Tag Archives: soap making problems

Jun
26

Soap Making Terms


This entry was posted in cold process soap, cold process soap scents, cold process soap vs melt and pour soap, free soap recipes, handcrafted soap, hot vs cold process soap, how to make cold process soap, melt and pour soap, Natures Garden, soap, soap fragrance, soap making problems, Soap making supplies, soap recipe, soap scent, soapmaking, wholesale fragrance oils and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

Soap Making Terms

If you want to learn about different soaping methods and get help for potential problems, then it helps to know common soap making terms. Whether you are a beginner or experienced, you are likely to come across something new with your batches at least once. So, we are here to help you understand what to do and how to solve any soap-making issues.

Soap Making Terms: How Much Fragrance Oil Can I Add to Soap?

While you should always check the usage rate for each individual fragrance, the maximum that we recommend is 5%. Sometimes you can a scent where the IFRA sheet allows more and you can do more if you’d like. After you know the usage rate, you just need to do some simple multiplication to figure out how much scent you need.

Formula: Weight of Soap x Usage Rate = Weight of Fragrance Oil
Example: 912 grams of soap x 0.05 (which is a 5% usage rate) = 45.6 grams of fragrance

Soap Making Terms: Why Did My Soap Turn Brown?

Often fragrance oils that contains a high amount of Vaniilin will turn soap brown. Also, the color will be a darker brown with scented oils with higher amounts of Vanillin. We can use Vanilla White Color Stabilizer to reduce these effects and still use the scent. Since this ingredient is added to provide a vanilla scent, strong vanilla fragrance oils will almost always turn soap brown without the color stabilizer.

Soap Making Terms: Can I Use Essential Oils in Soap Making?

Yes, essential oils can be used to scent soap. We find that essential oils hold up better in MP soap than in soap made from scratch. This is because the saponification process can cook off the essential oil, which doesn’t have middle notes to anchor the scent. You may have some scent after the soaps cure, but it won’t be as strong as it is in MP soap.

Soap Making Terms: How Much Essential Oil Can I Use in Soap?

This can be different for each essential oil, so you will need to check the IFRA sheet for the usage rate. Then, you can figure out how much you need using the same method as you would for fragrance oils.

Soap Making Terms: How Do You Make Soap White?

You can add titanium dioxide to soaps to make them white. In fact, many of our white soap bases use this ingredient. If you wanted, you could use this ingredient to turn your clear soaps to white.

Soap Making Terms: What is Melt and Pour Soap Making?Soap Making Terms: What is Melt and Pour Soap Making?

Another option for soap making is melt and pour soap. This method starts with a soap base that has already gone through the saponification process. So, you cut need to cut and melt the amount your need before you are ready to add colorants, fragrance, or herbs. Then, you can pour the melted soap into a mold and spray the top with rubbing alcohol. As soon as the soap is hardened, it is ready to use!

Soap Making Terms: How Much Melt and Pour Soap Will I Need for My Mold?

For each ounce by volume in your mold you will need 31 grams of soap. Say the soap mold will hold 16 ounces, you will need 496 grams of soap

Formula: Constant Value for Soap Needed to Fill Mold x Volume of Mold = Weight of Soap
Example:
31 grams per ounce x 16 ounce mold = 196 grams of MP soap

Soap Making Terms: How Long Should Melt and Pour Soap Stay in the Mold?

This can vary based on the size of soap you are creating. Smaller soaps will take less time compared to bigger soaps. Just make sure that they are hardened all the way before you remove them. Also, you should be able to feel that the mold is no longer warm to touch.

Soap Making Terms: How Do I Get My Melt and Pour Soap Out of the Mold?

While you should be able to hold your molds upside down and lightly push, sometimes they get stuck. If you place your soaps in the refrigerator for a short amount of time, this should make it easier for you to remove your mp soap.

Soap Making Terms: How Do I Get Fingerprints Off My Melt and Pour Soap?

