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    • CommentAuthorLyndah
    • CommentTimeDec 12th 2011
      0 points
    I recently made my soap using coconut milk instead of the water. It went to trace superfast and now after 4 weeks it still has an amonia smell.

    OO - 40%, Palm Oil - 25%, Coconut oil - 30% and castor oil 5%, discount 5% but I added at trace 4 Tab of castor oil (I do that with most of my soaps) and the coconut lime FO. As I said, it traced real fast. We almost had to scoop it to get it in the mold. It has set up but it smells awful. I think it just didn't process. What do you think? Any info I'd appreciate and should I just trash it? Thank you. Lynda
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      CommentAuthorEsther
    • CommentTimeDec 12th 2011
      0 points
    I use coconut milk all the time... But I use it as part of my liquid and add it after trace.
    • CommentAuthorLyndah
    • CommentTimeDec 12th 2011 edited
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    Esther, I used it as all of the water and not after trace. I will try it that way next time. Thanks.

    Anyone know if I should just throw it out. Thanks.
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      CommentAuthorchrima
    • CommentTimeDec 12th 2011
      0 points
    don't throw it out, lyndah. you can always grate it up and make laundry soap. test it and see if, other than the smell, it works.
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      CommentAuthorEsther
    • CommentTimeDec 12th 2011 edited
      0 points
    I agree with Chrima in that it can be laundry soap (that's what I do with my funky bars). The ammonia smell is new to me.... because ammonia is from nitrogen and that comes from protein-- and the only source of protein is in the mlik (about 7 grams in a 13 ounce can).

    I'm wondering if there wasn't enough lye in your mix to break down the protein or only partially break it down which created the nitrogen.

    Also, my recipe uses about 24 ounces of fluid--- I use about 11 ounces to disolve my lye, and the other 13 are from the coconut milk. I also count the 2 ounces of fat in the coconut milk into my fat calculations.
    • CommentAuthorgrammadawn
    • CommentTimeDec 12th 2011
      0 points
    Photobucket

    This is a picture of the soap I made using coconut milk. You will see a spot of white on the bar. Andee thought it was due to the cocnut milk. Other than that it has been a good soap. No smell, good lather. Recipe was Castor Oil, Palm Kernel Oil, and Lard.

    Must have been beginner's luck!
    • CommentAuthorLyndah
    • CommentTimeDec 13th 2011
      0 points
    Ester, I did not figure in the fat content of the coconut milk. I'll give it another week. It lathers great but smells ammonia.

    My recipe calls for 12 oz of water and I just substituted the coconut milk, not thinking about the fat. Thanks. Lynda
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      CommentAuthorMesha
    • CommentTimeDec 13th 2011
      0 points
    Haven't yet made coconut milk soap but if it was me I'd give it at least a month to see what happens with it. If it still stinks after that then I would try grating it up and hot processing it to see if the heat would help break up the protein and cook off the scent.
    If all else fails and it is good soap otherwise you could possibly add a stronger fragrance to it that would cover the smell. I'd test it on just a little of it first though before doing the whole batch so as not to waste the fragrance if it doesn't work.
    Hope it works out for you.
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      CommentAuthorEsther
    • CommentTimeDec 14th 2011 edited
      1 point
    I think the problem was you didn't have enough free water to work with the lye and it only partially broke down the protein in the milk. Coconut milk (like all milks) is only a percentage water and the rest is solids. Coconut milk is about 60% free water, 20% fat and the rest in protein etc. Which is where I think the ammonia is coming from.

    When I use it, I don't take a water discount (in fact, I never take a water discount, ever), make sure I have added water that I use to disolve the lye and I don't add the coconut milk until after trace. Superfatting is OK, but it's not if you don't have enough lye to work through all the components outside of fat.

    Example (pulling up an recipe I've used)
    Fats 42 oz or 64% of total volume
    Lye 6 oz or 9 %
    Coconut milk 13 oz or 20%
    Water 5 oz or 7%

    Compare it to your fat ounces, lye and water.

