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Monday, February 21, 2011

White Lines, Go Awayyyyyy



See the white line?

When I first cut this soap, I believed it was lye pieces, but couldn't understand what had happened (again). But this time, I had an inkling that it was because I hadn't completely melted my shea butter to liquid. I left a few tiny melting pods in there which I thought would just be melted by the lye chemical reaction when I poured it in. My guess at this point is that it may have caused some sort of fusion instead, especially now that I know that I wasn't stirring my palm oil and creating too much stearic acid in my soaps unknowingly.... WHO KNOWS what's going on in this bar!(?) I did the tongue test when I first cut them and I got a small zap and cut all of the white "wisps" away. Well, except for this one, because I needed to know what happens to the sucker once it starts curing.

Today, I get my pH strips out to test my soaps and I test the actual white wispy part assuming it would result in high pH levels. As you can see, I tested it and got a result of 8, which is not high.


According to soap books, you want your pH levels in your soap to be between 6-10.

Then, as you can also see, I dug into the line with a tad more water and waited for a different result and I found none. I then tested it with my tongue. Minimal zap, but a zap nonetheless. I truly hate the tongue zap, and I really hate the taste of soap. :P

So the soap is the same pH level on the un-white part as it is with a fresh pH strip in the white part. Does anyone have any insight? Has this happened to you and can you share your story?

My soaps always test in at pH level of 8, so I'm starting to believe that my strips are broken or . . . what, now?

Insight would be great and sharing with newbies and me... it's good to pool our knowledge.

Because I love you guys so much, I will be doing a giveaway this week. And for the future, if there is anyone who wants to sponsor a giveaway, let me know! ;)


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13 comments:

Dreaming Tree Soapworks said...

I'm not sure when you did all the ph testing/zap testing but in some occasions it can take up to two weeks for the lye to be completely neutral. PH looks ok, and unless the strips are old or improperly stored I don't think they'd be bad. I'm almost certain it's caused by the shea not being completely melted so parts are fully saponified and some are not, thus giving you the occasional mild zap but testing ok in the ph realm. This batch is probably a good candidate for re-batching. I know you hate doing it, but sometimes it really saves the day.

B said...

Don't call it "rebatched"- call it "French-milled"! It sounds fancy and people LOVE fancy soap ;)

That white line thing is weird though- it is possible it's an internal crack from overheating? Or is it maybe a vein of pure shea butter? Craziness.

Briny Bar Soap said...

If you think there is something wrong with you pH strips, try testing them on other products with differing pH. Put a strip into some straight-up lye water. Let's get down to the bottom of this.

sironasprings said...

Do you have any phenolphthalein? I find that to be really easy and accurate to use on bar soap. Just a little drop on the suspicious area should tell you if it's lye heavy.

Cocobong Soaps said...

Unmelted Shea. I've had some similar appearances in past batches, when the shea wasn't melted completely, from white lines to white specs. It's merely a cosmetic problem, but doesn't influence the quality or performance. No need to 'french mill', creative advertising with convincing words will save the batch ;)

LongLeafSoaps said...

I'm on the unmelted shea butter side of the fence....nice creamy looking bar btw...

Sindy Anderson said...

This happens to me sometimes when I mix or when the soap mixes to quickly, creating a QUICK trace if that makes any sense~ It leaves a mark~ Soap is usually fine, just ugly~
hth
Sindy

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Amy Warden said...

I'm glad you have some answers from others, because I had NO clue! :)

Joanna said...

I am officially done rebatching so if anyone wants any of my failed batches, contact me and you can have them for the price of shipping them to you.

Really.

Meghan said...

Oh well hey, send them my way, I never mind re- batching it's kinda relaxing, my first soaps waaaaay back in the day were rebatches :)

hary said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jen said...

I'd love to have some of your failed batch! What a generous offer. :)