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Jennfromoz

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Ok, so I made my first batch. It didn't turn out as I thought. It got thick sooooo quickly, like lumpy mash potato. It didn't pour at all. I'm sure I did everything to the recipe and I've watched soooo many videos on soap making. I was so careful and measured everything out. I'm really dissapointed.
I don't think I'll use Lard again. It's gross. It smells horrible and it's awful to handle.
It seems to be a constant with me making soap, it's always thick and slodgy and never ever pours. It happened when I tried grating up soap and remelting it too. Why won't my soap pour!?!?
Rant over. I really would appreciate some advice. Thanks.
 

Carly B

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If you want help or input, it's best to post your whole recipe---oils, lye, water. Otherwise we won't be able to be as helpful as you'd like.
 

Tara_H

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Was this a hot process recipe? That soap looks very 'cooked' to me. If you want something that's easy to pour and fluid then HP is probably not the place to start.
There's also a lot going on in terms of colours there. Far be it from me to tell anyone not to experiment, but it's generally recommended to try without colours (and fragrances) for your first attempt so that you get a feel for the basics without too much going on at once.
Oh and, have you tried lathering some up? (With gloved hands)
If it lathers then you've made soap! Even if it didn't turn out how you'd hoped, it's a start.

Edit: I just saw your thread on fragrances - you didn't put in a fragrance that's intended for wearing as a perfume, did you? 🤨
 
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Megan

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It definitely looks too hot if it's gelling while you are molding it (unless it's HP like Tara said)
Posting your recipe and method will be helpful. Lard is supposed to trace very slowly.
 

ResolvableOwl

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How warm were your lye and oils when you combined them?

How long did you stick-blend? What stage (emulsion, thin/thick trace) was your batter, when you decided to cast scoop it into the moulds?


The good news: (unless you detect zappy lye pocets) you might not like how it looks, but it is still fine, self-made soap!
 

dibbles

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Were your oils and lye solution hot when you combined them? How long did you mix with a stick blender? That soap looks like it is gelling in the bowl.
 

Jennfromoz

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Yes I did add some fragrant oil and colour including mica and liquid colour. It got thick before I added those. I wanted to do swirls but had to plop the coloured soap on the top and swirl with a knife. I guess I'll see what it looks like in 4 weeks.

Maybe I did combine the lye and water, and the oils when the lye was still hot. Could that be it? I could have sworn I had a candy thermometer but couldn't find it and my soap was started so I guessed.

I did use a stick blender. Maybe I pulsed it too much.
 

dibbles

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It could have been any one/combination of the 3 - fragrance oil, too hot, too much stick blending. Over use of the stick blender is the main cause for acceleration with new soap makers. If you watch soap making videos, one thing to keep in mind is they are making much larger batches, which take longer to come to trace. For a two pound size batch (oil weight), my total stick blending time is (guessing here) less than 20 seconds, with the stick blender burst lasting 2-3 seconds. I usually blend to emulsion, not trace.

If you melted your oils, mixed your lye solution and combined without waiting for the lye solution to cool that played a major role. If you don't have a thermometer, your oil and lye solution containers should feel just slightly warm when you touch your hands to the outside. I suspect this was the problem with your batch. I still usually take temps and don't combine my lye and oils until they are both under 100, and I prefer the temps to be lower than that.

It's hard to comment about the FO since you didn't say what you used, but some will cause your batter to heat/accelerate.
 

Zany_in_CO

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it's generally recommended to try without colours (and fragrances) for your first attempt so that you get a feel for the basics without too much going on at once.
:thumbs: ;) So true!

I'm sure I did everything to the recipe and I've watched soooo many videos on soap making. I was so careful and measured everything out. I'm really dissapointed.
That's your problem, me thinks... watching too many videos is gathering an overload of information, and possibly, garbage, into the process that makes it darn near impossible to produce any but garbage. Sorry, but that's JMHO (Just My Humble Opinion) based on my 17 years experience.
Rant over. I really would appreciate some advice.
My advice is to forget all you think you've learned to date and start at square one. Go to the Beginners Forum and find Beginner's Learn to Soap Online. There you will find links to tried and true recipes to get the hang of it. Scroll down to

LOVIN' SOAP COLD PROCESS SOAP MAKING GUIDE

If you are serious about making soap, that's a good starting point to set a solid foundation to build upon.
HAPPY SOAPING! :computerbath:
 
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kagey

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your soap did what's known as "seizing."
congratulations!
you now qualify to be in our exclusive Soap Seizing Club... I am acting President as my soaps do this more than I'd like to admit!

this happens a lot when you first start out - and it's a natural part of your soaping journey... figuring out what does what and why. this is why it's important to take careful notes when soaping. there's a lot of chemistry AND math in this activity. and changing one thing can produce entirely different results.

I'd recommend reading up on this like this article:
or

you will still need to unmold your soaps and cut them.
and you don't have to wait 4 weeks to cut or use them.
I'd recommend unmolding them within 24 hours as they went into "gel phase" very quickly, so they'll be ready early.

the tops of your soaps will look bumpy, but if you packed the soap properly - the inside will look quite normal. if you didn't, the inside of your soap loaf will have air pockets.
either way, you can use a knife to cut off the bumpiness - and no one will be the wiser that your soaps seized when being made.

I recommend doing the "zap test" (putting soap to your tongue) to check for unsaponified lye - and if your soap tastes like soap - then you can use it right away. (if not - allow them to sit and cure for a few more days before testing again)
Note: allowing it to "cure" for 4-6 weeks produces a harder bar of soap -- but you don't have to wait that long to test it or use it.

there are a lot of subtleties that aren't expressed in the fancy-pour videos, so I'd recommend watching the basic ones first to understand how a soap forms and behaves.
the Soap Guild on You Tube has a lot of basic videos that walk you through the important and often neglected steps of producing a good soap.

welcome to soaping.
 

