Sunday, October 31, 2010

Doomed! Soaping Disasters

As I began preparing for my first big show, I couldn't help but feel like this whole soaping endeavor was doomed! I had sunk a pretty big lump of money into starting this business, now it seemed like everything that could go wrong, did. With only a two week window for making all the soap for a 2 week long show, anxiety mounted as the clock ticked down and batch after batch was destroyed. First, I was using a new brand of lye and found out it wasn't dissolving. Dots of lye were peppered through the first two batches. So in the pot they went to be rebatched! Think anyone will buy a flesh colored soap that smells like peppermint and, as my dear husband pointed out, looks like refried beans? I guess we'll see :)
Once I realized the problem was with the new lye, I ran to the hardware store and paid the tremendously inflated price for a tried and true brand. Whew! Back on track...

Armed with my reliable lye, I made a small batch to pour in my PVC pipes for embeds. 16 oz should do it! Unfortunately, it didn't occur to me that the seasons had started to change. The air, the house...everything was MUCH cooler and a small batch like this would likely cool much faster. So I soaped as usual, and boy did it trace quickly! Wonderful, I thought! I can pour it in the molds and enjoy some free time this evening. Later that evening, I stuck my hand under the thick insulating blanket and realized that the soap was cool,  but I convinced myself that this was ok... it simply wouldn't gel... no biggy. The next day, when I went to remove the soap from the molds, to my dismay I  found a sticky, goopy mess full of lye pockets. All I can imagine is that the soap did not really reach trace the night before. Instead, it was a case of false trace brought on because it cooled too quickly. Ugh. So much for embeds.

Instead, I decided I would make a layered soap... good ol' layers. I'm practically a pro when it comes to layers ;) I'll use my new lye, soap at a higher temperature and everything will be all right...

Unfortunately, I didn't account for my own stupidity. After ruining the previous three batches and chalking them up to experience, I went on to ruin three more batches:
First, I poured the second layer too soon, so it mixed with the bottom layer in a most unattractive manner
Next batch, I colored both layers the same color (Don't even ask!)
Finally in my third batch (this is the epitome of stupid!)... I just completely forgot to add the shea butter... to BOTH layers!

So now that is 6, yes SIX ruined batches in 1 week! If that doesn't say DOOMED, I don't know what does.

On the plus side, I am now a master rebatcher! Plus, I did manage to turn out some decent batches:


  1. Take heart! It happens to the best of us!

  2. Nice to know I'm not alone - your rebatched soaps look wonderful.. Do you really have to grate the whole thing in order to rebatch? That just seems like too much work for me :/

  3. Ha,, you are not alone at all! I don't always grate, sometimes I just cube them up really small. If it is fresh the cubes work ok, but yeah, it is a lot of work especially when you are already disappointed and not feeling really motivated. But, people actually love these "oops" soaps! I just mark them down a little... who doesn't love a bargain! :)