First ever CP batch - is it ok?

Discussion in 'Beginners Soap Making Forum' started by Liv10, Oct 30, 2018.

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  1. Oct 30, 2018 #1

    Liv10

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    Hi all,

    I had a great idea to make soap for my Christmas presents and over the weekend I made my first ever CP soap batch and in hindsight, I realise I should have used a much simpler recipe but I made a honey soap from this page https://www.savvyhomemade.com/honeycomb-soap-recipe/

    I was worried because it got a thick trace fairly quickly that it might have been false but I haven't noticed it separate at all. The biggest issue I think was I let too much air into the mixture with my stick blender (only read about burping after and brought the blender up too high whilst on). My cut soap has lots of air pockets because of this and what looks like cracks throughout it and I am now worried it won't be safe to use.

    I haven't zap tested or ph tested it yet (I am not sure a what point I am supposed to do this I made it Sunday and is now Tuesday). If all of that is ok could the air bubbles still be a problem and do the cracks show it is lye heavy or is it just weak from the bubbles? I don't mind so much about the look of it but as it is for presents I want to make sure it is safe to use.

    I have attached pics of when it went into the mold (basic tuppaware lined with greaseproof paper and bubble wrap for design), cut from the top and then cut from the side where you can see the cracks.

    Any advice on this would be amazing, thank you!
     

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  2. Oct 30, 2018 #2

    shunt2011

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    Hello and welcome! Your soap looks okay, looks like air pockets is all. I don't see a crack... Hope you ran the recipe through a lye calculator as recipes can have errors. Be sure to run all recipes through a lye calculator always! If your soap went through gel you can zap test it after a few days or so. Don't bother with PH strips, they won't tell you if there is excess lye, they aren't accurate or helpful with CP soap.
    I would also recommend making smaller batches. When things go wrong it can get expensive.

    Also, you soap is not caustic for 4 weeks as stated in the article. That's crazy. It's generally saponified after 24-48 hours for the most part. During the cure it loses water weight and has some structural changes.

    I don't know that I would give away soap that I'm just learning to make, you don't know if it's going to be a good soap, develop DOS etc... that's a chance that's up to you.
    Also, be sure to go to the introduction forum and tell us a bit about yourself since you're new here.
     
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  3. Oct 30, 2018 #3

    mx6inpenn

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    Hi and welcome. You've made a great looking first batch!

    Did any liquid leak from the cracks when you cut it? Are there crystalized bits in them? If not, they are probably just cosmetic.

    Zap test is usually best done after at least 3 days. The cracks and air bubbles don't look like a problem to me, just a result of air in the batter, thicker trace and heat from the honey.
     
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  4. Oct 30, 2018 #4

    Liv10

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    Thank you both! That is really helpful.

    Nothing leaked from it an I can't see any crystals. When I zap test do I do each bar or will one bar be accurate for the batch?

    Thanks again!
     
  5. Oct 30, 2018 #5

    shunt2011

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    I would do a bar or two just to be sure.
     
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  6. Oct 30, 2018 #6

    Obsidian

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    What did you use to cut with? The cracks look like flaking/crumbling that can happen if you wait too long to cut or use a thick bladed knife.

    It got thick fast due to the beeswax, it can be a real tricky ingredient. It can also cause heating, so can honey. I'm a bit surprised the soap didn't go into full gel.

    There are quite a lot of better beginner recipes if you are interested in trying one. I have one I share but it has a lot of lard in it. Great soap but I know not everyone wants animal products
     
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  7. Oct 30, 2018 #7

    Liv10

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    Ah yes, I used just a normal chefs knife to cut them, that's good to know! I think I will try a beginners recipe this weekend so any recommendations would be great, I would prefer one without animal products but not totally opposed. I really appreciate your help!
     
  8. Oct 30, 2018 #8

    Obsidian

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    Last edited: Oct 30, 2018
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  9. Oct 30, 2018 #9

    Liv10

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    Thank you so much!

