Monday, May 23, 2011

Unmolding soap batch #2

Yesterday, I wrote a post on my second cold process experience which took place last Friday. I also unmolded the soap yesterday! Here is what I found...

I'm not exactly sure why parts of the top turned white... I just ended up cutting that part off to make the top more visually appealing.

First, I popped out the bad-boy that was in the blue silicone mold! I actually found this mold at Goodwill for less than $2! Don't you just love the little squiggly lines on top???

In this picture, I cut the end off so the soap would have a smooth look on both sides. I got some weird marble look towards the bottom of the soap. I think it gives it a cool "natural" look! And next to the soap is the surplus purple oxide I used. I was hoping to get some variation of that purple color. It wasn't even close! ;)

I was able to get 8 bars from this mold! The soaps all weigh 3.4 oz or more (at least for now, until all the water evaporates from them and they lose some of that).

Next up was the big log mold! Remember the white stuff on top? It's gone since I cut it off and I got a cool marbly look! It sort of makes me think of Smacks cereal!

And bar #1 has been cut from the mold! You can't really see it all that well, but the bars cut from this batch also had a little marble look inside each bar! (I just think it's really cool since I wasn't going for a marble look at all) :)

I was able to get 16 bars cut from this mold. Those are little air bubbles that you see below. The mixture was SOOO thick when I poured it, I did try to tap the mold on the counter to get the bubbles out. I guess I wasn't completely successful.

Here are all the bars in their new home for the next 4-6 weeks!

If you look closely below at the bar in the front from the blue silicone mold, you will see something that looks like blubber on the left side. I think this was fragrance oil that didn't get completely mixed in (by the time I added the fragrance oil, the mix was already a THICK pudding consistency so it was hard to get it all mixed in). This was the only place I found this through all of the cuts I made in the soap (which I was pretty excited to find. I thought it would have been much worse!). I can report today that the yellow color below is starting to blend with the rest of the bar.

Since it is really difficult to tell what color these soaps are, I decided to take a picture of my first batch (oatmeal, milk, and honey scented) on the left next to this new batch (tropical vacation scented). I think it is very brown, but my husband Todd said it looked army green to him. He also said they look "organic" so they have that going for them. ;)

Even though I didn't quite get the pinkish/purple color I was going for in this batch, I think overall these soaps still turned out pretty nicely. :)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Cold process soap: Batch #2!

On Friday, May 20 I attempted my second batch of cold process soap. Since my first batch turned out perfectly, I wasn't expecting anything less for this one... ;) I did encounter some slight issues, but I will go into that later...

For this batch, my ingredients list included olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, castor oil, water, lye, tropical vacation fragrance oil, glycerin, and surplus purple oxide (which ended up being a mistake).

Here is a visual of all my ingredients before I weighed them out.

The next step is to weight out the water and lye crystals. As Norm Abram from The New Yankee Workshop ALWAYS says... "There is no more important safety rule than to wear these -- safety glasses." It is VERY important and a MUST in order to keep lye fumes and flakes out of your eyes!

Next, I took my lye and my water outside and mixed them together. Mind you, this water was ROOM temperature before I added the lye to it. It is 188 degrees!!! CRAZY chemical reactions going on here. ;)

While I was waiting for this to cool down to about 120 degrees, I mixed all my oils together and heated them up.

When the lye water and oils were about 10 degrees of each other (the oil was about 120 degrees and the lye water 130 degrees), I mixed them together with my trusty stick blender! (Thanks mom! :-D)

Now I'm not exactly sure what was different with this batch because up until this point, EVERYTHING I had mixed together was the same as the last batch. For some reason, this batch reached trace within a few minutes. Last time it took 10-15 minutes of mixing to get to that point... Almost immediately, I added my surplus purple oxide and glycerin to the mixture. I was hoping to get a nice pinkish color for this soap since it is tropical scented. By the time I had mixed all the color in, it wasn't quite what I had hoped for but it would work. Quickly, I added my fragrance oil and the mixture was getting really thick by now. I just tried to mix it as fast and as well as I could before pouring it into my molds...

