Eucalyptus Mint Tree and Unscented Invigorating Shampoo Bars with Silk – using impression mats and embeds on top

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Eucalyptus Peppermint Tea Tree Shampoo Bars – front & back

Description of Bulk Apothecary and Bramble Berry Essential Oils:
BA Eucalyptus: It awakens the mind and opens the lungs. It helps remove exhaustion & mental sluggishness and rejuvenates the spirits of the sick. It has a pleasant aroma and is effective as a deodorant, antibacterial, antiseptic, and antimicrobial agent.
BB Peppermint 1st Distill: Fresh, nostalgic, and instantly recognizable, Peppermint essential oil’s scent invigorates the mind and senses, while inspiring a sense of peace. This herbaceous, sweet smelling mint improves mental performance, cognitive function, digestion, athletic performance, & pain tolerance. It is used for its soothing qualities on the digestive system.
BB Tea Tree (Melaleuca): Has a minty, earthy smell that leaves you energized & revitalized. Tea tree oil has claimed to be useful for treating a wide variety of medical conditions and shows promise as an antimicrobial. It may be effective in a variety of dermatologic conditions including dandruff, acne, lice, herpes, and other skin infections.

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Unscented Shampoo Bars – bottom & top

 

The Plan:
Use 9-bar mold; 50 oz + 4 oz shell embeds, with negative impression mat on bottom. Scent with EO Blend.
Use 6-bar mold: 34 oz, with peacock impression mat on bottom; and random pour & swirl with peacock #1 comb swirl tool (found here). Unscented.

Shampoo Master Batch Oils #1 (Makes 93 oz/ 5.8 lbs):
Oils: 65 oz/ 1842 grams
NaOH/Lye 6% SF: 9.01 oz/ 255 grams
Distilled Water: (2.45 oz/ 11% disc): 19 oz/ 539 grams
Tussah Silk Fibers: (enough fibers to loosely fill 1 teaspoon or no more than 1/2 tsp/lb.) Cut into small pieces with scissors and add to lye water right away.
Sodium Lactate: 18 grams (add to lye water)
DL-Panthenol (3%): 55 grams (add to lye water)

Pour off 9 oz for samples.

Essential Oil Blend – 2.4 oz total: .8 oz each of Eucalyptus, Peppermint 1st Distill, & Tea Tree.

Batter/Color/FO: (use 50 oz for 9-bar mold)
14 oz TKB Coral Reef Blue 1/4 EO Blend
14 oz BB Ultraviolet Blue 1/4 EO Blend
28 oz TD White 1/2 EO Blend

Batter/Color/Unscented: (34 oz 6-bar mold)
17 oz TKB Coral Reef Blue
17 oz TD White

 

The Reality:
With all the additives in the Lye water, it seemed to take forever to cool – even in an ice bath. I combined the lye & oils when they were both at 112 degrees.

It’s my policy Not to stick blend, as the shampoo batter always sets up so fast. However, the last time I made this (See Blog Post Jan 2, 2017 here), it took forever to set up and even longer to saponify – and 4 days until I could un-mold. So this time I decided to do a couple burst with the stick blender – four to be exact, and it was way too much. Note to Self: stir first and then try 1 or 2 bursts with the blender.

The batter set up incredibly fast and it was a struggle to get it into the molds.

I poured the 6-bar unscented soap first and swirled it with BB #1 peacock swirl tool (seen here). This should become the bottom, if the Peacock impression mat (on the bottom of mold) turns out well. In trying to pound the mold to reduce air bubbles, I messed up the soap design on the top and bottom edges:

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6-bar mold using #1 swirl tool comb on top (which will become the bottom)

 

The 9-bar mold was even more difficult to pour, – more like glop into the mold. I was unsuccessful in getting it into all the corners, so a couple of those bars turned out a bit uneven.

I only had 8 shell soap embeds (made using an 8 cavity wax tart mold), so I used an additional shell from another mold:

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9-bar mold with shell embeds on top (and negative impression mat on bottom)

 

The Cut/ Un-molding:

Eucalyptus Mint Tree:

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Eucalyptus Peppermint Tea Tree shampoo bars

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Bottom of Eucalyptus Peppermint Tea Tree shampoo bars

I think both sides turned out great:

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Unscented Shampoo Bars:

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Designs on top and sides

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The designs on all sides look really nice:

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Back & front

 

Conclusions:
I love how both of these shampoo bars turned out – I like the colors and designs of each. I do think the embed may be a bit chunky – what do you think?

