# First Soap done yay!

### Help Support SoapMakingForum:

#### lsg

Staff member
Moderator
Looks pretty good for a first try.

#### Tracy von Elling

##### Well-Known Member
View attachment 56016 Welcome to the Wonderful World of Soapmaking!

For a better understanding how to design soap recipes you may want to read:
SECRET TO THE BEST SOAP RECIPE

In addition to the above, you can get a fairly good idea of how your recipe will turn out by making the lye calculator your BFF. For example, I entered your recipe into SoapCalc:

67% Coconut Oil
View attachment 56017
The default setting for #3 Water is 38%.
I used 30% to replicate the lye & water amounts shown in your recipe.

67% CO Results
View attachment 56018
Then I switched the % of each oil
67% Olive Oil
View attachment 56019
67% OO Result
View attachment 56020

By comparing the values of high CO vs. high OO, just looking at the INS Value alone, (INS 160 being the so-called "Perfect Soap") the olive oil is the better choice for a soap that lands within the recommended ranges. There are other factors that enter into the equation which you will learn in good time but that's enough for now.

HAPPY SOAPING!
That is SO interesting. I have only been making soap for 2 years and usually look at the ranges on soap calc but never looked at the INS before. I'm so glad I know what it means.

#### Tracy von Elling

##### Well-Known Member
Ok guys, I finally did it. It's ugly, it's simple, and the recipe ain't the best but I made it. This was a hot process crock pot recipe.

First the recipe:

• 10 oz olive oil
• 20 oz coconut oil
• 9 oz distilled water
• 4.78 oz 100% pure lye
• Essential oils for scent (optional)
Followed directions to a T, but created a 2/3 version of this batch as I have a small crock pot to work with here and wasn't 100% it's fit in my pringles can mold. I have to say I'm not a big fan of the mold because getting the soap in is not as easy as I imagined. If I go about this again I'll try tamping down further as you can see in pics I had some gaps that are a little unsightly.

Unmolded after 18 hours to cut. Thankfully it was hard and cut-able. Will cure for 2 weeks. Used 0.5 oz total of EO, evenly split b/w bergamot and mandarin.

Some things I picked up:
-dont try to reincorporate the dried soap that accumulates on the edge.
-keep a watchful eye on the crock
-I need more working surface!
-put down something to catch spills
-wear gloves (will have to research what's safe)

Things I like about HP with crockpot:
-fewer things to clean.
-seems more streamlined
-fewer EOs necessary

I measured my CO and OO in the crock and set it to melt while I mixed the lye. Cool thing is my crock fits perfectly on my scale so fewer things to clean woohoo! Set crock on scale, tare, scoop in CO, tare, scoop in OO, tare. Love it.

I'm not 100% pleased with the scent. I am ok with the EOs but can smell the soap base oils which are ok but feels like it clashes and isn't a "smooth" smell IMO. Fairly certain the oils are fresh as I got em from Walmart.

Freezer paper in the pringles can worked like a charm, soap slid right out.

Next batch will probably be a Trinity batch with lard since I have it on hand. I may retry this batch in 50/50 for fun later and to note the differences as well. These soap rounds are HARD. Was quite satisfying to cut through them, very smooth except for the areas that crumbled for my lack of tamping. Will cure these for 2 weeks before using first bar, the rest 4 weeks. I can't wait to try!

Pics:
Congrats! It looks so good. I remember how excited I was about my first batch although I still get excited when I wake up the day after making a batch and realize that I have soap to cut!

#### Zany_in_CO

##### Saponifier
If the lye number wasn't dead on I'd wonder if this was an old recipe she picked up and reversed the numbers on.

When you have been at this game as long as I have, your first glance at that recipe and the obvious switch of %'s would be glaring, I say, absolutely GLARING! As in jumps right off the page at you! I was 60 when I made my first batch of soap back in 2003. I'm now 78. I've been at it a while.

#### Johnez

##### Well-Known Member
Yes, fragrance is almost always going to be your most expensive ingredient. This is true even for things like lotion and candles.

With HP, you want to prevent the water evaporating out during the cooking process. Some people even put cling film over the crock to prevent water escaping. Most of your water loss should be during the cure.
You're also going to lose a little soap due to the fact that you can't scrape every bit off your equipment and into the mold. There will be that bit that gets washed down the drain when you do your washing up after soapmaking. So your total weight of the finished soap is never exactly what your lye calculator says you should have, even if you manage to totally prevent water loss during cooking.
This is a total noob question, but what is the reason for trying to prevent water loss? I suspect it has to do with fluidity and ease of molding maybe there's more. The reason I'm especially curious is that HP soaps (from my short time reading here) have a tendency to warp. With wood, losing water causes warping and all sorts of issues, wonder if this is similar to soap during the cure. I'm probably reaching past my skill level here though.

