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Old 01-06-2018, 02:07 PM   #11
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I usually mix the lye and liquid first. By the time my oils are ready the lye/liquid is ready to go.

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Old 01-06-2018, 02:17 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by omdougherty View Post
Thanks so much! Can I still add more lye even after mixing all of it together? I can figure out how much more I would need but may also just scratch this batch and start over with more hard oils..

I also had a question about curing the soap in cold temp rather than room temp? Would it make it faster.. my basement is very cold.. also is keeping track of temperature whole making the soap important? During cold process does it matter of water or lye solution is cooler or warmer, what about oils? From what ive seen it doesnt matter so much about temp, but it may speed up process or whatnot. Sorryy for such questions but Id like to know all one and outs.

Thanks again!
Yes, you can add more lye, but you'll need to hot process the result so you can check that you haven't added too much extra lye. You're basically rebatching at that point.

There is no making soap cure faster, though being in a very cold room might well slow it down.

Temperature of your oils and lye is only of limited importance. You need your oils to be warm enough so that any hard oils are fully melted. Beyond that, the only major consideration is that soaping too warm can speed up trace, or cause problems such as soap volcanoes. A lot of people soap with their lye solution at room temperature (especially those who masterbatch lye solution), and their oils warmed only enough to melt their hard oils. I like to soap around 120* F, much warmer than that and I start seeing really fast trace regardless of effects from things like fragrance or other add ins that can effect it.

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Old 01-06-2018, 03:51 PM   #13
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I did that once when I forgot to bring my scale with me when I was traveling. There are websites that give the conversion for weights of different chemicals and oils from grams to tablespoons. I know, though, that measuring spoons are not all that reliable for accuracy, so was resigned to knowing I would only have a range of actual superfat in that soap.

In the long run, the soap did not turn out bad, but it was a lesson that taught me to never forget my scale when I travel, and I have not since then. The effort it took to look up the conversion of each ingredient weight measure to volume measure was really quite a lot of work, and I had no desire to go down that road again.

As far as how to recognize trace, pull your mixing utensil up out of your batter and drip a line of batter on top. If it leaves a trace or track on TOP of the rest of the batter, that is trace. With only hand stirring, an all soft oils recipe can take a very long time to come to trace, so that's why we like stick blenders. You can shorten an hour of stirring to only a couple of minutes or so.

Welcome to the forum and have fun with your new equipment when it arrives.
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Old 01-09-2018, 04:05 AM   #14
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Hey all, so it's been a few days and I have the result of the soap after hardening. Just took it out of the mold and it is quite hard, but it's a bit whitish in parts, flaky, sticky/moist and a bit "rubbery".. I took a pic of my hands after touching it because some small pieces come off the top because of the dryness/stickiness.. hard to describe. I did the "zap" test and it only tasted a bit bitter, no ZAP. Any thoughts would be of help? Not sure if the soap would be in better quality and good to use on face and skin once completely cured.

Thanks All! 😊😍
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Old 01-09-2018, 04:40 AM   #15
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The only thing I would add is not to cure it in that aluminum pan.
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Old 01-09-2018, 07:13 PM   #16
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that white, dry stickiness stuff on top of your soaps is what we call ash. Nothing wrong with it, just an aesthetic.

As SunRiseArts said, probably take it out of the aluminum pan and cure on plastic, or a covered wood surface. Uncured soap can have a reaction to metals causing DOS, and even though there is no active lye left in the resulting soap, aluminum has a bad reaction to lye,.
Whatever you do, do with determination.
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Old 01-12-2018, 06:39 PM   #17
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Only you can determine if your skin likes this soap once cured. For me, if my skin remains feeling well hydrated and does not feel dry and itchy or look dry and flaky after using my hand-crafted soap, I know my skin likes my soap. If after a few minutes or even half an hour or more, my skin starts to have those symptoms of dryness, I know my skin doesn't like the soap I used last. So I always wash and wait, observe how my skin reacts, before deciding if a soap is good or not. Since I don't use soap on my face, I can't really comment about what to expect, but I would guess it's much the same, in terms of how your skin reacts.

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