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Soap making mamas, help!

441 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  fiveredhens
In making a batch of lye soap, I forgot to add some of the fat (try making soap with an active 2-yo running around, next time I will wait unitl his nap!). I used 2 oz almond oil, 8 oz coconut oil, 11 oz shortening, but forgot to add 5 oz avocado oil and 6 oz of olive oil. In this I used 4.75 oz of lye. I think I know the answer to this already, but I should throw it out, right? Can I re-batch it, and if so, can I do this right away, or will I have to wait?

I processed it in the blender and it traced really quickly and harden pretty quickly in the molds. I only realized my mistake when it didn't fill all of the molds that it usually fills. As an aside, I am cursed with this recipe. Last time I added all of the right fats, but put in clove essential oil instead of lavendar. Anyway, thanks for your advice.

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Hi J,

I've made 100s of lbs. of soap, developed lots of recipes, and have an easier soap recipe if you're interested. But to answer your question at hand, I'd toss the batch. To me, rebatching isn't worth it. Actually, I wouldn't know how to fix it -- it's going to be really lye-heavy. Don't try it out, or it will dry your hands out badly. Also, Avocado oil is quite expensive to use in a lye soap. It may lend some nice qualities (I've never tried), but you might want to save it for salads. Let me know if you want links/help/recipes.
Based on what I know of soapmaking, you can remelt and add the oils.

I personally feel that home-soapmaking is very difficult with the caustic nature of lye. The soap is either perfect and wonderful for your skin or it's brittle, caustic, and may irritate your skin. There are lot of soapmakers but they make huge batches and do this often so they know how to do it and they sell their soaps.

I think the best thing to do is to buy castille soap flakes (you can buy them online from people who actually make soap all the time) and then melt them and add beneficial oils, exfoliating grains like oatmeal, dried flowers, essential oils, etc. and make your own french-milled soap. They make wonderful home soaps and people are thrilled to get homemade french-milled soaps.

It's less of a hassle, you don't have to really measure anything, and you don't have to deal with lye.
I'd toss the soap. I'm not sure the lye would saponifie the added oils if you rebatched it, but then, I'm no soap guru (with only 3 batches I made), and I'm scared of lye (and therefor only make soaps with a huge lye discount)

I'm always scared something like that will happen to me, so I always calculate, measure and put all my oils together before I even go and get the lye from the basement. And I totaly agree with waiting for your toddler to take a nap!

At least you didn't waste precious avocado oil, and only a little amount of almond oil.

Good luck with your next batch!
So here is what I did: I went to this site,

and followed her instructions for re-batching. I waited until the soap was hard, only an hour or so then put it in the freezer for an hour. I then popped it out of the molds into a stainless steel pot. I broke up the pieces, added the additional oils and put it in the oven on really low (like 200) for a few hours. It melted down really slowly. I stirred it every half hour or so. Once it was all melted, I whisked it smooth and then spooned it back into the molds. It hardened up in a few hours and I was able to cut it tonight. It is a little chunky looking, but not bad. I guess I will know in about a month if it worked.

DH and I make lye soap every year, have been doing so for about 4 years. We usally make 10-15 pounds/year, enough for our family and friends. We have never had problems with it, in fact it is really easy. We downloaded a spreadsheet in Excel that someone posted on their website where you type in how much of the different oils you want to use and it tells you exactly how much lye and water. It also allows you to keep track of extras and additions, the person who made it did an awesome job. We have three or four recipes we like depending on whether we are making body soap, hand soap, kitchen soap, etc. Since we only do it once or twice a year, we kind of forget the ins and outs, but each year we get a little better. Working with lye is not a big deal, just wear gloves and work cleanly.

As for the Avacado oil, I got it for a dollar at a closeouts store we frequent. It was 16 oz, an amazing deal. I also got some almond oil for the same price. For anyone in the area, the place is called Deals and Steals and is in Northampton, MA. They get a lot of over stocks and discontiued organic skin care and dry goods items. I have been able to pick up seriously nice additions for my soaps for next to nothing.

Anyway, if I think of it, I will post in a month and let you know if the soap worked out or if it we had to toss it. I figure it was worth trying to re-batch it first and then see.
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