My 1st and 2nd batch

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Mrs_X

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Hello all! I am new to soaping and to this forum. I have been researching for months and browsing (more like stalking) this forum reading about all the "do's and don't's" and trying to just gain some overall knowledge. Well, this past weekend I attempted my first batch (Olive Oil, coconut oil, castor oil)... I made my lye water and left it to cool for a bit then came back to mix my oils. I don't have a microwave in my soaping area so I decided to melt my coconut oil in warm water and then I mixed it with the other 2 oils. My lye solution was at 96 deg and my oils at 76 deg. Now I knew everything I had read said that the oils & lye water should be within 10 deg of each other but for some reason I just said "let me mix this, it'll be ok." I poured the lye water in and SB for about 30 seconds before I saw what I thought was trace and then SB for about a minute more just for good measure. Then I poured it into the mold and left to let the magic happen.

Fast forward 2 hours, no magic!:confused: My soap had a huge crack down the middle so I got online to research what could've made this happen and the answer I got was that it over heated. I then tried to repair the crack which I did not realize at the time was the least of my problems. The soap was also like a playdoh texture with white edges and when I would touch it some would stick to my (gloved) hands. I knew it wasn't right so the next day I squeezed that soap out of the mold and tried again. I was so depressed.

Day 2: This time I changed my lye concentration to 30% and I soaped with the lye water @105 and my oils @96 deg., I noticed that I had to SB for much longer this time before it traced and then I got it into the mold. I knew already that this 2nd batch was going to be better but I didn't want to get my hopes up. Well I stalked that soap all day yesterday and woke up early before work to cut. OMG what a beauty!! It was like swiss cheese without the holes. I am soo in love, I have been thinking about that soap all day and had to share my triumph after failure with ppl who understand.

I do have a question. What had more to do with the failure of the 1st batch, the soaping temps or the lye concentration?? (below are pics of 1st batch)

**On the bottom is a picture of my 2nd batch

IMG_8771.JPG


IMG_8775.JPG


soap1.jpg
 
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Kamahido

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Greetings and welcome to the addiction. If you post your recipe perhaps the more experienced soapers can troubleshoot it.
 

kc1ble

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Your soap looks great, I too am new to soaping and just made my second batch on Saturday. My second batch I wrapped and gelled and it too got a crack in the middle from heating. The crack did disappear by morning and when I cut it, the crack isn't even visible. Did you use any fragrance oils? I'm convinced that is what caused mine to heat the way it did. When I added my FO, I noticed immediate thickening. I went from light trace to heavy trace almost instantly and had to move quickly to get it mixed and in the mold. So far I think everything is ok, I'll give it a couple of weeks and see.

This is definitely an addicting hobby, I'm already searching for items for my third batch...something more manly for me :)

Welcome and good luck getting more definitive answers to your problem.
 

SuzieOz

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I am soo in love, I have been thinking about that soap all day
Yes OH yes!!!

Welcome to this mad addiction ... it will consume your every waking moment ... and visit you in your dreams ... :twisted::twisted:

Welcome Mrs_X, nice to meet you :)

I'm sure some more experienced soapers will be along shortly to help out with the 1st batch problem.
 

Mrs_X

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Greetings and welcome to the addiction. If you post your recipe perhaps the more experienced soapers can troubleshoot it.
Thank you!

My recipe was: 7.68 oz Coconut oil
15.60 oz Olive Oil
.72 oz Castor Oil
9.12 oz water
3.43 oz Lye
With a 5% superfat and I left the default water as percent of oil at 38%, No fragrance or color

The second time around I just changed the lye concentration to 33% (it was previously 27.345%) which changed the water amount to 6.97 oz.

Your soap looks great, I too am new to soaping and just made my second batch on Saturday. My second batch I wrapped and gelled and it too got a crack in the middle from heating. The crack did disappear by morning and when I cut it, the crack isn't even visible. Did you use any fragrance oils? I'm convinced that is what caused mine to heat the way it did. When I added my FO, I noticed immediate thickening. I went from light trace to heavy trace almost instantly and had to move quickly to get it mixed and in the mold. So far I think everything is ok, I'll give it a couple of weeks and see.

This is definitely an addicting hobby, I'm already searching for items for my third batch...something more manly for me :)

Welcome and good luck getting more definitive answers to your problem.
Thank you so much! No I didn't use any fragrance oil, that will be my next adventure. Hearing about your soap gives me hope that if my soap should crack in the future that its not the end of the world. My heart sank when I saw it. And good luck with your man soap, I'd like to hear how it turns out!:)

Yes OH yes!!!

Welcome to this mad addiction ... it will consume your every waking moment ... and visit you in your dreams

Welcome Mrs_X, nice to meet you :)

I'm sure some more experienced soapers will be along shortly to help out with the 1st batch problem.
Thank you Suzie! I'm a little afraid
 

houseofwool

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The very short answer is that the first batch has too much water. It overheated, causing the soap to crack. My guess (assuming your measurements were accurate) is that eventually it will be okay.

I have a batch that was a special order for a client. I inadvertently added 50% more water than needed. It has been at least 8 months and while the bars are getting harder, they will need more time...
 

