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Soap Making Problems

Problem Solving





Here is a short list of what can happen and what to do about it.




If a layer of oil rises to the top as the soap cools you may have put in too much oil. Just pour off the excess, reheat the soap, stir until trailings are visible, and put it back to bed.


If the soap curdles it is probably due to inaccurate measuring or too much of an additive. I know that sometimes you can fix this by adding borax to the soap. It was disgusting looking. This one is tough to fix. You can try to dilute it by adding more soap and water (in correct proportion). If the curdling is severe-don't even try. You will have to discard the soap.

Lye Bubbles

You will not see this right away. The bubbles will be inside the block. This is why you still wear the rubber gloves when cutting up the cured soap. Lye bubbles are caustic and will burn your skin! Cut up the batch over the sink and rinse off any lye. Allow the soap to dry as usual.

Free Fat

Doesn't sound good and it isn't! Your nose will recognize this right away. The cause is too much fat and too little lye. Just throw it away.

The soap will not come out of the mold.

Put the molds in the freezer for about an hour. The soap should slide right out.

The soap doesn't show signs of tracing.

You may have too much lye in the mixture, too much water, wrong temperature, or you may have stirred too slowly or infrequently. Try stirring more or use short bursts from a hand blender to speed things up. If it doesn't trace after 4 hours, it isn't going to happen. Most recipes should take between 20 minutes and one hour to trace.

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