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SOAP ISSUES

TROUBLESHOOTING COLD PROCESS SOAP PROBLEMS

SEIZED SOAP

Today's cold process soap makers have resolved many troubling issues involved with the process of making soaps. 

Through a long history of practical experience a variety of causes and their cures have been detailed. 

The list below highlights the major causes of cold process soapmaking problems, and what it generally takes to
resolve the issue. This list is by no means complete, and results can't be guaranteed, but it's a valid starting point. 


Crumbly Soap: Too little water used. You can use the soap for rebatching.

Curdling: Oils, lye or both poured at too high of a temperature; irregular stirring, or the stirring process was too slow.

Hard, Brittle Soap: Too much sodium hydroxide. Do not use these bars. They are probably quite alkaline.

Lye pockets with liquid or powdered lye: Too much sodium hydroxide, stirring process too slow, insufficient stirring.
The soap should be discarded.

Mottled Soap with freckles: Uneven stirring.  This is an aesthetic problem only, and the soap is still usable.

No Trace: It depends on the oils that you choose. Some oils take approximately 90 minutes to reach trace. If you use
some beeswax, trace speeds up. Beeswax also prevents soda ash coming out on the surface of the soap.


No odor: Fragrance used at too low of a percentage. Check IFRA limits and see if you can up the fragrance load. May
take upto 30 days to cure before cutting.

Seizing: Too high or too low temperature overreacting to fragrance oil and/or essential oil. Your basic soap should be
fine to use, just not as pretty as it should be.

Separation: This becomes apparent after you have poured your soap into the mold.  A significant layer of oil or grease
sits on top of the mixture. If the layer of oil is thin, it's probably caused by the essential oils and will be reabsorbed during
the curing process.  If the layer is thick, you have a caustic soap that should be discarded.

Small White Chunks in Soap: Too much sodium hydroxide or inadequate stirring. The white areas are caustic and the
soap should be discarded.

Soft Soap: Too much water.  Leave the soap in the mold until it hardens. If it hardens eventually it should be fine to use.

Soap turns brown: Vanillin in the fragrance will turn soap brown. A small amount will turn it slightly tan. If a large amount
is present it will turn a dark brown.

White Powdering:
 White powder, called soda ash. The powder frequently forms on the surface of the soap and this is
quite harmless.  Scrape or wash off the powder on the soap before use. 

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