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Johnez

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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.
I think Zany's point is that gathering too much info leads to using techniques and ingredients from multiple methods. The problem is that while each recipe or technique might be awesome when perfectly executed, one might get a surprise when throwing it all together as they are often incompatible. Best to start with one tried and true recipe and method, from beginning to end and not mix and match.
 

Zany_in_CO

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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.
You just made my point for me. :thumbs: I couldn't agree more. ;)

To that end, for a video "education", go to the following YouTube channels:

Bramble Berry's Anne Marie Faiola's Soap Queen TV channel
Soap Queen Blog
Teach Soap

SMF member, Cathy McGinness's Soaping 101 cnannel
 

kagey

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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.
whether you're wetting your finger and rubbing it on your soap...
or your applying it directly to to your tongue

the zap test requires soap molecules to get in your mouth.
six of one - a half dozen of the other... whatever

just don't put the whole thing in your mouth for a long time.
we all know how that can turn out:
 

Obsidian

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You said the lard smelled bad, I'm going to guess you probably heated your oils way too much. Lard can smell very piggy if overheated.
Oil just need to be warm enough that they are clear.

Start simple, no colors, no additives, no scent.
 

cmzaha

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Lard does not accelerate trace in fact it actually slows trace. Overheating lard will cause it to smell bad or at least some lard will but the smell will usually go away after cure. It is a wonderful oil to use and mixed with OO or another High Oleic Oil such as HO Canola will lend to a slow tracing batter. My all time favorite recipe is a tallow/lard recipe.
 

lenarenee

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whether you're wetting your finger and rubbing it on your soap...
or your applying it directly to to your tongue

the zap test requires soap molecules to get in your mouth.
six of one - a half dozen of the other... whatever

just don't put the whole thing in your mouth for a long time.
we all know how that can turn out:

Definitely not 6 of one and half a dozen of another. She's brand new to soap making. The way the post was worded could have been interpreted as literally licking a bar of soap. People have been injured enough to need medical attention after doing just that. The way Deanna's website instructs it, is how Kevin Dunn teaches. (A college soap chemistry teacher who's instructed students for years)

Thereby, I find Brambleberry's method of testing for zap irresponsible. A truly lye heavy soap on the delicate mucous membrane of your tongue is harmful. Although the movie clip is much appreciated; haven't seen that movie in years and will put it on our list this year!
 

Cat&Oak

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And like I said, I'm glad you have had this experience.

On that list you provided there are at least 3 that I know of that give out or imply erroneous information - however, most of them are solid knowledgeable makers.
I respect that. We are all human and none of us knows every single thing about soap making so of course there will be inaccuracies and errors. I apologize for being snarky towards you.
 

earlene

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Now that you have a clue as to why this happened, I have one other recommendation (well, more than one.)

Learn to make soap WITHOUT the perfume (re: your other thread). If you don't have any soap-appropriate fragrances, make soap without ANY added fragrance. Sure in the other thread, I did say if you want to try them, to try them, but I should have first said, 'learn to make soap first' before experimenting with adding non-soap appropriate ingredients.

Even if you don't find your candy thermometer, you don't need a thermometer to know if the lye solution is cool enough. As long as you make your lye solution ahead of time (a couple of hours is good) and let it cool (covered) to room temperature or to a temp that feels comfortable to the touch (wearing gloves & touching the OUTER SURFACE of the vessel), it should be fine, as long as it feels somewhat close in temperature to your room temperature oils.

When melting your oils, don't use too much heat. If using a stove top, use a very low setting and remove from the heat as soon as the oils are almost completely melted (the melting will continue after you remove it from the heat, as the oils holds the heat). If using a microwave, use VERY SHORT bursts of time in the oven, like 15 seconds at a time; remove it and check it; start again; check again. You do not have to melt completely in the microwave oven either; almost completely melted is fine. Stirring partially melted oils, especially the very softish hard oils like CO and lard, they will finish melting by simply stirring the already warm oils.

Try to hand-stir WITHOUT turning on the stick blender a lot more than with the SBer running. New soapmakers have a tendency to over-use the stick blender and turn soap to mush before they know it. If you think it's not enough, it probably is already too much stick blending, so RESIST the urge to give it one more pulse. Incidentally a pulse is like 1 or 2 seconds.

So back to temperatures: wear gloves. Touch the outside of the vessels and compare how warm they feel. If the oils are clear (see through to the bottom of the vessel) and the vessel feels comfortably warmish to the palms of your hands, but NOT hot, it's good. If you the lye solution feels close in touch temperature, then you should be good to mix them together. Do this slowly and carefully, limiting your impulse to pulse the SBer again & again. A couple of times, 3 at the most, and you should do the rest of it stirring by hand. In fact, if you can't resist the urge to squeeze the button, just put the SB aside and use a spoon for awhile. Look for light trace by lifting the spoon out and dribble soap batter on top. If the batter leaves a trace or line along your dribble line at first, you are at trace. It may smooth back out and that's fine. Trace speeds up with more heat. Stick Blending accelerates the chemical reaction that creates heat. So unless you want Ploppy soap, just stir without stick blending.

