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MissPpoodle

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Hi, I'm Linda and I made my first attempt at soap making today. Watched heaps of videos, read everything 10 times, laid everything out carefully, everything was going so well, then I forgot to only pulse the bamix when pouring the lye in, and well, think I stuffed it up, it went dry and crumbly very quickly, followed by thick gloopy and sloppy, but I put it in the mold anyway. Then it started to heat up so much I panicked a bit and shoved the molds in the fridge, 1 video said she put them all in the fridge anyway. Will see what happens, hopefully they will still be useable.

Anyway, I want to make my own soap as I am fragrance sensitive, and the last 2 six packs of Dove 'fragrance free' had fragrance in them, so I can't trust them anymore. Then on the weekend we went to a garage sale and someone was selling a box with a few bits of soap making ingredients, and I thought - why not? So I bought the other bits needed and gave it a go.

Will have to try again once the first lot is out of the molds.
 
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Hi Miss P! While the rest of the forum on the other side of the world sleeps, I will welcome you and try to troubleshoot.
First up - don't worry, you've only gone and done what 95% of us do the first time making soap, and that is overmix it until it becomes 'soap on a stick' (stick blender). It will still be soap - it just may not be pretty is all.
I encourage you to post your recipe (with percentages) - maybe in the recipe feedback or beginners forum to see if there's anything in there that needs adjusting that might have encouraged your soap to seize other than too much stick blending. At least we know in your case that it's not a naughty fragrance oil!
Oh - and not ANOTHER Aussie! 🦘🦘🦘🦘 Lol! ( Sorry had to say that as I now seem to have gotten into the habit of doing it for every new Aussie that joins)🇳🇿
 

lsg

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Welcome to the forum. Always run a soap recipe through a lye calculator such as SoapCalc or The Soapmaking Friend before making it. Pulsing the stick blender before adding lye/water to oils just helps release air bubbles from the blender bell. The saponification process will make soap heat. Putting soap in the refrigerator will slow down that process.
 

Zany_in_CO

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Welcome.gif
 
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Since @KiwiMoose has gone to sleep, I'll slip in here. Welcome to the forum!
When I first started soaping, I would use my stick blender for minutes at a time and got to thick trace very quickly. Now I use my stick blender more as a spoon. I do a lot of stirring with just a few 3-second bursts.
Soap will always heat up initially because it's a chemical reaction. I prefer to gel my soaps so I bury my soap under towels to keep the heat in. I unmold after 24 hours. I have not had a soap over-heat or volcano.
Some soapers prefer not to gel and use the fridge or room temperature.
All my entire adult life, my dermatologists recommended Dove Sensitive. It wasn't until I started making my own soap that my skin health dramatically improved. Now Dove Sensitive feels caustic to me!
Good luck!
 

TheGecko

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Hi, I'm Linda and I made my first attempt at soap making today. Watched heaps of videos, read everything 10 times, laid everything out carefully, everything was going so well, then I forgot to only pulse the bamix when pouring the lye in, and well, think I stuffed it up, it went dry and crumbly very quickly, followed by thick gloopy and sloppy, but I put it in the mold anyway. Then it started to heat up so much I panicked a bit and shoved the molds in the fridge, 1 video said she put them all in the fridge anyway. Will see what happens, hopefully they will still be useable.

Anyway, I want to make my own soap as I am fragrance sensitive, and the last 2 six packs of Dove 'fragrance free' had fragrance in them, so I can't trust them anymore. Then on the weekend we went to a garage sale and someone was selling a box with a few bits of soap making ingredients, and I thought - why not? So I bought the other bits needed and gave it a go.

Will have to try again once the first lot is out of the molds.
Welcome.

I can't even begin to tell you how many 'puddings' I plopped in a mold until I came to understand that my little 50oz batch of soap was not the same as a 5lb or 10lb batch of soap and/or that not all stick blenders ran at the same speed. And I've had a couple of batches of soap that I was sure were going to catch of fire and tossed them in the driveway. The only soap that I refrigerate is my goat milk soap and only during the summer when inside temps exceed 75F and that's because you really don't want your GMS to overheat.

