Oil Seperation

by Gloria
(Romania)

First, thank you for your dedication, patience, generosity and time to answer all these questions from other people, wanting to help them. I appreciate your efforts and i feel gratitude towards you for that. May you be blessed!


Secondly, I made a new recipe, trying to use sunflower oil 35%, coconut oil 39%, palm oil 20%, castor oil 5%, and about 100 drops of different essential oils. Although the soap got hard after 24 h, it has a layer of oil all around it.

Totally, there were maybe 2 spoons of oil. I wiped it off from it and from all around it - table. Is that glycerine or unsponified oil? I cut it in slices and in the middle of each slice there is a lighter cloud of colour. The soap is dark yellow and the interior cloud is lighter yellow. Does it mean the saponification stopped at some point? Maybe because of sunflower oil? I specify again that the soap is hard, even in the lighter cloud in the middle of the soap loaf. Also, the soap has lots of tiny hard bubbles on top of it.

Thank you for your precious time, for your kindness and generousity.

Gloria

Answer:

When oil seperates out of the soap base it can be for a couple of reasons.

The soap base may not have reached a full trace when you were stirring it. Using a stick blender can result in a false trace if you do not stir the batch down with a spoon or whisk between stick blending bursts. This could also account for the bubbles (assuming they are air pockets in the soap).

Another possibility would be your recipe was either incorrect in the lye and oil ratios or a measuring error occured.

The different colouring is likely a result of a partial gel. At some point the soap cooled down quickly in the soap mold before the gel process had completed. This can also cause seperation in the soap base.

It would probably be a good idea to check the soap to make sure it isn't lye heavy. You could do the tongue test to see if it zaps. If it does then simply use it for laundry soap.

Cathy

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