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Kelly Frizzell

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I am new to soap making, I have made a whopping 5 CP soap recipes so far and I am just trying different recipes and mostly making my own with what oils I have and a SoapCalculator. I have no idea, really, what I am doing, or what things can go wrong, like volcanoes, ricing etc. that I just read about today on this forum ... I had no idea , so thank-you for that great info!! I did have one partial failure already (see pic).

I tried to make Pine Tar soap and it made enough for two moulds. First of all it came to trace so fast I did not have time to add the EO’s I was going to put in -but at least I got it into the molds. I probably did not stir it enough which is why (I assume?) I got the “leaking holes” that showed up in the middle of one of the soaps -the soap in the other mold did not have this.
1. Was the liquid that came out, when I cut it, lye or water?
2. Am I right that it was just that I did not stir it enough?
336C4057-621E-42A3-B6E9-E4F97A899F8F.jpeg 092485EC-701B-4C30-A9B6-78952389FBDC.jpeg
3. Different topic, but...When you have a volcano happen, does it spew or just bubble up?

Thanks
 
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Chris_S

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First off welcome to the forum I am also new to soap making it's an odd kind of addiction something I never thought I would enjoy doing

I am eagerly await a response to this because I had the same thing happen with my last batch and I followed a recipe i found online. I ended up chucking all the soap because it was clearly very harsh and had white patches develop and decided it wasn't worth the risk to keep it pitty because it smelt lovely too. Hope yours isn't as bad as mine and doesn't need throwing away.
 

shunt2011

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I am new to soap making, I have made a whopping 5 CP soap recipes so far and I am just trying different recipes and mostly making my own with what oils I have and a SoapCalculator. I have no idea, really, what I am doing, or what things can go wrong, like volcanoes, ricing etc. that I just read about today on this forum ... I had no idea , so thank-you for that great info!! I did have one partial failure already (see pic).

I tried to make Pine Tar soap and it made enough for two moulds. First of all it came to trace so fast I did not have time to add the EO’s I was going to put in -but at least I got it into the molds. I probably did not stir it enough which is why (I assume?) I got the “leaking holes” that showed up in the middle of one of the soaps -the soap in the other mold did not have this.
1. Was the liquid that came out, when I cut it, lye or water?
2. Am I right that it was just that I did not stir it enough?View attachment 32804View attachment 32805
3. Different topic, but...When you have a volcano happen, does it spew or just bubble up?

Thanks
First off, I would step back and do simple recipes until you get the hang of it. Pine Tar soap is a more advanced soap. Some have pulled it off but not many beginners. It looks like it overheated. Pine Tar moves really fast and can get really hot. If you had a lot of oils seep out it may or may not be good to use. I would let it sit for a day or three then be sure to do a zap test. If you have the oils that seeped out you could try to rebatch it. I

Also, why are you making so much at one time? You should be making 1-2 lbs at most. Can get very costly when mistakes happen.

Another recommendation, if in doubt, post your recipe here and ask for feedback. We are always happy to help try to avoid problems.

You may also want to do more reading on what oils, butters etc bring to the soap.

Also, never use a printed recipe from someone else without running it through a soap calculator. That too can help avoid issues. Errors happen.
 

cmzaha

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As Shunt mentioned above, it overheated. Depending on your superfat and how much oil you lost Shunt is very correct it may or may not be good. If you caught the leaking oils you could rebatch adding it back in or just wait and see how it cures out. You can always rebatch. After a 4-6 week cure I would cut one of the bars with the cavern and zap test the center of the soap

Always run all recipes through a calculator
 

DeeAnna

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You ask was lye or water? The answer is it depends. It could be both ... or neither. Once your alkali (NaOH) is dissolved in water, the mixture IS lye. NaOH doesn't magically separate out from water once it's dissolved.

The liquid that results from overheating can be a mix of the water-soluble components in the soap -- water, dissolved alkali, glycerin, sugars,etc. Or it can be a mix of the fat soluble ingredients, including some of the fat itself, fragrances, etc. Or it can be some of both.
 

Kelly Frizzell

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Thank-you all so much for the answers. I have been running all (OK, only 5 so far) recipes through Soap Calc as I have been adding beeswax, and/or honey to my recipes, and trying to use products I have on hand, so all recipes have been created or edited by me. I was not aware that things like volcanoes could happen, yikes.
The liquid that came out of the hole in the soap did not seem oily, that is why I thought it might be lye. I used a paper towel to clean it up, it was about 1 Tbsp. maybe, not even?
This made about 1800g and it was before I figured out how to calculate how much my molds held (Dollar store storage boxes and I line with parchment) and before I figured out that I could adjust the SoapCalc to get final amount.... hey I am just learning.

