Olive Oil soap - liquid on top

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Well-Known Member
Nov 18, 2007
Reaction score
Tampa, FL
Hi all,

I've made several batches of cold process soaps using a basic foundation that includes about 31% coconut oil and 27% palm oil, and they have all turned out beautifully. Well, yesterday I decided to be brave and try a predominantly olive oil soap (80% olive oil, 10% coconut oil, 10% palm oil - recipe will follow). I stirred it in my Kitchen Aid mixer for about an hour and 15 minutes before I finally saw what I'm hoping was a faint trace. I added my nutrients and EO's, poured it, covered it, wrapped it, and let it incubate for about 20 hours. When I uncovered it today, it looks and smells wonderful, but there is a layer of liquid on top of it (water I assume) and the 'soap' is still soft. When I touch it with the back of a spoon, it seems even softer than pudding (though it is definitely not still as liquid as when I poured it).

I knew going into this that olive oil soaps can take a long time to trace, harden, and cure, but I've also read on this forum that folks have made 95% olive oil soaps that harden overnight (I think I'm remembering that correctly). So I'm wondering if it's going to be fine - do I just need to be patient - or have I done something wrong and should just give up hope? I've uncovered the mold and am hoping some of the liquid will evaporate, but it's probably an 1/8th or a quarter inch deep. It seems like a lot of liquid to hope will evaporate! It's so beautiful (and was costly to make - I know, I should have experimented with a smaller batch), I hate to think it might be ruined. Here's my recipe:

6.5 oz NaOH
16 oz distilled water
41 oz olive oil (not Extra Virgin, but VIGO's '100% olive oil')
5 oz coconut oil
5 oz palm oil
12 g Grapefruit Seed Extract

at trace I added:
1/2 cup ground oatmeal
1/4 cup rubbed sage
5 1/2 tsp lemon essential oil
1 2/3 tsp sage essential oil

I appreciate any ideas y'all might have. Thank you!
Guess I should have studied the forum a little more closely before I posted this, but I just found a post from a while ago that addresses this same issue. Already the liquid is gone, but the soap looks wet and grainy. I'll just watch it and see what happens.