Forgot to add olive oil to recipe.

by Chelsea
(Grafton, Ohio, usa)

I made an aloe vera soap.

I added:
14.9 oz coconut oil
10.4 oz lard
2.5 oz Shea butter
9.6 oz aloe gel with water
6.7 oz lye and
9.9 oz water, but forgot the 13.4 oz olive oil.
Should I throw this soap out? Is it safe to use?

Answer:

That's very unfortunate!

Your soap is definitely not safe to use.

I've run your recipe through SoapCalc with the numbers you have listed above including the olive oil and it looks like there may have been an error in the calculation for lye.

Here is what I've got:

The total oil weight of your oils listed above including the olive oil is = 41.2 oz

I entered the full amount of water into SoapCalc.
Water as percent of oil weight = 38.00 %

And put in a super fat amount.
Super Fat/Discount = 5 %

SoapCalc shows that your recipe should have the following amounts of water and lye. The water or liquid can be less but should not be much more. The lye should never be more.

Water - 15.66 oz
Lye - 6.02 oz

You've listed the water/liquid amount you used to be a total of 19.5 oz and the lye to be 6.7 oz.

Unfortunately that would make your soap lye heavy even if you had added in the olive oil.

The water amount is almost 50% by weight of the oils which is quite high. 40% is usually as high as a recipe goes.

If I was to try to fix this batch, I would re-batch the soap adding in the correct amount of olive oil that is needed to saponify the free lye you have.

From what I can figure, I think you would need 19 ounces of olive oil in order to achieve a 5% lye discount.

You will still have way too much water if the amounts listed above are correct but the cooking process of the re-batch and a long cure time should take care of much of the excess water.

I hope this all makes sense...it's a bit of a puzzle to work it out backwards!

Good luck,

Cathy

Comments for Forgot to add olive oil to recipe.

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Use soap for detergent?
by: Anonymous

Thank you for getting back to me so quick. The soap is very dry and crumbling after 24 hours. Do you think it would be OK to make laundry detergent out of this?

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Use as a detergent
by: Cathy

I would not recommend using the soap as a laundry detergent since there is quite a bit of free lye in it.

Lye is caustic meaning it will eat through organic matter. It could very well put holes in your laundry and any residue left in the fabric could cause your skin irritation at the very least.

Your best bet is to either do as I have suggested above and re-batch or start from scratch.

The soap should not be used as it is right now for anything I'm afraid.

Good luck.

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Thanks
by: Anonymous

Thank you for your help. I am new to this and my mistakes are definitely making me learn this hobby quick.

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You're Welcome!
by: Cathy

That is so true. It seems we learn so much quicker when we make mistakes!

Don't worry, your not alone in that department. I still make mistakes.

Stick with smaller batches of soap and then if you make a mistake, it isn't as costly.

The batches on my site are a nice size using 900 grams (about 32 ounces) of oil and produce about 10 bars of soap.

Good luck with the next batch!

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