Sometimes when you are removing your soaps from the mold, you can transfer a fingerprint. Just use some rubbing alcohol to dampen a cotton swab and  gently swab the fingerprint. It should begin to fade as you do this.

Soap Making Terms: Can Melt and Pour Soap Be Used Right Away?

Of course! The saponification process is already complete before you get your soap base. So, there is no active lye to worry about. This means that you can use your soaps as soon as they harden.

Soap Making Terms: Why Is My Melt and Pour Soap Sweating?

There are a few reasons why your soap would sweat. First, it could be due to adding too much oil. Whether it is fragrance oil or carrier oil, the soap can only hold on to so much before the oil begins to leak out to create beads on the surface. More often, it is due to the soap drawing moisture from the air. Since your soap base uses vegetable glycerin, a humectant, it will draw moisture to it. Although this is great for you skin, it can lead to your soap sweating . However, you can prevent the latter by wrapping your soap as soon as it comes out of the mold. This way it can’t pull moisture from the air.

 

Soap Making Terms: What is Hot Process Soap Making?Soap Making Terms: What is Hot Process Soap Making?

Another way to make soap from scratch is hot process soap. This process is very similar to cold process soapmaking. However, in this method you will have a heat source to speed up the saponification process. You can use a crock pot or stove top to heat your soap mixture. After, you can technically use the bars immediately. However, letting them cure a week will provide you with harder, milder bars.

Soap Making Terms: Does Natures Garden Offer Any Hot Process Soap Recipes with Shea Butter?

Yes, we have a few! For example, we have our Manly Soap Recipe, the Beard Soap Recipe, and more that you can find under the Hot Process Soap Recipes page!

Soap Making Terms: How Long Do You Have to Wait to Use Hot Process Soap?

Yes. Although you don’t have to wait as long for your soaps to cure, there is still some lye left that needs to react. Typically, you will need to wait 1-2 week(s) before using your hp soap.

Soap Making Terms: What Does Rebatch Mean?

If you want to redo a soap batch or add more ingredients, then this is a great idea for you! It is common to rebatch to correct issues like seizing or forgotten ingredients. Also, this can be done to add ingredients that wouldn’t react well during the saponification process, like natural exfoliates or essential oils. First, take the soaps that you aren’t necessarily pleased with and grate them into pieces. Place these pieces in a crock pot and melt them with milk, water, or another liquid to prevent scotching. Also, add any additional oils that you want in these soaps. Allow you batch to reheat for one hour at which point it will by thick. After, add the color, scent, and herbs before scooping this soap into a mold.

Soap Making Terms: What is Cold Process Soap Making?Soap Making Terms: What is Cold Process Soap Making?

This process is one of a few that are refereed to as making soap from scratch because in uses water, lye, and oils to create bars of soap. Another key characteristic of this method is that you don’t need outside heat, as the lye provide enough heat for saponification. Once trace occurs, you are able to add colorants, scented oils, and herbs can be added at this point. After 24 hours, you can remove the soap from the mold and cut. However, you must let your soap cure for a period of 4-6 weeks.

Soap Making Terms: What is Lye in Soap Making?

Lye is a caustic base that is a key component for soap, as it drives the saponification process. It is sometimes referred to as sodium hydroxide for bar soaps and potassium hydroxide for liquid soaps.

Soap Making Terms: What Does Saponification Mean?

This is the process of lye reacting with the oils/fats/butters to produce soap. Saponification will produce both the soap and the glycerin in the soap.

Soap Making Terms: What Does Cure Time Mean?

Cure time is the period where the soap finishes the soaponification process until there is no more active lye present in the bars.

Soap Making Terms: What Does the Term Trace Mean in Soap Making?

In soaping, trace is when the lye water and the oils/butters have been fully combined. You will know that you’ve hit trace because the batter will thicken to a pudding-like consistency. Also, you can check to see whether you are at trace by using a spatula to “trace” a line of soap in the batter. You will notice that the line will not immediately disappear and you can see a trace of the soap you drizzled in.

