Hello everyone! I’m sure you’ve seen from most of my recent blogs that I’ve been experimenting with making many different soaps lately. I recently attempted making a Tiger Swirl Soap, and I actually had one major problem with it! While it was a beginner’s problem, I’m actually glad it happened so that I could learn from it! Have you ever experienced any problems while using sodium lactate in soap? For the base of this soap, I used our Shea Butter Cold Process Soap recipe, which happens to have 181 grams of Palm Oil in it. The palm oil actually contributed to the problem I had with using a high amount of sodium lactate in the soap.
In my Tiger Swirl Soap, I included Sodium Lactate in my recipe. Since Sodium Lactate helps to make your soap easier to remove from your mold, it seemed like a wonderful ingredient to include in my recipe! I added 55 grams of our Sodium Lactate to my lye water and thought that I was going to be so much better off! I finished my soap and it came out quite beautifully, beautiful bright orange, white, and bright green swirls! This was one soap that all of us here at Nature’s Garden were extremely excited about!
However, when we finally removed my Tiger Swirl soap from its mold and attempted to cut it, it just kept falling apart. This soap would literally just crumble in our hands. We were so disappointed, but then we tried to figure out what our problem might have been. First we thought maybe our calculations were off? But then we got to thinking about the Sodium Lactate since this was the first soap I’ve ever made with that particular ingredient. Sodium Lactate is used in cold process soap to help make a harder bar of soap. It can also be used to help your soap set up faster, so that you can remove it from your mold sooner!
After some research, we finally figured out my problem! Because I already had a high amount of Palm Oil in my soap, the addition of high levels of sodium lactate actually hardened the soap more than what we would have liked. This was caused because the combination of Palm Oil and Sodium Lactate made my soap way too hard and crumbly.
Don’t worry, these beautiful orange and green swirls will be back! I’m going to remake this soap without the Sodium Lactate and see how it turns out then! I will be back to report! While using a high amount of Sodium Lactate with Palm Oil is apparently not a good idea, you can still use just a small amount. For example, in the Aqua Di Gio soap I made after the Tiger Swirl, I only used 8 grams. (I still used our Shea Butter Soap for that base.) That soap turned out absolutely perfect! However, now we do recommend using Sodium Lactate mainly in palm-free recipes. Have you ever had any problems using sodium lactate in soap? I would love to hear from you! Make sure to check out all of our free classes and recipes, and keep watching for more Enlightened by Layla!