# I failed

### Help Support SoapMakingForum:

#### Dblondi03

##### Member
Hu everyone,
I am new to soap making, I started last week and 2 batches went well a d 2 batches didnt, the one I did yesterday went very wrong. I got a 42oz silicone mold and noticed that the recipes I have were not filling up the whole mold, so I searched on google and found a 3lbs recipe with olive oil, castor oil and coconut oil. However when i took the beautiful soap out of the mold to cut it crumbled and after researching i found out it's probably because theres too much lye in it. But I followed the exact measurements of the recipe.
I still dont know how to use a soap calculator and also read that beginners should just follow a recipe. But it annoys me if I used a recipe that has wrong measurements, can someone please take a look at the recipe and let me know if it is actually correct? ...maybe I'm the one who did something wrong
(I added my own coloring and essential oil)

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#### Jersey Girl

Supporting Member
First question...Did you use 31.5 oz of olive oil or 15.5 oz? It states to use 1lb 15.5 oz which would be 31.5 oz.
soapmakingfriend.com calculator is the easiest to use in my opinion. You must run any recipe through a calculator.

#### Dblondi03

##### Member
Omg! I didnt understand the 1lbs now I get it Lol thanks for bringing that to my attention, I only added 15.5 oops..

#### lsg

Staff member
Moderator
Another thing you will want to do with any recipe is run it through a lye calculator such as the Soap Making Friend or SoapCalc to be sure the weight of every ingredient is right.

Thank you

#### TheGecko

##### Well-Known Member
Before making any more soap, learn how to use a Soap Calculator and then ALWAYS run any recipe, even your own, through it.

The "42 oz" of your mold refer to the Total Weight that it holds. The 3 lbs in the recipe refers to the total weight of the OILS (it's actually 48.5 oz). When you add in Lye and Water (approximately 21 oz at 33% Lye Concentration), your Total Weight is going to be about 70 oz...WAY TOO MUCH batter for your mold.

FYI - Your mold holds approximately 27 oz to 29 oz of oil depending on what your usage rate for Fragrance is.

#### artemis

##### Mostly Harmless
Personally, I think that's a large batch of soap to be making as a beginner, especially if you're making 4 batches in one week. If you learn how to use a soap calculator, you can easily scale down a recipe to fit a smaller mold. Don't have one? Margarine tubs make great little molds.

#### cmzaha

Supporting Member
This mold is fantastic for making test batches of soap or just for starting out. I used it when testing a new recipe. It will make 4 bars of soap. It is a sturdy little mold that does not need to be supported.

You should never just double a recipe, if for no other reason to get used to using a soap Calculator. Which is imperative you learn to use a soap calculator or learn to calculate Sap values manually. If you want to manually calculate Sap values you really should double-check through a soap calculator until you know for sure you are doing your math calculations correctly, which is how I became comfortable with manual calculations. I still use soap calculators over 10 ys later out of laziness not out of lack of knowledge. If I use someone else's recipe I always double-check it through a calculator.

Crafters Choice™ Short (Small) Loaf Silicone Mold 1504 - Wholesale Supplies Plus

#### Hope Ann

##### Well-Known Member
Another reason to learn to use soapcalc is it's an easy way to learn what each ingredient brings to your soap.

I found some cute green 1 lb silicon loaf molds on Amazon that are perfect for testing a new recipe or fragrance or coloring.

Hope

#### DeeAnna

##### Well-Known Member
To answer your question, the recipe as written is correct as written. I would have written the weight of olive oil as 31.5 oz, however, rather than 1 lb 15.5 oz. As you found out the hard way, it is very easy to mis-read mixed units of weight.

As the soap was made, the soap has a -40% lye excess. I would handle it only with gloves on -- it is VERY lye heavy. It is not worth your time to try to fix it -- this batch should be discarded.

I would wrap the soap very well so there is no chance someone could inadvertently come in contact with it, and put the wrapped soap in the regular household trash.

You've gotten some good advice --
Make lots of small batches so you get practice making soap and develop good habits for making soap successfully.
Also if you make a mistake or don't like the soap, discarding a small batch is not such a waste of your time and resources.
Learn to use a soap recipe calculator so you know for yourself that a recipe is calculated correctly.
Use a checklist when you soap so you can keep track of what you've done -- don't just trust to memory.
Oh, and never use mixed units of weight!

