A horrible mess...or did I miss something?

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Well-Known Member
Sep 25, 2007
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I tried to do CP for the first time last night....and just took a peak at the soaps.
Only half of the batch is hardened...the other half is still liquid.

What did I do wrong? Do I wait longer or just dump it out?

How would I dispose of it, if I didn't do it correctly?
if it has not set up by now and you did this yesterday, my guess is that you got a false trace and/or the oils separated. You can try a rebatch to see if that works. Or you could have been off on your measurements. How accurate were they? Could it be they were off?

If it is set up but is a bit oily, more than likely, in time, the oils will absorb in. Test to make sure there is no zap too.

Can you post your recipe along with a picture? It might help us to figure out what happened.
The recipe I used:

coconut oil 40 oz,
olive oil 10 oz.
almond oil 4 oz.
shea butter 10 oz.

10.78 lye
32 oz. water
Thats a pretty big batch for a beginner.......

what method did you use to make your soap?

I used soap cal,
and they came out with
9.9 oz lye
24 oz liquid

did you run your recipe through a lye calculator before attemping to make it.

Where did you get your recipe?

Never make a recipe until you yourself have run it though a lye calculator that way you know for yourself just what the numbers work out to be. It doesn't matter if the recipe came from your mother and it's her tried and true recipe, double check it for yourself.

the lye amount isn't off so much, but the water is off a great deal. If you rebatch it I would suggest doing the hot process method in the oven to try and cook off as much of that excess liquid as possible. Using a whisk when you stir it every 15 min.
cp mess

I used a saponification chart...that is what i learned in the class I took...and she said to use eight ounces of water for every pound of oil.

So how do I use the hot process method you were talking about...what do I do?
You might want to ignore many things what you were 'taught' in your class.

All oils have different sap numbers which causes different rates of lye and liquids needed. Which is why a lye calculator is nice on the net. It's automatic and instant.

Please don't make another batch until you run it through a lye calculator for yourself. Here is one I recommend and many others use the same one.

Take out a pot, either stainless steal or enamel wear. ONLY!

And put on a pair of rubber gloves and grate your soap or use a knife and cut it into small chunks. Add a VERY SMALL amount of water. Maybe only an ounce, because of the large amount you already have in your soap.

And heat your oven to the lowest setting 170` (give or take) and pop your pot into the oven at this temp.

Use a spatchla as needed or a wire whisk during this process as hit heats and melts down. Once it's all melted keep cooking it and stirring it every 15 minutes. Use the wire whisk to take it back to a thin pudding type consistency. It will seperate and go through many stages and look odd. Curled, and sorta like applesauce. This is normal. Just give it a good whisk and put it back into the oven uncovered.

And when you have the consistency of mashed potatoes, take it out and plop it into your prepared molds. Make sure your molds are prepared and ready to go when your ready for them.

Then let them set up, and slice when it's firm. It has a high amount of coconut oil so you don't want to wait to long to slice them up.

And hopefully that helps.
If not, you may have to scrap the whole thing and start with a smaller recipe.
there is nothing wrong with fiquring your lye the way you did, except you have no superfat at all.

when i ran the numbers by hand this is what i came up with

coconut 40 oz. ( which is 62.50 % of your total weight in oils, and which is really high amount of coconut especially with no superfatting but it's your soap ) x.190 = 7.60

olive 10 oz. ( 15.63 % ) x .134 = 1.34

almond oil 4 oz. ( 6.25 % ) x.136 = .54

shea butter 10 oz. ( 15.63%) x .128 =1.28

7.60+ 1.34 +.54 + .1.28 = 10.76 0 % superfat
for a superfat of 5 % you take

10.76 x .95 = 10.22 5%
10.76 x .94 = 10.11 6 %

my lye amount is slightly different from the soap cal because it uses .183 for it's sap value for coconut while the chart i used still goes by .190

this was just as an example for you.

now a simple way to fiqure out your liquid amount is to take the lye amount and x it by 2 and add 4 more oz.

for my example we will use the 6% superfat amount

10.11 x 2= 20.22 + 4 oz. for a total of roughly 24 oz.

it's still easier to use an online calculator, but it also doesn't hurt that you have the basic idea of how to do this by hand.

i too would suggest you start with a couple of smaller batches say 2 pounds until you get the hang of everything, just so you aren't wasting alot of your hard earned dollars in supplies it if it should flop. we all have had one at one time or another, so you're not alone. i too jumped in with both feet years ago when i started, heck my second batch of soap ever was made with 100 % gm. it wasn't the greatest looking bar of soap but it was mine.

i am a learn by doing type and have no patience for waiting things out. but it is something that goes with soapmaking and there's just no way around it.

if you need some more help, let me know.
get your hands on a soapmaking book, either purchase one or check your library for any books on soapmaking not for the recipes that are inside, but for the pictures of what the stages of trace look like. visuals are always helpful.


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