My first attempt at CP... sort of long... sorry!!

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Well-Known Member
Jan 25, 2008
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Well.... I did it. And, when I did it... I stepped in it!! :oops:

I made my first ever batch of CP soap. I made one pound of it using this recipe... at least I thought I followed the recipe:

Canola 6, ounces
Olive Oil 5, ounces
Coconut Oil, 2 ounces
Lye, 1.73 ounces
Water, 4.3 ounces
Honey, 1 teaspoon
Paprika, 1 teaspoon (for color, makes a pretty red)
Cinnamon flavoring oil (for fragrance), .25 ounce (worked well for a light cinnamon fragrance)

Here's what happened... At first, I thought I'd make the soap with evaporated goats milk. But, decided that I wouldn't since this was my first attempt at making soap. I made up my lye water. I combined and heated my oils to about 100 degrees. After everything cooled down to about 90 degrees, I poured my lye water into my oils. I stirred everything together with my SB occasionally turing it on in short bursts. When it got to light trace (or that's what I thought it was), I added the paprika, honey, and cinnamon oil. I continued to use the SB to combine the ingredients.

Just as the soap was reaching a true trace, the button on the SB stuck in the "on" position (you push to turn on, release to turn off). I didn't panic and jerk it up out of the soap (didn't want raw soap slung everywhere... including all over me!). But, I didn't think to unplug it either (mine is corded)! :cry:

As I fiddled and fiddled with it, a bazillion tiny air bubbles were sucked down into the soap. When I poured the soap into the mold, it looked more like a very heavy foam than liquid! :cry: So, I baby sat it and spritzed the heck out of it with alcohol. Since the mold I used was clear, I could still see massive amounts of tiny bubbles that ran from the top of the soap to the bottom... crap!! :cry:

I got up this morning and checked it. The soap was firm; but it was still easy to make an indentation with my finger. There were foam like areas all over and around the soap. There was also a thin layer of liquid (felt like a watery oil or oily water) on top of the soap.

I figured that this was a completely botched batch anyway, so I turned it out on the counter and cut it into 4 bars. The center of the soap was full of the foam like soap. It made a tunnel that ran from one end of the loaf to the other. It looked a lot like a loofah sponge... but bigger holes. Those "holes" were full of the same oily water like liquid that was on top of the soap.

Alright, I know that I screwed up with the SB; and allowed tooooo much air to get into the soap. But, I found out this morning that I made another goof! Remember how I said that I was going to use goat's milk, then changed my mind?? To get the amound of water and goat's milk needed (in equal portions) to make the total liquid needed, I divided the water by two. When I decided to make the soap without using the goat's milk, I took the halved amount and multiplied it by two... to get back to the original amount of required liquid.

Though math has always been one of my better subjects, I goofed somewhere. When I re-checkd the recipe this morning, I realized that I had used almost a full ounce of water more than that the 4.3 ounces that I needed!! :oops: That's about 23% more than I should have used.

It's now been about 15 hours since I poured the soap. I just checked it, and it is still rather spongy. Again, I know the massave amount of air bubbles in the soap didn't help at all. But, could the watery, oily liquid and the spongy consistency be a direct result of using almost 23% more water than I should have??

I didn't make any pics of the soap. I'm just too ashamed of the mess that I've made!! :oops: :oops: My wife keeps telling me not to worry about it. "Just chalk it up to a learning experience," she says! But, I feel sooooo stupid for making such a simple mistake!!!

Thanks for reading; and thanks for your opinions/input.

Hey Robert, congrats on making your first batch of CP. It's ok that it didn't turn out perfect. Not only was it your first ever attempt but 1lb batches can be tough for even seasoned soapers. There's simply no room for error in such a small recipe. Trust me when I say we have all had our soaping disasters. You'll have the hang of it in no time.
Hi Robert, I agree with Chay. I am a seasoned soaper and have made soap for years. I still make mistakes. Its all a learning experience. You just learned some very important things about making soap. This is how we all learn. Don't feel bad we have all been there. Judy
Thanks for the words of encouragement!! And, I am not giving up... not by a long shot!!!

But, I am still wondering.... Do you think that my major goof was in the adding almost 23% more water than I should have??? Just curious. If that is the case, it will at least give me a starting point for corrections for the next batch!!

Thanks agina,
Wonder what time zome you are in...I had a heck of a soaping night last night myself :oops:

First of all, CONGRATS on trying CP! WooHOO!

Now I don't think you really messed up...When I get to thin trace, I usually use my whisk attachment and whip a few bubbles into my batch. But ONLY after I reach a trace... So I don't think the foaming would really be a prob. Actually, letting the SB sit there and stuck bubbles down, you may have come up with an easy shortcut way to make foam soap!! (If I keep blending after I reach thick trace, I just get really thick soap goo...)

