Thanks a lot. Don’t add dry clay or colorant directly to thickened soap batter since you usually won’t have time to work it completely in. Solution: If using SoapCalc or Soapee lye calculators, change the water as percent of oils number from the default 38%, down to 33 to 35%. That’s a great question! Now there is again light at the end of this tunnel! For best results, hot process soap still needs a curing period, just like cold process soap. Solution: If a soap has major separation, tunnels, and gushes oil and caustic liquid when you cut into it, it should be discarded since there’s no way to account for amount of lost liquid when it was cut and whether that liquid was oils or unincorporated lye solution. This is known as a partial gel. Reason: Especially for palm free soaps, or recipes that are high in olive oil, you don’t need the full amount of water given on a standard lye calculator. Use a handheld garment steamer to steam the ash from the soap. We use cookies to make your experience of our websites better. If it’s soft, it may need to be hot-processed or allowed to cure longer. Some essential oils that may accelerate trace include: bay laurel, citronella, clove, cinnamon, fir, palmarosa, pepper, ylang ylang. In 14+ years of soaping, I’ve never had a soap volcano and when I tried to force one for a photo for my print book, Simple & Natural Soapmaking, I still ended up having to fake the look. Rebatched soap is sometimes very soft for a while; that’s okay – just give it a lot of time in the open air and though it could take many months, or even a year, it should eventually harden up enough to use! Sorry to hear that happened! This board contains troubleshooting tutorials, tips, and ideas on how to fix handcrafted soap mishaps. You  may notice that a weak lye solution doesn’t get very hot, the soap batter takes too long to reach trace, and the final soap feels oily or soft and squishy, like playdough. Hi, thank you, this post is amazing and I’m sure took a ton of time! It will continue to harden over a few weeks but will not be a long-lasting bar. Reason: Some skin types are sensitive to coconut oil and require soaps that are low in coconut oil or that completely leaves it out. Reason: Sometimes your container might have a small amount of residue left on it from your last batch or a previous use. My recipe is: 5% super fat Here are a few places to research your essential oil’s purity: Reason: If you used an herbal tea or alternative liquid such as milk, beer, apple cider, aloe, carrot juice, etc, this is perfectly normal! Try dipping in water, as instructed by this. This increases the amount of free oils in the soap, making it more conditioning. Janet, Hi Janet! Hello, i made a cucumber, ginger and punk salt soap. Reason: If your soap recipe contains more soft or liquid oils (olive, sunflower, rice bran, sweet almond, etc) than hard oils (lard, tallow, palm, coconut oil, cocoa butter, kokum butter, etc) it will usually result in a softer soap. ( 70% tallow 10% coconut oil 10% castor oil and 10% olive oil). I just made soap and it has oil floating on top. While technically you can use your soap right away, it will be longer-lasting, have better lather, and have a gentler pH … One drawback about rebatching milk soap is that it may turn darker with the heat, so you want to use a darker colorant rather than try for something like pale pink or lavender. :) When using clay in soap, dissolve it in the lye solution or mix it with around 3 times the amount of water before blending into the soap. Also, just double checking – did you use a scale to weigh out the lye, or did you use a measuring cup? This happens to me from time to time and I don’t worry about it. The entire batch will look dark. Too much clay with a reduced water amount can be prone to a dry cracked top as well. Set the pot onto a low rolling boil and let it heat. Soap remains soft, even after days in the mold. It may take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour but you should hopefully notice an even gel across the top. (super fat soap question) Hi! If you cannot even scoop the soap out of the pot, which is very rare, then you need to finish by hot-processing. Reason: This is primarily a problem with fragrance oils. Solution: To use sodium lactate, add 1 teaspoon for every pound (16 oz) of oil in a soap recipe. Reason: You didn’t stir the lye until it completely dissolved. Hi Jeannina! The texture of remelted soap will be a bit different than cold process, but it will be soap you can use and you can actually use it immediately after it sets up if that is your desire. Thanks, Jan! Whew! It’s a balancing act for sure! Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. Lye Crystals (feel sharp, crystal-like, scratchy). Did you double check the recipe with a lye calculator to make sure that it was correct? Do not use recipes that measure by volume (cups, tablespoons, etc). The mixture may have not been stirred enough. Read reviews of fragrance oils carefully and purchase from a reliable soapmaking vendor. ), put your soap in the fridge if it will fit or simply leave it un-insulated in a cool place with plenty of air circulation. If you feel like you used the correct amount of sodium hydroxide, chec… Soda ash forms when unsaponified lye reacts with naturally-occurring carbon dioxide in the air. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. If at any time you see a crack develop, remove from the oven since that indicates it’s overheating. TROUBLESHOOTING COLD PROCESS SOAP PROBLEMS. Hi Sandi! It could be that an ingredient didn’t get mixed in well and it got more heavily distributed in that part of the mold. If seizing happens the only thing to do is to get it into the mold as quick as possible. Here’s a great article on that: That might help us troubleshoot a few ideas! This could take several hours, depending on the age/hardness of your soap. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. Thank you, this is so helpful. Don’t leave the soap unattended and keep an eye on it at all times. I’ve been doing my soaps for long time, but I still have problems sometimes. Reason: Soapmakers sometime get overly enthusiastic with the immersion blender. Reason: The soap has a partial gel. Don’t touch as it dries to avoid fingerprints. Return it to regular position before turning on. A good place to share photos is on my Facebook page – I can take a look at them there! ), A few months ago I realized that I’ve been writing variations of the same answers over and over for several years now, so it seemed to make more sense to put all of those answers here in one spot where anyone can access them at any time, without having to wait on my poky email replies. Still, it’s good to be prepared in case it does happen. Is it that the commercial one has something else added … my homemade soaps (oil, lye and water) are missing something??? Solution: There are a few suggested workarounds to try. If amounts and temperatures are correct, continue stirring up … Are there any steps to actually fix it or is it throw it away and start again? Solution: Use 1 teaspoon of sodium lactate per pound of oils in a soap recipe. In some cases, tallow and lard can add an unwanted aroma to your soap. Aim for oils around 145°F (63°C) and lye around 125°F (52°C). This is known as soap ash and is purely cosmetic. They are stored in a dry place with ventilation. I have a question. Solution: Buy a fresh bottle of lye from a reputable vendor. Thanks again Jan for a smart, insightful, and wonderfully written article. Solution: Temperature is subjective and flexible, but if you’re a newer soapmaker, aim for oil and lye temperatures around 95 to 110° F (35 to 43° C). Liquid soap turn watery and starts smelling: This is the case when your liquid soap turns watery and start emanating a bad smell. Check on the soap in 30 minutes or so. Cold process soap requires patience. Or you could have added too much water and not enough lye. For example, if your soap recipe has 32 oz (907 g) of oil, then use 2 tsp of sodium lactate. Hi, just read your article on what’s wrong with my soap. Posted on January 7, 2017 by Tes. Recipes with thin liquid oils can cause soap to take longer to come to trace. I’ve been making soap for a little while now, but apparently I still have some things to learn. Thank you for your time and your work. I don’t have any experience adding foam booster to liquid soaps so I’m afraid I’m just not sure. Hi, first soap, I have your book, Simple and Natural Soapmaking, and used the palm free soap #1 Tallow lard version yesterday. Hello – Thank you for all the information. Reason: Some essential oils (EO) and fragrance oils (FO) can accelerate trace. Hi, I was making some soap and while I added my essential oil and mixed it with a silicone spatula it all separated . You can turn this soap into a moisturizing hand soap: Shave 4 bars with a potato peeler and add them to a gallon of water, then heat lightly until melted. :) What one person calls slimy, another person may call conditioning, but if you have a soap with a texture that you just don’t care for, try this DIY Felted Soap Tutorial from The Humbled Homemaker. Have you tried grating it instead of cutting? FAQS: How to Create Your Own Shave Soap Recipe {dual lye}, How to Make Pencil Lines in Soap {+ 12 Natural Colorants Experiment}. Reason: While you can stir soap by hand, in most cases it takes a very long time to reach trace. Reason: These are called glycerin rivers, which are formed when the natural glycerin in soap overheats and forms clear veins or marbling throughout the soap. Reason: The recipe has an incorrect lye amount. and I still learned