Friday, July 26, 2013

The Story of the Naughty Green Tea Soap!

A couple weeks ago I decided to remake a soap I had made several times before without any problems.  It's my Green Tea Soap which has a slightly floral note to it.  It might have thickened up my batter before when I made it, but it was not bad at all and I soaped it quite easily.

I got my supplies and ingredients together and started my soaping.  I used a slightly different recipe than I did before and decided to add coconut milk to this soap this time.  Also I soaped at a slightly cooler temperature than before, about 90 degrees. 

I added my matcha green tea to my lye water.  I added the fragrance oil to my oils.  I added the lye water to my oils.  I blended just slightly and immediatley noticed it accelerating.  I added my small amount of coconut milk and blended some more.  It was getting thicker really fast.  I glopped some batter into another container and added some green to the main container.  I added some titanium dioxide to the second container to whiten that part for the top of the soap.  I tried to mix the batter in each container but this is what I had within seconds!

looks like mashed avocado

soap on a stick

very naughty soap

I used my big spoon and started mashing it and smashing it trying to get it to mix and soften up.  It was quite funny and I was sort of laughing while fighting with the batter.  The green batter was getting hotter by the second, and within minutes it started gelling right in the container while I was mixing it!  That's what I wanted.  I added a little water and stirred, stirred, stirred.  My arm was getting tired and I was getting really hot fighting with the batter.  The green completely gelled and softened right up while I mixed, and I was able to easily glop it into the mold.
green layer in the mold

Now for the white part.  I tried to do the same thing with the white batter, but it didn't work quite as well.  I added water and stirred, smashed, mashed, added more water, stirred, etc.  It didn't want to give in.  It started gelling a little but not completely like the green.  I finally used the stick blender on it and got it soft enough to glop it on top of the green layer.  It was still quite hard though, so I sort of dropped it with a spoon onto the green and mashed it down into the green to make sure it would stick together.  When I got all the white layer into the mold, it sort of looked like green tea ice cream to me!  I added iridescent glitter on the top even though I usually don't use glitter on this soap because, well, glitter makes everything better, right? 

before glitter

after glitter
I unmolded the soap the next day and cut it into bars.  It looks ok, not great, but ok for a soap that did not want to cooperate. The layers are holding together, colors are nice, and it smells really good!  I already used an end piece in the shower and it feels great!  So I am happy to say that the naughty soap did not beat me even though it tried it's hardest!  I won!  Yay!!!


cut bars

cut bars top view
Soooo, the moral of the story is:  If you have naughty soap that seizes on you, 1. Don't panic.  2. Add some water and stir, stir, stir.  It may take a while.  3. Let it gel in the pot.  4. Once it gels and softens up, get it into the mold.  5. Be happy!

Just remember that no matter what the soap batter does, as long as your recipe and measurements are correct and the soap is not lye heavy, you can pretty much always save your soap, even if it means rebatching!  But that's another story!

Take care and until next time, Happy Soaping!

Candy :o)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Mantra Swirl Challenge

This month's challenge for the Soap Challenge Club is the Mantra Swirl!  Just like the Peacock Swirl, I had seen this before, but never tried it, so I was eager to finally learn this technique.  I needed a slow moving recipe again and a fragrance that didn't discolor or accelerate trace. 

This is what I used for my recipe: 

olive oil, 38%
palm oil, 30%
coconut oil, 25%
sweet almond oil, 5%
castor oil, 2%

My fragrance is berries and grapes, sweet and fruity with a hint of mint.   I added the fragrance right into my oils before adding the lye water.

My colors are combinations of pigments, oxides, ultramarines and micas.

I used almost full water and a 4% superfat. I soaped at about 92 degrees.

my colors

my mold with 2 cardboard dividers

I added my lye water and pulsed the stick blender to just emulsify the mixture.  Then used a whisk.  I wanted to keep it as thin as I could.  I divided the mixture into three containers and whisked one color into each.  My husband poured the green while I poured the other two colors.  Thank you to him!  That was the first time he poured soap and he said it was fun!  Yay!  I removed the dividers and tamped the soap on the table to get rid of any air bubbles.  I grabbed my hanger to use for the swirl.  I had taped a skewer to the hanger to make it thicker to get a better swirl on the inside.

my hanger for the inside swirl

After doing the hanger swirl, I grabbed a chopstick and did the mantra swirl on the top of the soap.  That was pretty fun to see it turn out!  This was my favorite part!

before swirl

after swirl

It looked like green apple, chocolate and berries!  I think the next time I make this I will use those fragrance oils to match the colors!
When I unmolded the next day, it looked good except it seemed that parts of the soap did not completely gel which left an odd uneven coloring in the soap.  I was disappointed with that but over all liked my mantra swirl soap.
cut bars
I really love these colors!  I will definitely be doing the mantra swirl again!
A big thank you to Amy from Great Cakes Soapworks for this mantra swirl challenge!   I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to the next one!
Happy Soaping!
Candy :o)