newbie tries her hand

SoapMakingForum

Help Support SoapMakingForum:

Guspuppy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2016
Messages
535
Reaction score
830
Location
Pennsylvania, USA
So yesterday I made a rather large first ever batch of soap. It was:
19 oz coconut oil
16 oz olive oil
16 oz shea butter
5 oz sweet almond oil
21 oz distilled water
7.9 oz lye (or however much was actually in the bottle, I weighed it but it only weighed out to like 7.6 oz
1 oz lemongrass EO

I used soap calc and it works on there but.....

I stick blended it until it was really thick and I was afraid it was going to seize, but after 24 hours it is very soft like putty and I tested it with a ph strip which instantly turned purple. (ph somewhere between 12 and 14) I also did not know to insulate the mold, which was only a cardboard box lined with a trash bag, which I then put, uncovered, in a cold room (about 55F). So my question is, did it false trace and do I only have solid fat sitting in my box? Should I give it time to saponify or rebatch for heat? I checked on it after about 5-6 hours last night and the wood floor under the box in the cold room was warm but not hot.

IMG_0959.jpg
 

shunt2011

Moderator Emeritus
Moderator Emeritus
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 2, 2012
Messages
15,448
Reaction score
9,736
Location
Michigan
What super fat did you use? If it didn't gel it may take a few days to get hard enough to cut which is normal.
 

Guspuppy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2016
Messages
535
Reaction score
830
Location
Pennsylvania, USA
oh forgot that - 5% super fat. It did not gel, I didn't even know it was supposed to gel until I came here looking for answers. ha - jumped in after NOT ENOUGH READING. :)
 

shunt2011

Moderator Emeritus
Moderator Emeritus
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 2, 2012
Messages
15,448
Reaction score
9,736
Location
Michigan
You don't have to gel it. It just takes longer for the saponification process to finish. Also, disregard the PH strips. They are pretty much useless. The best way to test them is to do a zap test. But wait 3 days before doing so.
 

Seawolfe

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2014
Messages
3,272
Reaction score
2,998
Location
So Cal
Just leave it till its solid, until it doesn't dent when you poke at it. In general, if you don't gel, it takes longer to harden up so you can cut. Interesting recipe, let us see cut pics, and later after a cure, how it is as soap
 

Guspuppy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2016
Messages
535
Reaction score
830
Location
Pennsylvania, USA
You don't have to gel it. It just takes longer for the saponification process to finish. Also, disregard the PH strips. They are pretty much useless. The best way to test them is to do a zap test. But wait 3 days before doing so.
Super! Thank you!!
Just leave it till its solid, until it doesn't dent when you poke at it. In general, if you don't gel, it takes longer to harden up so you can cut. Interesting recipe, let us see cut pics, and later after a cure, how it is as soap
I will! But the box was bigger than I thought so it looks like I'm going to have some very large (thick) bars. :D
 
Last edited by a moderator:

TeresaT

I see you.
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 7, 2015
Messages
2,269
Reaction score
2,456
Location
Chatta-Vegas, TN
So yesterday I made a rather large first ever batch of soap. It was:
19 oz coconut oil
16 oz olive oil
16 oz shea butter
5 oz sweet almond oil
21 oz distilled water
7.9 oz lye (or however much was actually in the bottle, I weighed it but it only weighed out to like 7.6 oz
1 oz lemongrass EO

I used soap calc and it works on there but.....

I stick blended it until it was really thick and I was afraid it was going to seize, but after 24 hours it is very soft like putty and I tested it with a ph strip which instantly turned purple. (ph somewhere between 12 and 14) I also did not know to insulate the mold, which was only a cardboard box lined with a trash bag, which I then put, uncovered, in a cold room (about 55F). So my question is, did it false trace and do I only have solid fat sitting in my box? Should I give it time to saponify or rebatch for heat? I checked on it after about 5-6 hours last night and the wood floor under the box in the cold room was warm but not hot.
You basically put this in the refrigerator and prevented it from gelling. It's going to take longer to saponify. That's happened to me before because my curing room does not have heat (or air conditioning). So the first cold winter day that I put a new batch of soap in there,it did not set up for days. I thought I messed up something until I realized it was the cold. I've switched to putting them in my bathroom. I leave that room like a sauna so I don't get cold getting out of the shower. I just have to watch for overheating so I don't wrap them in towels. I put saran wrap on them and leave them alone.
 

