Soap Fail - My Soap Erupted Like a Volcano

Last week I tried a new recipe and added some Lemongrass essential Oil to the mix. I had the first soap fail I’ve had in a long time. But it was really interesting to watch.

My soap batter made enough soap to fill 2 moulds.  I was admiring my two beautiful moulds and decided to cover them with some rose petals.  I thought the red petals and green clay would go nicely together.

I planned to add the rose petals in horizontal rows.  As I was adding them, the batter started to boil out of the soap.  I stopped to watch and take pictures because this has never happened to me before. Luckily the soap batter didn’t over flow over the edges of the mould, and the situation was contained. 



I tried poking the bubble and getting it to collapse but it didn’t work. So I mixed it all together and tried to smooth it out.  About a minute later, I noticed that the surface of the second mould was beginning to rise and erupt too. This one looked a little different because the surface had started to harden.



After I took the picture I realized my efforts to smooth out the first mould didn’t go well, and decided to hide the mess with some more flower petals.  You can see that the surface of the second mould started to collapse as the soap began to cool. 



I set both moulds aside and I could tell that they started to gel because the color of the soap was getting darker.  You can also tell from the picture that the volcano receded and the surface started to flatten out, but not without leaving a small crack on the surface.



After 2 days, I took the soap out of the moulds and cut them into bars, and they were perfectly fine. 



I went back to try and figure out what had happened.  My first extinct was to research the Lemongrass Essential Oil that I added to the recipe.  I used the Brambelberry Fragrance Calculator to calculate how much I needed but I wondered if I had made a mistake.  I’ve used lemongrass plenty of times before without any problems.

Surely enough it wasn’t the lemongrass eo.  I also did a quick search online to see if lemongrass eo can ‘ misbehave ‘ in CP soap, but no one seems to have had any issues.

My only conclusion is that maybe the oils and lye solution were too hot.  I remember a temperature of 54 C which is equivalent to 129 F, which is on the higher range.

 This is why paying attention to the details and keeping notes is so important. Sadly I didn’t write down what temperature I combined the the lye solution and the oils at, but that’s a lesson to be learned for next time.

Tell me, did your soap ever erupt like a volcano? What was the reason? Share it down below so we can all learn from each other’s mistakes.

Leave a comment