Homemade soap problem

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I made a batch of what was called extra nice and healing soap yesterday. I wrapped it and uncovered it this afternoon. There is oil lying on the top of the soap that has hardened some. I have been told to rebatch it by heating it to 110 degrees and not over 120 degrees and stir until it traces but don't know whether to add the oil that is on top. I have been told that the reason it separated is because I had too much oil in the mix. This is a new recipie to me and have never tried it before. I got it off the internet but have no notes as to where it came from. Can someone give me some input. I am aware that if the first rebatch does not work that there is no turning back so I want to do it right the first time. Also, I was told that one could just drain off the oil and let the mix go ahead and cure out. I need some help, please? Thanks. Jean from Iowa

-- Jean (kjean@i-rule.net), October 30, 2001


I don't know about pouring off the oil....I have never had luck with reheating and that sort of thing (re batching) it never seems to work..tried pouring off the oil and letting it cure once too....that produced a soft, harsh soap..not very nice...certainly not healing. How was the weather when you made your soap?? I finally figured out...takes me awhile for some things...that every failure I have had in soapmaking was on a rainy or foggy day...the drier the weather..the better my soap turns out. Havn't had a failure in a couple years now..but I only make soap on dry sunny days. I hope this helps for next time. I hope your current batch is salvageable!!

-- Jenny (auntjenny6@aol.com), October 30, 2001.

If it was my soap I would check to make sure there was no bubbles of lye inside that didn't get mixed in. If there seemed to be solid soap I would pour off the oil and continue to dry as usual. I rebatch some soaps and add extra ingredients and EO's, just grate it while still moist(wear gloves) add a little water, reheat really slow, and stir very little, add more water if it looks dry on the bottom. Hope this helps.

-- Terri in NS (terri@tallships.ca), October 30, 2001.

I hate to be negative, but I have been making soap for years and the few times I have rebatch, recently because the color of lavender looked to gray to me, no luck. I have had a few years back a few separations. Never by the way with a stick blender but anyway I grate them and use them as laudry soap. Also, once I pour off the oil on top stuck it in a drawer and many months later opened the drawer to very nice hand soap. Plus, it is possible to leave it another day or too and see what happens. Did you use goat milk, the worst mess I did was use honey with the goatmilk. That was dig a hole and dump mess.

-- Debbie (bwolcott@cwis.net), October 30, 2001.

I haven't been making soap long, but I learned to check EVERY recipe with the lye calculators. I use three: soapcrafters.com; cranberrylane.com and www.thesage.com. They are all a little different, but serve to determine if I have the right portions of oil/water/lye. I would suggest you check your recipe first before you can make a decision about what to do with the oil on top. If the calculators indicate that your recipe has too much oil, just get rid of the stuff on top. If they say it is balanced, rebatch with all the ingredients. If the calculators indicate that your recipe is lye- heavy, you may do better to convert it all to laundry detergent rather than risk it on your skin.

-- Danni (warking@cccomm.net), October 30, 2001.

i believe the reason your soap seperated was the oil and lye were not the correct temp when you incorperated them. i ahvent had much luck myself the few times mine seperated. i threw it out.

-- cody (urbusted@alltel.net), October 31, 2001.

I had the same thing happen to a batch of soap. Reheat and stir the oil back into the soap and stir BRISKLY until it traces. It wasn't stirred enough. One of the things I had trouble getting through my head was the need to really mix the soap. You almost have to whip it. Some people have bought those hand held wand type mixers they use only for their soap. repour your soap and cover it well. Check after one day. If it serarates again, I'd say throw it away.

-- Patricia Ramsey (WOOLSPIN@AOL.COM), November 01, 2001.

Thanks so much for all of your input. I did rebatch the soap and did readd the oil. It took a long time to melt back down and I know that I got it over 120 degrees. It was a really gooey mess but when it melted, I poured it into the molds. It hardened up and I popped it out. It is not caustic and I am pleased that the attempt was made to make it usable. I am thinking that I did not let it trace enough. Sure do appreciate all the encouragement and tips on soap making. Thanks again. Jean

-- Jean (kjean@i-rule.net), November 02, 2001.

I just wanted to contribute that on my first batch of soap it came out to hard, which is due to incorrect measurements, but it wasn't caustic and I simply chopped it up into pieces added a little water at a time and a little more oil and remelted until pudding like and then repoured. I really thought it wouldn't work, but was amazed that it came out perfect. I am sure it matters what type of recipe you are using, but I look at soap as an adventure and just play with what you know and don't be afraid to try something a little different. My expert "troubleshooting" pages I have read in my soap searching has offered many situations where soap should be tossed, I have found as long as not caustic I can remelt and play with. Worse case scenerio I have a great liquid soap for my hands or my dogs shampoo. :) Keep trying don't give up!!

-- Lisa Gurnsey (blondiebiker@yahoo.com), November 28, 2001.

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