Your processes sounds alright, even if you did add extra water...that will cure out with time.

I think the problem came from the cinnamon flavor oil. Flavor oils usually have a high amount of alcohols in them. Since they are made to be edible, I don't think they can sell them as pure essential oils...Plus some flavor oils have sugar bases added to them. (Cinnamon may not have been the best to start with...A LOT of people have bad skin reactions to cinnamon)

Also, I have NEVER been able to get honey to work correctly!! One of my very very first batches had honey and it made these, like oil spots that then turned into gel spheres. I give honey a good try every month and I ALWAYS fail. *stomps foot*

But between the honey sugars and the flavoring alcohols/ sugars...that make have caused your problem...and with all the extra bubbles, it may have trapped some of the honey, therefor it did not incorporate...

REBATCH! It sounds like you could still rebatch this soap! And with all the extra water, all you would have to do it shred and melt!

Sorry for the long reply :oops: Hope I helped atleast a bit. I'm hardly the queen of CP... these are just my thoughts on your process...

AGAIN! Congrats for givin it a try!! And just post a picture! :D
Hey Lane,

First, thanks for the words of encouragement. As I said, I have not given up. It has only made me more determined to do better!! I am a bit of a perfectionist and am extremely hardheaded (dangerous combination!!) :lol: :lol:

I have a question for you. It has to do with the rebatching of this soap.

Do I simply need to shred it, melt it, then re-mold it?? If that is all I need to do to it, can I heat it in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave using say... 30 second incriments at say... 80% power. I asked because I don't own a double boiler and was afraid that the direct heat on the stove (even at a low setting) might scorch it.

Alright... you asked for it... I've lowered my pants, I've bent over, and my embarrassment is shinning.... Here are two pics of the soap.... Enjoy your laugh!! :p :lol: :oops:


BTW, I am thinking you are probably right about the honey being the honey being the cause of the liquid. I won't do that again.... at least, not for a while!!!!

It really doesn't look that bad... It looks like you cut it too soon maybe...The center really looks like foam soap! Thats not a bad thing...

To rebatch you just shred it, with like a cheese grater, and remelt... There are some REALLY good threads about rebatching here, you should search "rebatch" and see what you come up with.

You can do it in the microwave, but keep a VERY close eye on it! It will bubble and foam up on ya! Make sure you have a BIG bowl. You can also do it in the oven in a stainless stain or enamel pot, but that takes about three hours. Try just one bar in the micro and see how you like it...
Alright, I've got my cheese... I mean soap grated up. It was about the same consistency as very cold Velveta cheese spread! :lol: Just need to know the safest way to melt it!!

Thanks Lane!! We must have been posting about the same time!! :lol: :lol:

Hi Robert, An ounce of water was not that bad and would have evaporated out of your soap during cure. Your sb caused a problem and then you added the cinnamon flavor oil and honey which heated up your soap. I also think your soap needed to finish the process in the mold before you cut. If you are making soap with just water you need to insulate and wait 24 hours before removing from the mold. This is what I do when using honey. After I add my lye solution to my soap batch gets to very light trace I use about 1 tbs. honey per pound of oils. If I am using honey I want my soap batch to be just warm as honey really heats it up . I make sure it gets completely incorporated into my soap batch before my trace gets too thick and into the mold it goes. Honey will heat up your soap as well as milk. I don't think your soap looks that bad either. I think you did great and should not feel bad. It was your first time and making soap is learned and will take some time. You will find your way before you know it. :) Judy
Thanks for the input and kind words Judy!

Well.... I don't how it will turn out, but I've done my first rebatch!! I actually did it on top of the stove using the lowest setting on one of the small eyes. I didn't add anything at first. But, I used a spoon to stir it almost constantly (to prevent scorching).

I stirred, and stirred, and stirred, and stirred, and stirred.... well, you get the picture. Finally, I got a consistency that was like instant potatoes that hadn't been blended well enough. And, it was very, very thick. Though I continued to heat and stir, the consistency wasn't changing.

I remembered (at least I thought I did) reading in one of the threads that had information about rebatching that when the soap gets to that consistency, you can add a bit of milk to it and it will take on a consistency of pudding. I figured... what the heck!! So, I tried it. I added about 2 tablespoons full of 1% (didn't have any 2%) milk to the mixture.

As I stirred (again, done only with a spoon) the mixture, it quickly became like creamy pudding. I continued stirring until it began to loose some of the creamy look to it. In other words until it thickened quite a bit. It kind of looked like ketchup... only thicker. Then, I poured it into the mold.