I like the idea of decorating both the top & the bottom and it’s not that much extra effort.

Next time I need to go back to my policy of no stick blending, or first hand mix, then just one or two stick blender bursts and back to hand mixing.

Red Berry Rhubarb in drop swirl with berries & “rhubarb” on top

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Description of Bramble Berry Red Berry Rhubarb: A tantalizing blend of bursting red berries and crisp, tart rhubarb. This fragrance features opening notes of tart cranberry, tangy rhubarb and sweet Macintosh Apple. Mid notes of lemon zest and juicy pineapple are rounded out with a sweet base of Mirabelle Plum, peach nectar and red currant. CP: NO R, D or A.

 

The Plan:
45.5 oz of of soap; drop swirl; berry & “rhubarb” embeds on top (6.5 oz) = 52 oz Total.
(15 oz of batter poured off for making embeds for future projects.)

Master batch #7 oils: 44 oz Oils (Makes 62 oz soap)
Oils: 44 oz/ 1247 grams
NaOH/ Lye 5% SF: 6.27 oz / 178 grams
Distilled Water: (2.52 oz / 17.35% discount): 12 oz / 340 grams
Sodium Lactate: 12 grams
Kaolin Clay: 12 grams
Chamomile Extract (1%): 12 grams

Batter/Color/FO 3 oz
30 oz TD white
4 oz BB Ultramarine Violet & TKB Magic Violet (ran out of Ultramarine Violet)
4 oz BB Ultraviolet Blue
4 oz TKB #40 True red
4 oz TKB #27 Off specs Red (dark pink)
Crescent moon red “rhubarb” embed
Berry Embeds on top (used 36, 4 per bar)

 

The Reality:
Soaped at 104 degrees Lye and 98 degrees oils; stick blended to emulsified and divided out all the batter. I made a variety of embeds for future projects, while waiting for the batter to come to the exact consistency that I wanted for my drop swirls.

I poured most of the white base, then drop swirled the other colors in, topping off with more white batter.

I had marked off 9 bars on each side of the silicone mold so that I could place my berry embeds so that they wouldn’t be cut into (which happened to my Berry Smoothie, blog can be seen here).

I first put down my “rhubarb,” a red crescent moon tube. The batter was a bit too thin, and 3/4 of it sank into the soap. I tried to rescue it to no avail (I didn’t want to mess up my design too much.) So I held off adding my berries for a few minutes until the soap thickened more.

After adding the berries, I used a new powder spray bottle to “spritz” on some fine iridescent glitter. (Purchased at Qosmedix here)  I like this applicator in that I can easily direct the spray, getting it where I want it to go, without excess mess everywhere. But I need to try it again with some other mica’s, as it was difficult to get it to come out of the bottle. (I may just need to fill the bottle more.)

The stick of “rhubarb” on the upper part of the mold looks different:

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You can see the marks on the mold for each bar cut

Even though the FO description says no discolor, the batter got a dark cream in spite of adding lots of Titanium Dioxide:

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Close up – with fine iridescent glitter added

 

The Cut:

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I think these colors make this look patriotic:

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Conclusions:
I love, love, love this scent – my new favorite! It’s very well behaved, and although it says no discolor, the batter did turn a dark cream color. After adding a lot of titanium dioxide to whiten it, the soap is still ivory – white would have made it pop more. (I will add this  information on the fragrance to my notes and incorporate the discolor more in the next batch.)

I hadn’t done a straight drop swirl in ages, and now I know why – I just don’t find it that compelling. Having less white and more color or hanger swirling would have made this more appealing.

Even though there are only half the amount of berries in this batch, compared to Berry Smoothie (see April 3, 2017 Blog here), I am happy that they are not cut up when slicing the bars and like this look better (and no berry pieces falling off). I’m unsure of the look of the “rhubarb” inside and on top. Any thoughts?

Citrus Surprise Invigorating Shampoo Bars with citrus embeds on top & impression mat bottom

I have seen a soaper that decorates both the top & bottoms of her soaps, so I thought I would give that a try with some Citrus Shampoo bars.

