White Mottled Soap

by Blue Light
(Joussard Alberta Canada)

I have been PLAGUED with this white mottling in my soap for the last year! I have attached a picture of the "white stuff" that is plaguing me.

For awhile, I had some good batches in a row, so thought it was my new lye, or rather, my old lye that was the problem. But the white stuff has returned. It is not just on the surface, but throughout the whole bar.

I tried having cooler temps, higher temps, more blankets, less blankets, no blankets, stirring all by hand, stirring with stick blender, pouring in the lye slower, stirring the essential oils less, stirring them more, not using them at all, using the back side of the butcher paper to line my mold, instead of the side with the plastic film, greasing it with vaseline, not greasing it at all, using parchment paper, using different oils, melting my entire bin of coconut (and also my bin of palm oil) oil ahead of time, so I could stir it all together at once, in case there was some seperation, basic recipes, complex recipes..... I want to scream!!! Any insight will be greatly appreciated.....

My most frequently used recipe (and the one in the picture) is:
670 g melted snow or distilled water (makes no difference)
248 g lye
568 g coconut oil
638 g palm oil
106 g shea nut butter
106 g castor oil
390 g olive oil
The temp. of my lye and oil are within 3 degrees of each other when I mix the two together, and that around 90 degres F, sometimes as cool as 80, sometimes close to 100, makes no difference. Help! Blue

the sounds of things you've tried everything!

From the look of your picture, I would say that the soap has cooled down too quickly.

The location you insulate your soap in can play a big part in how it turns out. When I lived in Honeymoon Bay, our house was quite damp and cool (really old home). Sometimes I'd get that same look....like there are chaulky areas in the soap. The chaulky areas weren't caustic or anything but they were more brittle than the more translucent areas.

If this is what is happening to you, I recommend that you insulate the soap in a warm room away from the exterior walls of your house, use more blankets (I had to use 2 wool blankets folded***) and leave it alone for a full 24 hours or until you put your hand under the blankets and the soap feels cool.

The only other thing I can recommend is to take a ton of notes with each batch you make. Note all changes you make and the results that have occured.

I sure hope this helps you...I know how irritating it can be to have your soap come out "almost right" every time!!

Good luck,

***Fold the blankets into quarters. Lay one down on the table, place soap on top, add soap mold cover. Wrap the blanket up and over the top of the mold and then lay the second blanket on top. Sounds excessive but that is what I had to do when I lived in that house.

If I was to try that in my current house the soap would overheat and crack. Takes a bit to figure out what works sometimes.

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Pre-warm mold
by: Cathy

I had another thought to your dilemma...it looks like the bottom part of the soap is the section most affected.

Try pre-warming your soap mold before pouring the fresh base into it. It could be that your mold is quite cold and the soap is experiencing a 'shock' of sorts.


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