Sunday, March 15, 2009

Soap Diaries - Chapter 5 The New Batch

After chatting with a wonderfully helpful seller on Etsy, I was given a simple, easy and small recipe for soap. No complicated ingredients or steps. As you can see from the picture, all the ingredients are found in the baking isle in the grocery store.(except for the lye...see chapter 1) btw...did you know the "vegetable oil" is actually soybean oil? I didn't. So, determined to conquer this soap thing I begin again.

From my experience last time I know that the Lye takes a long time to cool so I begin my by mixing my lye solution. Since the kids aren't home I mix it outside and leave it outside to cool.

I have decided to add a scent this time so, while the lye is cooling I run to Michaels to find some essential oil. The helpful Etsy seller recommended essential oils (EO) as opposed to fragrance oils (FO) because some of the FOs can cause the soap batch to seize. NOT wanting to take that chance I decide on a lovely lavender EO.
Funny thing, though, that we had a cold front the night before I decided to make this soap recipe. So, when I get home my lye has cooled significantly. So significantly it can't be used unless it is warm. Taking advise from an article I read, I filled the sink with very hot water and placed my lye pitcher into the hot water to warm it.
Last time I waited and waited while the lye cooled, this time I wait and wait, refill the sink, then wait and wait until I finally get the lye to 110 degrees.

While I was waiting I mixed my oils and slightly heated them. It took a little juggling of temperatures, but I finally got them both between 105 and 110 (with the lye being the higher temp) and mixed them. The soap is coming together wonderfully. It looks like vanilla pudding. The hard thing is deciding when it is to trace or not. I am hesitant to go too far because I know EOs can cause the soap to thicken quickly too. So, once I can see the droplets remaining on the top of the mixture I add the lavender oil and stir completely.

I then pour into my prepared mold (a foil box. that would make cute squares, huh?) and pour the extra into two rubbermaid containers. (So much for a small batch).
Cover it up and wait. It really smells wonderful and looks just like vanilla pudding.

A few hours later I look and see something disturbing:

there are water droplets accumulating on the top of the soap. Whaa??? I thought it went so well. I touch it and smell it. It has no smell, it isn't oil. Is this the lye separating out? Shoot! I just cover it back up and wait until tomorrow.

It is pretty cold in my kitchen (darn cold front) so, maybe I under-insulated this time? I hope not. I guess the proof will be to see what happens tomorrow.

I seem to be loosing my sense of humor in all this. Maybe it's the weather. Hopefully it'll be back tomorrow. Nite!

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