Soap Volcano!

Hello all!

It’s a gorgeous rainy day. While Brad watches V8 Supercars, I thought I’d make soap. My first batch was an all-natural orange and poppy seed loaf. I used charcoal to create a line above the poppy seeds. You can’t really see through the mould, but I’ll post a picture anyway to give you an idea. This soap has white clay, zinc oxide, poppy seeds, and orange 10x essential oil.

orange and poppy

With the success of my orange and poppy seed loaf, I thought I’d tackle my first Castile soap. I wanted to try CPOP. I have used CPOP once before and thought Castile soap would be a bit easier as there’s no scent or colours.

I followed advice I read on the Internet. I also used a recipe. I warmed up my olive oil, added KOH to help the lather, added salt and sugar to the lye water, and soaped hotter than normal as it’s such a cold day and I didn’t think my stick blender could handle a long time to trace.

Well, the trace was no trouble. The soap however . . .


castile volcano




Yes, a foamy, weird-looking soap.

With 30 minutes left to go, I pulled the soap out of the oven and turned it off. I know what I did wrong. The soap was obviously too hot. Hence, volcano. The inclusion of sugar, soaping a lot hotter than normal (and yes, I did soap hot to decrease time to trace for castile), and using the oven, all meant that the soap temperature was just too high.

The only reason the Castile soap didn’t fall out of the mould and splatter all over the oven was that I took Anne Watson’s advice to put an oven-safe lid on top of the mould. I used her recipe from her website. You can see the lid imprint on the soap volcano.

Next time I think I’ll soap cool. I won’t add so much sugar. I used 2 tsp this time and next time I’ll halve that amount. I’ll definitely not warm up the olive oil before hand. I won’t use CPOP until I have a few batches of Castile Soap under my belt made in the normal cold process method.

The more I make soap, the more I experience things like false trace and all the other occurrences that you think won’t happen! 🙂



It’s three hours after I took the soap out of the oven. I was able to unmould extremely easily. That’s how good CPOP (cold process oven process) is when your soap would normally be too wet to unmould. The soap gets hard super fast. If I can just conquer the volcano and other issues to get a smooth soap on all sides, CPOP will reduce the cure time for soaps like Castile that need a minimum of 6 – 12 months.

Unmoulded pictures:

top volcano soap

The top looks like a sunken cake haha! 🙂

castile soap

The sides and bottom are really hard and smooth.

I think I will just cut off the top of this soap to save it! 🙂


A picture of the other side.


It’s really surprising how easy this soap was to unmould and how hard the soap is after 1 1/2 hours in the oven on the lowest temperature and 3 hours of resting on a table.




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