Sweaty, spicy holiday soap -- Agh!

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Well-Known Member
Apr 16, 2012
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(This will be half vent, half OMG, what do I do?) I unmolded my planned "holiday spice" shea butter soap today... boy, what a mess. It's sweaty, slippery, and mushy. By "mushy," I don't mean soft--I mean mushy like uncooked pizza dough. It's firm enough to take out of my wooden mold and very carefully slide into my cutting box, but I've never had a new soap be this soft. There are droplets of liquid on the top and oozing from the cut surfaces. So, so, so gross and disappointing. I'm not sure what happened or what to do now.

Here's the formula I used, if anyone has any insight:
30% coconut oil
30% olive oil
12% shea butter (natural)
12% sunflower oil
8% castor oil
8% palm oil

Total weight of oils= 32 ounces

I superfatted at 8% and used full water (38%). Added 3% sodium lactate to lyewater.

I didn't use a fragrance oil--instead I used a blend of orange 5x, cassia, clove, and ginger essential oils, with a little bit of benzoin. Added about 2 ounces, since the blend was heavy on orange and that's what the fragrance calculator on Brambleberry suggested for orange EO. The soap smells very strongly (too strongly!) of cinnamon. Not much orange comes through at all.

I also added TD blended with distilled water to a small portion and bronze mica with glycerin to another small portion, in attempt to create a swirl. Unfortunately, the soap had other ideas and solidified much too quickly to do anything other than mix it all together in the mold and hope for the best.

Even though I soaped at a low temp (about 90 degrees), I don't think I had a false trace. There was no zap that I could tell.

Sooooo... what happened? Was it the spice oils I used? And what do I do now? I mean, other than toss it? I certainly can't sell it. :(
It was probably the cassia, ginger, clove and cinnamon essential oils that cause the soap to seize.
Yes, but it didn't seize as such--not in the "soap on a stick" sense. It accelerated, but I'd expected that (that's why I soaped at a low temp). I'm more concerned about the sweating and the mushiness. Is that related to the spice oils?
So was this a separation? If I know what to call it, I can probably look up a solution or a way to prevent it in future.

I know how to rebatch (just hate doing it)... is there something in particular one does with this sort of problem, or is it just a matter of tossing it in the old crockpot and recooking it?

Agh, agh, agh. That was a _lot_ of sweet orange EO. Oh, well, guess it was bound to happen sooner or later...
I've had the same thing with orange eo. It is frustrating. I bought orange x15 so hopefully that won't happen so much lol. What calculator do you use for soap?

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