#### Trinbago27

Supporting Member
Ok guys, I finally did it. It's ugly, it's simple, and the recipe ain't the best but I made it. This was a hot process crock pot recipe.

First the recipe:

• 10 oz olive oil
• 20 oz coconut oil
• 9 oz distilled water
• 4.78 oz 100% pure lye
• Essential oils for scent (optional)
Followed directions to a T, but created a 2/3 version of this batch as I have a small crock pot to work with here and wasn't 100% it's fit in my pringles can mold. I have to say I'm not a big fan of the mold because getting the soap in is not as easy as I imagined. If I go about this again I'll try tamping down further as you can see in pics I had some gaps that are a little unsightly.

Unmolded after 18 hours to cut. Thankfully it was hard and cut-able. Will cure for 2 weeks. Used 0.5 oz total of EO, evenly split b/w bergamot and mandarin.

Some things I picked up:
-dont try to reincorporate the dried soap that accumulates on the edge.
-keep a watchful eye on the crock
-I need more working surface!
-put down something to catch spills
-wear gloves (will have to research what's safe)

Things I like about HP with crockpot:
-fewer things to clean.
-seems more streamlined
-fewer EOs necessary

I measured my CO and OO in the crock and set it to melt while I mixed the lye. Cool thing is my crock fits perfectly on my scale so fewer things to clean woohoo! Set crock on scale, tare, scoop in CO, tare, scoop in OO, tare. Love it.

I'm not 100% pleased with the scent. I am ok with the EOs but can smell the soap base oils which are ok but feels like it clashes and isn't a "smooth" smell IMO. Fairly certain the oils are fresh as I got em from Walmart.

Freezer paper in the pringles can worked like a charm, soap slid right out.

Next batch will probably be a Trinity batch with lard since I have it on hand. I may retry this batch in 50/50 for fun later and to note the differences as well. These soap rounds are HARD. Was quite satisfying to cut through them, very smooth except for the areas that crumbled for my lack of tamping. Will cure these for 2 weeks before using first bar, the rest 4 weeks. I can't wait to try!

Pics:
Congrats!!

Isn't it fun? I started January 1 of this year and I can't stop making soap!

Zing in this post had to make me stop poking around the soap

HP is my favorite too...

#### Quanta

##### Well-Known Member
This is a total noob question, but what is the reason for trying to prevent water loss? I suspect it has to do with fluidity and ease of molding maybe there's more. The reason I'm especially curious is that HP soaps (from my short time reading here) have a tendency to warp. With wood, losing water causes warping and all sorts of issues, wonder if this is similar to soap during the cure. I'm probably reaching past my skill level here though.
I can't say from experience what would happen if you let lots of water cook out. HP isn't something I do a lot, but I have some FOs that like to misbehave in CP so I think I'm going to start making more HP batches so I can use those. But I suspect you're going to lose some water during cooking no matter what you do, especially if you have to take the cling film off to stir it, or only use the lid without cling film. So it's best to make sure you add enough water to compensate when you first blend everything together. As far as improving fluidity goes, there are other tricks for that where you don't have to make sure there's still a lot of water in the batter. Some people add a little warmed up Greek yogurt, or add sodium lactate.

If your bars are warping, I would try using less water until you determine what your minimum is and stick with that.

#### The_Phoenix

##### Well-Known Member
View attachment 56082
When you have been at this game as long as I have, your first glance at that recipe and the obvious switch of %'s would be glaring, I say, absolutely GLARING! As in jumps right off the page at you! I was 60 when I made my first batch of soap back in 2003. I'm now 78. I've been at it a while.

View attachment 56083
You’re 78? Funny, you don’t sound a day over 22.

#### KiwiMoose

Supporting Member
Congratulations on your first soap baby @Johnez !
Are you wedded to the idea of EOs? I was adamant that was all I wanted to use in the beginning , but eventually switched to FOs blended with EOs to satisfy both my need for 'natural' and my need for cost efficiency. if you get hooked - which it sounds like you are - you'll be looking at cost efficiency soon enough.
I wonder what the fam will be getting for Christmas presents this year???

