I think I did something wrong...

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Jun 23, 2008
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Hi, this is my first time here in this forum and the first time i have tried to make cold process soap. I formulated a recipe that took forever to create but I thought I had it down. However, the final product of the soap is a little different than I expected. For the light colored one, i don't think I mixed enough colorant into the mix right. It is a hard bar and kind of swirly but maybe I did something wrong. But even worse the dark colored one I think i really over did it. I added kelp to it, but maybe way too much, and it seems funny colored and the oils didn't seem to mix all the way through. I posted these pics so I could get some kind of feedback on exactly how much I screwed up or if I screwed up my recipes at all. Any help would be appreciated. Btw, I used coconut, olive, palm kernel, almond, castor oils, shea and cocoa butter in both just at different levels.

Hello and welcome to the forum. We'll be able to give you better feed back if you could post your recipe and anything noteworthy that happened.
I am not seeing the pics. Post your recipe, there are a lot of good folks here who can help you. :D

this is the recipe i used. I am just not sure about it turning out super great.... hope you can see this pics


Coconut 76 degree - 30%
Olive oil - 30%
Palm Kernel - 10%
Cocoa Butter - 10%
Shea Butter - 10%
Almond Sweet - 5%
Castor Oil - 5%
Kelp - I think too much


Coconut 76 degree - 30%
Olive oil - 30%
Palm Kernel - 10%
Cocoa Butter - 5%
Shea Butter - 5%
Almond Sweet - 10%
Castor Oil - 10%
I can see the original pics now. Go figure.

I am no pro, but I have had some look similar. If they feel great, pretend that it is exactly texture/look you were going for. :lol: Or maybe do a rebatch?

speckledapple said:
I used coconut, olive, palm kernel, almond, castor oils, shea and cocoa butter in both just at different levels.
That's seven fats and oils! I think you got too ambitious and tackled an overly complicated project, particularly when you include fragrance and decoration. That's kind of like a medical student tackling open heart surgery as his first operation, if you get what I mean. :)

There is probably disagreement about how many fats/oils you need in a good soap recipe, but most recipes get along nicely with 3-4 of them. My first batch was a modified Castile: OO, CO, PO; three oils, no colorant, and unfortunately too little scent to notice, but my exercise succeeded. An easier project has a greater likelihood for success.

Looking at your ingredients, your PKO and CO are very similar and you could just pick one and skip the other. Your almond and olive are fairly similar too, as are your SB and CB. You could make virtually identical soap using only four of your fats/oils. My advice is to save the expensive fats (CB, SB) for later in your career.

As far as colorants, I've had much better results with colorants intended for soap use rather than natural colorants, because the soap colorants are more concentrated so you don't need so much that you might alter the soap's qualities. Or maybe you used the kelp for some other reason, in which case perhaps you should save additives for later batches and just try to get your basic soap recipe work first.

I haven't used natural colorants much so I'm not speaking from experience, but I suggest you hold down your colorants to perhaps 1 teaspoon per pound of oils (ppo) or possibly up to 1 tablespoon ppo (which may be too much).

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