Saturday, March 14, 2009

Soap Diaries Ch. 4 - Is it Peanut Butter?


Today dawns another adventure in soapmaking. If you aren't aware of what has been going on this week, start here, at Chapter 1 and read forward. I suspect you'll find it somewhat entertaining and a little educational.

Today is unmolding day. I intend to unmold my soap, cut it and prepare it for curing.

The look of the soap hasn't changed much since last night. The lighter color that was present when it was cold processed soap has disappeared into the darker caramel color you see here. The overall smell has diminished but the ratio of bad vs. vanilla and bad vs. grapefruit is still the same. But, now, this is a challenge for me. I will not give up and start over. I intend to see this through all the way. Even if it ends in the trash.

I prepare my area with my cutting board, a crinkle cutter and my water bottle box lined with wax paper to place my newly cut soap on. Now comes the time to unmold the soap. I pull the sides away from the soap, but the soap moves with the mold. Again I pull, but nothing comes loose. The soap remains sticky. Never fear, I know this can sometimes be a problem, so I calmly pop the molds into the freezer for a few minutes. This should do the trick. 10 minutes pass and I take the molds out of the freezer.Again I twist, press, pull but no luck. They are still sticky. Back into the freezer they go. I'll take a shower . This may take a while.


30 minutes later I emerge, showered and ready to tackle my nemesis. Yes, this soap has become my nemesis. It will not get the best of me and I will not give up!

I pull the sides of the mold and, finally, I see a little air pocket start. I wriggle and push and pull. After a few blunt blows on the bottom of the mold, the soap dislodges and plops onto the cutting board.


It retains it's shape (you can even see the glad logo in the next picture) but the consistency is very similar to that of refrigerated cookie dough. Have you ever made those Pillsbury sugar cookies that you can find in the biscuit section of the grocery store? The consistency of this soap is EXACTLY like that. That can't be good, I think to myself, but, I forge ahead. Measuring and cutting I slice the soap into 3/4 inch wide slices. It is not soft enough to leave finger indentations, but it wouldn't be a difficult if I just pressed a little too hard.
It looks like peanut butter or refried beans. You can see the little flecks of chamomille tea, though. Pretty! if it wasn't that orangey/brown color.Because of my short but tumultuous history with soap making I fear what I might find when I cut into the loaf. But to my surprise, the color is pretty consistent and even throughout. No oil or lye pockets (which may be due to the re-batching), and it almost looks nice, almost.
Well, it is all sliced and drying. I did throw away the end pieces because I didn't have room and, although this may be useable, one day, my hope is springing less and less eternal the more I go through this train wreck!

The smells are still there and the color is lighter than it was. It really is the exact color of peanut butter. I am going to leave this for a couple of days to see how it cures. I'll keep you apprised of its development.

1 comment:

Danica said...

I have really enjoyed read your soap diaries! Thank you for sharing.

Be You,
Danica