Oh dear....what happened?

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Well-Known Member
Sep 2, 2007
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My recipe: 8 ounces coconut oil
8 ounces lard
11.2 ounces extra light olive oil (star brand)
.8 ounces castor oil
4 ounces mango butter
10.16 ounces distilled water
2 ounces coconut milk*
4.5 ounces lye

* the coconut milk was 100%, no additives, in a juice box type container
Arroyo brand from the asian market. Not viscous like the canned kind

I have soaped this exact recipe successfully three times. This last 4th time something went very wrong. I soaped everything at ambient room temperature which I believe to have been around 75 degrees. I mixed my FO into the oils and combined well. Then, I gradually added the lye water to the mixture and stirred for about 5 minutes with a large slotted stainless steel spoon. So far, so good. I got good emulsion and then dribbled in the coconut milk and stirred and stirred after each dribble. Suddenly I noticed an applesauce kind of texture. I hit it with the SB and honest to goodness...in seconds I had very very thick goo. I guess that is what is called seizing. Bound to happen to me sooner or later. I quickly put it into my kelsie mold. I was worried that I had not had enough time to incorporate that last dribble of coconut milk,

This morning I peaked under the covers. It did not gell, it is squishy and I can see little white bits in the soap all through out the surface!! Doesn't smell all that great either. I am sure that the FO caused this as I have successfully done this exact recipe but with different FOs.

Question is: will this soap be usable? What could those white bits be?
If I knew how to post a picture, I would but I don't think anyone could see those white bits in the soap because the soap is creamy white and the mold is white. Hard to see unless you look closely. Any ideas or even wild guesses would be appreciated. I lost sleep over this one wondering what had happened.

By the way, the FO was from a high end supplier and this is the second FO from them that I had big trouble with....the other time it riced, I saved it but soap stinks!!

Sorry for your troubles. It does sound like you got seized. I use dud soap for two things, washing clothes and goats. You might want to go ahead and leave it in the mold and wait it out. You might want to test and see if its chemically hot. Let us know.
Yup, I'm going to leave it in the mold for a day or so more. Funny thing...it now looks as if it has at least partially gelled and it is firm...24 hours later...but those funny white bits are still there. I will lick it when I unmold and report some more. I have no goats....but I have a lot of laundry!!
I dudded a batch of hot process. It was hot for a while, but when it finally died down it became very hard and crumbly. Some of the bar would stay together, but the rest of it would fall apart in chunks. I hope it works out.
You said that you've soaped the "exact same recipe" several times, but was it also the exact same FO? I'm asking because when I started soaping, I only used EO's and never saw anything that resembled seizing. Got pretty cocky about my skills. Then recently I got to where EO's didn't give me as much latitude in scent as I wanted, and I ordered just a few FO's. First one worked great, but everything after that has kicked my butt!

Also, in the same line of thought, I've never seen the kind of coconut milk you describe. Did you use the same stuff on the successful batches? Do you still have the container to check the label? Anything in it besides just coconut? Some of them have odd things for preservatives and emulsifiers that can mess with your soap.
HappyDay! thank you for getting back to me. Yes, I was using an FO. No, it was not the same FO I had used in the previous 3 batches made one each of the previous three days using the same recipe and the same coconut milk from the same box. The FO that gave me so much trouble was Kauai Ginger Blossom from OT. Each of the other three batches had FO's from Bittercreek North. My coconut milk was purchased from an asian market. The brand is AROY-D. It comes in a green box just like the little juice boxes. It says 100% coconut milk on the box, no preservatives. It is a product of Thailand. This coconut milk is not thick like the kind that comes in a can. Since I only used small amounts (2 ounces) I poured what I did not use into a clean glass jam jar and stored it in the fridge. Had only been in the fridge for 3 days when I made the crazy batch. I also let it come to room temp on the counter before using it. I have made 24 batches of soap and this is the first one that has seized on me. I have only used EO's twice before.

You think I could just let this go....but I seem compelled to learn what went wrong. And I know that some FO's are seizers and there is just not much you can do about it. I soap RT all the time now and I take the precaution of adding the FO to the RT oils and blending well before beginning the rest of the process. I have picked up a bit of information....I am not sure where...that taking a water discount with a FO that moves fast just makes it move even faster!!! My recipe called for 12 ounces of water. I used 10 to dissolve the lye and reserved the other 2 ounces for the coconut milk that I added at light trace. Makes me wonder if, in fact, that 10 ounces hitting the oil/FO mixture was not actually a discount and caused the rapid seizing to begin before I even dribbled in the coconut milk. It was the SB that sent me over the top. LOL!
Sometimes FO's contain some EO's in them. In my experience, EO's that are a spice tend to create a rapid trace. Perhaps your FO has real Ginger in it or a chemical component that has similar properties.