Ok so I've only made a few batches and it seems my bars aren't hardening as much as I would like after 3 weeks. I have kept the first couple of batches in the garage, unheated? The last batch I have in the house curing. I'm hoping the difference of temp. will evaporate the remaining water and the result will be a firmer bar of soap?? Any suggestions are welcome!!
Several factors come into play when making bar soap, especially if you want to make a nice hard bar of soap.
Bar soap will be hard if made with a high ratio of saturated fatty acids. Because most biodiesel is made with un-saturated oils, Bar soap from BDG can be a bit soft and rubbery if you do not add saturated traditional ingredients.
A few other factors can come into play as well.
The most important one is to ensure that all of the methanol has been removed from the BDG. Not only is this important to ensure a harder bar of soap but is also a safety issue. Along with removing the methanol it's best to dry your BDG as best as possible. You can do this by extending your methanol removal process until most of the water is removed from the BDG.
Next is using a proper SAP value for your BDG. With a proper SAP value you can ensure that all of the saponifiable ingredients are turned into soap. If any of those remain in the soap un-saponified that can make for a softer batch of soap. You can determine the SAP value for your BDG by using the KNC SAP Test. I prefer the oven method.
Another factor is how much water you use when saponifying the soap. You really want to short the water as much as possible when mixing your caustic solution. In doing this you use the minimal amount of water to make your soap, this can help with the hardness. You can use the KNC Soap Calculator to help you determine the correct amount of water and caustic based on your SAP value.
If after all of the above your soap is still soft and rubbery you can add traditional ingredients such as saturated whole oils and/or fatty acids. The KNC Soap Calculator can help you formulate a recipe using those ingredients.
I will soon be adding the ability to use your glycerin ratio with the KNC Soap Calculator, this will help you dial in a recipe that will be nice and hard with tons of lather.
If you like send us a more detailed description of your process and pictures always help.
http://www.knicenclean.com your single-most largest free BDG soaping content on the internet.
SAP Testing, Ingredient Properties, Soap Glossary and Recipes just to name a few.
Making Biodiesel Byproduct Soap Learn how to use your biodiesel byproducts to make great bar and liquid soap!!!
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