Guspuppy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2016
Messages
535
Reaction score
830
Location
Pennsylvania, USA
Does the humidity of the bathroom not affect the saponification time? I was going to leave it in the kitchen but then was afraid of splashing stuff in it (since I did not know to cover it and my kitchen is TINY) and couldn't leave it in any other room due to inquisitive dog. I thought about the bathroom!
Anyway I checked it again and it was hard enough to cut so I did. Much to my surprise it looks like there might have actually been a little gelling going on inside!

Also, I clearly need a real mold and also cutter! :) I'm going to chop up one of the uglier bars for test bits as the weeks go by.

IMG_0960.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:

cmzaha

Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Messages
11,934
Reaction score
11,542
Location
Southern California
IrishLass would probably love it with it bubbly factor :). Really, it is not a bad recipe and should be a fine soap. Good job for your first soap, but do remember you should measure lye accurately especially when just beginning your soap venture. Ungelled soap can certainly stay zappy for 72 hrs so wait until then to zap test, by wetting your finger, rubbing it across the soap and touching your tongue. You Will Know if you are zapped, if you are not sure, you have not been zapped
 

TeresaT

I see you.
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 7, 2015
Messages
2,269
Reaction score
2,456
Location
Chatta-Vegas, TN
Does the humidity of the bathroom not affect the saponification time? I was going to leave it in the kitchen but then was afraid of splashing stuff in it (since I did not know to cover it and my kitchen is TINY) and couldn't leave it in any other room due to inquisitive dog. I thought about the bathroom!
I'm lucky, I have two bathrooms. I use the small bathroom (instead of the master bathroom) to shower in the morning. That's also where I leave the soap. However, I don't use that bathroom for anything else. By the time I'm ready to shower in the morning, the soap has saponified and I can move it to the curing room before I do anything. If it's still a bit soft, I'll stick it in the (cold) oven until I get home from work. Since I live alone, no one else is going to be offended by having soap in the bathroom or oven. When I unmold them, I'll let them stay on the curing shelf for a day or two before I cut them. (Which is a lot easier said than done!)
 

Guspuppy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2016
Messages
535
Reaction score
830
Location
Pennsylvania, USA
IrishLass would probably love it with it bubbly factor :). Really, it is not a bad recipe and should be a fine soap. Good job for your first soap, but do remember you should measure lye accurately especially when just beginning your soap venture. Ungelled soap can certainly stay zappy for 72 hrs so wait until then to zap test, by wetting your finger, rubbing it across the soap and touching your tongue. You Will Know if you are zapped, if you are not sure, you have not been zapped
Thanks for the zap test guidelines! I bought the lye off Amazon and it came in a small plastic 8-oz bottle. When I opened it there was apparently some static in the bottle and lye crystals were hopping out. I put the lid back on but then did not know what to do, and since my gloves were covered with lye crystals I did not want to go anywhere where they might be dropped on the floor for dog feet to get into, and I didn't know what to do to discharge the static. I kept trying to open the plastic jar and lye kept hopping out (I was holding it over a basin of vinegar water) and finally I just quick poured the whole thing in my measuring cup on the scale. Next time I am definitely going to get a larger container, maybe from the hardware store, so that I can scoop it out as needed!
 

cmzaha

Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Messages
11,934
Reaction score
11,542
Location
Southern California
I advise you to line that rack you have your soap sitting on. It can cause dos or at least orange spots when soap touches metal, even stainless steel, while curing.

