Green Soap!? Ah!

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KCupcake

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Hi everyone! I'm EXTREMELY new to soap making and had just completed my first recipe a few days ago. Of course, this new experience brought on the feelings/thoughts of "Holy smokes! I made my first soap!!! I AM AWESOME!!!".

Making the soap had a few of crap moments. I poured in accidentally 20g extra of lye, and switched the amounts on the olive oils & olive oil pomace. I realize this is a major problem, but I think I was so frazzled with goofing up that I did just that. Anyway, the day after the soap experience I noticed the soap being a bit soft in the mold and looked up online to see what people said, and had decided to let it sit another day. The soap was like fudge soft and I wasn't sure what was normal. Today, I removed the mold only to see brown streaks in part of my soap. I realize it could be anything from fragrances used to oil rancidity (I buy mine from a known supplier to many soapers).... I decided to cut into it figuring that I could use it still myself, but couldn't sell it only to find that the inside was a faint green with the outside being a pretty cream color. What the heck is going on?!

I want to obviously try this again (and not call it quits because I failed somewhere), but I need to figure out why it did that.

Any thoughts? Where did I go wrong? pictures & recipe attached)

Was it the coconut milk I used instead of water? (I used a coconut milk that had only that and water as the ingredients)
The frozen lump of heavy cream that was added to the oils (72g)?
The fragrances?
The extra lye?
Too high of a superfat?

[I also know I made too much, I guess I was just too naive that it would work out! Oh well, lesson learned!)

soap1.jpg


soap2.jpg


soap3.jpg
 

shunt2011

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The main reason your soap was soft is because you used a whole lot of liquid oils. It would take several days to unmold. As for the streaks it could be FO or colorant not well mixed

Also, you shouldn't even be thinking of selling this early in the learning process. I highly suggest you just embrace formulating and making soap. It takes a lot of time and experimenting and learning the process.

If you go and read at least the last 10 pages of the beginners forum you will glean a lot of information.

To make a harder soap you may want to add some lard or palm which will also allow you to unmold sooner

Making 1-2 pound batches will also make mistakes much less frustrating and less expensive.

I would let your soap cure somewhere for a few days and then zap test them. No zap and you will have a usable soap after a 4-6 week cure. You can certainly test one out during that time to see how they get better with age.

Welcome to the forum, look forward to seeing more of your soapy experiments.
 
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newbie

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The light green is likely from the pomace olive oil and it will fade with exposure to air and as it cures.

Agree with Shunt on all counts. I would emphasize that you should not be thinking of selling until you've had a lot more experience and a minimum of a year of trials, formulating, using testers and the like. Also, selling requires a lot of management in terms of tracking oils and other ingredients, lot numbers, batch numbers, insurance, possibly a business license and all sorts of less-fun-than-soap-making activities. I would focus on the fun part and give your soap away if you make more than you can use.
 

earlene

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Frozen clump of heavy cream added to the oils? Yikes, that sounds a bit unusual. Were the oils hot or cool at the time? Was the lye solution added before or after the frozen heavy cream?

I am wondering what that lighter colored lump on the left in the bar you are holding in the first picture is. Lye clumps can look like that. Mixing lye with frozen milk and letting it cool too much, then not making sure it was thoroughly dissolved lead to some pretty alarming lye 'rocks' in one of my soaps once. Talk about a zap! That was totally unsafe soap. I posted about it here and included a picture. Of course yours could be something entirely different. I may just be more leary than others about 'lye pepples' after that experience. Anyway, I vowed to always strain my lye solution after that experience just to avoid it happening in the future. Plus not letting my lye solution get too cool.

I am assuming the brown streaks are from the sugars in the milks or from the fragrance you used, which makes me curious about how well you may have mixed them into the batter.

You might want to wear gloves when handling soap this new, especially when you know you added too much lye. Did you re-work your lye calculator with the corrected amounts of lye and oils to see what it looks like?
 

cmzaha

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20 extra grams of lye is a substantial amount of lye even with your superfat. Unless you compensated and added in the extra oil necessary to use it up you are very very lye heavy. 20 grams is approx 3/4 an ounce extra lye, which actually should have created a harder faster tracing soap. If you were mixing your lye per single batch you should not make such an error, since that is a big error. 82g would put you around a -20 superfat. Even time cannot work that one out. As the others mentioned you are not even close to selling and should really not even be thinking it. If you want to sell use m&p and buy the base. You also do not add frozen milk to the oils, you use frozen to try to mix the lye and not scorch it
 

KCupcake

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The main reason your soap was soft is because you used a whole lot of liquid oils. It would take several days to unmold. As for the streaks it could be FO or colorant not well mixed

Also, you shouldn't even be thinking of selling this early in the learning process. I highly suggest you just embrace formulating and making soap. It takes a lot of time and experimenting and learning the process.

If you go and read at least the last 10 pages of the beginners forum you will glean a lot of information.

To make a harder soap you may want to add some lard or palm which will also allow you to unmold sooner

Making 1-2 pound batches will also make mistakes much less frustrating and less expensive.

I would let your soap cure somewhere for a few days and then zap test them. No zap and you will have a usable soap after a 4-6 week cure. You can certainly test one out during that time to see how they get better with age.

Welcome to the forum, look forward to seeing more of your soapy experiments.
Thanks for the tips! I definitely wasn't planning on selling anything I made just yet, and would have given most to family members, but it didn't workout so that's just a lesson to learn for size amounts when trying ones hand at a recipe (as a beginner and probably even later down the line).

Must look into the palm/lard thing (i.e. find an alternative)! Thanks again for the suggestions!