As for 'fragrance free' that is a bit of a misnomer. I make unscented versions of my Regular and Goat Milk soaps and both 'smell'...like soap.
 

MissPpoodle

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Hi Miss P! While the rest of the forum on the other side of the world sleeps, I will welcome you and try to troubleshoot.
First up - don't worry, you've only gone and done what 95% of us do the first time making soap, and that is overmix it until it becomes 'soap on a stick' (stick blender). It will still be soap - it just may not be pretty is all.
I encourage you to post your recipe (with percentages) - maybe in the recipe feedback or beginners forum to see if there's anything in there that needs adjusting that might have encouraged your soap to seize other than too much stick blending. At least we know in your case that it's not a naughty fragrance oil!
Oh - and not ANOTHER Aussie! 🦘🦘🦘🦘 Lol! ( Sorry had to say that as I now seem to have gotten into the habit of doing it for every new Aussie that joins)🇳🇿
Thank you, that makes me feel a bit less stupid!

Oh - and I think you will find the politically correct way to welcome is 'Strewth! not another Aussie!' 🤣 ;) 👍

Welcome to the forum. Always run a soap recipe through a lye calculator such as SoapCalc or The Soapmaking Friend before making it. Pulsing the stick blender before adding lye/water to oils just helps release air bubbles from the blender bell. The saponification process will make soap heat. Putting soap in the refrigerator will slow down that process.
Thank you, I used a Brambleberry calculator and measured very carefully - is that a good one? I remembered to get the air bubbles out, but then I forgot to turn it off while pouring the lye in, only took about 15 seconds to turn to crumble. I took it out of the fridge about half hour later, and is sitting on a cake rack now. They actually look edible!

Welcome.

I can't even begin to tell you how many 'puddings' I plopped in a mold until I came to understand that my little 50oz batch of soap was not the same as a 5lb or 10lb batch of soap and/or that not all stick blenders ran at the same speed. And I've had a couple of batches of soap that I was sure were going to catch of fire and tossed them in the driveway. The only soap that I refrigerate is my goat milk soap and only during the summer when inside temps exceed 75F and that's because you really don't want your GMS to overheat.

As for 'fragrance free' that is a bit of a misnomer. I make unscented versions of my Regular and Goat Milk soaps and both 'smell'...like soap.
Yes! Pudding is exactly what it turned into after the dry crumble stage. I have a Bamix with only 1 speed, a really old one. I used the mixing paddle (not the flat round one, but the one with the aerating humps around it) could that have been a problem? Should I have used the chopping blades instead? I hadn't planned to refrigerate it, but it is quite warm here, and it was heating up so fast, I chucked it in for about half an hour.

I know I should say no 'added' fragrance, just can't tolerate all those strong perfume smells, but I did add chocolate powder (after the mix went haywire) was planning to make a pretty swirl effect, and now I have 2 lovely looking mud cakes. 🤣

Since @KiwiMoose has gone to sleep, I'll slip in here. Welcome to the forum!
When I first started soaping, I would use my stick blender for minutes at a time and got to thick trace very quickly. Now I use my stick blender more as a spoon. I do a lot of stirring with just a few 3-second bursts.
Soap will always heat up initially because it's a chemical reaction. I prefer to gel my soaps so I bury my soap under towels to keep the heat in. I unmold after 24 hours. I have not had a soap over-heat or volcano.
Some soapers prefer not to gel and use the fridge or room temperature.
All my entire adult life, my dermatologists recommended Dove Sensitive. It wasn't until I started making my own soap that my skin health dramatically improved. Now Dove Sensitive feels caustic to me!
Good luck!
Thank you. Hopefully I won't make the same mistake again, too used to cake making! How hot is the mix supposed to get during gel? Mine went up to almost 70 degC (over 155F) and I hadn't read anywhere how hot it should be, so I did the panic thing. I was planning to cover it and just let it do it's own thing, oh well next time. Not giving up, will try again.

