# When to rebatch - soaping mistake

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#### straightofgoods

##### New Member
I just finished up with a 1 lb batch of soap and realized that I left out the .8 oz of castor oil. The recipe has a superfat of 5 %.

Should I re batch the bars? At what point should I re batch my failed soap recipes?

We need to know your complete recipe in order to offer accurate advice.

My recipe was based on a recipe from Anne L. Watson's Smart Soapmaking. The total oil weight was 16 oz.

Coconut Oil 4.8 oz
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼Olive Oil 5.6 oz
Shea Butter 4.8 oz
Castor Oil .8 oz

Water 6.1 oz
Lye 2.2 oz

The water % to lye was 38%. Superfatted at 5%. No fragrance.

Let me know if I missed anything!

My calc is suggesting your new superfat is about 3%. That's reasonable. But don't take my word as the answer -- I've been seriously wrong once already this weekend! So check for yourself.

The method of figuring this out -- Enter the revised recipe (the one w/o castor) into your favorite soap calc and figure out what superfat results in a lye weight of 2.2 ounces for this recipe.

This will be a trial and error thing -- Enter your best guess for the superfat, calculate the lye weight, check if the calculated lye weight = 2.2 ounces. If the lye weight is not 2.2 ounces, then make another guess of the superfat, enter that number as the new superfat, recalc the lye weight, check if the new calculated lye weight = 2.2 oz. Repeat until the calculated lye weight is about 2.2 ounces.

You already know the new superfat is going to be under 5%, so that gives you a good starting point for your first guess.

Try it and see if you can answer the question on your own.

As far as whether you should rebatch ... I would not, because the soap should be fine as-is. But I don't know what constitutes a "failed soap" in your opinion, so you might decide to rebatch a soap that I would not.

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I was feeling a little defeated when I realized my mistake and I wasn't sure how to figure out if the soap still had a superfat percentage. I was scared that my soap recipe would end up with too much lye and had to be thrown out.

I ran the revised recipe through a lye calculator and got a 2% superfat! I am not going to rebatch it. Based on the lye calculator, it may be a little high in the cleansing but it is still in a good range in terms of conditioning. Lesson learned: Have all your ingredients on the table!

Lesson learned: Have all your ingredients on the table!

I make a list of ingredients and their weights ( besides the soapcalc printout). It really helps me get all the right stuff in at the correct masses ( weights). Must have something to do with the way I get (squirrel) distracted ( oooh something shiney) easily.
I check off each ingredient as I go. Really limits the number of "what's wrong with this batch?" events.

Another thought -- If you added the castor at trace with the hope that this will ensure castor is the superfat in your CP soap ... don't bother. Many soapers do this, but this practice only makes it more likely you'll forget to add the fat. It doesn't have any effect on what fats are left as the superfat. At trace the process of saponification has just begun, so the lye will have hours to react with whatever fats it wants to. Just add all the oils to your soap pot right away.

And PS -- A slight lye excess can actually disappear during a 6-8 week cure. So even if your soap ended up with, say, a -1% to -5% superfat, I might have counseled patience and "tincture of time" for the soap.

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I check off my ingredients as I weigh them out (in separate containers, just in case I run out of something), then highlight them as I add them to the pot. This keeps me from forgetting something. I learned this the hard way.

I line up my bottles of fats and put each away or in a different area as it is measured and added.

In addition to doing and/or all the above (writing down, checking off, highlighting, etc) I finish with one final step - my scale. Before I start adding oils I weigh my empty mixing container and write that number down. You can write it on your recipe paper or do what I do, write it on the ouside of the container with a sharpie type marker. When I have all my oils in the bowl I weigh the whole thing. It should equal the total weight of the oils plus the weight of the bowl. So one of my recipes has 36oz of oils and the bucket I use to mix this batch weighs 2.05oz. Before I add the lye water I put the bucket on the scale and verify the total weight is 38.05oz (36 + 2.05 = 38.05). This one last simple step has saved me a few times when I may have forgotten to add something.

DeeAnna, you are a superstar!

Thank you for telling me about how a slight excess lye may disappear with time! I originally intended to add the castor oil to my oils before adding the lye but I still forgot. It is good to know that adding castor at trace doesn't control it becoming a superfat. I have a lot more to learn!

