One big thing I’ve learned is that any recipe that is 100% Olive oil is going to give you a very slimy soap that takes about 3-5 days before you can even pop it out of the molds. On top of that, it takes as few as 3 months and as many as 12 months to cure!
So, I grasp now why most recipes are a blend of oils and/or fats. You grab properties from the olive oil, but then add palm or coconut oil to firm up the bar. Last night I made a very simple recipe of lard and coconut. It took about 20 minutes to reach trace, and then I added a very small amount of Nettle Leaves. Their song is pretty strong, but I doubt it will prevail as the soap cures.
I finished the soap at 9pm and unmolded it at 7am the following morning. It came out of the mold easy enough, but I definitely cut it into slices too soon. The middle was still a little viscuous. Not too much to ruin the batch, but enough that I feel I should have waited to the 24 hour mark before slicing.
All in all, it’s a firm bar. I like the texture of it. I can see how using lard and coconut gives you a much different bar than 100% olive oil. We’ll see how it turns out once it has cured.
(Circled in green is the soft spot in the center)