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Did first CPOP


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Well, my hubby and I attempted our first CPOP with a recipe from millersoap.com. My hubby was terribly afraid of the lye and frankly, I was a bit worried as well. But off we went and we decided to mix the lye in our basement since we didn't want the fumes to bother our 2 year old son. (Please remember this was our first time and we're total newbies) So we took a big heavy glass container with the water in it and went downstairs. We put down the container and diligently started to pour in the lye. So far so good...till the glass cracked and lye water went everywhere. ::sizzle:: You should have seen the look on my husbands face! Thank god we had a huge container of vinegar. Needless to say, the cement floor was nicely eaten in spots. We sure learned our lesson. Now we are using PLASTIC and we do it in our kitchen sink. We'd rather deal with fumes, which in fact aren't as bad as we thought they'd be. It was actually scary at the time, but kind of funny now, sort of....lol.

But anyway, we ended up doing the soap and I have a couple questions about the end result.

We did a recipe from millersoap and we were mixing it with the stickblender and looking for trace and I think we went a tad far. When we ended up pouring it, it was just like instant pudding. We weren't sure what EXACTLY trace was supposed to look like. I know from what I read that when you dribble some of the solution on the surface, it stays on for a few seconds then sinks into the rest of the pot (please correct me if I'm wrong, which I probably am)

But when it hit the instant pudding stage, we quickly put it into the mold after we added FO (Hot cocoa from Peaks) and held back some and added cocoa powder to it. Then we plopped the rest of the mixture on top and attempted to swirl but it was getting kind of thick at this point. I think we well went past trace....I was just so worried about getting to trace and I was scared that it would seperate on me when it was in the oven, so I think we went a bit far.

The end result was good though, nice creamy bar that smelled just like a chocolate bar! The only thing that I want to make sure I remedy before our next batch is air bubbles. I noticed on the bars that there were some air bubbles, how can I prevent those?

Sorry this was so long, I just had to share our interesting experience. We will never take lye for granted that's for sure. Thanks for listening!

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I am still learning, but when I first started I would pretty much end up pouring at thick thick trace lik you did. I would pound the mold on the kitchen floor to get some of the air bubbles out. Still ended up with a few.

Now I am pouring at a thinner trace and I just love the smoothness of it. Still pound the mold to release the air bubbles.


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I don't use a stickblender because it blends too vigorously

causing air bubbles. A cheapy $6.00 hand held mixer works

great. I am not putting down anyone who uses them ( stick

blender) but I have found that the mixer works best for


I have read that when you use a stickblender you should

alternate stirring with a spoon to get the air bubbles out.

When I first started making soap I was glad for the extra

time I had with mixing that way I could think my next

step through.

Being a “newbie” it may be good to take it a little slow at

first – just so you can get to see the different stages and see

what is going on in your soap pot and get to know what

to look for.

Don’t get discouraged just chalk this up as a learning

experience and go onto your next batch. In the years

that I have been making soap each batch still is a

learning experience for me.

Happy Soaping

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I'm so HAPPY for you and your husband. :smiley2: I am glad too that no one was hurt when your bowl shattered. Its so much fun to do things together. I started soaping 8 months ago and just love it. I find that if I get too thick of a trace, I just bang my mold on the floor (or any hard surface will work) to get the air bubbles out. Sometimes I still end up with some in there but if its not to be sold, I don't care too much. I still try not to have any. You'll get the hang of it soon enough. ;)

Congratulations to you and your hubby on your first batch of soap. I'll bet it turns out great. Post pictures if you can. We'd all love to see. Just wait 'til you get to use your soap for the first time. You will be so proud of yourselves and you will notice how much nicer your soap is to any commerical bought soap.:)

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Put your spoon/spatula inside your bowl. Take the spoon and "cut" the soap inside the bowl in two. You can't really cut it, but move the spoon through the bowl as if doing so would cut it, spoon from one side of the bowl across to the other side. If you can see the drag lines in the soap where the spoon was, you are at trace. The more defined those drag lines are, the more of a trace you are at. Barely visible, but it is visible, you are at thin trace. So on and so forth.

When I make soap, I start off stirring it for at least a minute. Then use the SB for about 10-15 seconds, stir for 30-60 seconds with the SB (but it's off) or stir with the spatula.

Make sure the plastic you are using (for your lye container) is safe to hold hot caustic materials, not all are. If it's not, eventually it too will break down and leak lye. Never glass for lye, not even pyrex, I've heard of that exploding.

Congrats on your first batch.

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