Cat&Oak

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@Zany_in_CO

"That's your problem, me thinks... watching too many videos is gathering an overload of information, and possibly, garbage, into the process that makes it darn near impossible to produce any but garbage."

I'm curious as to why you would think gathering information by watching YouTube soapers is "garbage "? YouTube soapers go out of their way to explain every detail of the process carefully. The results unless specifically filmed for educational purposes of seized soap are hardly "garbage" in fact many of these YouTubers make a living by being professional soap makers. I found that a bit offensive since I also enjoy making videos on YouTube and try to make them entertaining as well as educational.

OP it sounds like your lye solution and oils were too hot. Also if you don't use soap safe fragrance it can seize your batch in an instant. This is why we encourage no coloring or fragrance until you get your soap legs.
 

lenarenee

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Wait! Don't do the zap test by directly touching a piece of soap to your tongue....that's not how its done. Deanna has instructions on her site My Classic bells. I have poor cell signal here, so I'll post it later unless someone does it first.
 

dibbles

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I recommend doing the "zap test" (putting soap to your tongue) to check for unsaponified lye - and if your soap tastes like soap - then you can use it right away. (if not - allow them to sit and cure for a few more days before testing again)
Note: allowing it to "cure" for 4-6 weeks produces a harder bar of soap -- but you don't have to wait that long to test it or use it.
I would also recommend doing a zap test, but read this on how to properly test your soap for zap. No need to put your tongue directly on your soap. Additionally, you can safely test your soap if there is no zap, but it is really best to wait for it to cure (at least 4 weeks) to use it. It will become more mild and lather better with a cure, and you won't have a true idea of what the soap will be like in use after it has cured.
 

jcandleattic

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I'm curious as to why you would think gathering information by watching YouTube soapers is "garbage "? YouTube soapers go out of their way to explain every detail of the process carefully. The results unless specifically filmed for educational purposes of seized soap are hardly "garbage" in fact many of these YouTubers make a living by being professional soap makers. I found that a bit offensive since I also enjoy making videos on YouTube and try to make them entertaining as well as educational.
I'm glad you have had good luck in your experience, and put out good videos, but it has been my experience, that this is NOT true. For every good, educational and accurate YouTube video on soapmaking you can find at least 3-4 that just give out really BAD advice, or no advice at all, and just show them making soap. As a newbie there is really no way to differentiate them until you actually know what you are doing.
 

Zany_in_CO

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I'm curious as to why you would think gathering information by watching YouTube soapers is "garbage "?
LOL Please don't be offended. That's not what I said! I don't think watching YouTube videos is garbage. Not at all. To clarify, watching an overload of videos, and NOT having the basic knowledge of soapmaking that you and I have, can result in picking up bad info, aka "garbage". Which is exactly what's missing in the OP's first attempt at making soap, i.e., basic knowledge of how to go about it, IMHO and IME. (In My Humble Opinion and In My Experience.)

SHORT STORY
I made my first soap in 2003 at age 60. YouTube wasn't even around then. I read a lot. I borrowed all the books on soap making available from my local library -- about 24 in all. I bought a few of them that are still on my reference shelf today.

We had access to the Internet back then but there was very little info available -- nowhere near what it is like now. Walton Feed had a fun section on how soap was made in the olden days and the Cole Brothers had pictures of soap being made in a blender. Interesting, to say the least.

There were few forums and yahoo groups back then. I joined the Handcrafted Soap Making forum in 2004. I spent time at the amazing Australian "Soap Naturally" group that eventually produced what is arguably the best book on making natural handmade soap to date. I was invited to join Soapmakers Asylum and Southern Soapers Yahoo group. All had wonderful, knowledgeable, generous people who added greatly to my education. I am forever grateful to them. Paying it forward by helping others is my way of honoring them. ;)
 
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Cat&Oak

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As a newbie there is really no way to differentiate them until you actually know what you are doing.
Youtube promotes the highest viewing most successful videos first so if you are viewing the dregs of soapmakers I don't know what to tell you. I watch Youtube soapers every single day and admire them so much and aspire to be like them. Yes there are bad soapers on Youtube I'm not denying that but I don't agree with you that they make up a majority of the videos.

List of soapmakers on Youtube I personally subscribe too:

A Misty Dimness Soap
Cathy Sagun D'Clumsy Soaper
Dean Wilson
EdensSecret1
Royalty Soaps
Ellen Ruth Soap
Elly's Everyday Soap Making
Etsuko Watanabe
EvesGardenSoaps
From Grace to you
Handmade in Florida
Heart's Content Farmhouse
Holly's Soapmaking Kapia Mera
I Dream in Soap
Ladybug Lane Soaps
Luna Fae Creations
Missouri River Soap
Moonlit Soapworks
Offender Soap
Oh My Cattle Soap Yvonne
Ophelia's Soapery
Royal Apple Berry
Soaping 101
Sunshine Soap and Candle Company
Tellervo
Tiggy Makes Soap
Tree Marie Soapworks
Vibrant Soap
Yellow Cottage Soapery

Now these channels are for businesses mainly so it isn't their job to educate you on every aspect of soaping, that's up to you to educate yourself.

I take issue with implying the majority of Youtube Soap makers are not helpful or educational enough or bad.

That simple isn't true in my experience.

@Zany_in_CO I appreciate the clarity. It may not be how you meant it to come across it was how I perceived it.
 

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