#### Catscankim

Supporting Member
I think we all started out with some "inexpensive" essential oils. I originally got mine from a store near me call Nutrition Smart - sort of a Whole Foods kinda store. The fragrance oils and essential oils I get online are ever so much better. There are many suppliers.
That's right near me LOL. I go there all the time. I have gotten lavender oil from there, and I love their bins to make my own trail mix.

#### Johnez

##### Well-Known Member
Congratulations on your first soap baby @Johnez !
Are you wedded to the idea of EOs? I was adamant that was all I wanted to use in the beginning , but eventually switched to FOs blended with EOs to satisfy both my need for 'natural' and my need for cost efficiency. if you get hooked - which it sounds like you are - you'll be looking at cost efficiency soon enough.
I wonder what the fam will be getting for Christmas presents this year???
Thanks KiwiMoose! I kinda am into EOs for now, that might change in the future of course. Part of it is the challenge aspect in using EOs to create something, part of it is the fear of the unknown since I don't fully know what affects what yet in the saponification and FOs seem to be more complicated.

As for Christmas, my mom is one of those who LOVES patchouli so I can't wait to make that soap. :+) Figuring out the rest of the family is gonna be a little tougher.

#### Trinbago27

Supporting Member
Maybe it's the quality of the EO I got, but I found that they do not hold up after saponification...I have a couple batches right now that have absolutely no scent remaining. And yes, it is expensive to use to end up with no scent.

#### Johnez

##### Well-Known Member
Maybe it's the quality of the EO I got, but I found that they do not hold up after saponification...I have a couple batches right now that have absolutely no scent remaining. And yes, it is expensive to use to end up with no scent.
Many EOs fade, famously citrus EOs are some of the worst offenders but this applies to most top notes. There are long lasting EOs out there-lavender, tea tree, lemongrass, patchouli come to mind. From my reading the best route is to go for a blend (mixing top notes with mid and/or base notes) or to find an ingredient that helps the fragrance stick. Vetiver appears to help in that area. Also, timing your EO inclusion to the end of the process where the temp is cooler appears to help with hot process soaps. If you do a search of "long lasting EOs" or "EO fade" on the forum you'll find some EOs that tend to last a while.

#### Quanta

##### Well-Known Member
Many EOs fade, famously citrus EOs are some of the worst offenders but this applies to most top notes. There are long lasting EOs out there-lavender, tea tree, lemongrass, patchouli come to mind. From my reading the best route is to go for a blend (mixing top notes with mid and/or base notes) or to find an ingredient that helps the fragrance stick. Vetiver appears to help in that area. Also, timing your EO inclusion to the end of the process where the temp is cooler appears to help with hot process soaps. If you do a search of "long lasting EOs" or "EO fade" on the forum you'll find some EOs that tend to last a while.
Some people have had good results using clay to help the scent stick longer. I have clay, but I haven't tried it this way yet. I should start experimenting though because I have a few FOs that do not stick through to the end of cure.

#### Trinbago27

Supporting Member
Thanks! I wll check out that link. I actually was using Lemongrass...HOWEVER, I think the quslity of the EO may be the issue. I got it on Amazon four 1oz bottles for 9.99...I did use the lemongrass in lotion and it is lovely!

#### earlene

##### Grandmother & Soaper
I honestly expected a lighter weight being I thought the water would mostly evaporate from what I was reading about HP. Don't know if I'm on the right track or if there's anything I should watch for.
With HP, you want to prevent the water evaporating out during the cooking process. Some people even put cling film over the crock to prevent water escaping. Most of your water loss should be during the cure.
This is a total noob question, but what is the reason for trying to prevent water loss? I suspect it has to do with fluidity and ease of molding maybe there's more. The reason I'm especially curious is that HP soaps (from my short time reading here) have a tendency to warp. With wood, losing water causes warping and all sorts of issues, wonder if this is similar to soap during the cure. I'm probably reaching past my skill level here though.
Actually any high water soap cut thin is likely to warp during cure. It doesn't matter if it is HP or CP; it's more about the shape of the soap or thinness, to be precise. I suspect that's one reason why some suggest turning soaps periodically during the cure (besides the obvious to allow for even air flow around all surfaces.) One way to prevent excessive warping in high water soaps is to cut them into chunkier sized shapes, such as cubes rather than thin rectangles that seem to be so common with your average multi-bar soap cutters. I don't get warping with cube cuts or even with fatter rectangles (like 2" x 3" x 5"), even when making a high water soap.

