Loofah problem

Discussion in 'Soap Making' started by Narrow Chance, Dec 2, 2007.

  1. Narrow Chance

    Narrow Chance New Member

    I seem to be having a problem with my loofah's turning out right.
    Anybody care to critique what I am doing?

    First batch I did.. I used my regular soap recipe.. which is 88 oz of oils. Yes.. ran it through the soap calculator and it is the standard recipe I use on my bar soaps.
    You might remember me having trouble getting it out of the tube??
    Anyway.. that loofah turned out okay.. once I wicked the oil from around it and allowed to dry for a week or two. The soap on the outside of the loofah pealed off in hunks. But never fear.. I cut them darlin's anyway.. and had little soap loofahs.. :crazy

    so... we did another batch.. figuring I had not greased the tube like I ought.. we greased with mineral oil this time.. and poured another batch.. with different FO's. Same thing.. couldn't get it out.. and it pealed the outer soap from around the loofah. The insided looked great.. but the outside.. oily and not stuck to the loofah. This tube was also hard to get out.. (my friend too that one home and decided to give it a go.. and she ended up using hubby's shop tools to get it out also.)
    Not to be outdone.. I figured I'd cut the PVC down to loofah sizes.. and then pour one at a time if I had to.. since I needed the loofah soap.. the first ones have sold like hot cakes. Anyway.. I did a 4 pound batch.. which is my small test batch.. and poured it up yesterday morning. Same thing.. oily as the dickens.. with oil, which I assume is glycerin floating on top. I must have gotten almost 1/4 cup from one loofah alone.
    Came out easy this time.. cause it didn't stick again. The loofah came out in one big oily mess.. with the soap that was suppose to be on the outside sticking to the tube. I did oil with mineral oil also.

    What I did was.. (My recipe is around 5% superfated). made my lye mixture.. melted my oils.. then when at 90 - 100 degrees.. mixed lye with oils.
    At light trace.. added my FO, and before coming to heavy trace.. poured over the loofah in a mineral lined 3 inch PVC tube. Just covering the top. Bumped the tube to get all the air from inside the loofah. Coverd and wraped with a hand towel the tube. (did not gel that I could tell although the others did).
    This morning.. oil was floating on top of one. and not the other. The one that did not have oil was a partial pour with the soap not covering the loofah cause I didn't have enough to cover that one.
    When I poured off the oil.. I let set upside down in a measuring cup to remove it cause it was so much of it.
    I pushed in a paper lined box top.. ugggh.. what a oily mess. Looked like the first one I did. The soap that shuold have been on the outside of the loofah.. was stuck inside the tube, even the partial filled one.

    I REALLY want to do these.. have a health food store/herb shop/ message parlour that wants them to sell.
    Besides that.. I can't stand to be outdone.
  2. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

    are you soaking your loofa's in water first then wringing them out to just damp you really shouldn't have a lot of soap around the outside of the loofa when finished. also stuffing as many as you can down in your 3in pipe? Also Vicki said something abt not using milk in these I used the walmart recipe with aloe juice and water w/ no milk.

  3. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

    I mostly make all essential oil, all olive, all aloevera juice ones, but I have made them in some of my GM recipes, the wallmart recipe and with Fo's for special orders. It makes no difference if your loofa fills the whole thing or not, if they are too skinny, or too fat and you have to squish them in.

    My PVC pipe is new and slick inside, I mineral oil mine up. You can then run a piece of parchment around the inside, I just have never done that. Yes there is always fluid at the bottom in the end cap, and my first cuts are to cut off both ends because they are ugly, but certainly no more than 2 or 3 teaspoons of liquid. I soak my loofa's in hot water, then wring and shake them out really well, then put them in, then soap and pour at thin trace. They sit in the mold for at least 24 hours, sometimes longer, then on the cure rack for another 24 hours or until I have time to cut. Then my husband slices them.

    The only thing I can even figure out is that you are pouring at too thick of trace and the soap is not permeating the loffa.

    Try the freezer trick also, although it didn't work for me. I just take a plastic cup from Jack n the Box and put a big wooden dowel (think broom stick) and wet it in the top, turn it over and press down. I wear gloves so gripping that little edge of the PVC with my fingers doesn't hurt them. No easy way of getting the blasted stuff out but it always, once you start it, slides out beautifully. Vicki
  4. Narrow Chance

    Narrow Chance New Member

    I forgot to mention I wet the loofahs. :biggrin I did wet them with hot water.. wringed them out.
    The frist time I did it.. I figured there was to much water.. so I let the second batch drain in the dish drainer.
    This time.. thinking myself smart.. I put them in the washer and put on a full spin cycle :twisted

    I guess I will try the Walmart recipe.. although I do like my bubbly soap on the first loofah.. dearly love them and think they are 'this time' my favorite of all the soap I make.

    I did do two different size loofahs this time.. one was a tad smaller than the PVC.. and one was just a perfect fit.

    Vicki.. I'm not having trouble getting them out now.. as these just slid out guess cause of all the oils residue.
    I did pour at light trace.. not sure if it's the same as your light trace.. but it's thiner than pancake batter??
  5. MRFBarbara

    MRFBarbara Guest

    Narrow Chance, try greasing your tube and then lining it with freezer paper, works like a charm.. But it sounds like your last batch did not come to trace and it separated... that is what soap does if not taken to trace...
    With some recipes, trace can be a very fine line between thin trace and thick like pudding.. Your best bet is try the walmart recipe until you get it down pat.... It does not matter how many loofas are in the pvc pipe..
    Your first batches sound like thick trace, if you get to thick trace too soon, just cover the top of the tube with card board and pound that soap in there..
    I never have oil or liquid in the bottom of my loofas, I do get them wet and put into the pvc, but I let them dry overnight before Putting soap in them.. , and they work great
  6. Narrow Chance

    Narrow Chance New Member

    Thanks.. I'll give that a try. Might have to try the Walmart recipe.
    And your right.. thinking on it further... it just might be that I didn't let trace enough.
    Yep.. fine line there.