Help please! Frustrated, Discouraged, but refusing to give up!

Discussion in 'Beginners Soap Making Forum' started by McLasz, Sep 11, 2018.

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  1. Sep 12, 2018 #21

    Lin19687

    Lin19687

    Lin19687

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    @McLasz "But for God sake, don't ask stupid questions!" If this is towards me, that is not what I said. I did give you advise. Search, Learn, get basics done, then once you have all the basics then try new things. Took me more then 30 batches of simple recipes to get things right.
    You have to understand that these questions are asked over and over. People gave you a lot of advise . I admit I get short worded at times and that is the nature of the interwebs beast. Take what you want and leave the rest.
     
  2. Sep 12, 2018 #22

    Consuela

    Consuela

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    Learning to soap takes time. We have ALL started at square one. Sometimes we just forget what that looks and feels like from time to time - even if we're not that far out of the gate ourselves.

    To address the comment above about why she didn't just use someone else's recipe: My very first recipe was someone else's. That was also the very last time I ever used anyone else's random soap recipe. It sucked, quite simply put :) And I already liked DeAnna's response to that, but I feel like it needs to be said again: using anyone else's recipe does not guarantee you success.

    Soaping catastrophes they happen to anyone, at any time, even the most seasoned soapmaker.

    Sometimes smaller batches of soap trace really quickly for me. At first that's what I thought might have happened here for you - but upon further inspection of your numbers (this is not as small a batch as I had initially pictured in my head), and I'm in agreeance with DeAnna here that maybe the stick blending bursts were too heavy at the beginning and you were past the point of emulsion and well into trace perhaps by the time you got to colouring and scenting.

    Give it another try and don't let this setback, set you back :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
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  3. Sep 13, 2018 #23

    SaltedFig

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    The question (requesting help understanding where you went wrong) is extraordinarily common, but not usually accompanied with such careful attention to detail. Your version of this very common question is exemplary for it's detail, not stupid :)

    I would like to add one small thing, to add to my earlier answer:
    A powerful stick blender can cause your soap batter to thicken quickly, but the batter consistency is still within your control.

    Knowing when your soap batter has reached emulsion is one of the foundation skills that can benefit every soaper. It can be especially useful if you work with accelerating fragrances or recipes, and comes into it's own if you like working with complex designs and multiple colours.

    This link is Newbie's Stickblending to Emulsion video, and if I can recommend you just one video to watch, this one is it!
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
  4. Sep 13, 2018 #24

    Alfa_Lazcares

    Alfa_Lazcares

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    So many people want to make it all on their first batch, and its cool if you are feeling adventurous, but if you failed and are starting to get frustrated, making a few less steps might be helpful.
    I made a plain soap (came up with the recipe myself) asked how it looked, got feedback, twiked it and showed it again. It looked fine and i did it and i ended up with a fine soap. Then i went to try a couple other recipes. And i didnt stumbled across a really bad one, specially when you land on this forum a lot of experienced soapers have shared their “tried and true” recipes. Something can go wrong even then, I agree, and i also find it very good that you came up with all your details to ask the question cause there is a lot of people that come here saying “i mixed my oils and the lye and the soap never hardened, what happened?” And we all are like... “err... we dont know?” You provided the info that was needed.


    I am just like 5 months ahead of you, so by no means an expert, i just can tell you what helped me at the begining and that was a plain soap. I then went to add escential oil to another one and an extra: oatmeal, then i moved to adding the EO, the oats and a color. And so on. My max has been 3 colors, 4 is super ambitious (which is cool, but this things can and do happen even to experienced soapers).


    All that to say that just take a breather, gather yourself and try again. I also though you were making a mini batch and thats why you reached trace so fast but is a little over a kg, so its even bigger than my biggest batch yet. If i were you i would try the recipe again with the changes that you got on this thread (the temps, less stick blending, etc) and just use a color. I am still a bit skeptical about the FO, that’s why i would remove it from the equation. It if wasnt then you can move on to change something else. If it was, then even better. I would also make a smaller batch if something goes wrong again you didnt wasted so much soap. Though this one you can still make confeti.


