe with a high percentage of lard. So I'm thinking lard recipes might not work well for layering (?)

Could my soap temperature at pouring have had anything to do with my layers separating?

I also just remembered that I was using 6% or 7% superfatting with those failed recipes. Could that extra oil be the problem???

I run my numbers through a fragrance calculator and use the strong end of the measurements for adding fragrance. Could a lot of fragrance affect the way the layers bond?

I hope I can get this mystery solved because I like doing the layers :cry:


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