    Good news I zap tested and all ok! Thank you again for all your help!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 10, 2018
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  10. Oct 31, 2018 #10

    MKLonestar

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  11. Oct 31, 2018 #11

    IrishLass

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    Welcome, Liv10! :) Yep- beeswax and honey soap can certainly be challenging, especially for one who has never made CP soap before! You are brave!

    The recipe you used adds over twice as much beeswax as I'd ever dare to add (I use 3% max in my own honey beeswax soap). Your honey amount is 1% more than I like to use, but that's neither here nor there compared to the amount of beeswax in the recipe. Too much beeswax can cause cracking, and even a somewhat crumbly texture, which is what it looks like you have going on there in your soap.

    Sounds like a combo of maybe too low of a temp and too much stick-blending. If the heat is not maintained above a certain level, it can cause the beeswax to precipitate out, which will present itself as looking like your soap is thickening/accelerating fast..... which is often acerbated by stick-blending- it's like adding insult to injury.

    For what it's worth, I kinda-sorta make my honey beeswax soap like the author of your recipe does, but there are a couple of things I do differently:

    1)- I never stick-blend my honey-beeswax soap. It comes to trace within 10 minutes by just hand-stirring.
    2- I mix my fragrance oil into my melted oils & beeswax before adding the lye (it's a well behaved FO, so this is perfectly fine)
    3)- Before adding my honey to my (completely cooled-off) lye water, I thin it out with a tbsp. or so of my batch water that I have previously set aside.

    For a blow-by-blow tutorial on how I make my own honey beeswax soap, see post #16 of this thread

    A zap test will tell you for sure if the crumbles are from lye heaviness. I usually zap-test my soaps 1 week after they're made. Zap-testing right away or too soon can often give you false positives, especially if your soap only went through partial gel or did not go through gel at all (as I've leaned from experience), so I like to wait one week as a rule.

    RE: pH testing: There's no sense in pH testing. A pH test will not tell you if your soap is lye-heavy or if it has unreacted lye in it. A zap test on the other hand will.

    A note about the comment the recipe author made in her blog- she mentioned that soap remains caustic for 4 weeks. That is not a true statement....unless your soap is extremely lye heavy or something like that, that is. If properly made and fully gelled, your soap should not be caustic beyond a 24 hour period. However, if your soap only partially gelled or did not gel at all, it's possible that it can take anywhere up to a week before saponification is fully complete.

    To me, those cracks look like they are caused by having used too much beeswax. When cutting a soap with high beeswax (especially if you wait too long........... or even if you cut too soon on a soap that did not gel), that's usually what ends up happening.


    That's the beauty of adding your honey to your lye water. Takes the fire right out of it so that it behaves well in your soap. I have to encourage gel in my honey beeswax soap (in which I add my honey to my lye water). If I don't, I get partial gel.


    IrishLass :)
     
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  12. Oct 31, 2018 #12

    Obsidian

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    Link is not working for me for some reason. Says it could have been moved[/QUOTE]

    Weird, it should be there. Here is the recipe

    Lard 8 oz (you can use palm instead but run the recipe through a lye calc if you do)
    olive oil 4 oz
    coconut oil 3.20 oz
    castor .80 oz

    H2O 4.55 oz
    Lye 2.25 oz

    FO .5 - 1 oz, depending on the usage rate and how strong you want the scent. I generally use 1 oz
     
  13. Nov 1, 2018 #13

    LionLady

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    The link works for me, but I've got Evernote. That could be the issue?
     
  14. Nov 1, 2018 #14

    Relle

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    The link is working for me and I don't have evernote.
     
  15. Nov 10, 2018 #15

    JenniferFour

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    What oils do you have available? Vegetable shortening, olive oil, and coconut oil make a very nice basic bar of soap. I work in grams and would do 200g each shortening and olive and 100g coconut oil for 500g total. Run that though a couple lye calculators (I like the one at Majestic Mountain Sage) to get the lye and water amount. I usually use a 5% super fat (easy to see on the calculator I use because it gives you the lye amount as 0-10% super fat and you pick the amount).

    If you don’t have those oils, let me know and we’ll come up with another.
     

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