#### Zany_in_CO

##### Saponifier
I still dont know how to use a soap calculator and also read that beginners should just follow a recipe.
Hmm. Unfortunately, soap making is NOT like cooking where you can "just follow a recipe". As a matter of fact, never follow a recipe without calculating it first... even if it's from a veteran soaper like myself.

I noticed that SoapMaking Friend lye calculator was mentioned in almost every post, including your own. For Newbies, I recommend using SoapCalc. It's easier to begin with. It has a default setting that takes the guesswork out of choosing the basic inputs and it works well for most recipes. You can tweak those settings when you know more about what you're doing.

Each step is numbered. If you hover your mouse over the number, it tells you what to do on that step.

Also, you don't have to know the % of each oil ahead of time. You simply choose "oz." (if that's what you're using) , enter the amount and it figures the % for you.

Take a basic recipe and take some time playing around with it to get a feel for how it can help you design your own recipe. Pay attention to the "recommended" ranges for each soap quality.

If you still don't understand how to use it, there's a Soap Calc Tutorial in the Beginners Forum. I don't know where you got that recipe, but I'd strongly advise you to take a look at the "Tried and True" recipes also found in the Beginner's Forum.

For an overview of all the things we talk about on SMF as well as a cold process soap tutorial, with good advice for Newbies, there's this:

LOVIN' SOAP - COLD PROCESS SOAP MAKING GUIDE

HTH and HAPPY SOAPING!

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#### Zany_in_CO

##### Saponifier
Omigosh! No wonder there are so many links in the this thread. I just discovered if you write "lye calulator" (sic) it immediately gets linked to Soapmaking Friend!

ETA: I did not link the last two words above. The "whatever" automatically did that. Interesting? Or not?

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#### Dblondi03

##### Member
To answer your question, the recipe as written is correct as written. I would have written the weight of olive oil as 31.5 oz, however, rather than 1 lb 15.5 oz. As you found out the hard way, it is very easy to mis-read mixed units of weight.

As the soap was made, the soap has a -40% lye excess. I would handle it only with gloves on -- it is VERY lye heavy. It is not worth your time to try to fix it -- this batch should be discarded.

I would wrap the soap very well so there is no chance someone could inadvertently come in contact with it, and put the wrapped soap in the regular household trash.

You've gotten some good advice --
Make lots of small batches so you get practice making soap and develop good habits for making soap successfully.
Also if you make a mistake or don't like the soap, discarding a small batch is not such a waste of your time and resources.
Learn to use a soap recipe calculator so you know for yourself that a recipe is calculated correctly.
Use a checklist when you soap so you can keep track of what you've done -- don't just trust to memory.
Oh, and never use mixed units of weight!
Thank you so much, and its true when I touch the soap I feel my fingers becoming wrinkly as if I was under water, I'll discard it, it was so much of the small ingredients that I have as a beginner that i felt bad throwing it away until now, but safety comes first. Thank you

#### Dblondi03

##### Member
Omigosh! No wonder there are so many links in the this thread. I just discovered if you write "lye calulator" (sic) it immediately gets linked to Soapmaking Friend!

ETA: I did not link the last two words above. The "whatever" automatically did that. Interesting? Or not?
Yeah when I wrote the word c.a.l.c.u.l.a.t.o.r it generated a link automatically too

#### artemis

##### Mostly Harmless
For Newbies, I recommend using SoapCalc. It's easier to begin with.
I have to disagree. When I was starting to use a calculator, soap calc was confusing and intimidating. Soapee and soap making friend are much more approachable in my experience (as a newer soaper than some-- just 5 or 6 years). The point, of course, is to try one. If you don't like it, try another.

#### Arimara

Supporting Member
I have to disagree. When I was starting to use a calculator, soap calc was confusing and intimidating. Soapee and soap making friend are much more approachable in my experience (as a newer soaper than some-- just 5 or 6 years). The point, of course, is to try one. If you don't like it, try another.
I think it's worth learning to use both. SoapCalc is still faster for me and less daunting if I'm double checking a recipe.

#### TheGecko

##### Well-Known Member
I have to disagree. When I was starting to use a calculator, soap calc was confusing and intimidating. Soapee and soap making friend are much more approachable in my experience (as a newer soaper than some-- just 5 or 6 years). The point, of course, is to try one. If you don't like it, try another.
I started with SoapCalc...watched a tutorial on YT. I have since learned to use several different calculators as well as hand calculated...you never now when a website will go down or you lose power.