Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hot Process, part deux

OK.  Yesterday was kind of a stressful day.  Maybe I've just been worrying about my wedding in about 10 days, or because I haven't slept well in a few days (due to poor Hobbes' non-stop intestinal distress), or I just was having a worrying day in general, but I thought making some soap would help calm me down and set me back on track.

So, I decided to make the following soaps:  re-try the hot process recipe from yesterday's post, make a vertical-mold white and blue soap with BB's Fresh Snow fragrance, and try out some natural colorants with BB's Applejack Peel FO.

Let's start with the first soap I made - the hot process soap, part two:

 I made the soap using the same recipe as the first batch, but I resized it to fit my 2 lb loaf mold, rather than put it in the cavity molds like I did last time.  I also used less ultramarine blue to try to get the soap to be more purple-y.  I loved the color in the crock pot!  I also used some sodium lactate to try to get it to harden better.
Hooray!!  It set up overnight!!  I was able to unmold it this morning, and snap this pic with the very early light in the dining room today.  The color lightened up significantly, but I still like it.  And I really like the lavender / bergamot EO scents I used.  The top is kind of rough-looking, but the sides really surprised me with how flat and clean they turned out to be.  I may try to do this more often!

Now for the trouble soaps.  Soap #2 - I wanted to make a Celine swirled soap (see blog of the inventor of this swirl here).  I have some madder root and burdock root that I've been wanting to play with, so I did an infusion of each in olive oil.  2 tbsp of madder root in 1 cup of olive oil and warmed in the microwave, and 4 tbsp of burdock in 1 cup of olive oil and warmed in the microwave.  The burdock root made a light green, so I may have to play around with that some more to see if I can get it to be a more distinctive green, but the madder root was a beautiful color.

I was talking with my fiance and soaping and not really paying a ton of attention to what I was doing, apparently, because after I had swirled and finished the soap, OH CRAP, I forgot to put in the FO.  Ugh.  So, it's now a red, green and white swirled soap that is naturally colored and unscented.  
 Here it is swirled and in the mold.  I think it will look beautiful, and I got to play with colorants, so it's not a wasted soap!
Here's what the colors looked like - I remembered to take a photo only after I had started to pour the soap into the mold.  Madder root on the top right, burdock in the lower middle, and plain uncolored soap on the top left.  Will post pics of the cut soap later.

Soap #3.  I had in mind to make a beautiful swirled soap with BB's Fresh Snow fragrance oil using the vertical mold and slowly twisting the divider as I pulled it out of the mold.  I mixed the oils and put some super pearly white mica in the oils before I added the lye, to see how it would look.  Here is the beautiful pearly oil mix in the pot:
I then added the lye, divided into two parts, and added a tiny bit of ultramarine blue in one part to color it a delicate, shimmery blue.  I stick blended, and got the help of my fiance and  poured into the divided vertical mold. I twisted the divider and felt awesome about how the top looked.

Are you noticing something *missing*?  YES.  THE FRAGRANCE.  AGAIN.  So, instead of having 2 unscented soaps tonight, I scented the leftover soaps that didn't fit in the vertical mold, poured the contents of the mold into the pot and did an in-the-pot swirl.  Poured it back in the vertical mold again and the leftovers into cavity molds.  I am really disappointed.  What was supposed to be sparkly and delicately swirled, like fresh fallen snow, looks muddy.  I like the smell, though, and it was another new recipe, so it will likely be a "tester" batch for my squeaky-clean team of feedback providers.

What a night!  I am glad I have to wait a few days to unmold this one, because I don't think I can look at it right now. Maybe in a few days I will be better able to evaluate this one.  I know we should always have plan B's when soaping, and not to get too attached to a design, and this was a tough lesson for me.

Better luck next time!



  1. I've done that more than once - unscented soaps are a fun change and you never know when you'll have a client that doesn't want scent =)

  2. I am glad I left the natural-colored one unscented, because it's a great gift for those friends who love natural soaps or are sensitive to scents. I really love how they all turned out, even though I was very frustrated with them when I had made them :)


I would love to hear your thoughts, comments and / or questions, but inappropriate language or spammy comments will be removed. I try to respond to all comments, so check back!