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Keep Calm & Soap On!

Since January, I've been serious about soapin'! Over the last several months there has been lots of experimenting with recipes and ingredients, listening to feedback, and reworking those recipes to finally get things just right. Things were going well until last weekend when two soap recipes just wouldn't saponify. [Saponification is a process by which triglycerides react with sodium or potassium hydroxide (lye) to produce glycerol and a fatty acid salt, called 'soap'.] The stick blender was practically overheating due to the amount of time it was taking to blend the lye and oil mixture to reach trace (normally trace occurs after just a few minutes). [When mixing oils and the lye solution together, many soap-makers continue mixing soap until trace is reached -- when the soap begins to thicken.] After looking over the recipe (made multiple times with success), it was discovered there was only one change. The lye being used was from a different supplier. Upon closer inspection, I accidentally ordered potassium hydroxide (used to make LIQUID soap), not sodium hydroxide used to make cold process soap. Good grief -- what a soaping disaster!! Two recipes were ruined, expensive ingredients wasted, and soaping was put on hold until the correct lye was reordered and delivered. Lessons learned, new knowledge gained, and most importantly I kept calm and continue to soap on!

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