I think my first batch bit the dust. **updated w/ pics**

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Apr 27, 2008
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I made my first batch, using a tried and true recipe from a famous book. The only thing I changed was the water for aloe juice. I didn't have distilled water and I had the juice, so I thought it would work it out.

After 24 hours (more like 30), it looked dry enough, so I took it off the mold and when I went to cut it, it was still sticky, getting stuck in the knife. Last night (2 days later), still soft-ish. :( :(

My question is....what should I do now? Discard the batch completely? Take it off the mold to air-dry (It's in a ziplock container w/ the cover)? Rebatch?

Any info will be hugely appreciated.
Depending on what oils you used it may just need a little longer to harden. I wouldn't give up on it yet. Did it have a large percentage of soft ols in it?

Dont toss out that precious soap yet. Soap can be very surprising. Just wait and see. I thought my very first batch of pure castile should have been tossed out and it turned out to be some of the nicest Ive ever made. Good luck!
If you used alot of soap oils, that may be the reason.

what is the recipe? That way we can give you a better answer
I think my first batch hit the dust..

Oh no it didn't! Just wait it out. It could take weeks! But it will harden up and be less sticky and you will be able to cut it just fine. It is out of the plastic mold? right? Just put the sticky lump of it on the cure rack and forget about it for awhile. I mix my colorants in a bit of glycerin and then add to my soap pot and the first time ever I tried this technique I used way too much glycerin and I had soap goo. I left it on the cure rack for 2 months and now this is my favorite soap. It is nice and hard. A miracle! Same thing will happen for you. DO NOT THROW OUT! :D
CupcakeKisses said:
If you used alot of soap oils, that may be the reason.

what is the recipe? That way we can give you a better answer

geez, I meant SOFT oils. LOL!
Thanks for all the answer, guys!!

Reallyrita ~ I did it a short while ago only. I tried searching to see what I should do, but couldn't find any info specificaly for my case, kwim? But I just put the whole block on the rack. Let's see how it'll look tomorrow. *cross fingers*

Some of the corners are a wee bit lighter... so that's hopeful, I guess! :lol:

Cupcakekisses ~ Here is the recipe I used:

- Olive Oil (10.5 oz)
- Coconut Oil ( 5.25 oz)
- Castor Oil ( 1 Tbsp - that's how the recipe was)
- Lye (2.4 oz)
- Aloe Juice (6 oz)
- E.O. ( 1 Tbsp)

Was that too bad? :shock: I'm still trying to learn to deal with soapcal. I promise I'm not too dumb, but for some reason, I can't wrap my mind around it.... But I'll learn eventually. :oops:

Thank you so much again, guys!
How is it today? I have had soap that was really soft and slowly dried hard after forever.

It will probably turn out to be your best soap. :lol:

I'm pretty sure your soap will be just fine. As already stated, it just needs to dry out. Let it get lots of air circulating around it, turn it every day or so, & it'll dry just fine.

I had a reallllly sticky batch recently, but it's nice & dry today. It was a new recipe.

I decreased the water - only do this with soapcalc!! That really made a difference!

What percent was your water? With soapcalc, you can adjust that percentage. It's default is 38%. I adjusted mine down to 33% to get a dryer log coming out of the mold.

Be verrrrrrrrrry careful doing water reduction, & ONLY attempt it using soapcalc or another calculator!!! I don't go below 33%. IF you do it, you may find trace happens quicker, so keep that in mind.

Or, you can try a different recipe.

Congrats on your first batch!! :D
The soap looks much firmer today! I'm still afraid of cutting it because still is on the softer side, but I'll keep turning to dry on all sides....

Thank you so much, guys!

OASN: It does smell good! The EO amount she recommended seems a weee bit too strong now (I'm sure not strong enough for some people's taste, but a bit strong for mine), but since I heard that smells fade a bit as it dries, I think it'll be perfect when it's cured! (whenever that happens... :lol: )
I cut it! I cut it! :D

My mold wasn't a perfect rectangle (a ziplock container) and it was definitely too big for that batch. But since I was going to cut "trial size" anyway, that was not an issue.

I kept it rustic and long. I tried refining one of them with a peeler, but it looks cooler being rustic like that. :)

Also(!), I used a paper thin shaved slice of it (that looked *very* dry) and it felt really good on my hands! Lathered wonderfully, cleaned really well and didn't dry it up at all! Yay!

Here are some pics of my first batch!!

Drying: http://flickr.com/photos/24927119@N05/2705682130/

Cute shots:
http://flickr.com/photos/24927119@N05/2 ... otostream/
http://flickr.com/photos/24927119@N05/2 ... otostream/

Thanks for all the help and thanks for looking! :)
Very nice! Great job! My first batch started really soft/sticky like that too but hardened up within a few days like yours. Like the previous posters said, it was also my favorite soap. Enjoy!