    The only superfatting I do is I don't include the 2.5 ounces fat in the coconut milk in my calculations which = 6% Superfat (and even that is a little too close for me).
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      CommentAuthorMesha
    • CommentTimeDec 14th 2011
      0 points
    So would adding some additional water and cooking it while it is still fresh fix it for her?
    Since it didn't have enough water for the lye to do its job is the batch ruined or possibly lye heavy?
    Just curious for my own info bcse I can totally see myself making the same mistake. I never discount my water either though but very well would have used 100% milk figuring more is better-right?
    Is there anyplace that you can find out what percentage of each type of milk is fats to help figure your lye calculations?
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      CommentAuthorEsther
    • CommentTimeDec 14th 2011
      0 points
    I use canned milk, which is in a sense 'cooked' in the canning process and the proteins partially denatured. If she used fresh milk, then that could change things.
    The fact that it smells like ammonia means something involving partially broken down proteins is going on, so I think the opposite happened...
    there was too much fat and the protein only got partially denatured before the lye was 'used' in the fats. When you use coconut milk it's like taking a 40% water
    discount, so I'd adjust accordingly.

    I'd do a Bing search on any milk I was thinking of using. Goats and cows milk is about 3 to 4% fat and protein. I just know with coconut milk, when I read the label it was like "uh oh, I need to adjust my numbers".

    Granted, all of the above is based on what I've extrapolated :)
    • CommentAuthorJessica
    • CommentTimeDec 31st 2011
      0 points
    I make CP with Coconut milk and the same thing happened to me with my first batch. I had figured that the batch had overheated and scorched the milk. The amonia smell did go away but it took awhile. I was still worried about it and had it with my other batches of soap and asked my friends to tell me what they liked. Several of them chose the coc. milk soap. I then told them what had happened and asked if they could smell what I was smelling and they said no. I now make sure that the oils have cooled to100-110 degrees. I also try to place it in a cool place after I pour. I have never had a problem since.
    • CommentAuthorLyndah
    • CommentTimeMar 12th 2013
      0 points
    Just wanted to let you all know that we finally got around to trying our soap - a little over a year after we made it. It's been sitting waiting patiently. Anyway, we both tried it yesterday and Oh, my, gosh - it is so sudsy! We are going to make a new batch soon and will make some changes. Thank you Ester and Jessica for your help. And now we have a whole bunch of great soap to use that I had almost decided to throw out! Smells fine now.
  1.   0 points
    thank you LYNDAH for joggling my memory about this topic....
    something fishy about the smell of ammonia connected with my urge to reduplicate your methodology...questioning...
    but what happened was that you stimulated my interest.

    here's what I did using one can of coconut milk-like cream:
    1) first searched under "coconut cream" using this forum (thank you to The Sage: comments get people thinking about words, suffixes, similarities and materials applications...) to get more information and creative raw material
    2) several interesting steps later (trialsgot me to what functions as a science experiment in one can (plus lye)
    3) measure AND read the label
    4) says total fat (coconut, I assumed) 19g fat per 90 gram serving
    5) let the can undisturbed; solids separate from the liquids; add the lye to part of the liquids; combine with melted solids (which are not oils alone)
    6) required warm-room temperature only and some stirring in the mold
    6) this soap-like product is soap-like only, but I still like the idea of making something useful and also something of a show out of one can of food product.
    • CommentAuthorLyndah
    • CommentTimeMar 14th 2013
      0 points
    Original_sin, We're going to try it again today but with changes. As I said, the other one worked but it just smelled terrible for a while. Thanks.
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      CommentAuthorLavenderLady
    • CommentTimeMar 14th 2013 edited
      0 points
    To make it easier and to ensure that you do not scorch a milk, you can add that at trace without any problems. It also tends to give you a lighter colored soap. If, however, you like adding the lye to the milk, try freezing the milk. You either need to allow it to partially thaw before use, or add some water to it though, before you add the lye in order to fully dissolve the lye. Add the lye slowly and stir thoroughly to make sure that dissolves well (it is harder to see in milks than in water, so stir a bit extra). Every time I have heard someone say they got an amonia type smell, it has either been right at the beginning of adding lye to goat milk or when they didn't have enough water in their slurry. I have never heard anyone say that the smell didn't go away, and the soap has always been fine.

    I never calculate the fat from milk into the lye percentage, and I have never heard of anyone who does until now. To me, this is why you make milk soap, to get a nice, rich bar. If you normally superfat a high %, then you should drop it some. But if you normally sf anything below a 10, I'd leave it alone and see how you like your soap.
    • CommentAuthorLyndah
    • CommentTimeMar 15th 2013
      0 points
    LavenderLady, Thanks. We do freeze the fresh goats milk and it works great. When we did this coconut milk we were using canned which we had never worked with. Yesterday we froze it and it worked great processing it at 90 degrees.
  2.   0 points
    Awesome Lyndah! I am so glad that it worked well for you.