Oily Soap

by Mary
(Carmichael, CA)

I just made soap with 5 oils, one of them being red palm oil.

I waited a couple of days to cut and they look beautiful but the soaps are oily and leave a reddish film on my hands and cutting board.

Will that go away or is my batch doomed?


Oily soap is usually the result of a measurement error or incomplete stirring during the mixing process.

Run your recipe through a lye calculator and test your scale for accuracy before you attempt any more batches.

Next time you are mixing your soap, hand stir for a minute or so after each use of the stick blender (if you use one) to ensure that the soap has reached an actual trace and not a false trace. Stick blenders often give the impression of a more fully traced soap than you actually have.

I would leave your soap for a week or two to see if it gets any better.

If your soap is still oily, I would shred it with a cheese grater and add it to another batch of traced cold process soap that has a 5% lye discount.

The new batch will absorb the excess oil, distributing it evenly throughout the soap.

It will also add a decorative effect to your new batch and will save you from throwing out the botched soap.

Another option is to add the shredded soap to a new batch of traced soap and hot process it all together. This too will distribute the excess oils.

Re-batching is another option but you will need to know exactly how much lye you are missing and this is not usually something we know when we've made a measuring error.

Good luck,

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