Failed to Success

Looking at old pictures when I first started making soap brings back many memories.

My very first batch of soap didn’t turn into soap actually. It was some kind of fluid, clumpy smell waste. I had used the scent Frangapani. A scent that smelled up the house for a whole week because of the failed soap batch. Just know, I never used that scent again lol.

I found a soap making forum online and met a woman who invited me to a soap making class since I complained that my batches were not turning into soap. We met up at a woman’s house and in her kitchen we poured and measured oils, lye, and fragrances. It was very interesting and extremely fun. By the end of the night, I had figured out what I was doing wrong. With notes in hand, I was determined to make a complete batch of soap.

Days later, I gathered all of my materials together and decided on the scent Apple Jack & Peel. I checked and rechecked measurements and temperatures to make sure everything was going smoothly. By the end of the night the soap was sleeping in the mold. I paced around the mold scared to peek at it because I didn’t want to let the heat out. (one of the many myths back then)

The next day, I had soap! It was ugly soap but it was soap! lol The joy of mixing oils and lye water together! Only a soapmaker will understand this madness!  It was a very nice firm bar of soap that over eight weeks became very hard. I wish I still had that recipe! Within a year, I learned how to make hot process soap. The picture above is one of my very first hot process soap bars in the half moon oval soap molds.

I often reread some of the questions I had back then when I was newbie. I laugh because I really have come a long way which is why I understand newbie soapmakers so much. I don’t forget where I started or came from.

Do yourself a favor. Save one of your original soap bars. When you think you are not progressing with your business or you feel stuck, go and hold that soap bar and reminiscence. It will pick you back up and put you back into the game because you will really realize you have not only grown but you’re much better at what you do.


Shannan (LilSoapy)




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