Thursday, April 11, 2013

Soap making fail

Well not exactly a fail, but close..

Melting the tallowate

Mixing the soap

The result

A few days ago I made up a batch of cold pressed soap, tried out using beef fat (tallowate), with coconut oil and olive oil. All was going well until I added my essential oil then we got into trouble with the soap seizing.... For those that don't know, this means it went thick really fast and I then had to press it into the molds instead of pouring. I could melt it and remold which I might try for some of it. The texture is wrong, but at the end of the day it is still a usable soap. You can see from the photo of the finished soap, how they look from me pressing the mixture into the molds!

The next step for me is I have to remake the same recipe, omitting the essential oil to see if I had the recipe right since I tweeked it a bit to suit the amount of coconut oil I had on hand. Hopefully it shouldn't seize again if I omit the essential oil. I'm picking from my research that it would have been the essential oil that upset things, especially as it was a different oil to the one I've previously used..(English as opposed to French lavender). Unfortunately I didn't remember that until I'd poured it in! One suggestion was to add the essential oil in some of the melted and warmed fats prior to adding in the lye. Or maybe I should just buy some more of the French lavender oil for future use!

In any case, it hasn't put me off making soap, I will just have to keep practising.


Tanya Murray said...

Was lavender the only essential oil you put in? I will be curious to know how you get on with your next batch. I am quite inexperienced but I am surprised that the difference in the lavender oils could have such an effect. I have noted that I have had a few of my combos have resulted in soap almost seizing but I am so lazy about keeping notes. My bad

Cabbage Tree Farm said...

Hi Tanya, thanks for your comment. Yes I just used the one EO. It will be interesting to see if it happens without adding it next time, then I will know it's my recipe!

ms lottie said...

It will be interesting to see if it cures and lathers the same too when you try the recipe again without the EO. And then you'll have to try it again with the same EO but adding it to the melted fats could go on forever!

I need to have another go at making soap. I've only done the one batch and it worked wonderfully - beginner's luck?

Liz Beavis said...

oh glad to find someone else who isn't scared to use tallow! I'm only new to soap making, so I don't have any advice. I'm not too picky about how mine turns out though, as long as its soapy when I want to use it!

Cabbage Tree Farm said...

Hi Ms Lottie, yes I will have to have a bit more of play around, in fact I have had another go, will post on it shortly.

Hi Liz, thanks for your comment, yes I'm not scared to use tallow, it's a shame to waste it and there's nothing wrong with using it in soap! I'm also a novice soap maker but hope to hone my skills over time!