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A gelled layer formed, is my soap ruined?

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momof6

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Hi - I'm new to soap making and attempted my first blender batch yesterday using 1 1/4c milk, 1 c crisco oil, 1 c palm oil and 1/4c lye.
I mixed the milk/lye, poured it into the oils in the blender, blended it a while until it began to slightly thicken, then pured it into a mold. I waited 24+ hours, removed the soap and on the bottom, there was maybe a 1/4" layer of dark caramel colored gel on the bottom. I scraped it off and set the soap aside to cure. What caused that layer to form and could my soap be bad?
Thanks in advance for any insight you can offer!
 

Barb

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you should always weigh out your ingredients on a good scale.

you had to much milk. and i would be wondering about the lye also. while 1/4 should equal 2 oz. measuring and weighing are not the same.

if you had weighed out your oils and used

8 oz. crisco
8 oz. palm

you would have needed 2.11 oz. of lye
6 oz. water.

while making small batches is a good thing so as to not waste ingredients when starting out. the smaller the batch the more careful you need to be in weighing out the ingredients as there is little room for error. in this case grams would be my choice of measurement.
 

momof6

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you should always weigh out your ingredients on a good scale.
The recipe I used called for the use of measuring cups, it didn't give weights so I tried it that way.
Is the soap no good?
 

Soapmaker Man

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momof6, first welcome! You really need accuracy when making soap. since different oils have different specific points of gravity, measuring is highly inaccurate at best and potentially harmful at worse. I don't think I would personally use a soap as described. Please purchase a digital scale that weighs in 1/10 ounces and better yet grams. Measuring lye is even more concerning to me. For a batch that size, just a 1/16 cup off in measuring your lye verses weighing, could cause a low, neutral, of even lye heavy soap that could burn sensitive skin. Caution is always needed when handling caustic substances.

Paul
 

momof6

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Thank you so much for your replies. I guess I will disregard any future recipes that call for the use of measuring cups!
I do own a very good digital scale so I guess I'll dump the soap and try it one more time with the amounts Barb recommended.
 

lsg

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I had this happen when I first started soaping. I rebatched my soap. I picked up one of those very small crockpots at Walmart, cut up my soap and heated it in the crockpot. Be careful with the gel part, you might want to scrape that off in the trash can and get rid of it before cutting up your soap. I have used my mini crockpot several times to rebatch soaps that I haven't been pleased with, so I think it has paid for itself. If you have an old crockpot that you won't use for anything else, just rebatch in it.
I used the instructions on the link below to rebatch. Adding the instant powdered milk does make a big difference.

http://www.pvsoap.com/instructionsforrebatch.htm

Two good websites for blender soap recipes are:

http://www.colebrothers.com/soap/

http://members.aol.com/oelaineo/soapmaking.html

I have learned to always run a recipe through a soap calculator before trying it.
Here are two sites with soap calculators, just plug in the oils or fats you plan to use and click on the "calculate" button. They will automatically calculate the amount of water and lye needed for the recipe.

http://www.thesage.com/calcs/lyecalc2.php

http://www.soapcalc.com/calc/soapcalcWP.asp

Good luck with your soap making, and don't get discouraged. I make blender soap all of the time and love it. The batches are small and it is sooooooo easy.
 

momof6

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I have one of those tiny walmart crock pots - I'll try it now! Thanks!!
 
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