Tag Archives: soap batch with too much sodium lactate

Mar
27

Sodium Lactate in Soap


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sodium-lactate-in-soapSodium Lactate in Soap

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!

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Apr
14

Brittle Soap


This entry was posted in bath and body, bath products, cold process soap, handmade soap, homemade soap, how to make cold process soap, make your own soap, natural colorants, soap ingredients, Soap making supplies, soap mold, soap recipe, soap supplies, sodium lactate and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

soap that has too much sodium lactate
Warning, the following pictures may disturb some soapers!

Here was the scenario:  Using a Hot Process Recipe, we made a soap batch that we thought would work.  However, we got a little too sodium lactate happy.  As a result, our soap bars were not functional.  And, to be completely honest, some of our soap could not even be classified as a bar.

Can you feel the soaping life lesson coming on?

Our hot process soap was molded and ready to be removed and sliced.  The end was trimmed off, and we went in for our first cut… that was when the slice fell, and broke into two pieces.

brittle slice of soap

Again we tried, but to no avail…

crumbly soap

That was when we thought to slice the bars thicker.  Still the same result, a broken bar of soap.

high amount of sodium lactate

Heart broken, we came to the conclusion that there was too much sodium lactate in our recipe.

Yes, sad but true; we have brittle soap.  And, a 4 pound batch at that!  Even though the soap was brittle, we still wanted to find out how it performed.  So, we washed our hands with the bar pieces.  This action made the finished bars completely crumble as we rubbed them together under the running water.

testing the processed soap

The original recipe was a failure, but not a complete one.  We were able to see first hand what happens to soap when too much sodium lactate is added.

soap that needs a rebatch

In one of the earlier Natures Gardens blog posts, we wrote that using too much sodium lactate in your soap recipe will produce finished bars that crumble or are brittle.  This soap is the perfect example of exactly how this worked.

The recipe that we used contained 1 ounce of sodium lactate per pound of soaping oils in our recipe.  We thought that this would help harden the bar, especially since the soap was made from very soft oils.

Well, we were wrong.  This is why testing is highly suggested when dealing with soaping additives like sodium lactate.