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  • Soap takes long to harden

    As anyone had this problem before?
    I made my soap with goats milk, olive oil, shea butter and coconut oil. Didn't use any water, replaced it with the milk.
    I done it on Thursday 24th Feb but is still a bit soft in the middle so I cannot take it from the mold. It's a big batch, so I really don't want to get rid of it but I'm not sure if it's going to harden or no.
    Never happened to me.

  • #2
    I feel sure your soap will harden eventually and be wonderful!

    Two things pop into my mind - not enough lye (probably not the case since you have made goat milk soap before...OR, it just didn't get very hot because you were so careful to keep temps low due to the milk. If I were you, I would wait another day or two. It's just a slow batch, taking it's time, enjoying life...

    What's your mold made of? You can actually put the mold full of soap, depending on size and material, in the oven (on an old cookie sheet) on low, soon after pouring it, if you feel it isn't heating up enough once in the mold. I'd leave it in there overnight. But keep a close eye on it. As you know, you don't want it getting too hot, though the milk has already been transformed. Also, be sure to keep your plastic lining from touching the oven rack or the cookie sheet. The low setting should be fine re plastic lining, because it can withstand the inferno that soap generally goes through during gel phase, BUT, take care it doesn't adhere to the wire rack.

    Also, if putting soap in the oven while it's still fairly gooey, be careful not to spill any in the oven. What a mess that would be.

    However, if you feel your soap is pretty cool, and the room is pretty cool, you might want to insulate it immediately with towels rather than trying the oven method. Just check it every few minutes to see just how hot it might be getting in there.

    Is this an unlined mold? I've had some slightly softish soap come out of the lined mold well enough - my husband would turn the mold over (without lifting it very high off the table - you never know, the loaf could suddenly come out!) and I would hold the lining down to the table. He'd pull up on the mold leaving the soap on the table. However, don't try to lift one end of the mold yourself while holding the lining down at that one end - you can bend a soft bar or even break it. And if the loaf or whatever is super soft, just leave it in the mold. It can get a little saggy if taken out before it's time.

    Was it fresh or canned goat milk? Fresh can vary in fat content...and that could possibly be enough to affect the soap. Canned milk is far more controlled.

    Was this the first time you made soap with only milk, no water? It does make a difference. Most milk soap of any kind that's fairly well mass produced is made with mostly water. Generally, a little canned or powdered milk is added at trace or soon before, because they need consistency and they need it to work every time. Don't we all! But my gosh, soap made with only milk is sure nice, isn't it!? Downright soothing.

    BTW, did your softish soap stay a nice light color due to lower temps?

    Have courage and give it some time. I just know it's going to turn out well! Think positive!

    Comment


    • #3
      Did you run the formula through a soap calc?

      We make goat's milk soap with 100% fresh milk, we never add water, canned milk or dried milk.

      We make it in 50 kilo batches and it is always ready to de - mold and cut after 24 - 36 hrs.

      Check your formula, ;eave it for a few more days and see what happens.

      I now many soapers put their batches in the freezer - to stop the gel phase - I have never tried that?

      Good luck

      Jane
      www.just-soaps.com
      Twitter JUSTSOAPS
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      Natural Handmade Olive Oil Soaps and Skincare free from SLS, Parabens, and other Nasties

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      • #4
        That's interesting Jane - I have never heard of anyone putting their soap in the freezer to stop the gel phase. I don't understand - could you expand on that? After all, one does want gel phase. You've got a question mark after that - are you asking a question about it? Maybe you're referring to someone whose soap is WAY too hot. Can you make it a little more clear? I don't think Sedadica had that happen.

        I know people who can't get their soap to come out of a mold will put it in the freezer to help with release - my granddaughter and I had to do that when we made some M&P together.

        Sedadica, it's my humble opinion that your gel phase is quite over, since it was made three days ago, and the soap is simply still a little soft. I think time is on your side!

        Comment


        • #5
          Definitely a problem with the recipe. Check your ingredients through soapcalc and make sure that you have been exact with the amount of lye, milk and fats.
          We make goats milk soap and it is usually ready after a couple of days to take out of the moulds. On the odd occasion that we have had a dud batch, it has always been due to a problem with the recipe e.g. not enough lye ratio.
          If it doesn't fully harden in the next 48 hours, I think you'll just have to bite the bullet and throw it away
          xxxx
          http://www.crafty-days.co.uk/page_2605964.html

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by cosmic grammie View Post
            That's interesting Jane - I have never heard of anyone putting their soap in the freezer to stop the gel phase. I don't understand - could you expand on that? After all, one does want gel phase. You've got a question mark after that - are you asking a question about it? Maybe you're referring to someone whose soap is WAY too hot. Can you make it a little more clear? I don't think Sedadica had that happen.

            I know people who can't get their soap to come out of a mold will put it in the freezer to help with release - my granddaughter and I had to do that when we made some M&P together.

            Sedadica, it's my humble opinion that your gel phase is quite over, since it was made three days ago, and the soap is simply still a little soft. I think time is on your side!
            You are absolutely correct Susan - I had never heard of putting GM soap in the freezer to stop the gel phase - however on many forums this is often discussed.

