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Talkin' GRAND MAL here...


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I had a seizure. Not the little, stare-into-space kind - it was a grand mal seizure!! :shocked2::shocked2::shocked2:

*gulps cold coffee*

OK. Better now. Here's what happened:

I made my 4th batch of CP soap this morning. It went absolutely wonderfully - best experience yet. I managed not to get the batter too thick and was able to swirl the stuff. Looked excellent. Got another cup of coffee and called a friend to brag. I was HIGH, yeah. So after yapping with her, I hung up, forgot about the coffee and strutted back into the kitchen to make batch #5. It was a 4# batch of castile with one of my favorite fragrances, Mango Cilantro, which I KNEW the gals at work were gonna LOVE. I got everything out, warmed the oils & added the FO to the oils (I learned about doing that from y'all and batches 1-4). I weighed everything perfectly as SoapCalc told me. The birdies were singing outside and my son was raving about politics on the speakerphone as I confidently checked the temps and began to pour the lye water into the oils.

The trouble started about a nanosecond later.

Within 30 seconds, before I had even drizzled half od the lye water into the oils, the sh*t began to thicken and seize. :shocked2::shocked2::shocked2: Holy Grand Mal, Batman!!! :shocked2::shocked2::shocked2:

Of COURSE, I couldn't remember a danged thing about what to do so I grabbed the stick blender and continued pouring the lye water until it was all in there. The stuff looked like smashed potatoes with no butter or milk in them! I got it blended somewhat, stuck the mixing container in the ice water bath to hopefully slow it down (did I mention it was gelling?), then took a quick scan of my soaping notebook. Couldn't find ANYTHING I was looking for ('cause my eyeballs were doing this: :shocked2::rolleyes2:shocked2::rolleyes2:shocked2:), so I went back to the kitchen, where the soap was no stiffer. I stick blended some more and decided that it wasn't getting any worse, so I flopped half of it into the mold and added dye to the rest. I wore out my arm folding the tinted goop over and over until the dye was pretty well-blended into the mess. I mooshed the rest into the mold, folded it over a few times, thumped the holylivingsh*t outta the mold to settle it and put the top on. I wrapped it up in a towel and put it on the towel shelf in the bathroom with the earlier batch, hoping it would talk some sense into this delinquent batch. I scraped the leftover into a smaller mold, stuffed it in between the towels, too, and fled back to the kitchen to clean up the mess.

I'm going back in there in a few minutes because I refuse to end my day-off soaping fun on a bad note, but I decided to tell y'all all about it and ask for advice.

Is there ANY CHANCE it'll come out all right?

Should I rebatch it? If so, how would you do this?

I rebatched my first batch (which actually didn't need rebatching as it turned out), but it was just a LITTLE batch and I kinda did it in the microwave (I learned about volcanos and could have made an entertaining YouTube that night) but it actually came out all right; however, I don't want to repeat that misadventure... soooo....

After y'all stop convulsing and the guffawing slows down to snickers, please share some soaping wisdom with me as to how YOU would salvage this mess... I'm afraid to look yet... :tiptoe::tiptoe::tiptoe:

It smells like heaven... but it looks like hell! :lipsrseal

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Sounds like you had quite an adventure! I would have stuck the whole thing in the crockpot and Did a HP with it. It sounds like it may have riced on you more than seized or both. If it had seized you would of had soap on a stick and not of been able to stir it at all. Let it be and see when you cut it if it needs to be rebatched, it should be ok as long as it doesn't zap.

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Stella, That happened to me too, only I put my FO in after I seperated some for the top, put the Ocean fo from Peaks in and started to stick blend HOLLY TOLEDO I have never seen anything like that before. I just kept blending the crap outa it and through it in the mold. used the other part for white top.

It came out fine, so don't worry. I'll be standing by to see what the replies are Thanks for sharing.

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You have some good instincts Ms. Stella. Now we need to add to your "naughty FO" toolbox.

When an FO starts that kind of a reaction, I usually let it gel in the pot, then when it's good and flowy I glop it into the mold. The texture may end up a little off, but it's usually fine.

I hate to HP and hate to rebatch even more. I've learned to test new FO's in teensy amounts to see how they will act in CP. Just pour 1-2 oz of raw soap from another batch into a smallish mold (a dixie cup will do, or if you have one, a silicone muffin pan). Add a few drops of the FO to that and see what happens. I did a marathon 46 FO's a while back and only used 2lbs of total soap to test them all.

if an FO is prone to seizing, lecithin usually helps slow the reaction for the next batch. Even the lecithin gel caps found in the vitamin aisle work. Puncture about a teaspoon worth per oz of FO right into the FO. I'd add the FO after incorporating the lye solution, then only whisk the FO in.

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Thanks for the words of wisdom, y'all. Today, it looks pretty good. I'd like to have cut it, but it's so humid (after a lot of rainstorms last night), everything - even soap that's been curing since January - is wet. I took it to work where the AC is on, so hopefully tomorrow morning, I'll be able to cut is and take some photos. :)

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When an FO starts that kind of a reaction, I usually let it gel in the pot, then when it's good and flowy I glop it into the mold.

this. don't try to work with it all stiff and seized, and don't try to stop the gel - just let it progress right there in the bowl/pot until the mass is fluid-ish and work with it then. mix, glop, good to go.

Edited by CareBear
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  • 1 month later...

So sorry that happened to you Stella, I've been there myself. But I have to say, you can really tell a story and the way you told it was so entertaining, lol I loved it. :)

Although the soap may not look perfect, it should still come out okay as far as being able to use. I hate when my soap goes from a perfectly good medium trace to ugly glop in a nanosecond. :sad2::angry2::sad2: I just hate having to glop or stuff my soap into a mold.

I guess thats why Im not a huge fan of HP or rebatching. Good luck with your next batch.

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Thanks, pixie. Actually, it turned out okay. I was just freaking out 'cause I'm just a noob and didn't know no betta... I was advised that if it had been really seized, it would have been soap on a stick. It just accelerated quickly and freaked me out. I didn't have to rebatch it or anything... It quickly became a favorite of my testers, so I think I'll make the same formula again with the same FO, but I will pay more attention to soaping at a lower temperature and add the FO to my oils instead of at trace.

I only did a mini-rebatch once - with my first batch. I didn't like it. I tried the hot process in the crock pot method, too, but I didn't like it as much as I do cold process.

My biggest problem is moving too slowly because I am futzing around too long, but I'm doing better. Thanks for the kind words of encouragement! :)

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