I used to buy Herbon Botanical's soap, but not available everywhere and often out of stock, so tried Dove, and you go through more as it is soft stuff, but it seemed OK. Getting a fragranced batch really threw me, have reported it and sent samples to them to show, as I don't think they believed me. But now I have stopped Dove, I have noticed other mysterious health problems are a little bit less, and thinking back I think they got worse when I started using Dove, but I hadn't made the connection.
 

TheGecko

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Yes! Pudding is exactly what it turned into after the dry crumble stage. I have a Bamix with only 1 speed, a really old one. I used the mixing paddle (not the flat round one, but the one with the aerating humps around it) could that have been a problem? Should I have used the chopping blades instead? I hadn't planned to refrigerate it, but it is quite warm here, and it was heating up so fast, I chucked it in for about half an hour.

I know I should say no 'added' fragrance, just can't tolerate all those strong perfume smells, but I did add chocolate powder (after the mix went haywire) was planning to make a pretty swirl effect, and now I have 2 lovely looking mud cakes. 🤣
There are a couple of local soap makers in your area (local being on the same continent LOL)..Wicked Lee and Soy & Shea. Lee and Keeley both have You Tube channels and Keeley has Patreon page that would be will worth paying the $60 to download all her recipes and other assorted documents and then back up to $15. Her knowledge is extensive.
 
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The only soap that I refrigerate is my goat milk soap and only during the summer when inside temps exceed 75F and that's because you really don't want your GMS to overheat.
Hi @TheGecko - how do you decide that you need to pop it in the fridge? I’ve been doing it no matter what. I’d love a bit of advice on when I may not need to refrigerate my GMS. Thanks 🌸

Hi @MissPpoodle - welcome! 🌸
 

vivhalaska

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Haha - Haven't heard 'strewth' in ages!
You obviously don’t watch Home and Away.

Good to have another Aussie on here, we are kind of outnumbered. There’s an FB group called Australian Soap Makers, it might be worth you joining. Lots of lovely soapers on there all too happy to help. Also if you check the files you will find lots of free information. I used to always use unscented soap, simple soap I think it was called. I was never quite sure if it was the soap or the water that made me itchy. You may even find you can use scented soap when you make your own. I don’t know why your first batch behaved the way it did, considering it was unscented. My first batch worked out well, but it was a horrible unbalanced recipe. My second one was soap on a stick. Happy to help out with a recipe if you need it.
 

TheGecko

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Hi @TheGecko - how do you decide that you need to pop it in the fridge? I’ve been doing it no matter what. I’d love a bit of advice on when I may not need to refrigerate my GMS. Thanks 🌸
It's dependent on the temperature of my garage...where I saponify and cure my soap. I have found that when the temp exceeds 75F, the natural exothermic reaction during the saponification process tends to discolor it. And the warmer the temp, the more discoloration. Since I don't use colorants in my GMS, I want a really nice creamy color. I once put my GMS in the garage when it was in the 90sF...it overheated and it was nasty.

It should be noted that I also soap a lot cooler when I made GMS...around 80F I not only use frozen goat milk, I also put the bowl in an ice batch with salt in it which helps to keep the milk a lot cooler and I never allow my GM Lye Solution to get above 70F while making it and so it's around 65F when I add it to my oils.

When I take the GMS out of the frig, I let it sit for a couple of hours to bring it up to room temp and then I unmold and cut. I live in the Pacific Northwest of the US and we get a lot of rain during the winter along with cooler temps. Because of it, I switch from a 33% Lye Solution to 35%, let all my soaps sit for an extra day or two in the molds, bring them inside to come up to room temp, unmold, cover with a light towel and then I cut them the next day. Back in the garage they go, with a small oscillating fan to help 'dry' out the air a little for an extra couple of weeks.
 