Here is when I poured them. I made some nice little swirlies on top of the soap in the wooden mold and I was SOOO proud of myself. I just tried to smooth everything out in the blue mold since you are actually looking at the bottom of the soap. This is a cake mold so the top has cute squiggly lines on it.

After I poured them, I carefully covered them and wrapped them in towels. I checked on them an hour later to see if they were going through gel phase... OMG! I almost lost it! My orangey-pinkish soap had turned into brownies! AAAHHHH!!!! If you look closely at the wooden molded soap, you'll see my cute little swirlies disappeared. This made me sad because I spent like 5 minutes trying to get that look. I was confused because I used PURPLE oxide and somehow it turned brown...

I immediately contacted Anne-Marie from Bramble Berry to find out why this happened since she is my supplier. She informed me that the purple oxide I used is THE ONLY oxide they sell that isn't stable through the chemical process that takes place when making cold process soap. SERIOUSLY?!? Leave it to me to use THE ONLY oxide that discolors. How wonderful... :-/

I checked on it again a few hours later... The good news is that it browned all the way through, so it wasn't going to be multi-colored and weird looking...

So for anyone out there with the SURPLUS purple oxide from Bramble Berry, BE CAREFUL in cold process soap! You will get a brown color (and I didn't even use that much!).

I just popped them out of the molds today... Check back tomorrow for the post and lots of pictures!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Bramble Berry soap swap goodies!

About two weeks ago now (I know, I'm a little behind!), I received my box of soap goodies from the Bramble Berry soap swap. To participate, you had to make 12 bars of soap and select either the cold process group, or the melt and pour group. Since I didn't have time to do CP (and since I had only done CP once before), I decided to participate in the melt and pour group. :)

Here are the soaps that I sent off for my entry. They are "grass stain" scented, which smells exactly like its namesake: freshly cut grass!

Here are the 12 soaps I received in return from my fellow swappers!!! My favorite part was being able to smell new fragrances I've never used before!

I want to share where they came from, so I will start from the left top and go down each row. If you made one of these bars and have a website, please let me know and I will link you!

The first soap tied with the pink see through ribbon was from Donna's Creations and was Pineapple Cilantro scented.

The soap just below it looks like a dragon and was also from Donna's Creations. This soap was Basil Lime scented.

The soap in the bottom left corner was made by Alea Hunsucker for Lee Lee's Lounge. This soap was Saffron and Honey scented.

Back to the top row, there is a slice of cheesecake soap made by Kimberly Burton for Soap and Suds. This soap was Buttercream and Snickerdoodle scented.

Next to the cheesecake is a cupcake soap also made by Kimberly Burton for Soap and Suds. This soap was Clementine Cupcake scented.

Below that is a soap in white paper with a red ribbon around it. This soap was made by Blushing Rose Handmade Soaps and the packaging says Mr. Darcy Soap on it. I'm not sure of the fragrance.

The little green flower at the bottom came from Soap Bauble. It was unmarked so I'm not sure what fragrance it is.

Back at the top next to the cupcake is by Soap and Suds and is Island Coconut scented.

Below that is a clear bar of soap with what appears to be a knight chess piece inside. It has no name, fragrance, or ingredients on the packaging so I have NO idea where it came from!

At the bottom, you will see an Anise essential oil cold process soap made by Otion's Katheryn Hackney. I was rather surprised to receive this bar since I was in the melt and pour group! It made for a nice surprise and this was the first and only fragrance I smelled as soon as I opened the box. Very strong smelling. :)

To the far right of the photo, you will see a sandal on top of what I believe is a wooden soap dish. This was my very favorite of the group, just perfect for summer. :) It was created by Christy's Creations and is raspberry and violet scented.

In the very bottom right corner, I have a soap made by Lisa Burton for Soap and Suds. It is Passionfruit Rose scented.

I look forward to the next soap swap Bramble Berry puts on and I encourage everyone I know who makes soap to participate! :-D