If you are an unlucky cold process soap maker you might have experienced the Dreaded Orange Spot aka DOS. It is precisely as it sounds... orange spots in your soap. There are several factors that can contribute to dreaded orange spots. DOS can appear in cold process soap while curing, or months after it has been made. It can appear in various shades, sizes and anywhere in the soap. Though the soap is safe to use it can become visually unappealing and will likely develop a disagreeable odour.
What causes DOS?
There are several factors that increase and contribute to the likelihood of DOS, the most common is rancid oils. As with food grade ingredients, cosmetic grade soap making ingredients also have a shelf life. The soap changes and develops DOS when the oil goes past its shelf life.
How to stop DOS forming?
There are several things you can do to help prevent DOS forming. Use fresh oils that have a long shelf life and distilled water when making your soap. By doing this you are ensuring that there are no extra ingredients are being included into your soap, such as minerals and metals from tap water. You need to be sure to use the right tools to cut your soap or the metal content might also be contribute and affect your soap.
Other reason that can contribute to DOS
High super fats can also contribute to DOS as you are left with a lot of ‘free-floating’ oils within your soap bar. The oil that did not go through saponification has an increased chance of developing DOS. Using Grapefruit Seed Extract or Vitamin E can help to combat super fats. The certain types of fragrance oil used can also affect the amount and colour of the DOS in your soap. Your soap need to cure in a dry and well ventilated cool place and with enough space between each individual bar or you risk moisture not being able to escape and an increased chance of DOS occurring. Soap that come into contact with metal-rust will also contribute so be sure to use the right sort of storage.