First batch finally ready

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Bamagirl

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My first batch was finally ready (4 week cure) and I grabbed an entire bar to use. It's good and I like it, but it has a grainy, gritty texture or maybe not so much gritty as just rough feeling and not smooth. However, the lather is great and bubbly and I don't notice anything unusual with it, so I am hoping it's just me not being used to homemade soap. My recipe was 50% lard, 30% olive oil, 15% coconut oil, and 5% castor oil. Since it's my first batch, I want to make sure there isn't anything wrong with it as I have no experience whatsoever. I don't think it would be lye heavy as I zap tested it at two weeks and again when I was using it and noticed the bar felt rough.
 

DeeAnna

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What else is in the recipe - milk, fragrance, or ?

What was your method of making the soap?
 

tigersister

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That is very close to the lard recipes I use, and none of my bars of soap have felt gritty. Are there any additives in it? Clays, colloidal oatmeal, activated charcoal among other things can add a fine gritty texture to soap.
 

Bamagirl

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What else is in the recipe - milk, fragrance, or ?

What was your method of making the soap?
Lard--12.00 oz (armour)
Olive Oil-- 7.20 oz (great value classic olive oil)
Coconut Oil-- 3.60 oz (Lou Anna Non-Hydrogenated)
Castor Oil--1.2 oz (Humco)
Lye-- 3.31 oz (essential depot brand)
Water-- 9.12 oz (forgot to pick up distilled, so I used a bottle of drinking water I had)

I mixed lye into water. Melted the oils in the microwave. Mixed together when lye was around 110 degrees and oils 125. I alternated slow pulse on sb, stir, fast pulse on sb, stir ect... Took about five minutes to trace (now I realize it was probably only a thin trace) Poured into loaf type mold, covered with cardboard. Unmolded and cut the next day.

Ok I am super embarrassed right now. Once I finished typing up everything from my notes, I decided to go check the rest of the bars. They don't feel as rough, so I am wondering if it is because it was an outside bar? I also lathered it up to wash my hands and it didn't feel as rough this time, so I feel like an idiot, especially if it turns out to be just because it was an outside bar. :confused:
 

DeeAnna

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Gosh, Bamagirl, I can't see anything in your recipe or method that would be likely to make your soap gritty. Thanks for sharing the details -- what you did and the ingredients you used all seem fine.

I was betting on naughty additives -- possibly powdered milk that didn't get rehydrated well enough (happened to me) or the other additives that Tigersister listed.

Sometimes the very ends can have a slightly different texture than the inner parts of a soap loaf, but I'm not sure my end cuts have felt gritty just because they were end cuts. Everyone soaps a little differently, however, so maybe that's true for your soap. Hope this is the answer!
 

Steve85569

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The ends can have a different texture. Especially if they were expose to a little dust or ??? during the early stages of cure (ie still a bit damp).
I usually trim them off for testers or confetti.
 

Bamagirl

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A couple days ago, I found half of a bar of this soap that was left and decided it should be really good by now, so I put it in the shower and started using it. Guess what? I don't like it as much as the bars I make now. That amazes me because 1. when I first tried it, it was the best thing ever and 2. the only difference is I upped lard by 5% and decreased OO by 5%.

So, thanks to everyone who encouraged me to experiment. Honestly, I never would have believed that slight change would change how I feel about the soap. Now I am super excited to try the latest experiment of lard/oo/castor and see what it brings to the table. (In case you can't tell, I am REALLY wanting to experiment now :) )
 

Susie

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Little changes make big differences in soap sometimes. Lard is magical that way.
 

navigator9

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IMO, this is what makes a soapmaker. Tweaking recipes, noticing differences, making changes. And yes, sometimes a small change can make a big difference. Soap is always surprising us! :)
 
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