Testing Forum's Patience for DUMB Questions

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Oct 31, 2007
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Ontario, Canada
I've got 2 CP batches under my belt, and plan to do a third one this weekend. Once I've poured my soap, I have a big fancy stainless steel bowl full of the left over goop. What is this stuff at this point? Is it soap? If so, why do I seem to need more soap to clean it? LOL. I told you it was a dumb question, but I'm genuinely curious.

On my second batch (Olive, Palm, Coconut, Cocoa Butter and Jojoba - a Cavitch recipe, with a 10% discount if I recall, scented with EOs and swirled with cocoa as colorant), I poured all but one bar worth into an 11 x 11 wooden box. The bar I poured into a plastic soap mold. Both resulted in a bit of a mottled and freckly looking product, but the large box at least I was able to cut into soap after a 24 hour insulation period. I peeked at the lone bar at about 18 hours, and it was much more mottled and freckly. It had an orange splotch on the bottom of the mold. Out of curiousity, I broke it in half. It was much softer than the box soap I cut just a few hours later, and was very coarse looking with large granular formations.

How much of this was due to peeking 6 hours earlier, and how much with heat loss because of the single bar in a small mold? How much with the undeniable fact that, really, I don't know what the hell I'm doing yet? Is it even advisable to cast a single soap batch made at whatever given temperature in molds that vary so much in size?

Also, I stick blended this second batch to what I in my vast wisdom considered to be a 'light trace'. Shortly after that I observed that when I spent a few seconds coloring some of the soap I separated for swirling that my larger bowl of soap seemed to have lost it's trace when I returned to stirring it. Can you lose trace, or did I not completely have it in the first place? As I said before, it did set ultimately set fine in the large wooden mold.

Thanks so much in advance!
1. the stuff in the bowl is an unsaponified mix of oils and lye. if you let it sit long enough then it WILL be soap and you won't need anything more to clean it. but until that point you will need some soap and hot water (and gloves) to get the oils cleaned up.

2. the smaller container didn't gel - which often happens in small containers that don't generate much heat. un-gelled soaps take much longer to finish saponifying. give it a few days. individual molds are ok as long as you know this - but they are a pain.

3. what you had was an incomplete trace. if you plan to pour at light trace always give your soap a few moments still in the bowl to make sure it doesn't separate. cause if it separates in the bowl you simply mix more - if it separates in the mold you get to learn the fine art of rebatching... :(
Thanks carebear...I really appreciate it. So I should have left my soap in the small mold for a few days and it would have been OK? Also, what does 'separation' look like, either in the bowl or in the mold? Finally, does anyone have any thoughts on my my soap was sort of mottled/freckled?

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