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Teach Soap • View topic - Room Temperature Soaping

Teach Soap

Soap Making Recipes, Tips and Tutorials
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 Post subject: Room Temperature Soaping
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 10:21 am 

Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2013 1:33 pm
Posts: 22
Normally I only use the Room Temp soaping process when I make laundry soap, but decided to use it with my regular CP recipe. It made the process go so much faster with one downside. I cut my soap today into bars and they are oozing oil. The oil is seeping out about one inch from the top of the bars and that area is soft. I made sure my mixture was at a medium trace before I poured it into the mold. I know the oil will be absorbed, but can someone tell me why they are oozing in the first place? I made four batches and all did the same thing.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:26 pm 
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It sounds more like a false trace as some of the oils started to solidify and didn't interact with the lye. I would rebatch.
Next time soap at a higher temp.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:40 am 

Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2013 1:33 pm
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This is the method where the lye solution is used to melt the hard oils and then the soft oils are added. I'm not sure if there is a different term for this method, but that's what I've seen it called. The temp never went below 110 degrees.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 7:04 am 

Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2016 10:27 am
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It's called the "Heat Transfer" method. Now I know that there are people who sell soap for a living that swear by the heat transfer method, so this is all my personal opinion... but... I find it all a bit sketchy. Saponification begins the minute you add your lye to your oils, and I'd rather have that start when my mixture of fatty acids from the various oils is thoroughly mixed together and evenly distributed (clear), especially when hard and soft oils have such a different fatty acid makeup. And temperature control can be hit-and-miss at best using this method, since the initial saponification of your hard oil temperatures, then the initial saponification of the soft oil temperature is different and basically guessed at. Adding cool soft oil to melted hard oil might make the hard oil hard again. Why take chances when you don't have to? I need finer control over my temperatures to prevent mishaps and to have lots of time for color mixing and swirling later.

Why in such a rush? Isn't there something else you could do while waiting for your mixed oils to cool down, like read, have coffee, line molds, watch TV, clean the house, or surf the net? No need to hover over the pot while it cools! :)

If the top of those bars are still soft after a few more days, I'd follow soapbuddy's advice and rebatch.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 7:42 am 

Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2013 1:33 pm
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I have a full time job as well as make and sell soap. Time is limited and having the process take up to three hours to complete (from the time the lye solution is made to molding) can be more than I have to spare. The soap only started oozing oil after I cut it into bars and the oil is coming out from about an inch from the top. I tested the pH and did a zap test. I may just have soap with a 4% lye discount instead of 5%, but not lye heavy. I really don't want to have to rebatch, if possible, but may need to find time to do it. Ugh...sigh. :(


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 8:19 am 

Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2016 10:27 am
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Well as I said, wait a few days and see what happens. 4% superfat is fine. I often superfat at 0% when I know I'm going to cure my bars for a really long time. While time may fix a slightly lye heavy soap, time won't help a soap that's separated and where large sections of it are undersaponified. That's a definite rebatch situation.

You could try heat your oils in the morning that you measured the night before to a pretty high temperature (like 160 F or more), then setting it on the counter with several layers of insulation over and under it. When you get home from your work day it will probably be still clear and liquid, and ready to go! :)

If you sell soap and make regularly, you should look into masterbatching your lye.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:23 am 

Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2013 1:33 pm
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I've thought about masterbatching, but unsure of a safe and reliable container to store it in. I don't want any surprises like a leaky container that ruins my counters or floors. Any suggestions?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:24 am 
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:14 am 

Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2013 1:33 pm
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ljm1180 - I don't think it was false trace because it was thick when I poured it into the mold. I prefer to pour at medium trace so I don't have seeping through my liner. Could the lye solution have been too hot? It was around 210 degrees when I added to the hard oils. I use around 55% hard oils. Once all the oils were emulsified, I added my additives and EO like I usually do when I make CP. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary until I cut the loaf into bars. Where it's oozing is softer than the rest of the bar. The pH is 7.0 so I know it's not lye. I've only had this happen once doing CP and the oils re-absorbed into the bar. Not sure why with that batch. I really don't want to rebatch (4 batches total/192 bars), but I don't want to sell bad soap.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:55 am 
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:27 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2016 10:27 am
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Are you certain that it's oil? Sometimes while soap gels and gets too hot it can weep glycerin that's easily reabsorbed as the soap cools after. I've only had it happen to me with the CPOP method when I forgot to turn the heat off once the soap went into the oven.

And soapbuddy is right. A pH of 7 is impossible. 9 point something to 10.1 is normal depending on the fatty oil profile you began with. You can't get it any lower than this, even by adding acidic additives. Otherwise it's not soap anymore. The easiest way for testing free lye in your saponified soap is by zap testing it.

You can keep your masterbatch lye in any well sealed plastic container made of polypropylene (recycle PP #5) or polyethylene (recycle HDPE #2). They need to have a screw cap that seals completely air tight. I re-purpose the pourable 3 kg dry lye containers for this once they're empty. Its a good workable size, and they don't dribble down the container when I pour out the lye water. Avoid containers that are too large and heavy or that dribble for safety reasons. :wink:


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 7:19 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2013 1:33 pm
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It may be glycerin and not oils. All my soaps go through gel phase. I use goat's milk in them. I have tried putting my mold in the freezer to prevent gel, but it did not work for me. Now that I am using a large slab mold, I couldn't fit in my freezer even if I wanted to.

The pH of 7 was not the soap itself, but what is oozing out of the soap. That is why I know what's oozing out doesn't contain any lye. I also did a zap test and there was nothing. So again, no excess lye.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:11 am 

Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2016 10:27 am
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Test for glycerin by wetting your finger with the oily substance, then putting your finger under running water from the tap. It will easily wash off if glycerin.

Regardless just give it a few more days to harden up in open air and see what happens. :)


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 5:21 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2016 4:49 pm
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for those that masterbatch their lye, can the cooled lye solution be stored with sodium lactate in it, or do they add the sodium lactate right before making the soap batch?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 5:24 pm 
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