White specks

by Jack
(BC)

Hello,


I recently made a batch of CP soap that has white spots on the top as well as air pockets on the top and within the soap. I would guess the air pockets are from my less than fantastic blending technique, but the white spots are a mystery. I'm pretty sure it's not lye heavy, so what else could it be? I mixed the lye and oil at 115F and 105F, respectively.

Thanks,
Jack

Answer:

Jack,

It's hard to tell from the pictures but there are a couple of things it may be.

1. Dig out one of the specks, place it on paper towel and wet it down slightly. Does the paper towel go brown? If so they are lye bits that haven't dissolved....not good! You will have to throw away the soap in this case.

2. If the paper towel doesn't go brown then pick up the bit and roll it in your fingers. Does it feel sort of waxy? It could be stearic or palmitic acid that hasn't melted completely. If this is the case there really isn't much you can do about it this time but the soap should be fine. Next time you make soap be sure to heat the oils up until they have completely melted and are clear.

3. If you used titanium dioxide, they could be bits that didn't dissolve.

4. Sometimes fragrance and essential oils react strangely with the soap base.

Regardless of what you think may have happened, be sure to test the soap to make sure it isn't lye heavy before using it...it's better to be safe than sorry.

Don't worry about air pockets too much...stick blenders (and sometimes whisks) will often incorporate air into the soap base. If the pockets contain a liquid...that's a different story and you need to check the liquid to see if it is lye.

Even with the spots, your soap looks great! Keep up the good work.

Good luck,
Cathy

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white specks
by: lan

Hi i have the same exact problems in my soap.. i have tested my soap ph, its about 10. i dont think its the lye problem bacause i ve used the soaps..
but still i do not know how to prevent this white specks.. can anyone help? Jack have u know the problem and solution to that? i appreciate it..
i used olive oil, cocoa butter, palm and olive oil.. i mixed and heated them well...

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white specks
by: Jack

It hasn't occurred since that batch. I believe the soap lost too much heat on the surface because that was my first batch so I kept opening the cover of the mold to see what was happening. Now I don't do that unless it's overheating, so the white specks are gone for now.

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White hard specs
by: Anonymous

I occasionally have the problem of white specs that are crunchy and rough. It doesn't always happen but enough lately that I am concerned. The final product is great except for the scratchy feel and these are not meant to be exfoliating soaps. help!

Answer:

I'm not sure what the 'crunchy specs' could be...very strange.

A couple of things I would do:

See if any of the afflicted soaps has a common additive that could be the culprit.

Check your oils to be sure that they melt completely and that there isn't some sort of contaminate in them.

Make sure that your lye dissolves fully and does not have any flakes left.

Lastly, I would buy some distilled water if you aren't already. Perhaps there is some sort of mineral in the water you are using that is reacting to the process.

Good luck,

Cathy

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White specks
by: Anonymous

I have just started using fragrance oil and colorants in my soap, and I have the mysterious white specks. I've never had them before now. I'm thinking it must be the titanium dioxide. My fragrance oil was clear, and my colorants were liquid. No palm oil or stearic acid was used.

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white specks
by: katie

I've experienced what specs twice...both times when using lavender and patchouli essential oil. soaping at room temp one the other not...I din't use steric acid (I forgot) and my recipe is the one I use for all of my soaps apart from my treatment soaps..I made patchouli lavender last week - same recipe but less lavender...it is perfect...I'm wondering if it's the lavender eo..

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Lavender EO
by: Anonymous

We have been making soaps for over two years now and the white spots (same texture of the rest of the soap) appear invariably when using the Lavender essential oil. It is not in all the soaps, but in most of them. Pretty annoying. Did not yet find a way of overcoming them. As it is not in all the soaps of one batch, it must be the interaction of the Lavender EO with something else...

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