Mythbuster Castile Experiment #2


I am having the most fun making soap today. I’m getting TOTALLY unexpected results (results I might actually doubt if you told them to me – so I am learning compassion at the same time).

I’ve made castile enough times to know that regardless of any unexpected results, this soap will work. That’s why I’m not doing small test batches. it’s pretty hard to totally ruin castile and I have a lot of dog clients who will use it if it’s not pretty enough for the humans.

I started out with Costco Pure Oil and distilled water.  I rarely use distilled water and then when I mean to, I forget. When I was wondering if I had a problem with the Costco oil last year (when DOS resulted) I bought distilled water and I was sure that’s what I used. 90% sure. Pretty sure. Mostly sure. Wonder if I used regular tap water.  (And I read something that made me think that could be the DOS culprit as opposed to rancidity cause I know that some of oils it happened on weren’t rancid.)  I digress.

Here is the soapcalc print out for this one. Same as yesterday except that I used more oil. The standard calculation for the amount of soap to fill the mold doesn’t work out the same with this big a water discount… or if you lose a crusty top so I wanted plenty.


As always when doing HP I started with very hot lye water and almost room temp oil. My first little surprise was how long it took to come to trace. Olive oil is always the slowest but this was very slow. I started mixing it at 12:46 and at 1:12 it was barely at trace.  I put it in the oven.



I used my smaller pot today and put the lid on the minute I put it in the oven. This lid fits a little tighter than the one I used yesterday and I wanted to avoid the dried out top.  Since this oil was moving so slowly I raised the temp to 200. (I used to do all my HPs at 225)

In my experience if a soap is going to volcano it usually does it early on. I check my soap after 5 minutes and then every 10 minutes.

“The best laid plans of mice and men…”

At 1:16 nothing was happening. Stir. Cover. Set timer.

At 1:27 it was thickening a little at the bottom and sides.  I dropped the temp to 170 and cracked the oven door open.  I continued with 10 minute checks at 1: 38, 1:50 and at 2:00  was beginning to thicken nicely. It would go through all the stages now.

At 2:10, lo and behold!! 

Soap Volcano!!
My first BIG surprise

After my shock I was very very happy. Happy that I had put the pot on a cookie sheet. What a mess I saved myself!!  Still, I felt like a newbie.  Odd to volcano at this point I thought. I scooped it all back into the pot and I laughed and sent “Liz Ardlady (who had mentioned covering the pot) a little though… “This pot does not want to be covered!”  I stirred it and realized to my absolute shock, that the soap was cooked. It was done.

See? That’s the part that I said I wouldn’t have believed it you’d told me. I didn’t believe it either. Soap doesn’t go through all it’s stages in 10 minutes.  It usually gets so hard that you really can’t stir it before it gets soft again and gets done. And it doesn’t do all that in 10 minutes. It can’t.

Can it?

I tried to put the lid back on and let it cook more but I couldn’t. I know what finished HP soap looks like. I didn’t want it crusting up on the top but I didn’t want to take it out too soon. Like a newbie I stood in wonder. Then I said to myself. “Hey! Take this finished soap out of the oven”. And I did.


I didn’t have a whole lot of time for pictures but I had to get one. It was hardening pretty much as it hit the air so I need to keep it all in one “pour” or the various blobs (a technical term) would not stick together.

Around 2:20, this soap is resting comfortably in it’s mold.  I didn’t add any pot scrapings cause they would not have stuck. I rolled those up into little balls of soap. And licked them. No zap. And, castile soap does not taste bad at all like some of my soaps do.

Molded Surprise Soap I’m out of here for the day.  I’ll come back and play with this later and see when it can be cut (and weighed).

Cut this loaf about 6.5 – 7 hours after molding it. The bars are nice and hard and seem yummy.  One is in my “weighing tray” and the rest are in the curing cabinet.

Nice Soap

Happy Soaping!



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