Soap Has No Lather

by Fran
(South Africa )

Crumbled at the bottom

Crumbled at the bottom

The soap I recently made has absolutely no lather.

I did a water discount of 34% and superfat of 7%.

Added 1.5 Tbsp sodium lactate to the lye and frozen beer was used for the liquid.

Also added 1 tsp of bentonite clay and 1 Tbsp of colloidal oats to anchor the eo.

Was put in freezer to prevent gel. Total weight was 1009.77 grams or 35.62 oz.

Apart from having no lather, it feels very drying on my hands.

What on earth happened and can I save it by re-batching.


Your recipe looks great!

The only thing I see that will have caused the crumbly layer at the bottom is the amount of sodium lactate you added.

To harden a soap, 1 teaspoon per pound of oils is usually sufficient.

You have quite a few ingredients that should boost your lather but the soap did not gel so the saponification process will take longer. It could be that it is too soon and your soap needs to cure for longer.

That will also be the reason for the soap to be drying. Cold process soap should cure for 4 - 6 weeks before using it.

Bentonite clay can be drying to some individuals as it draws oils and toxins from the skin. I use Kaolin clay instead as it fixes a scent and provides slip without drying the skin.

You could try re-batching the soap but you will still have too much sodium lactate in the recipe.

Alternately, you can try the hot process re-batch method where you incorporate this batch into a new batch of soap and hot process it. I would omit the sodium lactate this time though.

You likely wouldn't be able to shred the soap finely but you could chop it up as small as possible and give it a really good stir once the cook is done.

You could try using a stick blender or beaters to make sure the soap chunks are blended in before adding in the yoghurt and super-fat.

The last thing you should check is your lye. Is it old or new? Do the beads or flakes have lumps and chunks in it? It should be very white and flow nicely when being poured.

If your lye has lumps and doesn't flow well, it could mean that it has absorbed excess moisture. This will reduce it effectiveness and can cause soft soap that won't lather well. If that is the case, get new lye and dispose of the one you have.

Lye should be stored in a cool, dry location, out of direct light and be tightly sealed to prevent any moisture gaining access.

Good luck,

Cathy Winsby

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How to hot process rebatch
by: Cathy

The hot process re-batch method will melt down your 'oops' soap and combine it with a plain batch of soap that does not have the issues your 'oops' batch does.

The cooking of the soap will complete the saponification process and fully blend the two batches together.

Hopefully this will correct the problems.

Combining this soap with a batch of cold process will only give you a soap that has hard, crumbly, non lathering soap bits in it. I don't think that's what you are wanting.

Alternatively, you could leave the batch alone, let it cure and see what it does. Sometimes it's best not to mess with a mistake and just learn from it.

You may be able to, at the very least, use the soap for cleaning purposes.

Good luck,


How to HP
by: Anonymous

Thank you Cathy for the advise, however, I have never done HP before. You mention yogurt? Can I make a new batch of cp and add this batch to it?

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