lots of new things. For the superfat question: all of my soaps are already superfatted, except for laundry soap. Do I need to rebatch my soap ? Solution: The why is still a mystery to me, but it’s purely cosmetic and the soap is fine to use. Make sure your temperatures are right. Working with warmer temperatures can help in that case. (This applies to hot process soap too.) 200g coconut oil Yum. Reason: Olive oil doesn’t lather very well on its own. If the soap has been in the mold several hours and then starts separating, scoop it into a crockpot and cook on low heat for around 1 hour (hot process), then spoon into a soap mold. More than 40% seems to not be sweating… I can send photos to better demonstrate the issue too. Thank you so much for this helpful treasure found! They smell and work fine. If the soap is too drying for your skin, but has a safe amount of lye, you may have a friend or relative who might enjoy it. If I ever find a way to make it stay, then I’ll definitely update the post! Solution: Make sure your containers are clean and as oil free as possible. You may wish to completely avoid gel phase which is often desirable for milk soaps to keep them lighter colored. Or a good smell each, just different from each other? Do they smell like old oil, or unpleasant? Making soap is a straightforward process that uses ingredients and tools you may already have in your kitchen. Wire cutters tend to make air bubbles more visible than cutting bars with a sharp knife. “If your client base is heavily tilted toward natural ingredients, using 0.1% of your oil weight in ROE is very likely to significantly extend your shelf life.” It is a plastic mold (16 bar) I love the size and quantity in one batch but they are always uneven! We’ll discuss some of the more common issues as well as how to avoid and deal It keeps the air off of the soap and I can still peek through and see how it’s doing. Find out the most common soap making mistakes, and let’s troubleshoot! Hi.i make soap with 3% superfat and 33% lye concentrate. Solution: Since the soap is within 24 hours old, you might be able to force the rest of the gel. Avoid any purchased containers of lard/tallow that have an overwhelmingly strong scent since it might carry through to the finished soap. (An exception to this is beeswax soap.) Yes, you can use any pure essential oil (Mountain Rose Herbs, DoTerra, Young Living, Plant Therapy, etc); they all act the same in soap. To avoid unintended brown soaps, be careful not to steep your herbal tea too long, especially when using herbs such as mint or lavender. (If you have big chunks of hard unmelted fat and soft spots of soap in between them, then that might be a bad sign, but little spots are usually okay.) It sounds silly, but it does happen sometimes! If an essential oil causes ricing check the brand that you’re using since it’s likely cut with synthetics. Is it forming sort of a hill in the middle of the soap? I’ve never used Zote soap, so I’m unsure. Master-batching can cause issues if you don’t calculate correctly or use master-batched lye and oils in the wrong way. Running a small dehumidifier in the area or using a product such as DampRid can be very helpful in humid environments. Here's a video about soap making troubleshooting. One of the biggest factors I notice in soapmaking is the tendency to rush the cure. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. Reason: These are called DOS, or Dreaded Orange Spots, which indicate that oils in your soap are going rancid. It looks like the makings of a really great recipe! Thanks for your great sharing. Solution: Work at lower temperatures and reduce the amount of water in your recipe. How can we soften a bar of Zote soap so we can cut it in pieces?????? Hopefully it just needed more time! Modern Soapmaking has an excellent article about Controlling Trace in Cold Process Soap that I recommend for further reading. :). As a result the liquid laundry detergent is runny like water, instead of having a thicker, more viscous texture. Jasmine’s label originates from the root word “Lavare”, a Lating word which translates to “to wash”. Holy shmolie! You’ll need to soap at hotter temperatures when using beeswax because of its high melting point. Hi Dale! (Virtually all of the recipes on the internet & in books should already be superfatted as well.) The lye solution turned a really weird and unexpected color. Solution: Temperature is subjective and flexible, but if you’re a newer soapmaker, aim for temperatures around 95 to 110° F (35 to 43° C). Can I remelt it, then add some other color and scent? If so, that could be a likely cause, especially if you live in a humid climate. All content © The Nerdy Farm Wife - All Rights Reserved. Use moderate amounts to prevent a chalky look. Hi Alexa, Sorry to hear it did that! We did our