Citrus Essential Oils are tricky to use, as many will loose their scent completely. (Citrus FO’s work much better.) I have found good staying power with 10X Orange and 5X Lemon EO – these have been folded 5-10 times and are very potent. It’s difficult to find 5X Lemon – I have had this EO for a while and won’t be able to buy it again, as the price in the last couple years has quadrupled. (It’s now $130 for 16 oz, when it used to cost about $30. Yikes!)

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Top and bottom of shampoo bars

Description of Bramble Berry & Bulk Apothecary Fragrances:
BB Pink Grapefruit FO: This is an exhilarating, wake-me-up citrus, with a juicy grapefruit aroma. Grapefruit is believed by aromatherapists to be a spiritual up-lifter, and to ease muscle fatigue and stiffness. It is also said to be a purifier of congested, oily and acne prone skin. Grapefruit is reputed to ease nervous exhaustion and relieve depression. CP: Water White. Seems very light to me.
BB 10x Orange and Orange Valencia Essential Oils: The scent of Sweet Orange is warming, comforting and “fodder for the heart.” It encourages you take things in good humor and absolves emotional confusion. It is stimulating & uplifting and good for colds & other ailments. CP: Discolors Orange.
BA 5x Lemon Essential Oil: Is reputed as being antiseptic, and as having refreshing and cooling properties. On skin and hair it can be used for its cleansing effect, as well as for treating cuts and boils. Research has also shown Lemon Essential Oil to enhance the ability to concentrate. CP: Discolors pale yellow.
BB Lime FO: Zesty, fresh, bursting with energy & juiciness; tart but has a touch of sweetness. Lime has been used by aromatherapists for its uplifting and revitalizing properties. CP: Discolors yellow; gets thick (slight acceleration).

 

The Plan:
Use 9-bar mold (48 oz + 6.3 oz citrus embeds; .7 oz each bar).
Use 6-bar mold (32 oz + 4.2 oz citrus embeds, .7 oz each bar).
Both with negative impression mats on bottom, and random pour.
Add Citrus slices on top.
For leftovers, use 1 small round tube mold with wall pour.
Soap at low temperatures and do not stick blend.

Shampoo Master Batch Oils #1: 65 oz oils, 93 oz soap/ 5.8 lbs:
Oils: 65 oz/ 1842 grams
NaOH/Lye 6% SF: 9.01 oz/ 255 grams
Distilled Water: ( 2.45 oz, 11% disc): 19 oz/ 539 grams
Sodium Lactate: 18 grams (add to lye water)
DL-Panthenol (3%): 55 grams (add to lye water)

Scent Blend 6 oz total:
1.25 oz total: BB .5 oz 10x Orange & .75 oz Orange Valencia (discolor orange)
1.75 oz BB Pink Grapefruit (water white)
1.75 oz BA 5x Lemon EO (slight pale yellow discolor)
1.25 oz  BB Lime FO (yellow discolor)

Total of Batter/Color/FO:
24 oz Orange LabColor (Orange EO)
24 oz Fuchsia Pink LabColor (Grapefruit FO)
24 oz Lemon Yellow LabColor (Lemon EO)
24 oz Apple Green LabColor (Lime FO)

 

The Reality:
Shampoo bars are always tricky, with 20% Castor Oil the batter will set up really fast when using a stick blender. (I have found that above 7%, Castor Oil usually causes acceleration).

I poured my 99 degree Lye water into 98 degree oils and hand stirred to emulsification, which only took about 1 minute; then I separated out all the batter, adding each scent & LabColor.

LabColors tend to keep the soap very translucent, which was not the look I was going for, so I added a little TD white to each batch (and some leftover TKB Cosmic Carolyn with TKB #27 Red to the Fuchsia to boost the color.)

My batter was very thin, but from experience, I know the shampoo recipe can get very thick at any moment, and I had a lot to do, so I poured the 9-bar mold, added dividers and then poured the 6-bar mold. Both were too thin to hold the embeds, and while they were thickening up, I added my leftovers into a small tube mold. Doing a wall pour took much longer than the random pours in the other molds and I had to stop and go back to my 6 and 9-bar molds to add the citrus embeds.

