Saturday, February 15, 2014

Need for Speed

This soap moved crazy fast! Following my first experiment with yogurt I decided to do it again. I loved how smooth and almost silky it made my soap feel. Since I was using a very high percentage of olive oil, I decided to try a very slight water discount in my recipe. I wanted to be able to unmold the soap and not have it be sticky for weeks. A water discount is something I had been reading about and was very curious to try. I also tried to mix a bright purple. As you can see, it turned out more of a pink. I was scared that too much blue would make it too dark, but I think I should try more blue next time.

Everything was going okay. The soap traced quickly, but I was prepared for that and the batter seemed manageable. I divided the batches colored them and added the fragrance oil. I used Kentish Rains which smells so nice and fresh and light. As soon as I added it, the batter started to thicken. Oh no! I should have checked on it before I decided on a water discount. Okay work fast, I thought. My intention was to pour layers with black mica separating them and then putting a spoon all the way to the bottom and bringing it up all throughout the soap. Well, I knew I was in trouble by the second layer. I don't even know how to describe the texture. It was stiff and waxy! I went for it with the spoon, anyway. I'm a little bit stubborn. But when I scooped no new soap filled in to take the place and I couldn't even banging the mold on the table to get the soap flattened out. I tried to smoosh it back down with the back of my spoon, but even that didn't work perfectly. As a result, there are some pretty big holes in the finished soap, especially at the edges and top. And it wasn't very swirly in the end. A little disappointing for sure. There was no way to stop this one from gelling, so I just went with it :).

I love how the mica line separates the layers, though. I brushed some pearly white mica on top. I figured what did I have to lose? It looks a little gaudy to me, but not too bad. I unmolded and cut the soap after just twelve hours. It was already so hard that I had trouble getting the knife through it, but the texture is really nice and smooth. All in all, it turned out better than I thought it would with the problems that I encountered, and I'm excited to use it. My take away lesson is always double check the fragrance oil comments before you use it, and don't try too many new things at once :).

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