Brown Discolored Soap

by LeAnn Gonzales

I am a new soap maker. I have made two batches of soap and I don't really like the way they look. They have a brown discolor to them.

Is this because I'm using EVOO? Should I use a different olive oil grade?

I am using the hot process method, below I will put my recipe.

Shea Butter 3.2oz
Coconut oil 7.5oz
Evoo 11.5oz
Castor 3oz
Lard 7oz
water 11.4oz
lye 4.5oz

After I cook the oils for about an hour and a half I turned off the pot and removed it to cool, at this point I added 2oz of safflower oil and 3oz goats milk and mix. After cooling a little longer I add 2 oz fragrance oil and put the soap in a mold.

I don't like the consistency of the bar or the color and there is a faint smell of an oil, I think it may be the shea butter or maybe the olive oil, left in my finished soaps. Any advice would be appreciated.

LeAnn Gonzales


Extra virgin olive oil tends to give soaps a greenish tinge so I don't think it would be that.

I use the grade below extra's a lovely golden coloured oil and makes soap that is quite white.

Goats milk can cause a soap to discolour brown. A milk soap can range from a creamy white to a deep tan. I would think that adding it at the end like you have should stop it from
going too tan coloured though.

My next guess for the brown colour would be your fragrance oil...there are quite a few that will discolour soap some shade of brown....especially if they contain any vanilla in them at all.

Hot process soaps tend to have a 'rougher' outer texture than cold process soaps do. This is because the soap batter is like mashed potatoes when you put pour it in the mold and air pockets can get trapped. Cold process has a smoother pour..more like pudding.

I ran your entire recipe (including the Safflower and Goat's milk) through SoapCalc and the recipe looks good.

The water and goat's milk is at 42%...a little high but since you used the hot process method I think that would be fine.

The superfat is at 10% not including the fat in the goats milk and that's an acceptable amount. Bringing it down to 5% may help do away with the oil smell.

One thing to remember when formulating a recipe is that the ingredients you use will impart their qualities to your final soap. If an oil you use has a strong smell in its container, then chances are that smell will come through in the final product.

Lard can be tricky at times and it's very important to try and use good lard that is fresh. Also, if it overheats or burns it can have a stronger smell.

Hope that answers your questions and helps you with your next batch of soap.

Good luck,

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Brown soap
by: Anonymous

I agree with Cathy. The EVOO, goat's milk and fragrance all probably added to the soap going brown. Especially together.

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