You can see on the 9-bar mold, that the top was already too thick, as some of the citrus wedges cut into the top of the bar:

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9-bar mold with dividers

With the 6-bar mold, I tried to add some embeds too soon, and they sank in (see upper left and bottom right):

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6-bar mold (with marks on edges for embed placement)

 

The Cut/Un-molding:

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Tops of shampoo bars from 6-bar mold

I think I like the bottom of these better than the top:

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Bottom of shampoo bars from 6-bar mold

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From 9-bar mold

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Leftovers from tube mold with wall pour

 

Conclusions:
I used a combo of 10X Orange & Valencia Orange essential oils, as I was getting very low on 10X. However, the Valencia is so light as to not come through the CP process at all, so I would be better off not even using it next time and just stick to the 10X Orange, as I don’t smell any orange in these bars.

I think the citrus embeds are too bulky & clunky (specifically the round ones), especially for shampoo bars. What do you think?

As always, patients is so important in soaping  – as in life (something I have always struggled with). The batter used in the 9-bar mold was too thin and these soaps are less distinct and muddy, compared to the 6-bar mold, which was poured second and the batter wasn’t so thin. But I should have swirled the top of the 6-bar a bit before adding the embeds, to make it more interesting and avoid the straight lines.

The green didn’t show up in any of the rectangular bars, except for a bit on the sides, but you can see it better in the round soaps. Which is okay, as I think the pink, yellow, & orange makes these look very happy & bright.

I much prefer the back side of all the bars and the look of the soaps from the 6-bar mold. The 3 bars from the tube mold turned out well too, and I like the hint of a heart inside two of them.

Eucalyptus Mint Tree Pink Himalayan Salt Bars with Neem Oil (and tiny embeds)

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Description of the Essential Oils:
Eucalyptus: It awakens the mind and opens the lungs. It helps remove exhaustion & mental sluggishness and rejuvenates the spirits of the sick. It has a pleasant aroma and is effective as a deodorant, antibacterial, antiseptic, and antimicrobial agent.
Peppermint: Fresh, nostalgic, and instantly recognizable, Peppermint essential oil’s scent invigorates the mind and senses, while inspiring a sense of peace. This herbaceous, sweet smelling mint improves mental performance, cognitive function, digestion, athletic performance, & pain tolerance. It is used for its soothing qualities on the digestive system.
Tea Tree (Melaleuca): Has a minty, earthy smell that leaves you energized & revitalized. Tea tree oil has claimed to be useful for treating a wide variety of medical conditions and shows promise as an antimicrobial. It may be effective in a variety of dermatologic conditions including dandruff, acne, lice, herpes, and other skin infections.

What is Neem Oil and why use it?
Neem Oil is very effective antiseptic, anti-fungal, antibacterial, antiviral agent. Assists in the healing of skin disorders including eczema, psoriasis, rashes, burns and acne. Considered a natural insect repellent. It has a very strong odor that is often described as a blend of nut and garlic (more like really bad garlic and something dead – fortunately this scent cures out). Rich in essential fatty acids, triglycerides, vitamin E & calcium; known to smooth wrinkles, reduce eczema and acne, stimulate collagen and relieve dry skin.

For more details on Neem Oil and experimentation with it, See Facial Soap with Neem Oil – 1 lb Test Batch Blog here.

The Plan:
PH Salt Master Batch Oils: 50 oz/1417 grams oils, plus 2.5 oz Neem Oil = 75oz/ 4.75 lbs batter. (Run through the Lye Calculator). Add 28 oz PH salt for total of 103 oz/6.4 lb soap.
Pour off 8 oz of batter for embeds before adding EO, Neem Oil, and Salt.
Use 6-bar (36 oz) and 9-bar (54 oz) molds. (Use leaf mold for leftovers.)