Some people suggest rubbing a dryer sheet around the edge of the container. I store my lye in 5 gallon buckets and really never have the problem, but I am sure the dryer sheet method works. Since I master batch I usually try not to open the bucket on hot dry Santa Ana wind days when there is a lot of static in the air. Nope do not want even 1 grain to get on doggie feet. I hate it when I get a grain on the edge of a finger nail.
 
Last edited:

RobertBarnett

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2015
Messages
132
Reaction score
56
Sounds like you have things under control. Congrats. May I suggest a smaller batch from now on. This will let you try different things with less chance of waste. Get yourself a smallish mold. I like the molds from Essential Depot http://www.essentialdepot.com get one with the wire frame for it. They also have awesome cutters.

http://www.essentialdepot.com/product/SS-MOLD-NATURAL-PLUS-BASKET.html
http://www.essentialdepot.com/product/RED-SOAP-CUTTER-LONG.html

They also have great lye and other products.

http://www.essentialdepot.com/category/sodium-hydroxide-components.html

Best of luck to you and may all your soap bring you bubbles!

Robert
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Messages
9,015
Reaction score
9,158
Location
Austria
Also, leave the vinegar alone for now. Many places say it should be used on lye, but the reaction between the two is actually good to make things worse. If you spill lye, just rinse it with lots of water.

The only time I use vinegar is as a final wipe-over of my worktops when I am done
 

shunt2011

Moderator Emeritus
Moderator Emeritus
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 2, 2012
Messages
15,448
Reaction score
9,736
Location
Michigan
Does the humidity of the bathroom not affect the saponification time? I was going to leave it in the kitchen but then was afraid of splashing stuff in it (since I did not know to cover it and my kitchen is TINY) and couldn't leave it in any other room due to inquisitive dog. I thought about the bathroom!
Anyway I checked it again and it was hard enough to cut so I did. Much to my surprise it looks like there might have actually been a little gelling going on inside!

Also, I clearly need a real mold and also cutter! :) I'm going to chop up one of the uglier bars for test bits as the weeks go by.
Very nice. However, I suggest you don't leave them on that rack unless it's stainless. It could affect your soap. You can either put a pice of freezer paper or papertowel under it.
 

Guspuppy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2016
Messages
535
Reaction score
830
Location
Pennsylvania, USA
Also, leave the vinegar alone for now. Many places say it should be used on lye, but the reaction between the two is actually good to make things worse. If you spill lye, just rinse it with lots of water.

The only time I use vinegar is as a final wipe-over of my worktops when I am done
It was just a basin to put the lye utensils in until I could wash up. My kitchen is extremely tiny and I didn't want to just lay the things around on the counter or in the sink until I could get to them. I suppose regular water would have been fine too. First-timer fright is all! I did a final vinegar wipe too, of the counters and floor.
 

cmzaha

Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Messages
11,934
Reaction score
11,542
Location
Southern California
oh, thanks!! I'll go line it right now. I didn't think of that since it's supposed to be stainless.
Even stainless can cause a problem. I use non oil absorbing sandwich sheets from a restaurant supply for lining mine. They come in different sizes, my preference being the 14x14". When soaping I even use them for setting my soaping utensils on since they do not soak through
 

penelopejane

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2015
Messages
5,460
Reaction score
4,251
Location
Sth Coast, NSW, Australia
Even stainless can cause a problem. I use non oil absorbing sandwich sheets from a restaurant supply for lining mine. They come in different sizes, my preference being the 14x14". When soaping I even use them for setting my soaping utensils on since they do not soak through
So do they allow air through? I have been using really thin old cotton sheets and I am wondering if they aren't good enough. I am not sure the air can get through. Does that matter?
 

Susie

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2013
Messages
9,715
Reaction score
9,221
Location
Texas
I put my soap in these plastic baskets and just turn them every week during cure time. I can fit all of a 3 lb (2 lb PPO) batch of soap in one, so it is the perfect size. And they can stack. I don't worry about covering them as they are inside and we have no cats or dogs.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IPEFUVW/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Latest posts

Top