The primary reason to prevent the inevitable higher speed water loss during the HP process, is to preserve the pourability of the batter.
I can't say from experience what would happen if you let lots of water cook out. HP isn't something I do a lot, but I have some FOs that like to misbehave in CP so I think I'm going to start making more HP batches so I can use those. But I suspect you're going to lose some water during cooking no matter what you do, especially if you have to take the cling film off to stir it, or only use the lid without cling film. So it's best to make sure you add enough water to compensate when you first blend everything together. As far as improving fluidity goes, there are other tricks for that where you don't have to make sure there's still a lot of water in the batter. Some people add a little warmed up Greek yogurt, or add sodium lactate.

If your bars are warping, I would try using less water until you determine what your minimum is and stick with that.
I don't think he said he is getting warping, just that he has read about it.

What does happen if HP soap cooks, especially if high heat or a longer than necessary time) without a method to re-collect the water evaporation (a tight lid or plastic wrap, for example) via condensation dripping back down into the batter, is that the soap dries out and becomes more waxy-ish as it thickens. It becomes harder to scrape out of the cooking vessel and put into the mold. It can also burn. That usually happens from excessive heat & over-cooking. Things like falling asleep (or going off to answer a phone call, or any number of other distractions) during the cook can contribute to over-cooking.

But HP doesn't have to take a long time to go through the stages (not always visible as they can be quick or look a little differently than you expect).

Johnez, if you want to know what to watch for with HP, my biggest caution is to not wander off and leave your soap unattended. HP soap can volcano in a heartbeat and end up all over the counter-top, stove-top, oven, or where ever it is you are doing your HP. The clean-up is really quite a mess. That's my best tip of what NOT to do. If you stick around and pay attention & react accordingly, you can get prevent an overflow of the volcano by stirring it down and lowering/removing the heat. Immediate stirring down that inhibits the volcano; removing from/turning off the heat can prevent another volcano. IME if your HP soap volcanoes, it's ready to place in the mold (after a good stir-down to facilitate a smoother consistency).

But it doesn't even have to volcano. Just watch for it to start moving in the vessel. If the soap is actively moving, you're close to done. Stir it to consistency & remove the heat source.

Another things to watch for with HP, is air bubbles in the soap. Several sort of forceful tap-downs once in the mold will help remove some, but often not all air bubbles, but not so forceful that hot batter comes plopping out of the mold while you're banging it on the counter. Air bubbles don't make bad soap, but some people just don't want the holes in their soap that are caused by trapped air bubbles.

I suppose there are many other things to watch for that I could mention, but not knowing what you don't know, I will leave it at that.

#### Johnez

##### Well-Known Member
Actually any high water soap cut thin is likely to warp during cure. It doesn't matter if it is HP or CP; it's more about the shape of the soap or thinness, to be precise. I suspect that's one reason why some suggest turning soaps periodically during the cure (besides the obvious to allow for even air flow around all surfaces.) One way to prevent excessive warping in high water soaps is to cut them into chunkier sized shapes, such as cubes rather than thin rectangles that seem to be so common with your average multi-bar soap cutters. I don't get warping with cube cuts or even with fatter rectangles (like 2" x 3" x 5"), even when making a high water soap.

The primary reason to prevent the inevitable higher speed water loss during the HP process, is to preserve the pourability of the batter.

I don't think he said he is getting warping, just that he has read about it.

What does happen if HP soap cooks, especially if high heat or a longer than necessary time) without a method to re-collect the water evaporation (a tight lid or plastic wrap, for example) via condensation dripping back down into the batter, is that the soap dries out and becomes more waxy-ish as it thickens. It becomes harder to scrape out of the cooking vessel and put into the mold. It can also burn. That usually happens from excessive heat & over-cooking. Things like falling asleep (or going off to answer a phone call, or any number of other distractions) during the cook can contribute to over-cooking.

But HP doesn't have to take a long time to go through the stages (not always visible as they can be quick or look a little differently than you expect).

Johnez, if you want to know what to watch for with HP, my biggest caution is to not wander off and leave your soap unattended. HP soap can volcano in a heartbeat and end up all over the counter-top, stove-top, oven, or where ever it is you are doing your HP. The clean-up is really quite a mess. That's my best tip of what NOT to do. If you stick around and pay attention & react accordingly, you can get prevent an overflow of the volcano by stirring it down and lowering/removing the heat. Immediate stirring down that inhibits the volcano; removing from/turning off the heat can prevent another volcano. IME if your HP soap volcanoes, it's ready to place in the mold (after a good stir-down to facilitate a smoother consistency).

