Newbee: issue with fragrance oil in hot process soap

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This is my third batch of soap. I am using hot process, as I don't have space to cure soap for 4-6 weeks (cold process). Everything went fine, I used Crisco, olive oil, and coconut oil, plus lye of course. EXCEPT, my recipe said to add the fragrance oil after I achieved the 200 degrees, and was ready to put the soap into the molds. It said to only mix the cooked soap with a whisk, to stir in the fragrance oil. I did so. As I unmolded and cut the soap today, (it's hardened), there is oil everywhere!!! around the hardened soap. Is this normal? I think it smells mainly like fragrance oil. I checked my oil amounts with the lye calculator. I decreased my water by the amount of ounces of fragrance oil (maybe that was my mistake?) It's not a bad soap and looks good, but it's a mess to unmold and put onto the butcher paper. Any suggestions?
 
Hi @Joy Wolff,

Welcome to soapmaking! One thing I'll share right off the bat is that hot process soap is safe to use right after it firms up, but to be ideal, it is best to cure it for several weeks to become milder and longer-lasting in the shower. It is no different from CP soap in that respect, despite all the urban myths floating around the Internet. :)

Regarding your question, no, you should not have reduced the amount of liquid based on the amount of fragrance oil. Doing that didn't hurt anything per se, but having less water can make it very difficult to keep your hot processed batter fluid enough to mix in the FO. From what you described, it does sound like the FO wasn't fully mixed in, and thus it leaked out of the soap once you put it in the mold. You can let it sit for a week or so to see if some of it will reabsorb. However, if there is still a lot of unabsorbed oil, you may want to rebatch it so that you aren't using undiluted FO on your skin.

For future, warming up the FO will help it mix in more easily. Be sure to stir it very well, and then watch it for a few minutes to make sure you don't see any oily separation.

Also, I don't agree that the soap needs to reach 200ºF, or that it is ideal to heat or mix in the FO at that temperature. More heat means that more of the FO's volatile compounds will dissipate, rather than remaining in your soap.

Rather than trying to reach 200ºF, I recommend keeping the heat a bit lower and learning how to zap-test your soap. Then you will know that it is fully saponified. Also, remember that soap can saponify all on its own, even without any added heat. When it is made that way, it is called "cold process." You can also choose to add a little bit of heat for a little bit of time, or more heat over more time, or anything in between. Either way, your soap will saponify, because there is nothing magical about reaching a certain temperature as part of that process. :)
 
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Thank you for your reply! I am letting it sit on butcher paper...and I wipe it with paper towels each time I turn them over...They smell lovely by the way! They are quaint looking, but that's what hot process is: more rustic. They have dried flower petals and herbs on them...
 

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Thank you for your reply! I am letting it sit on butcher paper...and I wipe it with paper towels each time I turn them over...They smell lovely by the way! They are quaint looking, but that's what hot process is: more rustic. They have dried flower petals and herbs on them...
How fun, and I bet you can’t wait to try them. One tip would be to remove the botanicals before you start using the bar. Otherwise you will have a bit of a soggy mess of wet botanicals in your sink or shower. 😉
 
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