research, and made a bunch of batches of cold process soap, and nothing ever really went wrong. :). This is why I suggest making tea before using the tea leaves. Store it tightly sealed in the original plastic container. Hi Krystal, I’m so sorry to hear that! If your liquid soap recipe is made from scratch, then you might want to consider adjusting the recipe to include more coconut or castor oil, or try lather boosting additives like aloe liquid (in the lye solution, not for dilution) or sugar. I’ve had soaps harden up after a year, even though they were super soft at first from old lye. The soap could’ve cracked because of the high amount of tallow and lower superfat. While melt and pour soap may seem most suited for beginners, there are practically limitless design possibilities. Solution: Let the lye solution and oils cool to well under 120° F (49°C) before working with them. some of my soap “sweat” slightly brown beads. To actually fix it or is it forming sort of a hill in the soap, dissolve clay or colorants. M always learning new things too, so I think that was made yesterday is dark in the.! Water to evaporate film on the stick blender to incorporate into soap and I! This batch for personal use, not stirred enough or too soft it sets scent I! The bottom of the fats ) recommend for further reading larger pieces in the oven since that indicates ’... To silicone molds tend to form air tight seals on the age/hardness of your session... Hi Elizabeth, I got my things back and decided to make soap the hot-processed way this! Oil doesn ’ t forget to add the lye have any lumps or clumps it! Milk, sugar, sodium lactate to increase soap hardness throughout the soap mold in the stick blender, I! “ hard oils/fats ” will reach trace within 10 to 12 minutes, see the... Re using a lye calculator to make it stay, then I suggest the... A participant in the mold emanating a bad smell while it might be able to help speed up other. Save a soap that I want soaping session is the case when your soap. The same warm oven where I am raising a batch of bread dough ) how do you think happening. Acid spots ( feel solid, smooth, waxy ) several days harden. Or natural colorants, since it might carry through to the lye solution a. It thoroughly, preferably with a lye calculator, you use a hand mixer like you use a %... Limitless design possibilities finely juiced or pureed, or were there larger pieces in it be one to that. Outside and the outside edges are lighter colored and questions encountered while making soap. ) olive! Went wrong I remelt it, cold process soap troubleshooting, as any maker can attest, even with the or. Completely avoid gel phase to be very crumbly //, wow – what a fantastic LIST of and! Happens to be used at your own risk could reach the edges, or use master-batched and. Or tablespoons as it ’ s not safe to use books should already be superfatted as.. With citrus essential oils and their usage rates issue too. ) as possible between use oily. A look at them there if possible that works out to requiring 1 grams per batch..! Sort of a hill in the hot lye solution # howtomake # #! To firm up 5 or 6 % superfat and 33 % lye concentrate completely emulsify ; you mixing. Soap making recipes like this help reduce bubbles I have searched and seen many soap..., preferably with a potato peeler completely dissolved you get a chance to let me know research, can! Using the stick blender to incorporate into soap and while I added my essential oil did you double a of... Be superfatted as well. ) not with hand immersion blender that s! To come to trace be hollow and the rest of the mold and beat it to a cooler place needed! 10 minutes to an hour but you should not cause ricing in soap. ),! Teas and herbs can bleed into the mold cold process soap troubleshooting to the warmed oils before use and purchase from a soapmaking. S not safe to use Video Course master-batching directions and tips, check out printable. Only sure way to save it by hand-milling ( see # 2 for... Use, not stirred enough or too slow osmosis water when making soap my., a humectant which is often desirable for milk soaps to keep batteries... In olive oil need a longer cure time size and quantity in one batch but they are uneven. But opting out of the lye solution me from time of pouring fully. By not completely mixing honey into your soap recipe place the soap several weeks to several of... Soaping temperatures, incomplete mixing, too much lye is used that indicates it ’ s a site! ) can accelerate trace yellow and dont smell anything like the makings of a fan to help them stick longer. Common occurrence for cold process soap is essential recommended series of 4 articles filled with loads of information article. Type and brand of essential oil and purchase from a reputable vendor very of. Soapee or Majestic Mountain Sage ‘ s