But it doesn't even have to volcano. Just watch for it to start moving in the vessel. If the soap is actively moving, you're close to done. Stir it to consistency & remove the heat source.

Another things to watch for with HP, is air bubbles in the soap. Several sort of forceful tap-downs once in the mold will help remove some, but often not all air bubbles, but not so forceful that hot batter comes plopping out of the mold while you're banging it on the counter. Air bubbles don't make bad soap, but some people just don't want the holes in their soap that are caused by trapped air bubbles.

I suppose there are many other things to watch for that I could mention, but not knowing what you don't know, I will leave it at that.
Thanks earlene, that is quite a detailed post and I've learned quite a bit. I've made exactly one batch and have scoured this forum for info for the past few weeks so I'd say complete beginner so far. Probably more soapin' is necessary to keep all the tidbits of info in my head. I've experienced the volcano....even tho I did read much about it. It happened so quick and I was literally right next to the crock cleaning my stick blender as it went over. Thankfully it was a small amount that was lost. I understand losing too much risks the lye/oil combo being out of whack and a lye heavy soap. That is good to know about vocano-ing being a sign the soap near ready for the mold as the recipe I went off of had a specific time to wait but honestly I like "signs" better as one person's crock may be cooking hotter than another's. I guess it would be similar to sauteing onions until they're translucent rather than a specific time frame-the recipe writer might have some fancy pan and a gas burner, but my electric stove with Faberware pan is likely to cook at a different rate. Anyway, thank you so much for taking the time to share your knowledge.

#### earlene

##### Grandmother & Soaper
I like "signs" better as one person's crock may be cooking hotter than another's. I guess it would be similar to sauteing onions until they're translucent rather than a specific time frame-the recipe writer might have some fancy pan and a gas burner, but my electric stove with Faberware pan is likely to cook at a different rate.
Absolutely! My Dad always gave directions in visual signs & landmarks, interspersed with the old name for roads. So when my brother moved to a new house in any town, it was like this 'when you get into town, you'll see a large yellow building (by whatever name) on your left - you're headed in the right direction; keep going past the turn off to the airport, and past the Hardware store on the right hand side. When you pass the xx grocery store, turn right at the xx Bank, keep going past the Animal Hospital,' etc. The highways were there original names (often named after a General or Admiral) not the US Interstate number. Stuff like that. He was big on the visual signs & landmarks for giving directions. Visual descriptors are something I identify with. Yet he made his living in the printed word.

#### linne1gi

Supporting Member
Absolutely! My Dad always gave directions in visual signs & landmarks, interspersed with the old name for roads. So when my brother moved to a new house in any town, it was like this 'when you get into town, you'll see a large yellow building (by whatever name) on your left - you're headed in the right direction; keep going past the turn off to the airport, and past the Hardware store on the right hand side. When you pass the xx grocery store, turn right at the xx Bank, keep going past the Animal Hospital,' etc. The highways were there original names (often named after a General or Admiral) not the US Interstate number. Stuff like that. He was big on the visual signs & landmarks for giving directions. Visual descriptors are something I identify with. Yet he made his living in the printed word.
Lucky you! My Dad always gave directions like "go east on Breakwater road, then turn north onto Rt 7, then go east on Smalltown road, etc. I never knew where I was! I love living in Florida - there's only one major road near us - Interstate 95 which goes north and south - it's always so easy to figure out where you are.

#### Quanta

##### Well-Known Member
Thanks earlene, that is quite a detailed post and I've learned quite a bit. I've made exactly one batch and have scoured this forum for info for the past few weeks so I'd say complete beginner so far. Probably more soapin' is necessary to keep all the tidbits of info in my head. I've experienced the volcano....even tho I did read much about it. It happened so quick and I was literally right next to the crock cleaning my stick blender as it went over. Thankfully it was a small amount that was lost. I understand losing too much risks the lye/oil combo being out of whack and a lye heavy soap. That is good to know about vocano-ing being a sign the soap near ready for the mold as the recipe I went off of had a specific time to wait but honestly I like "signs" better as one person's crock may be cooking hotter than another's. I guess it would be similar to sauteing onions until they're translucent rather than a specific time frame-the recipe writer might have some fancy pan and a gas burner, but my electric stove with Faberware pan is likely to cook at a different rate. Anyway, thank you so much for taking the time to share your knowledge.
Batch size will greatly influence your cook time, as well. So if you make a small test batch, it will be done pretty quickly.