My First Attempt

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user 58545

Well-Known Member
Apr 22, 2023
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No pics to show at the moment sorry but just wanted to reflect on my first attempt.

After asking lots of questions and gathering equipment and supplies I was ready to begin.

Following the instructions in a book I bought things went together well, lye water was err hot and cooling.

My bowl with solid oils and butters in didn't fit in the microwave so had to move them to a glass jug. The coconut oil melted straight away, the cocoa butter took a lot longer though!

Had a nightmare with essential oils, didn't pour very well from the 100ml container, ended up going down the side of the bottle, over the scales, over the table, on my gloves.

Anyway with oils melted and mixed and about the same temp as the lye water came time to really make soap.

So I have a Morphy Richards stick blender. I am in the UK so not sure if everyone knows the brand. Not going to lie it was brand new but sounded like an outboard motor, so not sure if its faulty.

Anyway started the blending and apart from the sound there was an incredible amount of bubbles being produced, which does concern me, also made the mistake of taking it out the mix before the blade finished spinning, so had to clean the walls after I had finished.

So the thing with watching videos is they are normally edited, you are never too sure how long they have been blending for. What is the average time? It felt like ages to me, I got it to a light trace and was happy with that but still a lot of bubbles for some reason. Poured into my mould and now its sat doing what soap does, well I hope it is.

Overall a good experience, nothing like the videos on youtube however!

Washing up done and if this works out then will be making plenty more though might need to look for a different blender.

As for the fragrance I have used may chang and lemon essential oils
Yeah literally followed the book to the letter, not to mention the bramble berry videos. The air bubbles were getting worse as I was doing it, they seem to be generated from the blender itself. Its one of those blenders that separates in half for cleaning, wondering if I attached it properly and it was sucking air in and down the shaft.

Good advice on the essential oils thank you, will remember that for next time
As @mx5inpenn said above “congratulations.” Agree you’ve finished the biggest thing and that is being brave enough to begin!
My tips: (1) Wipe off dishes used for soaping with paper towels or newspaper before washing. Newly made soap batter can clog drains. (2) depending on type of fats some take longer to trace.
Please post pictures of your soap!
Melting your hard butters in the microwave and then stirring in the softer coconut oil might be a good option. I have used this method in the past. The hot, melted butters soon melt the coconut oil while lowering the temperature of the mixture.
Thank you for the advice both. Yes I used some paper towels to clean off residual soap then washed. I will definitely get some pics up :)

I will try that next time, the coconut oil was pretty much melting in my hand(it was easier to divide and weigh with my hand). The cocoa butter couldn't even get through it with a knife.
Congratualation! Like parachuting, it's that first step. How big is your batch? Batch size may be to small for a blender. Use a wisk. My test batches are 16 ounces / 450 grams. I find it difficult to use a blender.
That's a good size batch. You just want to make sure. You have enough depth. To fully submerge the bell. Of the stick blender. Post pics of your cut. So we can see bubbles. Just sounds like you need a smaller mixing vessel.
Thanks will do. Only done it today so I think Sunday it should be ready to come out the mould so will post pics then :)
Ok well, not too sure. Feels like soap and smells like soap but after looking at the photos before uploading see lots of white specs, strangely you can't see them on the actual soap with the naked eye but the camera shows them, guess they shouldn't be there. Not sure where I went wrong, temps for both lye and oils were virtually identical at 47c or 116f

Anyway pics attached


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Exciting! Looks like a lovely first batch, well done!
Those little specks you can see are nothing to worry about. From your description, they're likely microbubbles from your stick blender, but might also be stearic spots depending on your recipe and temps. Both are just cosmetic so ignore them and celebrate your first soap!

Put most of it away to cure and keep one end piece aside to test in a few days. Bear in mind that fresh soap will feel very different on your skin than cured soap, so don't be disappointed if this first test bit leaves your skin a bit dry.

In the future, you might want to try a much smaller batch when you're testing a new recipe - about 500g is good. You don't need to buy a new mould - something like a margarine tub lined with baking paper will do. That will give you 4-5 bars, enough to evaluate a new recipe or new fragrance, without wasting too many ingredients if it's a flop. It also means you don't end up overwhelmed with soap a few months after your initial testing spree... 🤣

Remember that in the UK you're not allowed to sell or even donate excess soap without an assessment for each recipe, so having too much soap can be a very real problem!
Many thanks for the reply, will take that on board :)

From what I read I am allowed to give away to friends and family without an assessement I just can't sell or give away to "strangers". That sound correct?

My "curing" rack is actually in the pictures and is a wooden shoe rack I got from Argos
I so relate to your little mishaps. When we made our first soap, we didn't have a stick blender... I actually whisked and whisked like my life depended upon it LOL. The trace was not too thick, but the soap turned out not too bad. Then, we were gifted a good blender and oh, we weren't prepared! the trace got thick faster than we had anticipated and since we were using smaller moulds, we went to pieces! The soap itself was good (lovely texture and it gelled etc.), but the appearance, not so much LOL! We panicked and so there were gaps and bubbles etc. We now have a loaf mould, so I hope no more misadventures!
Many thanks for the reply, will take that on board :)

From what I read I am allowed to give away to friends and family without an assessement I just can't sell or give away to "strangers". That sound correct?

My "curing" rack is actually in the pictures and is a wooden shoe rack I got from Argos
I also use wooden shoe racks to cure my soap. They are inexpensive, lightweight, allow the soap to breathe, stackable, and easily sourced. I think your soaps look great! Well done!
Thank you for the replies :) It smells divine I must say, my next soap is going to be coconut but while this one had all essential oils the next one is fragrance oil
Honestly when I was making it there was so many bubbles it looked like a jacuzzi in the bowl. No idea where they ended up lol and thank you :)

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