The dreaded orange spots
I soon discovered that it stood for "Dreaded Orange Spots" orange spots about the size of a pencil eraser that can appear on soaps. The orange spots are oxidized oils. They can appear in soap for a number of reasons, apparently. Some say it's because of too much superfatting. Others that soaps made with canola and sunflower oils are more prone to it. (Just a side note: I never use canola oil. It is hybridized rape seed which is not fit for human consumption)Still other blame storage conditions and old or rancid oils. Still someone attributed the spots to high iodine value in the recipe (over 70).
I had never had this happening so I was a bit surprised when I discovered some of my soaps had indeed developed those spots! The soaps are very white in colour because I added titanium dioxide to them, so the spots are very noticeable. I have racked my brain for an explanation, but have found none. I thought I had a good system for tracking my soaps, but I'm not entirely sure exactly which recipe this is, although I suspect it is the one with about 20% soybean oils and 23% sunflower oil and an iodine level of 71.
What I do know is that is had been stored with all my other soaps, so that is unlikely to be the culprit. I'm still using the 25 kilos of lye so that isn't to blame. I usually superfat my soaps by 5%, although I once made a facial soap with 10% superfat at trace with Evening primrose oil. That soap I used up quickly, so no spots on that. I have not had the orange spots in any other soaps, so far, so this is an interesting problem.
Apparently it is safe to use the soap. They just look bad. And I don't think I'm going to use it on my skin. I have this thing about oxidized fats. Never eat butter that has turned yellow! I might grate it down and use it as laundry soap... or I might just throw it out!
Speaking of laundry soap, I have been meaning to make an old fashioned soap using sheep fat, just the way they did in the old days. The sheep's fat is white, but it does smell quite a bit. It is traditionally used in food, but I thought it could make a nice old fashioned soap. I intend to do the laundry soap with 0% discount as there is no need for oils in laundry detergent. Since I have just received the alkanet root I also think I'm going to colour it with that to see what colour it turns in a zero discount soap. Should be interesting.