why did my soap accelerate?

Discussion in 'Soap Making' started by Dorit, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. Dorit

    Dorit New Member

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    I am using the same recipe except for 3 changes, 1.replaced lard with palm oil 2. I added the lye/mixture to frozen milk. The lye/water/milk was colder than the oils. 3. added finely ground cinnamon and cloves to olive oil, heated all oils together. The rest is the same, stick blender to combine everything, then stir with a wisk, got trace quickly then added EOs. Is this a false trace? Should I have kept stirring?
     
  2. hsmomof4

    hsmomof4 New Member

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    How cold was the lye mixture? If it was cold enough to cause your palm and any other solid oils to resolidify, then false trace is definitely a possibility.
     

  3. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    You ran your new recipe through thesage.com or one of the other lye calculators? No problem with those EO's before?
     
  4. Dorit

    Dorit New Member

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    It got thick before I added EOs, the only thing I can think of is the same as what happens when you pour hot grease down the drain and run cold water on it, it coagulates, my only hope is that I kept stirring by hand, fast, and it mixed enough to saponify. It got very hot in the mold and is hard this morning, I'll let you know, nothing like experience to learn new things. Maybe we should collaborate on a book of what NOT to do, people will learn faster. LOL (not really kidding, what do you think?)
     
  5. Trysta

    Trysta New Member

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    It may have to do with the specific EO's you're using, Dorit. Some of them accelerate more than others. I was just trying to figure out what scents and oils I'm going to decide on for now, so I spent a large part of yesterday searching for FOs and EOs that fit my plan and saw some that had a special note about their fast acceleration.
     
  6. Dorit

    Dorit New Member

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    that's just it, I hadn't even put in the EOs yet. You say you are making your plan, how do you do that? Are you saying you look for new ones that sound appealing or do you decide "I will have X# of citrus, floral, woodsy, etc"?
     
  7. Trysta

    Trysta New Member

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    My PLAN! The master plan! Don't think too much about it, because it's simple (although I haven't found all the FOs and molds I need for it yet). Someone on this forum said, that as for scents it's best to go with what you really like, since it's very hard to figure out what your customers are going to like. I combined that thought with 'what do my kids like' and one soap type I felt I couldn't get around, because everyone says it's a best seller: Oatmeal Honey, just want to give it a twist, not sure what that will be. The one my kids wanted (the females) was Lavender, which is one I would never have picked, but it turned out great (Walmart Recipe, nothing fancy) and we all love that soap (I did add another FO in it that you don't really smell, but I think it does do something to it), plus the lady that I gave one to try told me she wanted to order those, because her family fights over who gets that soap...

    Then on my way home from visiting my daughter, a 2 1/2 hr drive, I went over every smell I really love and can't find anywhere right now (most are ones that have a memory and will be a combo of two or three things), and over what I remember was my mom's favorite soap (my dad bought it for her every Christmas, don't remember the brand, but I do remember we all loved it and weren't allowed to use it - Dad's rule, not my mom's :lol)

    Anyway, I now have a list of 8 soaps I want to make as my starting assortment, aqnd I am in the process of finding the FOs and EOs that go with those.
     
  8. Trysta

    Trysta New Member

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    Then for molds I just don't have my mind made up yet, so I will go with a combo there, too. For starters, I want one or two log molds, one or two large tray molds (at least 12 bars), since those molds give you the option of doing something cool with the surface or embed smaller soaps in them, which I think could be cool, and maybe a few 'cool shaped' smaller molds, mainly to put left overs of batches in and I think it will be nice to gift those, use for special occasions or use them in displays and such.

    I have decided I want to experiment with getting just the right scent more than I want to experiment with color, so I am going for natural color first, which will make all of my soap probably a creme color, except possibly one, which will have a colored spice in it, and I expect that to color the soap (can't wait to make that one!).

    So there it is, Dorit, I hope this helps you some!
     
  9. Dorit

    Dorit New Member

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    Your posts gives me an understand of how you soapers go about organizing what you are going to make. Being so new and having so many choices makes a decision very hard. All I know is that I found one mold I like, I love color and hate fooling with scents. Wish I could get away without them. :/ thanks.
     
  10. MF-Alpines

    MF-Alpines New Member

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    A plan. Wow. No real plan here. Just decided to do a couple of citrus, woodsy, floral, minty. Well, a couple turned into 24 bars of various scents. That doesn't include a kitchen bar, pine tar, or jewelweed. Nor does it include 3 different scents of Barb's shaving soap. Nor a couple of scents I only make for holidays. I only use eo's. I know Vicki said it can be "limiting", but I have yet to find it so. Now with the thread on the Four Thieves, I'll have to add that. And Spearmint Eucalyptus. There are so many eo's and so many combinations, it'll make your head spin.

    LOL. Good luck with that plan, Marion. :)
     
  11. Anita Martin

    Anita Martin Senior Member

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    Dorit, I'm not understanding about exactly what you meant when you said you added your lye mixture to your frozen milk? Then you said the lye/water/milk solution was colder than the oils? Are you using water to dissolve your lye? If so, you will dissolve the lye with water well in advance of your scheduled soaping time to make sure it is cool. You do not add your milk to the lye/water, but instead, once you've added the lye/water to your warm (not hot) oils, you stir until emulsion, that's just when the lye/water start to come together, then add your liquid milk. Cold milk will shock your soap so it's best to use room temp. or slightly warm milk.

