Problems with Chalky edges using the Shea Butter Soap Recipe
I have been making large batches of your Shea butter soap recipe- and have had some wonderful successes and some not so wonderful.
I have had problems with chalky ends of my loafs and in my smaller plastic molds with a few of my additives.
The lemongrass soap causes problems, I add one tsp of the E/O to your recipe (smells amazing) but I get a pretty bad build up of chalky-like soap that is lighter in color and crumbles on my ends and sides of my loaf mold and in parts of my smaller shaped plastic molded soaps.
Note- I do a double batch and tried to marble it with calendula infused olive oil- this part looks good and does not seem to have the chalkiness but the un-infused batch with just the lemongrass E/O does (though many of the smaller mold soaps looked horrible and need to re-batched).
This also happens with the Shea butter and lavender E/O double batch (one without color and E/O- chalkiness and one with alkanet root and E/O- not chalky and looks amazing) and with my green tea and sweet orange shea butter layered soap (green tea layer- chalky, sweet orange- not chalky).
I measure my lye out in the unit of grams for accuracy and double check all my measurements. My thoughts are that maybe I am over beating a mixture or due to marbling one batch is left out waiting a little bit longer and it is cooling too quickly (It takes time to pour
into each of my smaller molds, make my marbling designs, and add herbs to the tops of each).
I also mix the oils and lye at about 100-105 for marbling. The smaller molds tend to look worse than the log (wooden 2 and 5 lb molds I use)- but I do see the chalkiness at the ends these. (note: I insulate the plastic molds in a large covered plastic storage container- with thick towels layered with cardboard under and over each mold and then the top mold is covered with the cardboard and the towels. I then placed the large container over a heating pad- to help get the soaps to a full gel- all within a wool blanket)
Thank you in advance for all your help. I hope I can still sell these soaps- but I want to make sure they are safe (i.e. just soda ash that can be removed/ just cosmetic) or maybe re-batchable (though sadly I will lose my marbling).
Sounds like you are insulating quite well. Maybe try pre-heating the essential/fragrance oils before pouring them into the soap. You could also try pre-heating the soap molds. I found this to work very well when I lived in one home that was a little drafty.
Also try changing the location of the place you insulate the soap in. Make sure it is not being insulated next to an exterior wall of the house. Choose a spot that doesn't have any drafts and is on the warmer side.