PH Salt Master Batch Oils: 50 oz /1417 grams oils Plus 2.5 oz Neem Oil:
75 oz/4.75 lbs plus 28 oz (by weight) salt = 103 oz/ 6.4 lb batter
Oils: 50 oz/ 1417 grams
Neem Oil: 2.5 oz/ 71 grams
NaOH/Lye 10% SF: 7.77 oz/ 220 grams
Distilled Water & Aloe 1:1: 15 oz/425 grams
Mallow Extract: .5 oz/14 grams + Chamomile Extract .5 oz/ 14 grams
Kaolin Clay: 1 oz/ 28 grams
Pink Himalayan Salt: 28 oz

More Detailed Recipe:
4.8%         Castor Oil                     2.5 oz              71 grams
66.7%       Coconut Oil                  35 oz            992 grams
4.8%         Hazelnut Oil                2.5 oz              71 grams
4.8%         Neem Oil                     2.5 oz              71 grams
9.5%         Palm Oil                          5 oz            142 grams
4.8%         Shea Butter Refined  2.5 oz             71  grams
4.8%         Sunflower seed Oil    2.5 oz              71 grams
10% SF    NaOH/Lye                  7.77 oz            220 grams
2.33oz disc  Water & Aloe 1:1    15 oz             425 grams

Scent Blend 3.75 oz Total: 1.25 oz of each: Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Tea Tree.

95 oz Batter/Colors/Salt/EO Blend:
15 oz soap + 7 oz PH Salt, BB Apple Green LabColor
15 oz soap + 7 oz PH Salt, BB Aqua Blue LabColor  + Ultraviolet blue
37 oz soap + 14 oz PH Salt, BB TD White
ITP swirl: White base, with green & blue added.
Top with little birds & hearts one on each bar.

Soap at 130 degrees, do not stick blend. Pour off 8+ oz for embeds before adding Neem Oil & Salt.

The Reality:
Soaped the Lye & oils at 122 & 124 degrees.

Poured off 8 oz for embeds, then added the Neem Oil & EO Blend and separated into 3 containers. Added colors.

Sadly, with the dark brown of the Neem Oil, it distorts all the colors:

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Clockwise: blue (should morph to blue), green & white

I added the salt and poured the green & blue into the white for an In The Pot swirl. Poured into 6-bar and 9-bar mold and added heart & bird embeds.

Unfortunately, it looks very boring, but the discolor from the Neem Oil should dissipate:

The Cut/ Un-molding:
I am quite disappointed that the bright green and blues did not come through. In a test batch with Neem oil (see March 27, 2017 blog here), and the colors appeared in a couple weeks, but not these. After 2+ weeks they still looked like concrete, so I gave up. Surprisingly, 3+ weeks into the cure they all turned to a lovely shade of pale green.

Only 2 soaps from the 9-bar mold have a hint of the colors I used:

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Not captured very well in these photos is the pale green color of all the soap.

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Soaps from the 6-bar mold have a hint of Ultraviolet Blue trying to get through, but can’t quite make it.

You can see more of colors trying to come out on the back side of the 6-bar mold with impression mat:

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Leftovers were put in a leaf mold:

Conclusions:
I really like the cute little embeds on top and the impression mat on the bottom – I should have used the mat for all the bars. I obviously need, much, much more color next time and I need to keep in mind the green-brown hue from the Neem oil, plus the pink from the PH salt when I plan the color palette.

Lavender Rosemary Mint with Heart Embed

I tried this technique last month (see Blog Post March 21,2017 here) and wanted to try it again – using a thicker hanger (gear tie) and pulling the colors more into the center of the loaf. I found the original method on a  Soapish You Tube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2B-SxlDcE8

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The Plan:
92 oz of batter, using 44 oz to make embeds for future projects.
Pour off 48 oz of batter for 3 lb soap (plus a 5 oz Ultraviolet Blue Heart embed).

Base color of pastel purple. Put down lines of drop swirl colors on one side; hanger swirl starting on top & figure eights to the bottom – pulling colors to middle of bar;  add a couple more lines of soap on top for contrast, then place heart embed on it & push down embed slightly (so it’s not showing on top).

FO Blend: 1.5 oz Lavender, 1 oz Rosemary, .5 oz Moroccan Mint

Master Batch #7 oils: 65 oz Oils (Makes 92 oz/5.75 lbs soap)
Oils: 65 oz/ 1843 grams
NaOH/ Lye 5% SF: 9.26 oz / 263 grams
Distilled Water: (3.45 oz disc; 16% disc): 18 oz / 510 grams
Sodium Lactate: 18 grams
Kaolin Clay: 18 grams
Chamomile Extract (1%): 18 grams
Green Tea Extract (1%): 18 grams

Batter/Color/FO 3 oz:
36 oz Pastel Purple (BB Ultramarine Violet & TD White)
3 oz BB Ultraviolet Blue
3 oz Turquoise (BB Neon Blue Raspberry)
3 oz Pink (TKB #27 Red & Cosmic Carolyn)
3 oz TD White
1 Ultraviolet Blue Tube Heart

 

The Reality:
I soaped my Lye at 120 degrees and my oils at 118 degrees – a little higher temperature than usual, only because I was a bit impatient.