Looking at it in the mold, it certainly looks a lot better than the original pouring did!! But, as I said... I don't know what the finished product will look like. Only time will tell!!!!

When I find out how it turns out, I'll let you all know!!

Thanks again for all the advice and input,
Robert, I think it's great that you gave it a shot. :lol: (I haven't tried CP yet!)

Can't wait to see your rebatch pics!

I take a little water from my measured amt, and mix my milk powder and honey together, into a semi-thick paste. I then stick blend the mixture into my oils, before I add my lye water.

If I were just using honey (and no milk powder), I'd still add a little water to the honey, to loosen it up and make it easier to incorporate. It's an unruly wild child, but I love what it does in soap.

You took the CP plunge, and learned to rebatch. That's great! It's all about learning, and I'm still doing that. So, just get ready to make your second batch!
Thank your for your kind words!! I just checked the rebatch soap and it has a rather firm skin on top of it. The sides and all are still very, very soft. It's been about 18 hours since I poured the soap. But, it had a lot of moisture in it. So, I'm sure it will take a few days for it to get hard enough to unmold, cut, and make pics of it.

REA, thanks for the tip about the honey. Being an ex-beekeeper, I should have known that the best way to incorporate the honey into the mix would have been to add some water to it. As you said, to kind of break it down so that it would blend better with the soap. Just another brain fart on my part!! :lol:

Don't worry... I am quite ready to make my next batch!!! But, I'm tring to make myself wait on some fragrance oils that I should have comming. But, making myself wait is not an easy task!! :) :)

Thanks again to everyone for all the wonderful input, kind words, and encouragement!! 8)


Hey, Robert, thanks for being a brave soul & posting the progress of your first CP & rebatch.

I appreciate that you posted. I'm gathering together supplies to do my first CP, so all the info posted here in response to your first batch has been helpful to me, too.

I'm glad you shared the pic, too. It's always helpful to be able to see what folks are talking about. I hope you'll keep us posted on how the re-batch turns out.

Because of your courage to try & share, I know we'll be seing lots of successes from you soon.

Hi Robert, When you rebatch your soap is done. If it is still soft place your mold in the freezer for an hour or so. When you take it out you will be able to unmold and cut. Just set out to dry. This soap is usable now so don't be afraid to handle :) Judy
I have always had a hard film on a crust layer... Once you get everything cut it should be fine.

*excited to see the rebatch pictures!!*
Okay Lucy... I got some splainin' to do!!!!!

I tried the freezer, unmold... and there was no cutting it! I'm glad I unmolded in a pyrex bow! Everything except the top (about 1/16") was like very thick ketchup.... yuck!! I almost dumped it in the trash. But, I couldn't bring myself to do that. I hate to waste things!!

Since I figured this batch was headed for the crapper anyway, I thought I'd experiment. I took out my wisk (manual) and beat the crap out of the "ketchup." It got a little stiffer, but not much. So, I got out the mixer. On low speed, I whipped the crap out of it again! That time, it got to be about the consistency of a very stiff cake icing; but nothing like soap should be. I plopped it over into a stainless steel pan and put it on top of the stove on low heat.

After stirring, whipping, stirring, whipping, and stirring some more, I started thinking. I've already warned you all about how dangerous that is for me. :lol: I began considering (based on my limited experience and knowledge) what "goofs" would cause certain results.

I reasoned that too much lye would probably make a batch of soap that was dry and brittle. I reasoned further that too much water would probably make a batch that would take longer to cure. I reasoned further that too much oil or too little lye would probably make a batch that was a oily grool that would never "firm up." That last thing was what I had... a oily grool that wouldn't firm up!!

So, I put about 2 tablespoons of cold water in a container, added about 1/4 teaspoon of lye, allowed it to cool a bit, then added the lye water to the blob. As I stirred it in, the mixture began thickening!! I grabbed my wisk, quickly whipped the crap out of the blob, and poured over into my mold.

In just a few minutes, it had a rather firm "crust" on it. I let it set for a couple hours and checked it again. It had gotten firm enough to unmold it. So, I did. I went ahead and cut into bars too.

Though it is still not what I would call a very hard bar of soap, it is quite firm. Right now, I've got it sitting out to dry some.

I don't have time to take pics of it right now. But, I will take pics of it and post them in a little while.

Keep your fingers crossed for me!! 8)

Alright... here are the pics of the soap. I think they look a million times better than the first bars did! I know the bars have a tiny bit more lye in them than what the recipe originally called for. But, these bars will be reserved for my wife and me... and, for me only until I find out if they are going to cause problems.



What do you all think of the soap now?????