# First Batch CP Soap

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#### lynnw1982

##### Member
I tried my first batch of CP soap I left it for 42 hours then cut it and have left it to cure. I looked at it today and noticed these tiny little white spots on top of the soap. Is this normal or is this a ruined batch. I followed the following recipe.

340g water
125g lye
454g olive oil
284g coconut oil
170g palm oil

Are these calculations right?

Did you use 50% olive, 30% coconut and 20% palm with a 2 pound recipe? Sorry, its easier for me to work in percentages rather than grams

recipe

really sorry I'm no good at percentages. I bought a soap making pack from the soap kitchen and they had the recipe there. It doesn't have percentages. It was a 2lb batch

I have just checked and yes I did 50% Olive, 30% Coconut and 20% Palm in a 2lb batch

Judging by my calculations you superfatted at 8% and those dots might be unsaponified oils. If you have checked for zap and did not get zapped, then it should be fine, but you might want to do a rebatch.

Hi all,

If you ever need to find out percentages of anything it's easy. it doesn't matter what units as long as its consistent.

Example: Metric

1000 gram Batch (1kg)

500g coconut
250g palm
250g Olive oil

Simply add up all the oils ie 500 + 250 + 250 = 1000.
Now divide whichever one by the total amount ie 500 / 1000 = 0.5
Now x by 100 = 0.5 * 100
And there you go 50%

Now for the other oils its the same
250 / 1000 = 0.25 * 100 = 25%

If using Imperial ie OZ

10 oz batch of oils

5 oz Coconut
2.5 oz Plam
2.5 oz Olive Oil

The same again 5 + 2.5 + 2.5 = 10oz
Then its just 5 / 10 = 0.5 * 100 = 50%

Hope that helps you all out.

If the dots are dry white dots, I'm kinda doubting that they are unsaponified oils, for those would be liquid in nature. I've had unsaponified oils leak a few times and they've always shown up as oily liquid, but they always re-absorbed after a few days.

If it's not undissolved lye (you can check by tongue-testing after a few days cure), my guess would be re-solidified stearic acid from the palm oil. Those always show up as little white dots. I have that happen whenever I soap at too cool of a temperature in batches that use oils/fats that contain stearic acid in them. If that's the case, the soap is quite good to use- no need to throw out or re-batch- it's just an aesthetic problem. Just make a note to soap at a higher temp next time. I soap at 115 - 120 degrees F when I'm working with oils/fats with stearic in them to prevent the little white dots from appearing. Works like a charm.

IrishLass

lynnw1982 said:
I have just checked and yes I did 50% Olive, 30% Coconut and 20% Palm in a 2lb batch
Just to add my own small part on the commentary, that is a pretty nice modified Castile recipe. You couldn't go wrong with that recipe if you have your lye computed correctly and made accurate measurements.

Forgot to ask if your palm was the no stir kind (solid cube) or the kind you do have to stir? When you do your zap test lick your finger, rub it against the soap and then touch your finger to your tongue. Also are you using an accurate scale that measures down to at least .1 of an ounce?

lynnw1982 said:
I tried my first batch of CP soap I left it for 42 hours then cut it and have left it to cure. I looked at it today and noticed these tiny little white spots on top of the soap. Is this normal or is this a ruined batch.

By dots do you mean it looks like a white dust or mold? If this is the case...don't worry, it's just soda ash. You can cut it off if you like...I would just leave it unless it's really heavy. It will rinse off on the first use.

white dots

The recipe said to mix between 80f and 130f so I mixed at 100f. The Palm and coconut oils were like marzipan (sorry don't know how else to describe it) my scales do measure down to .1 of an ounce but now am wondering if they broke. The white dots are dry and they are in the top of my soap. it was ok until I cut it and then left it to cure.

sizzle

I've tried the tongue test and I think my soap is too caustic. I can't understand how when I made sure everything was measured correctly and i was stirring for nearly 2 hours before I got a trace (I didn't have a whisk and so had to use a spatula) Do you think I should try re-batching it or should I just count my loses and throw it away.

Did you taste any zap when you tried the tongue test? I've never had any soap that zapped but I hear it's very unmistakable, like putting your tongue on a 9 volt battery. If you don't get the zap then most likely all you have is an appearance issue.

Did you have any additives or was it just the oils, water and lye?

Here's a tip on weighing more accurately. When you near the desired number start adding more slowly so that you can sneak up on the target weight. When you get the right weight, take a small amount back with a spoon, then add very small amounts until the last digit just changes.

For example if you want 9.6 oz of coconut, add enough to get 9.6, then using a spoon take some back to maybe 9.4 or 9.5, then dribble small amounts from the spoon until the number just first goes from 9.5 to 9.6.