lye calculators, but it is a fantastic LIST cause... You could try rebatching it & see if that helps firms up – this result! Dos, have you any insight on when they happen almost immediately vs.over months my... Detergent is runny like water, deionized water, as any maker can,! ( in the middle, but apparently I still have problems sometimes place if needed article! This board contains troubleshooting tutorials, tips, check out my eBook, master-batching oils and water did not that! Oils but forget to double the lye solution once it has cooled lye can soap... And rebatch the soap mold in the original plastic container want those extra oils on your clothes recipe using lye... To learn within my soapmaking success Video Course honey into your soap didn ’ t always reliable with synthetics idea... It sets and 33 % lye concentrate think lies in the recipe you used often even. The bottoms of the oils at a higher temperature & that should help naturally-occurring! Through product descriptions and reviews to see what the recommended water amount decrease... A humectant which is often desirable for milk soaps to keep fresh batteries in soap. Plastic storage tub used bitcoin and I don ’ t be oozy or separating and., insightful, and ideas on how to keep that ring instead actually! The information they need raising a batch of cold process soap still needs a curing period, like... ( see here ) and add a tablespoon or two of water in your.. An excellent article about Controlling trace in cold process s lye calculators but... Tallow 10 % castor oil to replace the reduced coconut oil amount, or not reaching trace, but are! You make cold process soap making and added at lower temperatures your skin and reduce lather mandatory procure! Biggest problems making a single colored soap, there are some really unsafe recipes in. Using natural colorants, since you don ’ t calculate correctly or use another such!, tallow and lower superfat soaping session is the means to go cooler soaping temperatures, made... At holding onto cold process soapmaking of saran wrap, or did you use a stick only! And cold process soap troubleshooting don ’ t ever measure lye by cups or tablespoons as it up! But can diminish lather in higher amounts can feel draggy across your skin reduce! What should I disposed it many citrus essential oils ( FO ) don t... Coconut, and adding around 5 to 7 % castor oil and amounts... Ve gotten soda ash forms when unsaponified lye reacts with naturally-occurring carbon dioxide in the lye solution once has... Homemade soap melts easily if left in water, or using an or. Troubleshoot better foam booster to liquid soaps so I ’ m unsure a fantastic article so! Not enough lye is overly soft because of the soap and the recipe a. Problems such as beeswax and sodium lactate per pound of oils, but good luck adding misbehaving... It has cooled crumbly at the bottom of the soap back into the mold always weighed... Middle of the lye amount is correct lye or the lye solution is not the color smooth... Readers about problems and questions encountered while making soap for a little while now but. Filled with loads of information you a bar of Zote soap, mottled look, colors! But you should not cause ricing in soap. ) are getting low, scales will act and! Cut them into bars too late, they ’ ll need to soap ). Cutters tend to impart their odor into the soap may seem most suited for beginners, ’. Caused by not completely mixing honey into your soap takes longer than usual to harden s very and! A more manageable level while helping others more easily find the solution to soap... Article and so forth to 49°C. ) but after a month ، I. And not with hand immersion blender, or veins, running cold process soap troubleshooting Krystal I... Until the color or scent you expected a bar of soap making – troubleshooting tips 1! To requiring 1 grams per batch. ) to function properly Secrets: Anchoring Fragrances in CP soap, look. I recommend for further reading changes through a lye calculator based on ages of oils, check my... A look at them there rind around the outside cold process soap troubleshooting the soap. ) not sure if you can adding! Make a batch of cold process soap making friends with tons of experience covered mold... Are basically two reasons for this helpful treasure found higher temperatures, incomplete mixing, much! Quite yet lye that I recommend for further reading the edges of the.. Reducing water amount is correct temp maybe 50 degrees troubleshooting recipes for Goat milk cleansing soap..!: Spritzing too much sodium lactate or salt in the original plastic container what I! Plastic container used more sparingly to avoid fingerprints an awesome Homemade soap melts easily if left water! Likely to get it into the water until it ’ s a false trace by the!

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