Soap Making Terms: What Does Light Trace Mean in Soap Making?

Light trace is the point right before your soap comes to trace. You will begin to see a trace, but it won’t stay for more than a few seconds. So, the batter is about to hit trace where it will be thick enough to see the soap for a bit longer.

Soap Making Terms: How Long Does It Take for Soap Batter to Get to Trace?

The time is takes to get to trace will vary between batches for a number of reasons. The ingredients in a recipe can lead to different times. Also, fragrance oils and some soap additives can accelerate or slow trace in your batch.

Soap Making Terms: What Does Seize Mean in Soap Making?

If your soap seizes, then it means that your soap has gone through saponification enough that the batter is beginning to turn from liquid to solid. While this isn’t bad on its own, it makes it impossible to pour soap that is still in the bowl. This hardening soap that hasn’t yet made it to the mold will be too thick to mix and, at best, will be chunky in the mold.

Soap Making Terms: Why Do I Have Lye Pockets in My Cold Process Soap?

If you use too much lye in your soap recipe, then you can
Lye pockets can form in cold process soap most often when too much lye is used. However, it could also be a recipe that wasn’t properly formulated, an oil was left out, the soap seized, or even when the lye solution was not fully mixed. If the lye was not completely saponified you can always rebatch the soap and hot process the soap adding additional oil. Also, it is possible that it could be used in recipes such as laundry soaps that can utilize soap with a higher pH level.

Soap Making Terms: Can I Change the Soap Making Recipes?

Unlike many other bath and body recipes, you can’t simply swap out oils in the Natures Garden formulated recipe. Each oil has a certain saponification value that determines how much lye it will react with. So, switching an oil could result in your batch being lye heavy. Even if you wait longer to cure, there won’t be enough oils to react with the lye and the bars will irritate the skin or even cause burning. Instead, use SoapCalc to determine what you would have to change to get the recipe that you want!

Soap Making Terms: Reach Out to UsSoap Making Terms: Reach Out to Us

If you have any other questions or concerns about soapmaking, then please reach out to us! One easy way to ask us something is on social media. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Have fun soaping!

 

Apr
06

Taiwan Soap Problems


This entry was posted in bath and body, bath products, Natures Garden, soap, soap making problems, Soap making supplies, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

taiwan soap problemsTaiwan Soap Problems

Hello everyone! As I’m sure you all know, lately I’ve been experimenting with making many different soap recipes. One of the recipes I made this week was actually a Taiwan Swirl Soap. It seemed like such a gorgeous idea and I figured I could handle that! Well, I actually ended up making this soap twice, because the first time I tried out this recipe, I ended up having quite a few problems! However, being a beginner, these problems were actually a great learning experience.

One of my first problems was temperature. In cold process soap making, you have to wait for your lye water and oils to cool down to the right temperature before creating your soap. The most common temperature used is around 100 degrees Fahrenheit. However, for cold process soaping, if you wait until your lye and oils have gone down to room temperature (72 degrees Fahrenheit) and are within ten degrees of each other, the lower temperature will actually give you more time to work and create your soap. On my first batch of this soap, I did not wait to soap at 72 degrees. Instead, I began the soap making process at 100 degrees. The higher temperatures gave me less time to work and my soap ended up setting up much faster than I wanted!

Because my soap set up faster than I wanted, I had problems creating my swirls in this batch of soap. By the time that I was pouring the top of the soap, it had already begun to harden and clump. As you can see in the picture below, by the time I was able to begin swirling the top of the soap, the blue topping was already setting up. This caused the swirling effect not to turn out.

taiwan soap problems

 

I also colored the base the exact same blue as the blue on top. In theory, we thought a blue base with blue, pink, purple, and white on top would be beautiful! In reality, because they were the exact shade of blue, it was not an appealing look. For the second batch, I added all four colors throughout the entire soap and swirled them. This gave a gorgeous effect instead of just having random colors on only parts of the top of the soap.

