I unmolded too early

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Nov 28, 2007
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After 14 hours I unmolded my smaller batch of soap. It was no longer firm and the top looked solid enough, so I took it out. A definite mistake since the lower part of the loaf just fell apart. It's still very moist and wet and looks like mashed potatoes.

Is this soap usable if I just let it dry? Or is a rebatch in order? I'll do the tongue test when it has dried for a couple of weeks unless someone suggests differently.
You can rebatch it or leave it and let what is left continue to set up. It might not look pretty, but if it passes the tongue test, it will probably be all right.
Thanks for the reply. I guess I'll wait a couple of weeks and see what happens. In my original post when I said "It was no longer firm and the top looked solid enough," I actually meant it was no longer warm, indicating that most of the chemical reaction had completed by my newbie's guess.

I cut the load into large slices. Weird. The center looks like soap, but the outer ring edges stills looks like mashed potatoes.
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Can you post your recipe?? This would help in telling us what happened. Sounds like too much water. Did you put the recipe thru a lye calc?
I did put it through soapcalc. It's a simple concoction I came up with just by playing with the INS values in the program.

17 oz olive oil
12 oz soybean oil
48 oz lard
31.5 oz coconut oil
15.5 oz lye
41 oz water

I combined the lye/water solution to the oils while both were still very warm. Used a hand mixer until what I thought was medium trace occurred.

Thanks for any feedback you might have...
I ran your recipe thru the soap calc (sorry my last post I said lye calc-oops) and your numbers look good, hardness, conditioning, etc. Your water/lye seems fine. Looks like a good soap to (me) anyway. **** girl, thats a big size soap??? Done this amount before?? How long after your soap did you wait until you unmolded? Like you said, you may have unmolded too early.got excited huh? I dont know. Is the soap smooshed like a warmed-up cheesecake? kinda flattened? kinda hard on top & bottom but (and how mushy) in the middle...explain.. What type of mold did you use...Did you add fragrance, and how much and what scent? Kat
Yeah, it's a big batch, but I didn't feel like partitioning the lard. :) This was my first attempt ever, and it seemed to go OK while I was making the soap. I poured most of the batch into a plastic shoe box, and the rest went into a paper orange juice carton. It was the OJ batch that I unmolded after 12 hours.

The bigger batch is still in the mold, and I'll probably cut it in another 12 hours. The orange juice batch is completely hard in the middle like I expected the completed soap to be, but the outer edges (about 1 inch ringing the inner soap) has the consistency of a dry mashed potato, and I almost think it's not soap. Maybe it didn't fully saponify?

Do you think I can cut it off and rebatch it, Kat? The tongue test went fine. I was almost scared to lick the soap since I've never done it before, but there was no zap.
I didn't understand what you said "but the outer edges (about 1 inch ringing the inner soap) has the consistency of mashed potatoes".

This is what I'd do. Cut the smaller (OJ mold) soap into whatever bar sizes you had in mind. Seems like it it solid enough for cutting.
(My opinion on this part)..Do not know how "thick" your soap is in the larger mold, but (My opinion) seems that the soap needs more time to set up? still too soft to unmold. You made soap...Hootee Hoooo!!! Just feel the sides of the mold (if you can) and if its firm, kinda poke it with your finger, and not warm, unwrap and cut to size. You made soap, your numbers are fine, and you probably will love the conditioning and bubbles of this soap. BUT.BUT...for your 1st time...This was a HUGE project. Go smaller next...do a 2 lb or a 3 lb size...(I like 3 lber's).don't go nuts....especially if you are going to use expensive/butters. Next time, go for a smaller batch. you'll really enjoy the smaller batch, until you get really good. Then you can do additives like baby oatmeal, and ground lavender, and maybe use goats milk in replacemnt of your water. Lots and lots of things to think of. Different types of oils, butters, deer/sheep/beef tallow. Lose sleep like the rest of us...hehehe. Hope I helped in some way. Kat
I didn't understand what you said "but the outer edges (about 1 inch ringing the inner soap) has the consistency of mashed potatoes".

Think of a loaf of bread with a brown crust. That's like my soap except the crust extended about 1.5 inches into the loaf. The middle is soap, the 'crust' is this crumbly mashed potato like substance. It is not nicely translucent like the middle soap it... it's non-see through pure white like chalk.

Thanks for the advice about making smaller batches. I really wish I knew what was wrong with this recipe though.

Anyone think I can rebatch the 'crust'? Maybe just throw it into another soap recipe during the mixing stage? It's crumbly and soft right now.
Nope.....you made soap... according to the soap calc its good. You siad you put your tongue to it (I assume the smaller OJ mold) and no zap, jst a nasty taste of SOAP. which lingers a long time from my experience. :( Just leave your bigger soap in the mold. Tomorrow, or late late tonight unmold. See if you can cut the end part. Is it hard? Then cut another, is it still hard? Then continue cutting. You should get a feel of it. Poke your finger in the middle. Is it hard enought to cut? It should be. You never said if you added FO or EO or color to your batch. If its white white,,,,good for you.
Now...if you WANTED to re-batch this, you can. I made a small re-batch (2 lbs) because I FORGOT to add my castor to it, and someone on this list said the soap might be lye heavy....shreeek!!! Never thought of that!!!, So the following weekend, I shredded the 2lbs (wasn't that hard at all) into my SS pot , added the missing castor, and then I sprinkled some powdered milk into it, also added a tiny bit of water. This...by far...has been my most, softening, most favorite soap, and it was only a 2 pounder. I also added more liquid color, because I wasn't happy with the faint color in the original batch. It was kinda "rustic" but mellowed the more it sat & aged. So, basically what I'm trying to say, you can do alot witha batch that doesn't "work" for you. you made soap...now let it cure for 3-4 weeks before you give it away (This is your first batch, do NOT sell) you should not be comfortable enought to do this, even IF your soap did turn out to be absolutely fantastic. Soap gifts are the best gifts to give. It is so personal, and people LOVE to receive them. They think you thought of them personally (IMHO you probably did) but its very nice even when you didn't, and then you give them a piece of your handmade soap they think oooohhhhh LOVE just exudes...OK I'll shut up now..Kat

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