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!

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