Questions about 1st Batch

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Well-Known Member
Mar 7, 2008
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Here is the picture of my 1st batch. There are some minor cracks, which my soap making books said could result from - "soap set to fast and not covering with towels fast enough." But I did wrap my mold box with an old towel and put in away immediately. :?

I used a simple recipe of coconut oil, olive oil, shea butter, and some frangrance oil plus grated citrus rinds. Is this the way it's suppose to look?

click on image to view larger pic.

I can't tell if the little round drops are of oil, soap ash, or glycerin seeping out. Has anyone seen the same things happen to their batch of soap? I would really like to know. Thanks!

I let it cure for 4 weeks. It is still very easy to cut, like hard cheese and smell fine. After getting a PH test of 7, I have even used it with no adverse reactions. It lathers great and leaves my skin very soft. It really makes taking a shower so much fun!
Tell us a bit more about your recipe. I can't figger out what I'm looking at, although you do really good graphics.

You should be able to determine if your drops are FO by rubbing your finger on them and smelling.

I've had a few cases of bead sweat, wiped them off and they never returned. I attribute them to FO bleed.

The cracks look my salt bars. Not a real problem in salt bars, they're rustic but disappear in use.

Dunno. Brain storming, hoping it helps.
The cracking looks to me like it could possibly be from overheating. My soaps with a high percentage of coconut oil do that to me. They get so hot so fast, and raise up a bit like bread dough in a sense, causing stress fractures (cracks) to appear here and there.

The white spots are very interesting looking. I want to say they are harmless ash- and they very well may be- but the ash I get looks more like a white coating than little white round spots, so I'm not sure. Maybe someone with more experience will chime in. My only other guess for the white spots besides ash would be undissolved lye, but since you said you have been using the soaps with no adverse reactions and that they are skin-softening, I kinda doubt they are lye crystals. One way to find out if they are lye crystals is to lightly touch the tip of your tongue to them and see if you get a zapping sensation like touching your tongue to a 9 volt battery terminal. If you get an unmistakable zaping sensation, you'll know it's undesolved lye.

Oh golly, there are so many reasons why a soap batch can go wrong like this.
If it were me making this soap, I would worry first that the white crystals might be undissolved lye, either from insufficient or improper mixing, or the entire solution being too cold when mixing the lye together with oils.

Therefore, (and I have made batches that looked like yours, early days) I would grind up the entire batch, and add it to a new batch of soap, especially if you can color the new soap a dift. color - makes for interesting speckles!

....or: I would use it for hands only, or for floor-washing.

You are very brave to try it on your skin, but be careful about prolonged usage. See if your skin reacts over time.

Otoh, it can also be due to a fragrance oil; I sometimes got white splotches with those though, seldom crystals. Crystals spell a note of warning to me.
Thanks so much for all the input. I have add this new close up picture. I have already wiped all of them off and this is the only pic I have left. I'm starting to think it's just ash.

click on image for larger view.

As for the recipe, it was a basic beginner recipe recommend from a soap book. I just went ahead and add the fragrance oil myself. It did form small drops right away, but I kept on mixing it. Next time I will skip the FO and use only EO (essential oil).

I don't think I'm brave enough to give it the tongue test, but I think it's safe to use (PH 7) as I've used it for a couple of days now and my skin seem to like it. :)

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