KristaY

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First, hi Mrs_X! Welcome to the forum and the new addiction. :wave:

I'm not convinced your first batch was a failure! The idea that the lye water and oils need to be 10 degrees apart is a myth so that's not a problem. The crack is definitely overheating. Did you insulate the mold with a towel after you poured? You used high water and 32% CO so that can happen. The crack is aesthetic only.

You said it felt like playdoh with white edges. Was this 2 hours after you poured it? If so, that's normal. Your soap was going through gel phase which turns the soap translucent (starting in the center and moving out) until it cools down. In the 2nd pic it looks like the center was still in gel. When was it cut?

The white edges I see in the pic look like soda ash which is completely harmless. This is another thing that can happen when using "full water" (the soap calc default).

What does the first batch look like now? Is it all the same color and starting to get firm? Most importantly, does it pass the zap test?

Your second batch looks beautiful! You're going to fall (more) in love with it once you start using it. Congratulations!
 

SuzieOz

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Ooh I just got a look at the picture of your second batch. My, if that was my soap I'd be thinking about it all day too! Congrats :D
 

Mrs_X

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The very short answer is that the first batch has too much water. It overheated, causing the soap to crack. My guess (assuming your measurements were accurate) is that eventually it will be okay.

I have a batch that was a special order for a client. I inadvertently added 50% more water than needed. It has been at least 8 months and while the bars are getting harder, they will need more time...
Oh wow, thank you! I was definitely going to get rid of it but I guess I will wait a while. I had no idea that it can take that long for soap to harden up. I'm so glad I came here because I'm learning so much more!
 

Mrs_X

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First, hi Mrs_X! Welcome to the forum and the new addiction. :wave:

I'm not convinced your first batch was a failure! The idea that the lye water and oils need to be 10 degrees apart is a myth so that's not a problem. The crack is definitely overheating. Did you insulate the mold with a towel after you poured? You used high water and 32% CO so that can happen. The crack is aesthetic only.

You said it felt like playdoh with white edges. Was this 2 hours after you poured it? If so, that's normal. Your soap was going through gel phase which turns the soap translucent (starting in the center and moving out) until it cools down. In the 2nd pic it looks like the center was still in gel. When was it cut?

The white edges I see in the pic look like soda ash which is completely harmless. This is another thing that can happen when using "full water" (the soap calc default).

What does the first batch look like now? Is it all the same color and starting to get firm? Most importantly, does it pass the zap test?

Your second batch looks beautiful! You're going to fall (more) in love with it once you start using it. Congratulations!
Hi and Thank You KristaY!! I am so shocked to hear that the oil & lye water needing to be within 10 degrees of each other is a myth because that was literally in like every book I read. Wow! Good to know! To answer a few of your questions, no I did not insulate the 1st batch but the 2nd one I did. I cut the 1st batch after 24 hours and the soap stuck to the knife as I was cutting so I stopped after cutting those 2 pieces. As of yesterday evening the middle was still soft. I have not zap tested it but I will later on today. Thank you so much for your response and all the great information you gave me!
 

DeeAnna

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I think the others have given some very good advice. Just be patient with the first soap and it should be fine.

You may also want to let your soap sit for about 3 days after unmolding and then check it with a "zap" test. A zap test will tell you if your soap is skin safe or if there is excess lye. If your zap test is "no zap" then that's good. Let your soap cure for 4-6 weeks and enjoy! It should be very nice to use in the bath.

Zap test tutorial: http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=30690

My method:
Dampen your fingertip, swipe it on the soap, and very lightly touch your fingertip to your tongue. If you do a cautious zap test like this, and the soap is lye heavy, even slightly, you won't have to ask yourself if it zapped. It's unmistakable and immediate like a static shock.

If you find yourself wondering or if the reaction takes a bit to happen, you're probably reacting to the taste of the soap itself or some of the ingredients in your soap. Fragrances can be nasty tasting even though they might smell wonderful.

In any case, if there's any kind of unpleasantness going on in your mouth, spit, don't swallow, and rinse well with cool water until the unpleasantness is gone.
 

Mrs_X

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Ooh I just got a look at the picture of your second batch. My, if that was my soap I'd be thinking about it all day too! Congrats :D
Thank You Suzie!!! :):):) I kept calling my husband down to look at it, he's not nearly as excited lol
 

Mrs_X

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I think the others have given some very good advice. Just be patient with the first soap and it should be fine.

You may also want to let your soap sit for about 3 days after unmolding and then check it with a "zap" test. A zap test will tell you if your soap is skin safe or if there is excess lye. If your zap test is "no zap" then that's good. Let your soap cure for 4-6 weeks and enjoy! It should be very nice to use in the bath.

Zap test tutorial: http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=30690

My method:
Dampen your fingertip, swipe it on the soap, and very lightly touch your fingertip to your tongue. If you do a cautious zap test like this, and the soap is lye heavy, even slightly, you won't have to ask yourself if it zapped. It's unmistakable and immediate like a static shock.

If you find yourself wondering or if the reaction takes a bit to happen, you're probably reacting to the taste of the soap itself or some of the ingredients in your soap. Fragrances can be nasty tasting even though they might smell wonderful.

In any case, if there's any kind of unpleasantness going on in your mouth, spit, don't swallow, and rinse well with cool water until the unpleasantness is gone.
Thank you so much Deanna! I am going to try this later on this evening.
 

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