So it was not that I did not mix it enough, because I really did not have too much time to stir? It was that it overheated, I did add lye to oils at 120. Or should I not have wrapped it, possibly?
 
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DeeAnna

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If you didn't stir a conventional type of soap batch enough, yes, your soap might separate due to emulsion failure. But that's not a problem with pine tar soap. The opening in the center of your soap is due to overheating. You're going to have to trust Carolyn, Shari, and the rest of us on this point.

When you add sugars to soap AND insulate the mold AND have your ingredients at 120 F AND (I'm guessing) soaping with "38% water as % of oils" AND use pine tar, you're created a perfect storm for the soap getting extra warm and overheating.
 

Kelly Frizzell

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If you didn't stir a conventional type of soap batch enough, yes, your soap might separate due to emulsion failure. But that's not a problem with pine tar soap. The opening in the center of your soap is due to overheating. You're going to have to trust Carolyn, Shari, and the rest of us on this point.

When you add sugars to soap AND insulate the mold AND have your ingredients at 120 F AND (I'm guessing) soaping with "38% water as % of oils" AND use pine tar, you're created a perfect storm for the soap getting extra warm and overheating.
Hi DeeAnna, Yes, of course I will trust you. Sometimes I just need a definitive answer so I have it clear in MY mind, it is not second guessing a response.

As a kid, I was in 4-H, and our motto was, "Learn to Do by Doing" , which is how I approach life, Hahaha. I have done melt and pour years ago, but making real soap from lye has been on my bucket list, and now that I am retired, I am trying many things (like getting bees, which is why I am using honey and/or beeswax in the recipes I am making). So when I wanted to start making soap I read a lot of recipes and info, and then just jumped in and started making some, by trying different recipes I had tweaked (using SoapCalc). However, I did not get very far (only doing this a week) when I got that hole and I thought..., "Hmmm, I might need some advice on this", and typed "Soap Forums" into Google, and this one was the one I chose." So I am here for any advise, to read more information, and to learn. I do very much appreciate the advice and expertise offered here.
And, yes, when making this Pine Tar soap, I did all of those things you said, that is why I mentioned them as I realized that they must have been at least part of the answer. I need to learn more about the "38% water though ..."? Well, I know I just plain have lots to learn. Thank-you again.
 

DeeAnna

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I don't mind learning by doing either, but in my mind there's a difference between leaping into the deep end of the pool with a life preserver versus leaping with a brick tied to one's ankle. It's good you are here asking questions, but do be aware we are going to chide you about your brick as we also jump to the rescue with help and advice.

For more info about that "38% water as % of oils" stuff, you might try clicking the "Soapy stuff" link at the bottom of this post. Look for the section on "Water" and the article about "Full water..."
 

earlene

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My first impression of your first bar of soap there with the white spot in the middle is that you MIGHT have a lye rock in there. I had this happen to me, which is why I say this.

Did you ever zap test this soap? Did you leave that white piece in there and can you take a closer look at it? DON'T zap test the rock if that's what it looks like to you in person. It took my tongue weeks to heal when I stupidly did that with my own soap.

Here's a picture of my lye rocks in soap so you can see what I'm talking about:


My problem occurred from undissolved lye in my lye solution and plain inexperience and stupidity basically. I knew I had solids in my lye solution and added them to the oils anyway. I think I thought they'd melt in the oils, but that didn't happen, obviously, and I don't know why I would think they would. Just plain dumb, really. Then after unmolding, and cutting, I discovered solid chunks of white crystals or rocks in my soap. Well zap testing one of those rocks was the peak of stupidity in my soapmaking journey! Please, everyone, DO NOT EVER DO THAT YOURSELF! Anyway this might be the only place I'd say using a pH Strip might be advisable. I am pretty sure the rock would have tested 14, while the rest of the soap probably would have tested lower. In any case this soap was not safe to use at all. There were several of these lye rocks in the loaf.

I didn't have the same overheating that creates an opening or the leaking out like you did, but that white bit in the very middle of the first bar in your pictures worries me.
 