MissPpoodle

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Hi Ge
There are a couple of local soap makers in your area (local being on the same continent LOL)..Wicked Lee and Soy & Shea. Lee and Keeley both have You Tube channels and Keeley has Patreon page that would be will worth paying the $60 to download all her recipes and other assorted documents and then back up to $15. Her knowledge is extensive.
Hi Gecko, Australia is HUGE. :cool: I tried going to members section and searching for all these names, but none came up, also looked up Patreon and couldn't find the right Keeley. :oops: But Someone has enlightened me that my problem was my Bamix mixer - wasn't aware the shroud is alloy - oops!

Good to have another Aussie on here, we are kind of outnumbered. There’s an FB group called Australian Soap Makers, it might be worth you joining. Lots of lovely soapers on there all too happy to help. Also if you check the files you will find lots of free information. I used to always use unscented soap, simple soap I think it was called. I was never quite sure if it was the soap or the water that made me itchy. You may even find you can use scented soap when you make your own. I don’t know why your first batch behaved the way it did, considering it was unscented. My first batch worked out well, but it was a horrible unbalanced recipe. My second one was soap on a stick. Happy to help out with a recipe if you need it.
Thank you! Have just submitted request to join the Aussie group on FB. Found out why my batch went belly up - apparently Bamix blenders have a alloy shroud, and the Lye reacted and heated up too quick, so off to shop for a different one today.
 

TheGecko

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Hi Gecko, Australia is HUGE. :cool: I tried going to members section and searching for all these names, but none came up, also looked up Patreon and couldn't find the right Keeley. :oops: But Someone has enlightened me that my problem was my Bamix mixer - wasn't aware the shroud is alloy - oops!
I’m on my iPad, but I’ll try and remember to get you some links tomorrow when I’m on my PC
 
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It's dependent on the temperature of my garage...where I saponify and cure my soap. I have found that when the temp exceeds 75F, the natural exothermic reaction during the saponification process tends to discolor it. And the warmer the temp, the more discoloration. Since I don't use colorants in my GMS, I want a really nice creamy color. I once put my GMS in the garage when it was in the 90sF...it overheated and it was nasty.

It should be noted that I also soap a lot cooler when I made GMS...around 80F I not only use frozen goat milk, I also put the bowl in an ice batch with salt in it which helps to keep the milk a lot cooler and I never allow my GM Lye Solution to get above 70F while making it and so it's around 65F when I add it to my oils.

When I take the GMS out of the frig, I let it sit for a couple of hours to bring it up to room temp and then I unmold and cut. I live in the Pacific Northwest of the US and we get a lot of rain during the winter along with cooler temps. Because of it, I switch from a 33% Lye Solution to 35%, let all my soaps sit for an extra day or two in the molds, bring them inside to come up to room temp, unmold, cover with a light towel and then I cut them the next day. Back in the garage they go, with a small oscillating fan to help 'dry' out the air a little for an extra couple of weeks.
Thank you thank you! So helpful. I really do appreciate your reply and the details. As it cools off here, I’ll adjust and give it a go. 🌸
 

MissPpoodle

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@MissPpoodle here is a link to Keeley's YouTube channel, which is Soy & Shea. Her show notes have links to her Patreon account.
Thank you. My goodness, they make it look so effortless and easy and they are too pretty to use! I am only aiming to make usable soap that doesn't look half bad for my own use, and maybe friends (if I get good enough).
 

vivhalaska

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Hi Ge

Hi Gecko, Australia is HUGE. :cool: I tried going to members section and searching for all these names, but none came up, also looked up Patreon and couldn't find the right Keeley. :oops: But Someone has enlightened me that my problem was my Bamix mixer - wasn't aware the shroud is alloy - oops!


Thank you! Have just submitted request to join the Aussie group on FB. Found out why my batch went belly up - apparently Bamix blenders have a alloy shroud, and the Lye reacted and heated up too quick, so off to shop for a different one today.
I bought a cheap blender from Big W, I think it was about $20. I’ve been using it for a couple of years without any problems. I keep my braun for food. You might also be interested in watching Elly’s Everyday soap making on YouTube. That’s where I did most of my learning when I first started. She doesn’t do anything fancy but she teaches the basics very well.
 

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