Burnt Oatmeal

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Well-Known Member
Feb 24, 2013
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I decided to try out something new with my oatmeal soap today, I infused the water with oatmeal and then strained off the oats (I think I read about it somewhere) and used it for the lye / water stage. But it gave off a horrible burnt oats smell and afterwards I noticed there was a strange brown residue in the bottom of the jug. Anyway, I assuming it got too hot and that perhaps I should have frozen the oat water beforehand. The soaps looked darker than my usual oat soaps (although I guess its still a bit too soon to tell) but do you think I've ruined this batch?
Probaby not, but only time will tell. I thought I ruined a buttermilk and honey batch because it turned a weird color and smelled like vomit, but it's actually great soap. I don't think I will make it again, though. The whole house stunk. (To me anyway. Now that I'm thinking about it, the smell is coming back to me.)
Thanks Teresa, that's reassuring. I'm not planning to sell them, as I'm still just experimenting but I 'm hoping they'll be ok to give as gifts to family. Don't think I'll do it again though, just stick to my usual oatmeal recipe for now on, as the smell really was unpleasant. Unless it turns out to feel amazing on the skin that is but tbh I'm not sure it will be worth the trouble :)
Depending on the liquid into which you are pouring the lye, you can get all kinds of funky, unpleasant smells at first. Take coffee for instance- bad doggie breath multiplied by 100 (that was the worst one for me). lol But the resulting soap had no off-smells whatsoever, which is normally case no matter how stinky the lye solution.

Back when I first started soaping, I actually tried what you just did- dissolving my lye into oat water- and I promptly scratched it off my list of things to try, and then put it on my list of things to never do again. lol

From what I remember, my lye had a hard time dissolving completely in the oat water, and the resulting solution (if you could even call it that) turned into a gelatinous and lumpy goo. I was too scared to make soap with it because it looked like I could still see un-dissolved lye flakes in it, so I threw it out and made a fresh solution with just water.

I pretty much hate dissolving my lye into anything but distilled water anymore, and so I work from a concentrated master-batch 50% lye solution (equal parts of lye and water). If I want to make a milk soap or add other liquids such as oat water, carrot juice, etc.. I utilize 'split method' where the remainder of the total liquid amount for my batch (whichever liquid I desire), gets stick-blended into my oils. It's much less problematic for me that way.

IrishLass :)

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