SoapAddict415

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Unless I missed it, I didn't see where your question about soap volcanoes was answered. You asked if it spewed or just bubbled up. I had it happen to me once. I put my soap in the mold, started cleaning up and when I looked up it had started rising rapidly and spilling over the sides of my mold! It looked like a like margarita scented science fair experiment gone wrong. I tried to get it into the freezer because I believed it was overheating. I only succeeded in making a bigger mess lol. Green soap batter was everywhere! The table, the floor, the refrigerator, etc but I had the cleanest kitchen in town when it was over lol. Hope that helped! [emoji3]
 

Kelly Frizzell

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Unless I missed it, I didn't see where your question about soap volcanoes was answered. You asked if it spewed or just bubbled up. I had it happen to me once. I put my soap in the mold, started cleaning up and when I looked up it had started rising rapidly and spilling over the sides of my mold! It looked like a like margarita scented science fair experiment gone wrong. I tried to get it into the freezer because I believed it was overheating. I only succeeded in making a bigger mess lol. Green soap batter was everywhere! The table, the floor, the refrigerator, etc but I had the cleanest kitchen in town when it was over lol. Hope that helped! [emoji3]
Thank-you so much, yes, that does help give me a visual. Not looking forward to that happening.
 

Azleena Ameen

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hi, Im also having a soap issue. My soaps have a strange layer on the sides which looks like soda ash but im not so sure. can someone please help me identify what this is and how to avoid this? Thanks
 

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shunt2011

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hi, Im also having a soap issue. My soaps have a strange layer on the sides which looks like soda ash but im not so sure. can someone please help me identify what this is and how to avoid this? Thanks
Hi Azleena and welcome! You would be better of starting a new thread with your problem as you'll get more responses to your particular question. Also be sure to visit the introduction section and tell us a bit about yourself.
 

Kelly Frizzell

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My first impression of your first bar of soap there with the white spot in the middle is that you MIGHT have a lye rock in there. I had this happen to me, which is why I say this.

Did you ever zap test this soap? Did you leave that white piece in there and can you take a closer look at it? DON'T zap test the rock if that's what it looks like to you in person. It took my tongue weeks to heal when I stupidly did that with my own soap.

Here's a picture of my lye rocks in soap so you can see what I'm talking about:


My problem occurred from undissolved lye in my lye solution and plain inexperience and stupidity basically. I knew I had solids in my lye solution and added them to the oils anyway. I think I thought they'd melt in the oils, but that didn't happen, obviously, and I don't know why I would think they would. Just plain dumb, really. Then after unmolding, and cutting, I discovered solid chunks of white crystals or rocks in my soap. Well zap testing one of those rocks was the peak of stupidity in my soapmaking journey! Please, everyone, DO NOT EVER DO THAT YOURSELF! Anyway this might be the only place I'd say using a pH Strip might be advisable. I am pretty sure the rock would have tested 14, while the rest of the soap probably would have tested lower. In any case this soap was not safe to use at all. There were several of these lye rocks in the loaf.

I didn't have the same overheating that creates an opening or the leaking out like you did, but that white bit in the very middle of the first bar in your pictures worries me.
I did not even know what a zap test was until I googled it after hearing it here a couple of times. As for that soap, out of two molds of it, only about five of the bars were involved in the leaking (one hole that extended through the five cut bars), most of the bars were actually just fine.
Haha, I must have looked like I did when I first tried to lick a frozen metal bar (if you do not know what I am talking about, you are not from a geographical location that has an icy cold winter). Anyway, I did a zap test on the Pine Tar Soap...I gently and tentatively put my tongue on the soap at first and then more confidently when I did not feel any shock, or zap.I did have a not-so-great mouth-washed-out with soap taste for the next few hours, but that was all. The soap was/is fine. I also gave some to my husband to try (not the parts where the leaking was) and he loves it.

Jelly
How much honey are you using PPO (per pound of oils)?
Too much can cause overheating.
I just used about a Tablespoon in the recipes which were about 800-1000 grams of soap.
 
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DeeAnna

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I never lick my soap directly when I do a zap test. It's possible to get a painful chemical burn by licking soap that's lye heavy. And some ingredients in soap can just plain taste awful. Many fragrances, neem oil, and pine tar being good examples. I prefer to avoid that unpleasantness or possible injury. But once I know a soap is safe and tastes reasonably decent, I'll sometimes give it a direct lick or two.

Here's a safer way to do that first zap test -- https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/how-to-properly-safely-conduct-the-zap-tongue-test.63199/
 

penelopejane

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I just used about a Tablespoon in the recipes which were about 800-1000 grams of soap.
I use 1 Tablespoon in 1800g of oils. That makes about 2600g of soap batter.

So depending on whether you are talking about grams of oils or grams of soap batter you might be using too much honey.

But it also looks like your soap wasn't mixed evenly.
 
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