Need soapmaking help

Discussion in 'Hobbies' started by savingdogs, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. savingdogs

    savingdogs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Heh, I know there are some wonderfully helpful soapmakers in this group. I just made my first soap and while it will be serviceable and work as family soap, it did not come out of the mold pretty. I was really excited about the cool molds I bought so it is a little disapointing. Overall I'm actually proud of my first batch as far as everything else went.

    I was hoping someone out there can give me pointers for my next batch to improve.

    First of all, I was using a recipe using crisco as the oil. Everything seemed to go together properly, I could tell when I got to trace pretty easily and as I was finishing pouring it into the molds, it was setting up so I had to kind of flatten down the second mold just a little but I thought I timed it pretty good. By sheer luck my recipe seemed to fit my molds perfectly. I think they might have been a tad overfilled though now that I see what unmolding is like. By the way, I was using one of those plastic sheet molds you cut apart after unmolding and the patterns are not especially elaborate .

    Today it was 24 hours later like they said to unmold it. I couldn't get the darn things out of the mold easily. The soap is still a little soft. My husband convinced me that a little warm water on the outside of the mold (not touching the soap) would do the trick to slip it out and my daughter who went to culinary school chimed right in and agreed, so I tried that. It did make the soap pop out of the mold, but little bits of the pattern were softened and remained in the mold so all of them are mottled looking.

    One other factor that may have played into it, my recipe did not tell you how much fragrance to add at trace. That seemed rather unexact to me. It seems like my soap has the right amount of smell and even came out a nice color, but it isn't shaped like my pretty molds.

    Do you think my problem was the recipe, the heating it to unmold, or should I have waited for it to be harder before I even tried? I'd like to improve on this in my next batch. Should I spray Pam or something on my molds, or wait longer than a recipe might state to unmold that type of soap tray?

    Should I try paring this stuff into better shapes when it hardens a bit more?

    Any critiques/suggestions are welcome!
     
  2. Morgaine

    Morgaine Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 22, 2008
    Texas
    Arin, sorry I didn't get to this sooner, I read it yesterday but didn't have time to reply. next time you might get more luck if you post in the soapmakers thread though.

    Ok you made a soap with Crisco as 100% of your oils? Let me know if you used any other oils. How much lye and water did you use?

    Did you use a milky way mold? I'm not sure what kind you used because you say that you cut it. Those plastic mold can be a pain to get soap out of. Next time make sure that your soap gells and as long as it is not a super soft recipe, it should be hard enough to unmold in 12 hours.

    You can also try popping it into the freezer and then running warm water on the outside of the mold.

    Generally, you use .5-1 ounce of fragrance to 1 pound of oils in your recipe. It depends on what you are using and how strong you want it.

    pam won't really help because it will get turned into soap like the other oils. You could try mineral oil next time.

    HTH and feel free to ask any more questions you have. Millersoaps.com has a ton of info.
     
  3. savingdogs

    savingdogs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Well there was no rush....but thanks for getting back to me Morgain. What thread do you mean?

    This is a link to the recipe I used: http://www.pureandnaturalsoaps.com/recipe-easy-crisco-soap.html I measured the water by weight, not volume. So yes, Crisco was 100 percent of my oil. What I meant by cutting the soap is that these molds are designed to cut into bars after you unmold it. I don't know the correct term for that type I guess. Flat plastic multiple bar mold?

    I used less fragrance than that, I hope my soap smells enough. Right now it smells great. Perhaps it was a soft recipe because it did not get hard like real soap until a day later. Perhaps I should have waited because it feels much stronger now and firmer.

    Thanks for any help!

    The mold was from Brambleberry.com
     
  4. Morgaine

    Morgaine Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 22, 2008
    Texas
    Quote:Well there was no rush....but thanks for getting back to me Morgain. What thread do you mean?

    This is a link to the recipe I used: http://www.pureandnaturalsoaps.com/recipe-easy-crisco-soap.html I measured the water by weight, not volume. So yes, Crisco was 100 percent of my oil. What I meant by cutting the soap is that these molds are designed to cut into bars after you unmold it. I don't know the correct term for that type I guess. Flat plastic multiple bar mold?

    I used less fragrance than that, I hope my soap smells enough. Right now it smells great. Perhaps it was a soft recipe because it did not get hard like real soap until a day later. Perhaps I should have waited because it feels much stronger now and firmer.

    Thanks for any help!

    The mold was from Brambleberry.com

    Ok, it was likely a milkyway mold then if you got it from bramble berry. It is hard to get a full gel inthose things. Here is what I did when I used them. Put oven on pre-heat which should get it to around 150-175 degrees. get a box that the mold fits into. make soap, pour into mold and put the mold in the box. Turn the oven off (don't put the box in the oven while still on preheat!!) and put the box in the oven. Check after one hour and see if you can see gel. Once you can tell that soap has gelled, take it out and let it cool. You get best results when soap is hard but still very warm. Turn it over and try to get it out. If it is still stuck, let it cool, then freeze and see if that helps. MIneral oil may help too.

    It sounds like you didn't get a good gel and that is why it is still soft. You didn't use a huge amount of water so that should be ok. too much water will make your soap soft.

    Oh and those are called tray molds I believe. I have used the brocade mold. And the link to the soapmakers thread is in my signature.
     
  5. savingdogs

    savingdogs Chillin' With My Peeps

    You are right, I did not see a "gel" phase that you guys describe.

    Why is it you want it to gel? This seems to be hardening. Will my soap be useable if it did not gel?
     

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