This is a good time to separate the soap out for adding colorants. Hand stir in the colorants also. You may want to SB the colorants, but if you do remember 1 or 2 seconds at the very most, then hand stir. Some colorants make the batter thicker, so take notice if one of them does, and get ready to pour your soap sooner. (Titanium dioxide does, and I have noticed some greens do as well, but the ones I have that thicken soap also have TD in the ingredient listing for those greens.)

You mentioned some liquid colorants. Where did you get those? Are they the kind from a craft store that sells only Melt & Pour soap? If so, then they are likely only for MP, even though it never seems to say that on the package, and will probably fade in soap (I've done it myself when new.) If they are food coloring, same thing, some will stick in CP & HP soap, but fade and some just totally disappears. Some stains your fingers, though, so we advise against food coloring in soap.
 

kagey

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People have been injured enough to need medical attention after doing just that
yeah, I call BS on that.
a quick Google of news stories where multiple persons licking a young soap required medical attention was never found.

you would have to put raw lye on your tongue and leave it there for a while... Fight Club style... for "medical attention" to be needed. 😂🤣

Sounds like a gross exaggeration to me...
 

cmzaha

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yeah, I call BS on that.
a quick Google of news stories where multiple persons licking a young soap required medical attention was never found.

you would have to put raw lye on your tongue and leave it there for a while... Fight Club style... for "medical attention" to be needed. 😂🤣

Sounds like a gross exaggeration to me...
You may call that BS but do you know that for sure. A lye heavy soap can very well have raw lye which you could get on your tongue. I for one would not risk it, I always use my finger. I have had some very lye heavy soaps, while done on purpose, I guarantee I would not test them with my tongue...:nonono::nonono:
 

Becky1024

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You are not alone! My first batch was a disaster too, but it turned out to be an awesome soap once it cured and I was hooked. You have lots of good advice on this thread, so use it and go make more!
 

earlene

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I personally burned my tongue licking a bar of soap with a crystallized lye rock. It took weeks until my tongue felt normal again.

Not to scare you, but to remind you to be very aware of the cautions required while handling lye AND raw soap, please read these links:


And those are just a few. There are many posts here at SMF where people have reported on their own personal lye injuries and lye accidents, so lye safety is very important. We share our experiences because we want to help others to avoid the same kinds of accidents, mistakes, injuries, etc.
 

Lin19687

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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.
I read this whole thread but I don't see where you got a book and studied, just YT vids.
I would stop and go get some books from the library and read up on things... also online too but stay away from the vids. So many have bad info and really you should read about how to make it, then watch a vid from a rep soapmaker and then try it out. Without scents or anything fancy. Many just start with simple oils you can get at the grocery. Shoot, mine was Crisco and I learned a bunch plus I liked it- it was Palm oil back then.
 

earlene

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I agree with @Lin19687 about reading soapmaking books. I borrowed every soapmaking book my local library carries (not very many actually) and then some from other libraries around the state, via lending program now available via intrastate library lending practices (I think most, or at least many libraries in the US do this now.)

I absolutlely recommend borrowing before purchasing soap making books, because once you read some of them, you'll decide which ones you would really prefer to own. Some that I borrowed were very good, while others were only mediocre or less-than mediocre, IMO. I have purchased a few books since then, and am still looking for one that my library carries, but is out of print. Maybe someday I'll run across that one, but so far, no luck.
 

Susie

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I am going to have to respectfully disagree on using books to learn soapmaking. Many libraries' soapmaking book list is both extremely small and extremely old. We've learned so much more now than is reflected in some of those books. Don't get me wrong, not all books are outdated, but newbies tend to follow recipes in books without running them through a lye calculator first. Don't do that. Run ALL recipes through a good lye calculator no matter where you find them. There are several calculators that are awesome. Pick one and use it every time before making a recipe.

Newbies also tend to over stickblend. It is one of the triad of most common causes of plop and pray. The others are soaping too hot and using scents that are known seizers. If you used a non-soap safe fragrance, that's a certain cause of seizing.

Remember that all of us have been where you are. No one is born knowing how to make soap. I have personally done everything you can do to ruin a batch of soap. And I am still here. I just learned better.
 

Professor Bernardo

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I was going to add my two cents here... but sometimes silence is the better part of discretion.
There are some excellent pieces of advice from very experienced soap makers here, heed their advice and take baby steps.
 

Lin19687

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I am going to have to respectfully disagree on using books to learn soapmaking. Many libraries' soapmaking book list is both extremely small and extremely old.
And I will disagree on that....... My tiny town Library has 4 soap books... 2 don't count but one is,
Pure soapmaking : how to create nourishing, natural skin care soaps by: Anne-Marie Faiola =2016
FAR from outdated and IMO a good book. The other one I have not read so I can't say but it too was in 2016.
Now it also depends on where you live, Metro, rural...But either way, reading through any of them will give you a better idea then watching some schmucky 'soapmaker' on YT that doesn't know what she's doing.

I tell anyone wanting to do soap....... READ for 3 months and I mean READ ! Books first, then online info on how to THEN come on a forum and read some more. Once you have done 1&2 you will start to understand what is going on in a forum. It irks me to no end when people ask questions that clearly has been answered 100000 times before. If they had studied first then searched, they would have understood. And this is the main reason I don't post often here anymore.
btw..... soap is a wash off product......it's not there to moisturize. If you can't understand that statement then you have a lot more studying to do
 
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