new to soap & need advice....

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Nov 20, 2007
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Hi all –
I made my very first batch of CP yesterday. Things did not turn out as planned and I want to know if I should scrap what I have or let it cure. Here is what happened….

Used a pre-package oil blend of olive, coconut, palm and beeswax which was a total of 8oz. According to the directions I added the proper amount of lye (2.1 oz) and the water they suggested was ¾ C. I used 2.5 T of earth green clay for color and the essential oil was a blend of ginger, orange, ylang ylang and cassia (about 2.25T). OK so the error I know I made was in the honey…. I was looking at two different recipes and messed up the amount of honey. For 16 bars it suggested 1/3 c of honey so I used that much…. After the fact I remember I was making only 8 bars. OOPS!
Anyways back to the story – I got to trace and stirred all the additives in. It became a very odd color green and it smelled really bad (phewww). I went ahead and added it to the molds. I looked at it today (set for 24 hrs) to unmold and set-up to cure. The color is now a chocolate brown and the smell (don’t know how this happened) smells like really good oatmeal cookies?!? AND even odder is that the soaps are very oily on the outside (especially the bottom where i poured into the mold but hard enough to unmold). I can touch the soap without any reaction on my skin. I am not sure if I should wait the 3 weeks to cure or dump it now. Any help/suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated!!!
Hi soapybear! Welcome to the forum. I am new to soaping to but I have about a dozen batches under my belt so far. I would let it do its thang for a while and see what happens. You may be able to save it or it may even fix itself. From 1 noob to another though, honey in my experience does not play well with new soapers. I have done 2 batches with honey and wound up having to re-batch them both. It heats up in the soap and causes crazy things to happen. Also I think 2.1 oz of lye seems heavy for 8 oz of oil.
Well its not normal to use cups, and teaspons in soapmaking..
Ozs for everything is much easier. Your measurements could be off. Also yes, too much honey can overheat your soap, it can seperate your soap as well...
Let it sit and see if it comes back together.. if not you can always rebatch it
Just wanted to thank everyone for all the help, suggestions and advice. I totally appreciate it!
That also seems like a large amount of EOs which can explain the greasy feeling. But it could also be oils that just need time to reabsorb into the soap. Typical usage is .5 to 1 oz PPO. When I use honey, I only use it at about 1 TBS PPO. Honey is a known accelerant so you have to make sure to keep your batch as cool as possible. I put my soaps with honey or the ones with milks, in the fridge.

As has been said, you should not measure your soap ingredients by TBS, cups, tsp, etc, typically. You should weigh everything. It is wise to invest in a good scale. Get one that has tare function, battery or plug in operated, automatic turn off and weighs in pounds, ounces and grams. When you weigh your ingredients, you have a better chance at maintaining consistency in your recipes. Consistency is important when it comes to ensuring the proper amount of lye.

Also, not sure where you got the pre-packaged oil blend, but I'd also suggest that you buy your oils separately and weigh them separately. This way, you can ensure that you have the ingredients in the correct amounts.

Regardless of where you get a recipe, always run it through a reputable soap calculator or learn the SAP values and how to calculate them yourself. Here is the link to a great calculator. This way you make sure that you have the correct lye and water amounts.

Give the soap some time and check for zap. If it doesn't zap you, it should be good for at least personal use. If it does zap you, you can either throw it away, or rebatch it adding in some oils or butters to use that extra lye up.
CPSoaper: Sounds like using the fridge is a great idea to cool your soaps. Do you put them in there right after you pour into the molds and, of course, fuss over them a bit? Thanks! :)
gbtreasures said:
CPSoaper: Sounds like using the fridge is a great idea to cool your soaps. Do you put them in there right after you pour into the molds and, of course, fuss over them a bit? Thanks! :)

Yes I do. I will leave them in their over night too. When doing this, I am able to avoid partial gel. With my soaps with honey or milk, I try to avoid gel all together so my soap won't overheat. I overheated a soap once and it was not pretty.

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