The soap looks good 24 hours later. I will unmold it and test it with a litmus paper a few weeks from now to just be sure.
This is a great suggestion! Definitely something I will start to do!

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Don't bother with the pH test paper either. It doesn't tell you whether your soap is lye heavy or not. You should learn to zap test -- it's a more specific test for excess lye. I recommend that newbie soapers be very cautious with a zap test. Absolutely do not test soap batter or any soap the day or two after it's made. When you do zap test, do it carefully. Here is how I zap test --

Dampen your fingertip, swipe it on the soap, and very lightly touch your fingertip to your tongue. If you do a cautious zap test like this, and the soap is lye heavy, even slightly, you won't have to ask yourself if it zapped. It's unmistakable and immediate like a static shock.

If you find yourself wondering or if the reaction takes a bit to happen, you're probably reacting to the taste of the soap itself or some of the ingredients in your soap. Fragrances can be nasty tasting even though they might smell wonderful.

In any case, if there's any kind of unpleasantness going on in your mouth, spit, don't swallow, and rinse well with cool water until the unpleasantness is gone.

I have always said I should, but I don't always follow through with it, weigh out ALL of your oils and ingredients separately before you touch ANYTHING else!

I had everything out, right? My milk ice cubes are sitting out, melting-ish to room temperature in a measuring jar (already pre measured and double checked to 8 oz!) and I had already poured my .4 oz of distilled water to get them going and bring my liquid up to where it needed to be. My oatmeal was out and ground. My olive and coconut oils were already weighed (2 big, brand new bottles, no problems there!). and as I was weighing out my shea butter, I totally forgot I only had about 4 oz in stock (exactly 3.8!), and the recipe required 5 oz.

Yeah. No. Not going out on a Sunday night to pick that up. Not happening. Not with the milk already melting and the only thing I had left to weigh was the lye. And I was already in it, because I mix all of my oils in one jar as I weigh them out because I heat them up together to get them up to temperature. I ended up winging it and threw in some more oil to bring my oils up to the total needed. We'll see how it turns out! Really, really not what I wanted. :think:

Superfat and lye amount stayed the same, but still.

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Been there, done that, Jessica! Welcome to the soaper's version of "Necessity is the Mother of Invention" club. You'll be contacted with the secret password and secret handshake instructions shortly.

I have always said I should, but I don't always follow through with it, weigh out ALL of your oils and ingredients separately before you touch ANYTHING else!

I had everything out, right? My milk ice cubes are sitting out, melting-ish to room temperature in a measuring jar (already pre measured and double checked to 8 oz!) and I had already poured my .4 oz of distilled water to get them going and bring my liquid up to where it needed to be. My oatmeal was out and ground. My olive and coconut oils were already weighed (2 big, brand new bottles, no problems there!). and as I was weighing out my shea butter, I totally forgot I only had about 4 oz in stock (exactly 3.8!), and the recipe required 5 oz.

Yeah. No. Not going out on a Sunday night to pick that up. Not happening. Not with the milk already melting and the only thing I had left to weigh was the lye. And I was already in it, because I mix all of my oils in one jar as I weigh them out because I heat them up together to get them up to temperature. I ended up winging it and threw in some more oil to bring my oils up to the total needed. We'll see how it turns out! Really, really not what I wanted. :think:

Superfat and lye amount stayed the same, but still.
When that happens to me because I have overpoured an oil, I also pour all oils in one bucket that I have marked the bucket weight in case of error, I simply go back to soap calc and re-adjust the numbers. It is easy to pour off or add in liquid if necessary. There have been times knowing the buckets tare weight saved a batch because I knew I missed an oil and forgot which one. It is easy to figure out when you know your beginning weight.

When that happens to me because I have overpoured an oil, I also pour all oils in one bucket that I have marked the bucket weight in case of error, I simply go back to soap calc and re-adjust the numbers. It is easy to pour off or add in liquid if necessary. There have been times knowing the buckets tare weight saved a batch because I knew I missed an oil and forgot which one. It is easy to figure out when you know your beginning weight.

I use a glass mason jar big enough to hold 30 oz of oils that I can't remember how much it weighs right now. It's written down somewhere! Usually, I put it on my scale and zero my scale, and just pour all of my oils into it to bring them to the total weight needed for the recipe.

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