            I did state that I had never tried it, and put in question mark for debate. I have to say, I have not heard of putting it in the oven either - so will do some research, sounds fascinating - thanks for the tip;-)

            Here is an interesting article:

            http://www.greatcakessoapworks.com/h...or-not-to-gel/

            As we all know, running formula through a soap clac is imperative to ensure we get the correct results .

            I don't profess to be an expert, just offering my thoughts.

            Making GM soap at this time of year when the Nannies are kidding is great - if the more Mum will spare some milk - makes a lovely creamy soap

            Jane
            greannancrafts
            Senior Member
            Last edited by greannancrafts; 26-02-2012, 06:12 PM.
            www.just-soaps.com
            Twitter JUSTSOAPS
            FB www.facebook.com/pages/Just-Soaps/258910018463
            Natural Handmade Olive Oil Soaps and Skincare free from SLS, Parabens, and other Nasties

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi ladies,
              Thanks for your replies.
              Now to answer the questions.
              It was my first time doing GM soap. I used fresh milk. My mould is a wood one my hubby made for me and is too big for my oven it is 20 inches long. It went trough gel phase and everything and I did ran my recipe through 3 different soap calculators before I done it as I didn't want it to go wrong. Not sure why it did. It smells so good at cinnamon and sweet orange that I really don't want to spoil it.
              I added some beautiful colours too. Do you think that's the problem?

              Comment


              • #8
                Eeeek, I beg you - don't throw it away!! I can't bear it. Before doing that, test it's pH and use it if that's good - it may be wonderful to use, just not a real hard bar. Also, if the pH is good, you could always rebatch it - NOT a terribly fun thing to do, but it can be done. OR, grate it in a few days and save to add as "curls" in another batch - not too many, just a few....so gradually it gets put to good use, and could look fab in a contrasting and complimentary color.

                You could also try chopping it up before it gets too hard (I feel it will harden, eventually...in the not too distant future) and take a small amount, for a smaller mold if you have one, and experiment with adding sea salt. Add say, oh a cup of fine grain sea salt to about 4 cups of your diced, basically melted soap, and then mold it and see what happens...but i have heard you should not use Dead Sea Salt as it contains other minerals that can have an effect on the hardness. I've read that salt hardens a bar more quickly, but doesn't guarantee a hard bar after curing. However, I have not found that to be true with my batches - it's always been delightful. And it sparkles a little. =)

                It sounds like this batch has just got it's own personality. I suppose the colorant could've made a difference, but I just don't know. Read up on the stuff at the site where you got it, or call them and ask about it...does it have a reputation for resulting in softish bars....etc., but I really shouldn't think so.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Susan, your goat photo's are amazing, they are so cute. I wish that I could make goat milk soap, maybe one day *sigh*
                  Tutor in PMC Silver Clay in the West Midlands
                  Facebook:
                  https://www.facebook.com/MetalClayTutor
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                  http://www.artclayjewellery.co.uk

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by greannancrafts View Post
                    I have not heard of putting it in the oven either - so will do some research, sounds fascinating - thanks for the tip;-)
                    You're welcome! You can read about this in
                    Scientific Soapmaking: The Chemistry of the Cold Process by Kevin Dunn.
                    He had a toaster oven he used only for soap, which is a good idea. But not feasible for long loaves.

                    Sedadica, I get my husband to make wooden loaf molds for me, too. I have had to get him to make some smaller ones for me recently, as it is getting more difficult for me to pick them up when full of soap! =(

                    I meant to ask - what mood was the goat in when she was milked? Yes, it's a joke, but let me tell you, it CAN make a difference.

                    Also...hmmmm.....oh yes... is there any chance you might possible have whipped too much air into it? That could possibly be factoring in. Maybe.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by julesie View Post
                      Susan, your goat photo's are amazing, they are so cute. I wish that I could make goat milk soap, maybe one day *sigh*
                      Thanks Julsie! The babies are always darling and photogenic...the adults, well, you have to get lucky. They don't hold a pose for long. Neither do the kids, but any way you catch them on film, they are always cute. Okay, maybe not always....

                      If you ever do decide to try goat milk soap, let me know and I'll try to guide you through the adding of the lye to the slushy milk...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        you madam, are a lovely one
                        Tutor in PMC Silver Clay in the West Midlands
                        Facebook:
                        https://www.facebook.com/MetalClayTutor
                        Website:
                        http://www.artclayjewellery.co.uk

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                        • #13
                          Another thing I remembered. When I mixed the lye with the milk it started to thicken the milk. I'm not going to throw it away, I'll wait at least a week and then I'll see what I'm going to do with it.

                          Thanks for all your help and answers. I guess we all have bad days.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Bad news for me.
                            Just put a knife trough my soap and is completely liquid inside.
                            Is there anything I can do at this time?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Yes, the fat in the milk will start to saponify as soon as any lye is introduced and it does not affect the outcome of the soap...totally liquid in the middle?? MOST perplexing! Hmmmm..... Was your lye lumpy? I.e., had it absorbed moisture from the air? That can make a diff, but generally it sitll works, it just makes a softish soap because there's a little extra water in there. But it's not that much....

                              The only thing i can think of is that perhaps something distracted you and you didn't measure out as much lye as you thought. That's really reaching, I know, but i can't think of anything else.

                              Must get my granddaughter to Austin to school...she's going to be late. I'll keep thinking, though. Test the pH of the middle liquid....I'll check back when I get home.

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