When you catch it going from 9.5 to 9.6 that will be the same amount every time (within the resolution of your scale). If you take just any amount that shows 9.6 on the scale it could be 9.60, 9.61, ..., 9.68 or 9.69. That's a lot less accurate.

If you have a gram scale (or otherwise why post your OP in grams?) then use the gram units on your scale instead of ounces and tenths because grams are more accurate. You can divide one ounce into 10 parts using ounces and tenths. You can devide one ounce into 28 parts using grams because there are 28.3 grams in an ounce but only 10 tenth ounces in an ounce.

Scales

I used some peppermint FO in my batch of soap. When I done the tongue test I got a little zap nothing major. I was thinking to change me scales anyway and wondering if you guys can give me a bit of advice as to which ones. I have been looking at the following http://www.ourweigh.co.uk/erol.html which is a Salter Brecknell 300 Postal Scale http://www.quicksupply.net/p-45-my-weig ... cales.aspx and http://www.rightonscales.co.uk/web/kd-7000.htm Has anyone tried any of these. What is your personal favourite?

The second one (7001) seems a bit expensive and doesn't say if it has tare but it probably does. The first one (7000) seems okay and less money. Personally I don't like that attachment stuff. I want just a scale and nothing but the scale. YMMV

I've had my scale for 10 or a dozen years so I'm not familiar with brands.

The important features are that it must at least weigh out ounces and tenths, and is HIGHLY DESIRABLE if it reads out in grams because grams are more accurate. There's 28 grams in an ounce and only 10 tenth ounces in an ounce, so grams are 3 times more accurate. This is especially important if you intend to make small batches, 1 pound or half a Kg.

The scale must also have the tare feature. That means you can set an empty container on it and push a button to zero out the scale and cancel out the weight of the container. Then if you add some oil or whatever the scale reads just the weight of the oil and not the container. Most scales have this feature.

Greg you are a star. My scales I have at the moment do have Tare weight and measure in grams but to be perfectly honest they are very old and possibly inaccurate. I am totally new to soap making. Only started M&P soap 2 weeks ago but felt that It wasn't good enough as I had to make the soap from scratch.

Aw shucks!

I don't see any reason why an old scale should be inaccurate. My scale is about a dozen years old. I guess I don't know if it's accurate but the soap comes out okay so it can't be too bad.

You can check your accuracy if you like, by weighing some item of known weight. I'm sure somebody can suggest a known weight you can use. We often use coins but I don't know what UK coins weigh.

When my scale was new I wondered if it was okay so several times I weighed the vegetables I had purchased at the market. At point of sale the market is supposed to use calibrated scales so I expect they are reasonably accurate. My findings were that my readings varied around the market's weights, but were generally about the same thing, so I got confidence that my scale was correct.

Actually I'd like a gram scale but I'm too frugal to replace what ain't broke!

Well I've been looking and I think i'm falling in love with the MyWeigh 7001DX scale. It does have the Tare weight feature. Would like to hear more comments on a decent scale to use for soap making. I am worried I will be making the wrong decision if I do buy these and it is a lot of money to pay if they are the wrong ones.

I think it would be reasonable to pay anywhere between USD\$30 and USD\$50 for a good scale with tenth-ounces and grams, and tare. You shouldn't have to pay anymore than USD\$50 or so. Mine was closer to the \$30-\$40 range.

Re: white dots

lynnw1982 said:
The recipe said to mix between 80f and 130f so I mixed at 100f. The Palm and coconut oils were like marzipan (sorry don't know how else to describe it) my scales do measure down to .1 of an ounce but now am wondering if they broke. The white dots are dry and they are in the top of my soap. it was ok until I cut it and then left it to cure.

Soda Ash* will often appear after you have opened the soap up and cut it. It can even take a few days to appear.

Are the dots hard lumps of something or just a dusty flat powdery pattern on the soap? If its the flat pattern then it is soda ash and nothing to worry about other than esthetics. It will be harsher than the soap and can produce a 'zap' until the soap cures. Sometimes opening the soap too early can cause this and sometimes it's just the formula. Palm is often a culprit. Not much you can do about it. Leave it in block form for a few days next time and then cut the bars. You can cut off the ash then.

If it's the hard lumps of a white....like undissolved hard chunks of powder...then you probably have excess lye. A rebatch with extra oils would be a good idea then.

Here are a couple of pages with explanations and/or pictures of soda ash.

http://thesoapbar.blogspot.com/2008/05/ash-tastic.html

*there is actually some debate over whether it is soda ash or dried soap residue but I used soda ash for lack of any other name.

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