    Anyway. Good luck. Keep trying!
     
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  5. Sep 13, 2018 #25

    dixiedragon

    dixiedragon

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    Please feel free to ask any and all questions. We are a group of individuals, so sometimes one (or more of us) might seem a little brusque or discouraging in our answers. Try not to take it personally!

    I also want to commend your attention to detail and good notes!

    I think the only stupid question I've seen here was along the lines of "I don't want to share my super secret proprietary recipe, but I want you to troubleshoot this problem I'm having." The very common newbie question of "lye is scary, can I make soap without lye?" doesn't bug me, but the whole "trouble shoot my secret recipe that I'm not sharing" (that was just one time) really annoyed me!
     
  6. Sep 15, 2018 #26

    Monique Serio Enete

    Monique Serio Enete

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    Knowing when your soap batter has reached emulsion is one of the foundation skills that can benefit every soaper. It can be especially useful if you work with accelerating fragrances or recipes, and comes into it's own if you like working with complex designs and multiple colours.

    This link is Newbie's Stickblending to Emulsion video, and if I can recommend you just one video to watch, this one is it![/QUOTE]

    THIS! this is what I have been needing to see. I’m scared to death of bigger batches and I always do too much stick blending. After reading OP and comments I can see one thing I’ve been doing very wrong. My fear of false trace has me going to a thicker trace than wanted EVERYTIME.

    And to the OP, I’ve made loaves of soap off and on for a year and still can’t get it to my liking. I’ve tried and altered quite a few recipes. Still can’t find a base recipe for myself. I only have two batches that were total trash, so that’s a positive

    I’m so thankful to the OP and all that have given advice. There is so much to learn! I now spend more time reading than I do
    making soap. Always hoping I’ll read another tip to help me make less mistakes
     
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  7. Sep 19, 2018 #27

    Sandra@SS

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    congratulations on your first batch McLasz!

    sure things went wrong for you,

    but when you sit back later and re-live it...you really should pat yourself on the back for all the things you did do right.
    You soapcalc'd,
    you wrote detailed notes,
    you made clear calculations,
    you coloured,
    you scented,
    you got the seizing beast in the mould :eek: WOW!
    I expect you also followed all safety procedure and came away un-injured. BONUS!

    I expect also, your pride may have winced a little. Mine does when things go 'badly'. But your 'things gone badly' couldn't really have gone any worse, so your pride must be a lot more robust than mine.

    As with all challenges, please take extra effort to see where you were right.
    Sure, learn from where you were challenged, then move forward to the next challenge...
    and try to under-achieve a little next time :)

    do simple really well, then add in one further twist. One twist at a time.

    Be asured that everyone will be pleased to hear about your next batch...
    cause we are all interested....
    otherwise no one would have taken the time and effort to comment on your informative post.
    I certainly have learnt from your challenges, and so thank you for sharing them.

    Best Wishes,
    Sandra
     
  8. Sep 19, 2018 #28

    penelopejane

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    McLasz
    You will get quite a few differing responses to any “where did I go wrong” post because making soap is a pretty difficult task and we will each have a possible theory to put forward.

    Temperature of the ingredients makes a difference to acceleration but learning what emulsion is is key.
    Then you have to learn that every recipe is different - pure OO Castile may take a few mins of SBing to reach emulsion at 40*C while a mixed recipe may take 3 seconds. I’ve been soaping for almost 3 years and it still catches me out - I’ll just take this a little further...blast..too far!
     
  9. Sep 19, 2018 #29

    Arimara

    Arimara

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    This is the first newbie thread where a newbie provided everything to be evaluated in such detail. Well, the other soapers gave great advise. I don't have much to add save maybe get some smaller molds for testing recipes and additives. This hobby costs money you know. Also, checking our some videos of soap emulsion would help you greatly. I know someone had a good one but unfortunately, I forgot who.
     
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