Frozen clump of heavy cream added to the oils? Yikes, that sounds a bit unusual. Were the oils hot or cool at the time? Was the lye solution added before or after the frozen heavy cream?

I am wondering what that lighter colored lump on the left in the bar you are holding in the first picture is. Lye clumps can look like that. Mixing lye with frozen milk and letting it cool too much, then not making sure it was thoroughly dissolved lead to some pretty alarming lye 'rocks' in one of my soaps once. Talk about a zap! That was totally unsafe soap. I posted about it here and included a picture. Of course yours could be something entirely different. I may just be more leary than others about 'lye pepples' after that experience. Anyway, I vowed to always strain my lye solution after that experience just to avoid it happening in the future. Plus not letting my lye solution get too cool.

I am assuming the brown streaks are from the sugars in the milks or from the fragrance you used, which makes me curious about how well you may have mixed them into the batter.

You might want to wear gloves when handling soap this new, especially when you know you added too much lye. Did you re-work your lye calculator with the corrected amounts of lye and oils to see what it looks like?
I had found a soap recipe online (adjusted a bit), but it suggested to add the heavy cream in with the oils. It never mentioned the temperature of the oils, so I never even thought of it - one day I'll know a lot more with this and I can't wait till then. Anyway, the lye solution was added after. I think for now I will take out the Heavy Cream, and just not try something that ends up being more complicated than I realized.

I'll see if I can find you post on the lye clumps, but thats just a bad quick cut of the soap... it isn't smooth and with the lighting I guess it appears as something else. Does straining effect the amount of lye in your soap (if you end up removing undissolved lye)?

20 extra grams of lye is a substantial amount of lye even with your superfat. Unless you compensated and added in the extra oil necessary to use it up you are very very lye heavy. 20 grams is approx 3/4 an ounce extra lye, which actually should have created a harder faster tracing soap. If you were mixing your lye per single batch you should not make such an error, since that is a big error. 82g would put you around a -20 superfat. Even time cannot work that one out. As the others mentioned you are not even close to selling and should really not even be thinking it. If you want to sell use m&p and buy the base. You also do not add frozen milk to the oils, you use frozen to try to mix the lye and not scorch it

I wasn't actually thinking about selling right now at all (not sure where this idea is coming from with everyone). Anyways, it was a mistake I realized even at the time, but it's my first time and so it gets tossed. No big deal in the end. Mistakes always happen.
 

DeeAnna

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I would have held onto it and evaluate the soap while it cures. There's a lesson to learn with this soap, even if you choose to not use it. Just me! :)

The green is from the olive oils. The cream "rind" comes from the soap drying down. The whole bar will eventually turn cream on the surface, but if you cut into it, the interior may still remain greenish.

Be careful about being too creative with ingredients containing fat that aren't in the recipe. In your case, the heavy cream may help offset the extra lye added by mistake, but it's a risky business to add, subtract, or change ingredients like this without checking the math first.
 
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cmzaha

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I would have held onto it and evaluate the soap while it cures. There's a lesson to learn with this soap, even if you choose to not use it. Just me! :)

The green is from the olive oils. The cream "rind" comes from the soap drying down. The whole bar will eventually turn cream on the surface, but if you cut into it, the interior may still remain greenish.

Be careful about being too creative with ingredients containing fat that aren't in the recipe. In your case, the heavy cream may help offset the extra lye added by mistake, but it's a risky business to add, subtract, or change ingredients like this without checking the math first.
Actually I would have also kept it to see what it does.
 

Susie

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If you have not tossed that soap, label it and hang on to it. Even "oops" soaps can mostly be redeemed before too long. It is only when you do not know what is in your soap that you need to toss it.

I would also suggest that you consider olive oil and olive oil pomace so similar as to almost be considered the same thing. One is not going to bring anything to the soap that the other won't also bring. So, no need to have both.

If you do not want to use palm/lard/tallow, you can use 15% butters such as shea or mango. That will help firm up your soap.

Oh, and welcome to the forum and the addiction!
 

Rusti

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I wasn't actually thinking about selling right now at all (not sure where this idea is coming from with everyone). Anyways, it was a mistake I realized even at the time, but it's my first time and so it gets tossed. No big deal in the end. Mistakes always happen.
Probably from here:

KCupcake said:
figuring that I could use it still myself, but couldn't sell it only to find that the inside was a faint green
Agreeing that my curiosity would get the better of me and I'd keep things just to watch it. Inner mad scientist and all.
 

Steve85569

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Welcome to the forum!
You have now made your first mistake in soap making. You'll never have to make the first one again.

I have learned (slowly) to lay out my plans and weight lye, liquids and oils separately. That prevents me adding too much or too little lye, liduid or oil to my batch of soap. It does NOT prevent me from getting a nice swirl done only to notice the FO or EO sitting on the table all nicely weighed and waiting.
Mistakes still happen.
I have a few bars waiting to see if they ever really set up from an earlier oops...
Steve
 

KCupcake

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Probably from here:



Agreeing that my curiosity would get the better of me and I'd keep things just to watch it. Inner mad scientist and all.
I guess I didn't pay attention to the wording, but I definitely wasn't planning on selling anytime soon. I just meant it in a "this color combo should be thrown to the dungeon and never let others see the horror" -- but without thinking I chose the less dramatic way.
 

fuzz-juzz

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I used to make soaps with coconut milk. Quite often, bars would end up looking like yours.
Green when cut, but it faded away.
Try making soap without it and with oils you were using to see whether I'll make a difference.
I never had that kind of discoloration with oils only, coconut milk was the culprit.
 
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