    Now, if you are using milk to dissolve your lye, you add the lye crystals over the frozen cubes and then stir gently until fairly well melted. I always, always, always, stick blend my lye/milk because I don't give the milk very long to dissolve the lye before adding to my oils and I tend to get lye crystals on top of my soap if I don't stick blend.

    If you want to use herb tea or something like that in addition to your milk, you can also freeze that in cubes and measure it out with the milk and pour the lye over it. I like using the frozen cubes best because I don't have to do my lye in advance, verses having to wait a long time for my water/lye mixture to cool.

    In melting the cubes, the lye/milk mixture will be just slightly warm when you add it, not hot so it should not accelerate your soap because of temp. shocks.

    I hope this helps.
     
  12. Trysta

    Trysta New Member

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    Dorit, sounds like we should soap together: you come up with cool colors, and I'm in charge of scents :biggrin

    And please realize I'm as new as you are, so when you say 'how you soapers' I have a heart attack, because I really don't consider myself a soaper yet at all. I'm a dabbler and I'm trying to learn as quick as I can, because I really like it!

    Ha and Cindy: I like starting with a plan, but I have learned that every plan has many ways of exploding in your face (with soap even literally :laughcry), so I know it can change just like that!
     
  13. Dorit

    Dorit New Member

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    Anita, thanks for clarifying about the lye. I will use a stick blender now. I once poured the lye/water through a sieve and had a lot of jelly looking stuff left over in sieve, I smashed it through. And yes I did exactly what you outlined, I premix lye with water and keep it on shelf, then I reduce total water by 2x's the lye weight, then add the milk, I messed up by putting frozen milk in container and pouring lye/water mix over it, it got very cold. I will not do that again. Thanks
    Marion, I am wanting to exclude FOs entirely. I am at a loss as to blending woodsy and florals. All I see are mints and herbs. can you point me in a direction where I can learn how to blend those?
    Trysta, absolutely. I just got a bunch of colorants, micas, oxides and natural herbs, be delighted to share and compare notes. But I only want to proceed with EOs, just because FOs make me so very sick.
     
  14. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    My milk isn't frozen but I quit heating up my milk when I add it to my batches, it simply doesn't do anything to my mix adding cold milk from the fridge. My water/lye 50/50 mixture is certainly cold this time of year, once again it does nothing to my butters and oils when I stick blend it in. Dorit, I never stir, I don't use scents that accelerated like that, I do have a couple that move fast, and when I start using a new scent I may stir with the stick blender off or stir with my spatula I use to scrape soap out of my bucket, but 99% of the time I use my stick blender from start of finish. I use it to mix my butters and oils since they are not all completely melted, I use it to add my water and lye to them and continue using it through emulison adding my milk and adding my scents and colors later on. Don't go making this harder than it is. Vicki
     
  15. MF-Alpines

    MF-Alpines New Member

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    Go here: http://www.rainbowmeadow.com/infocenter/calc_eoblend/blendselect.php

    It will give you tons of ideas and even includes quantity per batch and at what ratios.
     
  16. Dorit

    Dorit New Member

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    "Don't go making this harder than it is. Vicki" Easy for you to say, you have years of experience ;) When my soap didn't saponify I was told to stop using a stick and use a whisk instead, bc I had a false trace. Now I alternate between the two and I am getting trace slower but have plenty of time to color.
    As I write I am watching Sunday Morning talk about the benefits of lard and other animal fats. Maybe there is a new lard trend in the future. But until then I will keep trying to get the palm oil in sync, OK one last question: I a WalMart recipe should palm oil be closer to 57% or to 30%? thanks.
     
  17. Anita Martin

    Anita Martin Senior Member

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    Don't worry Dorit, after 200 hundred batches, then you'll REALLY know what works for you and what doesn't! If you plan to sell soaps, I wouldn't give up on FO's just yet. There are many that give me a headache or I don't like the smell off or smell nice, but are cloying after a while....and only one I have on hand now will accelerate uncontrollably if I don't do XZY to prevent it. At last count I had at least 60 different varieties at my market booth, both FO's and EO's as well as three different varieties of unscented. I also have salt bars, lard bars, vegan bars, castile bars, oatmeal bars, and on and on. If EO's weren't so expensive it wouldn't be so bad, but using them exclusively does cut into overall profits. There are thousands of blends, but some of them are so similar that I cannot keep them straight unless I label them on the cure racks, and then if I lose my label, I forget what it is!
     
  18. Dorit

    Dorit New Member

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    I sincerely do not want to quit, I am having more fun than ever, I just feel weeeee bit guilty about all the money I am spending and haven't started selling yet. I keep saying 'cost of doing business, R & D, paying my dues' but still getting impatient. I keep thinking I need a plan, a direction, but listen to me, I know all of you have gone through the same thing. So many have said don't give up on FOs, so I will continue with them and just take precautions
     
  19. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    Than go back to the walmart recipe....don't move away from it until you understand saponification and how even temperature in your soap room, colors and fragrances are affecting what you are doing. Use scents and essential oils someone you know uses already so it doesn't effect your soap, use colorings that someone else is already having success with. Then start tweaking your recipes...walk before you run, cause right now you are flying by the seat of your pants and it's expensive to ruin batches, sure you can rebatch it, but you can't sell soap you can't consistantly produce.
     
  20. hsmomof4

    hsmomof4 New Member

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