Always remember, soaping at a lower temperature will give you so much more time to work to create your soap! If you soap at higher temperatures, you will have to work faster to create it all. While my Taiwan Soap problems were minor, I thought you would all like to know what happened! For all the experienced soap makers out there, I would love to hear about any problems you’ve encountered making a soap like this! Please contact us here at Nature’s Garden! You can always contact us if you have any thoughts, questions, or concerns as well! Make sure to go and check out all of our amazing free recipes and classes! Remember to keep watching for even more Enlightened by Layla!

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Apr
01

Spearmint Soap Problems


This entry was posted in bath and body, bath products, Natures Garden, soap, soap making problems, Soap making supplies, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

spearmint soap problemsSpearmint Soap Problems

Hello everyone! As you know, I’ve recently been making many different soap recipes and learning more and more about the soap making process. We posted a blog about the wonderful Spearmint Soap I made using our Spearmint Fragrance Oil, and now I’m back to tell you all about some of the problems I had making that gorgeous gray and green soap. That beautiful soap was actually my second time making this recipe, and as I’m sure you’ve figured out, the first time didn’t go so well! In the first recipe, instead of doing green and gray swirls, I instead tried out just an all-over green base.

One of my first problems was with my white topping for the soap. I had researched so many different pictures and had seen so many lovely whipped soap toppings that I thought this was one soap I could easily whip up and create myself! However, once I had prepared and poured my green soap base, I was waiting for my white topping to set up to a frosting consistency so that I would be able to fluff it all over the top of the soap. However, while I was waiting, I panicked and poured the white on top way too soon. This caused my top to not be able to peak as well as not being fluff-like. Because I poured too soon and my topping was still not fully set up, this also caused part of the white to sink into the green soap since the green soap was not fully set up either. You can definitely see the sinking after the soap was cut, there were no straight lines and you can see the spots where the topping sank right in! So for all of you other soap makers out there, always make sure to give your topping enough time to set up, or else you will end up with your topping sinking into your base! You also won’t be able to peak the top like you want!

Another big problem I had was using way too much green colorant for the base of my soap. Instead of coming out with a beautiful mint green color like the remake, the green of my first Spearmint Soap was a dark hunter-like green. While there is nothing wrong with a hunter green, this color did not go with the Spearmint theme. Once I completed the remake, this soap turned out absolutely beautiful! Have any of you experienced soap makers out there had any mistakes like these? I would love to hear about them! Please contact me here at Nature’s Garden, or you can always contact us here with any thoughts, concerns, or questions that you may have! Make sure to check out all of our wonderful free recipes and classes! You’re sure to adore each and every one of our recipes! Make sure to check out all of our Soap Classes as well to help you along! Make sure to keep watching for even more Enlightened by Layla!

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Mar
27

Sodium Lactate in Soap


This entry was posted in bath and body, bath products, Natures Garden, soap making problems, Soap making supplies, sodium lactate and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

sodium-lactate-in-soapSodium Lactate in Soap

Hello everyone! I’m sure you’ve seen from most of my recent blogs that I’ve been experimenting with making many different soaps lately. I recently attempted making a Tiger Swirl Soap, and I actually had one major problem with it! While it was a beginner’s problem, I’m actually glad it happened so that I could learn from it! Have you ever experienced any problems while using sodium lactate in soap? For the base of this soap, I used our Shea Butter Cold Process Soap recipe, which happens to have 181 grams of Palm Oil in it. The palm oil actually contributed to the problem I had with using a high amount of sodium lactate in the soap.

In my Tiger Swirl Soap, I included Sodium Lactate in my recipe. Since Sodium Lactate helps to make your soap easier to remove from your mold, it seemed like a wonderful ingredient to include in my recipe! I added 55 grams of our Sodium Lactate to my lye water and thought that I was going to be so much better off! I finished my soap and it came out quite beautifully, beautiful bright orange, white, and bright green swirls! This was one soap that all of us here at Nature’s Garden were extremely excited about!

