Not sure what I did wrong

Discussion in 'Soap Making' started by Kai, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. Kai

    Kai New Member

    Hi, I'm new here. Found this forum, because I was trying to figure out what did I do wrong with my last batch of soap.

    I did everything the same as my previous soaps, that turned out just fine. The only difference was a bigger batch.

    I figured something was not right as soon as I finished mixing the lye in to my milk. I used frozen milk as usual and kept adding little bits of lye. It didn't get too hot. I still had a chunk of ice floating in there by the time I was done mixing the lye in. Once the ice got dissolved it was at 93F. However there were tiny white chunks in there. The chunks weren't clumped up lye. It looked more like a milk fat or milk protein. The milk was frozen fresh. The lye was a good quality Hot Red Devil lye granules.
    I did it the same way before and I never had any chunks in it.
    I researched online, and only found it mentioned once someplace. Don't remember where. Using a stick blender was supposed to take care of it. It didn't. I reached the trace just fine.
    I still have the white chunks in the soap though.
    The previous batches turned out great. Soap was even, shiny and nice to use.
    This one is still in molds, since I only made it yesterday. I can still smell the lye when I smell the soap. I thought maybe I put too much lye. I rechecked my amounts in the lye calculator. Used digital scale and the exact amounts the lye calculator gave me.
    Anyone can tell me what happened?

    Here is the recipe I used:
    Lard: 75oz
    Virgin olive oil: 15oz
    Coconut oil (76F): 35oz
    Sunflower oil: 23.5oz

    Goat milk: 49.1oz
    Lye: 20.9oz
  2. hsmomof4

    hsmomof4 New Member

    The white bits are probably milk fat. Sometimes, when you freeze milk, it separates a bit, and it sounds like it didn't get warm enough to melt them. If that's all this is, it's just a cosmetic issue and it will be fine to use the soap. You might have soaped cooler this time than the last time, and if the temperatures are lower, it does take longer for the reaction to proceed. (And very cool temps with lots of "hard" oils, ie, oils/fats that are solid at room temperature can appear to trace when it's really just cool enough for the oils to be re-solidifying. But that doesn't usually happen this time of year, to be honest.) Anyhow, it's not unusual for the soap sometimes to smell a bit funny at first, particularly soaps with milk. That generally goes away. If you are concerned about the lye, once the soap is firm, give it a little touch with the end of your tongue. I would test both the main part of the soap and a random white fleck, to be sure. If you get zapped like you just licked a battery, then there's a problem with the lye. Wait a few days and try again. If it's still zapping after a week, then it's probably going to continue to do so and I would not use that soap on my body, but if you measured correctly, that is not going to be an issue with the recipe that you posted above.

  3. lovinglife

    lovinglife New Member

    I had something similar one time, my frozen milk had dried a bit in the freezer (didn't use it right away) and did have spots, even had some black spots, not sure where that came from, maybe still the little dry parts of milk eventually scortched in my soap as it was curing. The soap is fine to use, I tested it a lot and never got any zingers.
  4. Kai

    Kai New Member

    Thank you so much for the reply. What you wrote makes sense.
    I bet you're right and it is the milk fat. The soap smells just fine now. It came out of molds really nicely. It is smooth and shiny, only when I look very close I notice the little white dots.
    I was just freaking out, because this is only my 5th time making soap and I used a lot bigger batch than last time. I don't like to waste stuff.
    Not all soap has them. The soap that was poured in to larger molds went through gelling, I covered it with blankets and it was about 80F in my kitchen.
    I don't see them there.
    I don't bother covering the little molds, there is no way to get them to gel, so those are lighter and I see the dots in those.
    Yes, I did soap at little lover temperature. I have a ton of cute little molds, so it takes time to spoon the soap in and when I was making it last time it got pretty thick by the time I got to the last molds, so I was hoping it will be easier to fill my molds if I try a little cooler temperature. It did help by the way.
    I will let the milk melt a little next time I add my lye and will just wait for it to cool down, instead of not allowing it to warm up at all.
    Hopefully it will help.
    Thanks again! :)

    PS: Went to touch it with my tongue, no zap at all. It has been two days since I made it. I think I smelled the lye when I wrote this, because it was only about 10 hours old.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2014
  5. nisthabhakti

    nisthabhakti nisthabhakti

    So cool you ladies are making soap! I am excited to get to try it out. A local lady got a big deal and asked me to help her w production. I am thrilled w the idea, as I love all the products made in my community. I always get their products to give as gifts. Guess what every one got for Mother's day this year?