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user 21048

Jun 19, 2016
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So I am brand new to this whole soap making thing and thought today I would give it a try. I followed the recipe of "The King's Roost" off of YouTube, and well.....I don't think mine turned out to well. (it just started setting, will check on it in 24hours). First of all the recipe was directed as:
1680g Olive Oil
683g Coconut Oil
337g Lye
787g water (distilled of course)

I added 28g of Tea Tree Oil after I thought I had achieved light Trace.

So I heated up the oil at 160F (on accident), measured the Lye in a coffee filter (to witch who knows how many grams stuck (dumb)) then mixed the two (oils at around 130F Lye at around 100F). It took 2 hours of mixing to achieve what I think was a light trace (stick and hand blender). Poured it into my mold (which leaked some), covered in plastic wrap and towels. Got some of the mix on my wrist during pouring (mild irritation but no biggy).

Notes: Used Roebic crystal drain opener as my lye (said 100% lye and found users on Amazon who said it works). :quite warm where I live (about 90 today) and very humid (always). I've heard this makes a difference, could this be why it took 2 hours?

Questions: What happens if I had a false trace and then poured? What happens if I cut it tomorrow evening, cure it for 6 weeks and try to use it (toxic? harmful?)

Any feedback is appreciated. If this fails I guess I will just try to learn from it and try again. (for one slow down and focus more on temps)
Howdy and welcome!

Your recipe checks out on SoapCalc: 28.9% CO and 71% OO for folks like me that think in percentages. So long as you get emulsification (everything combined together with no free oil floating on top), you should be fine.

Olive oil heavy recipes take a loooong time to trace, so I wouldn't worry about that. You can cut as soon as it is hard enough. When you think it's ready, take it out of the mold and check the sides and bottom. if they don't indent easily, cut a trial slice.

You'll want to zap test it after a few days... if it is fine, you can start testing it out by taking a small piece and handwashing with it. Since it's your first soap (grats on that!), it's nice to try it out every week and note how it's changing over time.

For a soap with that much olive, I'd probably end up giving it a few month's cure time.

It's not a terribly balanced recipe... if you aren't adverse to using animal fats, I highly recommend checking out something like 50% lard, 20% coconut, 25% olive oil, 5% castor for your next soap. It will cure up nicely in 4-6 weeks and feel very creamy, bubbly, and mild.

If you get any soap batter on yourself, make sure to rinse with cool running water for a few minutes. It is the best way to stop the damage.

Welcome to the addiction!

I appreciate the quick feedback! I was gonna try cutting it tomorrow night and then letting it cure for at least 6 weeks (so good to know I have the right plan). I am just hoping at this point that my wooden mold (lined with parchment paper) doesn't give out and leak out into the unused side anymore than it already has (two 24x4x4 chambers). If so could I just scrape it all out and re-melt it and try it again?

If this works it's on like Donkey-Kong!!!! Any ideas on simple, refreshing, and cleansing soaps? My wife and I are all about essential oils and coconut so I guess I will get to searching.

I have dabbled in many hobbies by the way and this one seems pretty cool (gardening still tops the list) so I can't wait to explore some other simple recipes and hone the craft a little. Plus practical and productive hobbies that yield something always seem more enjoyable.
Coconut is a lovely oil, but it does change properties during saponification. It's considered a bubbly oil that can be drying to the skin since it strips skin of natural oils along with creating poofy bubbles. In most soaps, many of us find anything over 20% can make our skin feel tight. In the recipe you made, that effect should be countered somewhat by the high olive oil.

If you're looking at recipes in SoapCalc (or other lye calculators), the "cleansing" prosperity really should be thought of as "stripping". All soap cleanses - even ones with zero under "cleansing".

For the portion that leaked out, you can try just squishing it together into a soap ball. Remelting it is called rebatching which results in a very rustic (a.k.a. not very attractive) soap. It's still soap though. You'll want to grate it into small pieces, add a little water,and then slowly heat it on low. You don't want to really cook it - just heat it until it kinda comes together and then remold it.

That recipe I mentioned: 50% lard, 20% coconut, 25% olive oil, 5% castor with 6% superfat makes a really nice bar of soap. Many folks here use a variation of it as their standard bar. Lard is super creamy, gentle and makes a slow tracing hard bar that's really white. Coconut adds bubbles. Olive Oil is very mild and conditioning. Castor serves to enhance lather by stabilizing the bubbles. You can normally pickup castor at a pharmacy (look in the laxative section). You can skip the castor altogether if it's tough to find in your country. If you omit it, I'd put that 5% back into the lard amount.

You'll want to learn how to use a lye calculator to always get your lye amounts. I like to use SoapCalc, but there are a bunch of different ones online. Do not assume that even recipes printed in books are correct on the lye. Typos happen. Using a lye calculator will also let you resize any recipe to fit your containers.

Cheers and happy soaping!
Great feedback!