However, when we finally removed my Tiger Swirl soap from its mold and attempted to cut it, it just kept falling apart. This soap would literally just crumble in our hands. We were so disappointed, but then we tried to figure out what our problem might have been. First we thought maybe our calculations were off? But then we got to thinking about the Sodium Lactate since this was the first soap I’ve ever made with that particular ingredient. Sodium Lactate is used in cold process soap to help make a harder bar of soap. It can also be used to help your soap set up faster, so that you can remove it from your mold sooner!

After some research, we finally figured out my problem! Because I already had a high amount of Palm Oil in my soap, the addition of high levels of sodium lactate actually hardened the soap more than what we would have liked. This was caused because the combination of Palm Oil and Sodium Lactate made my soap way too hard and crumbly.

Don’t worry, these beautiful orange and green swirls will be back! I’m going to remake this soap without the Sodium Lactate and see how it turns out then! I will be back to report! While using a high amount of Sodium Lactate with Palm Oil is apparently not a good idea, you can still use just a small amount. For example, in the Aqua Di Gio soap I made after the Tiger Swirl, I only used 8 grams. (I still used our Shea Butter Soap for that base.) That soap turned out absolutely perfect! However, now we do recommend using Sodium Lactate mainly in palm-free recipes. Have you ever had any problems using sodium lactate in soap? I would love to hear from you! Make sure to check out all of our free classes and recipes, and keep watching for more Enlightened by Layla!

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Mar
19

Swirl Soap Problems


This entry was posted in bath and body, bath products, cold process soap, Natures Garden, soap, Soap making supplies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

swirl soap problemsSwirl Soap Problems

I have recently been experimenting with making all kinds of soap, but I had quite a few problems making my first batch of in-the-pot swirl cold process soap. I was attempting to make a soap with the signature colors of Nature’s Garden swirled into it. Wouldn’t that be so cool? We thought so, and I was so excited to try it out! However, as I’m still a newbie to the soap making process, I had quite a few problems!

One of the first problems I had was getting my colors to thoroughly disperse in my soap mixture. After having completely mixed the oils and butters with my lye water and pouring into separate bowls to mix colors, I was having problems with getting my colors mixed thoroughly. Especially the blue. As you can see in the picture below, my blue pigment ended up not mixing completely, which left little blue speckles throughout my finished soap. This is possibly caused by the color separating within its bottle. Do you know what to do if this happens to you? Deb has taught me that if I notice my color has separated, that it can be fixed by mixing it with vegetable glycerin and agitating.

swirl soap problems

 

 

 

See all the blue speckles?

 

 

 

One of my other swirl soap problems was that I did not mix my colored soap batters long enough. While this does coincide with not mixing my blue thoroughly, it did cause a completely different problem apart from the speckles. When the colored batters were still in their separate containers, I should have kept mixing them until they came to a slight trace. (Trace happens when the batter has begun to thicken. If you hold your spoon or mixer over your bowl with some batter still on and it leaves little trails on top, then it is at trace.) Instead of bringing each colored bowl to trace, I only brought them to the emulsification stage. This caused my colors to dissolve into each other while they were in the mold instead of producing an actual distinctive swirl.

swirl soap problems

 

 

 

There should have been a swirl instead of how the colors have just blended into each other here.

 

 

I would love to hear about any problems you’ve had with in the pot swirl technique, or just soap making in general! I’m just a newbie at this, so I am actually glad that I have been having these problems so I can learn from them! Soap making is so much fun! I’m getting ready to remake this recipe so I’ll be back to let you all know what happens! Please contact us here at Nature’s Garden if you have any thoughts, questions, or concerns!

Make sure to check out all of our wonderful free recipes and classes, you’re sure to find some awesome recipes that you’ll absolutely adore! And our classes are perfect for any new soap makers out there like myself, I highly recommend reading through them all, as you can learn so many valuable things about soap making! I’d love to hear all of your feedback on any soap making problems so that I can learn from them as well! Keep watching for even more Enlightened by Layla!

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