When you are learning about soap making trace is a word you will hear often. My first question was, What does Trace mean.
It is very important to proper mixture of your soap, and failure to achieve trace will leave you with a mess.
I want to take a quick minute to explain soap making trace.
Trace is when you are mixing your ingredients together and they become mixed well enough that they thicken and will leave a “trace” or trail of the mixing. As you see in the picture, when I pulled my immersion blender out of my soap mix, it left a slight trail behind.
If you do not achieve trace when mixing your fats and lye the mixture can/will separate and will not form a soap.
Too much mixing after trace is achieved can result in a hard brittle soap that does not mold well.
My advice is to go with the flow and experiment, don’t get to worked up about it as you are learning (as long as you keep cautious about proper safety guidelines) – most mistakes can be reused in a good liquid laundry detergent recipe.
I hope this article helped answer the question of what does trace mean.