Thank you so much for the feedback! That was a good deal of great information, I will definitely be checking out the resources you mentioned. I peaked at the mix about an hour ago and there wasn't anymore leaking, just the little bit from before, so that was good to see. I am so excited now to see how it turns out and try two more recipes this coming weekend. I made my molds to big I guess and the current 7lb recipe didn't come as close to filling it as I thought. I think I'll try for 2 seperate nine pound recipes next. Thanks for the bit about the coconut, here I thought it would be more gentle and soothing. I guess I'll try something with lard next.
Suggestions and feedback are always welcome. Thanks.
I would use a 3 lb mold if you are new to this. Otherwise, you are going to be run out of the house with soap before you ever get to try all the recipes that are going to tempt you in the very near future. 3 lb will give you 9 1 inch bars with a small tester.
Good point

I guess I didn't think of that. I thought about using a cup cake mold to get started!? Plus I really want to get good enough so I can make myself a shaving soap (I'm old fashioned like that). Anyway, you're right I guess I better calm down before I end up with 25lbs of soap 6 weeks from now, hahaha!!!
Welcome cris01us! You've come to the right place for helpful and friendly advice on your new addiction. (Yeah, you can never make just one batch of soap so ---sorry, you may not realize it but you're already addicted, lol)
I just wanted to mention that I watched the King's Roost YouTube video for your soap, and he makes one very important safety violation that you should be aware of. He mixed his lye solution in a GLASS measuring cup. You should never use glass (even Pyrex) to store or mix lye, since over time the lye will etch and break down the glass. More than likely it will appear just fine until one day when you pick up the container it shatters, spilling lye everywhere. Very bad!
Hey and welcome :)
Some of my first recipes were just like yours. My husband quite liked it actually, but I found it too drying unless I bumped the superfat up to 6 or 7 %. As long as you have a proper Tea Tree essential oil (ie not mixed with a carrier oil), I think that will be a decent first soap.

And yeah, small batches help, but not so small that minor inaccuracies on your scale can ruin them - I would say 1.8-2 lb minimum size for a batch. And if your mold is leaking, use plastic wrap :)

If you're not opposed to it - try lard in your next batch. Say 60% lard, 20% olive oil, 15% coconut oil and 5 % castor at 5% superfat (and if you dont have castor then 25% olive oil). Use a soap calculator like or

To my mind a proper shaving soap uses a mix of NaOH and KOH for super lather - go read the monster shaving soap thread, it will make your head spin, but give you something to aim for after you've had a bit of practice.
Welcome to the forum! Not sure where you are located. Some essential oils that work well in soap and are cost effective (here in the US, at least) are lavender, lemongrass, peppermint, and cedar. You need a fairly substantial amount to scent soap - a tablespoon in 500 grams of soap will give you a medium scent.
Thank you Thank you!

You guys are awesome! Thank you all so much for all the feedback! So a quick update... I cut my soap this morning (after 36 hours of setting). It turned out better than I expected. I thought it might have been a little soft (easy to cut) but I've read that it's supposed to be that way. So, since I've had some success, this weekend it's game on!! Some lessons you all have given me that I will be taking forward:
-try out the lard
-1.5-3lb batches instead of larger ones
-stick with my stainless steel pots and utensils
-focus more on temps

By the way I am in Hawaii where it is always humid and at least 70F, so I know I have to factor this in. Thanks again everyone!
Had to figure out how to upload pics. Sorry for the wait. By the way I was concerned about the initial leak I had so I purposefully didn't level the mold (thinking I didn't want it all to leak out) which in hind sight was pretty illogical. Anyway, for a very first try I'm fairly pleased.


Your first batch of soap looks very nice. As it cures, I suspect it will turn a lighter shade of beige and possibly white, although I don't know how much discoloration one can expect from Tea Tree Oil, as I haven't used it in soap yet. My castile soap (100% olive oil) started out about that color when it was new and now 9 months later it is much lighter. Not as white as a 100% coconut oil soap, by any means, but more white than tan.
Welcome and hello. Nice mold and soap. Great job! I agree with everyone on the size of your trial batches. You don't want to make a huge batch of soap and end up hating the recipe; or making a mistake somewhere in it, having a failure batch and wasting all of the supplies. Oh, and make sure you take lots of notes. LOTS of notes on every batch you make. This way you can duplicate it if you love it, avoid it if you hate it, or tweak it to make it better.
Good Feedback

Thanks for the feedback. I will certainly start making smaller batches, and I plan on keeping a log/journal of each try. I am going to err on the side of caution and wait a full 6 weeks before I try this soap out. Also I was wondering if it would stay the same color or lighten up, so good to hear that it might change. The humidity here is a huge factor I think, so it will be interesting to see what effect that has (pretty much always humid and never below 70 here). If anyone knows of a soap making group or club here on Oahu let me know. I would love to talk to people face to face and see their soap. Thanks again!
Thanks for the feedback. I will certainly start making smaller batches, and I plan on keeping a log/journal of each try. I am going to err on the side of caution and wait a full 6 weeks before I try this soap out. Also I was wondering if it would stay the same color or lighten up, so good to hear that it might change. The humidity here is a huge factor I think, so it will be interesting to see what effect that has (pretty much always humid and never below 70 here). If anyone knows of a soap making group or club here on Oahu let me know. I would love to talk to people face to face and see their soap. Thanks again!

That is so depressing. I always imagined Hawaii as balmy with fragrant salty tropical breezes. No mosquitoes. No bugs. And most of all, no humidity. You have just burst my bubble. I will no longer fantasize of Hawaii. I will now do my tropical fantasizing about Bora Bora.

I live in Tennessee. We tend to swim in the air we breathe. Is that "70" the humidity or the temperature? Right now it's starting to cool off here. On the mountain (where I live) it's now 88 with a humidity of 55% so it only feels like 91. Fortunately today the humidity is not bad. Friday it is supposed to rain. Tomorrow, it will probably hurt to breathe. And my hair will look like crap. :-D
Even though it is very humid in Hawaii, the humidity there FEELS different than the humidity here. Honestly. My skin felt so soft and moisturized when I was in Hawaii. When I mentioned it to a friend of mine who has a condo there, he said, it's the humidity. Well, the humidity in Key West didn't make my skin feel like that and the humidity here does not make my skin feel like that. So there is just something about Hawaii! Dream on, TeresaT.