I stick blended till very light trace and divided out my soap for this project. I quickly made 9 different embeds for future ventures with the rest of the batter. When I was finished with this, the base batter was just right for soaping.

I mixed in my colors and fragrance oils and poured all the light purple into the 3 lb mold; made a back & forth pass with each color twice (pink, blue, turquoise, white); hanger swirled (in a circular motion, not the figure eight’s I had planned, as I was very intent on pulling the colors into the center of the bar); added my tube heart; then another pass of turquoise & white; splattered all the colors on top, swirled and put in my little room with a heater to gel.

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Close up of swirls on top. Although the pale pink background is not that impressive, it will morph to a pastel purple.

 

The Cut:
I am very disappointed in the heart – it has ash throughout and no amount of steaming or planing could get rid of it. When I made this tube heart, I poured my batter at a very thin trace and un-molded it too soon. I think both of these actions contributed to the forming of ash. (If the soap is too thick at pour, there will be air pockets/bubbles, but obviously too thin is not good either. It’s very important to have the batter just right).

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I don’t like how the pastel purple looks so faded out when using a purple background:

 

Conclusions:
I’m not sure if I will try this technique again. Both times I don’t feel like I got sensational results (see my first try in Blog Post March 21,2017 here). This could be the soaper (me) or that I just need more practice with it.

 

An Aside:
I had some leftover unscented soap – which I had planned on, to make some Victorian Hearts.

Clockwise: a new BB fragrance called Alien, Lavender Green Tea, Lilac, and Lavender Herb Confetti:

50 Pounds of Palm Oil

I’ve always been afraid to buy a 50 lb block of Palm oil. It seems every time I need some Palm, it’s the middle of summer. And once again, I estimated I would run out by the end of August. There are always disclaimers from suppliers: “not responsible for any leakage or damage.”

But in March, one of my suppliers was having a sale and finally the weather was going to be cold. (We have had an extremely warm winter in Colorado.)

I looked at my past orders from this company and determined that it usually takes 2 days for an order to be filled and 1 week for delivery via FedEx. So on a Sunday I put in my order for a 50 lb Palm Cube, thinking it would be filled on Tuesday and I would get it the following Tuesday. Even if it came early, we were supposed to get a snow storm on Friday, with more cold days through Tuesday.

The order was immediately filled Monday morning and scheduled for a Thursday delivery – unheard of…but still, delivery companies are known to be 1-2 days late out in the boonies. But my order arrived on Thursday – with a record-breaking temperature of 76 degrees that day! (That evening we got a blizzard – no kidding, and not unusual for the Denver area.)

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The 50 lb cube arrived in perfect condition – solid, with no melting. Which made me cognizant of the fact that Palm Oil does take a much higher temperature to melt (95-97 degrees) than 76 degree Coconut oil. (I once got a bucket of Palm Oil in summer and it arrived in a mess. It was packaged inside of a plastic bag that was zip-tied & leaking, put into a pail, and mostly melted – the outside temperature was in the 90’s that day).

I opened my box and the oil was packed in a thick bag, but the bag wasn’t even closed on top, which I thought was crazy. However, it was all solid.

Now for the dividing & melting… Palm oil is comprised of liquid and solid oils, solidifying in layers (although you can’t see the layers.) The Steric Acid in the oil settles to the bottom of the container. The oil needs to be fully melted & stirred until clear so that all the oils are mixed together evenly, or you can get Steric acid spots like this (only all over):

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Steric acid spots look like the little white dots in the pink of this soap. (Although the Palm Oil I used was thoroughly melted & mixed, so these might not be true Steric acid spots, but this is what they look like.)

If you didn’t melt Palm Oil from top to bottom, and just scooped it out from the top, the soap made with this Palm would be much softer than soap made with the oil in the bottom (and with all that Steric acid on the bottom, you would get lots of acceleration.)

I cut the block into quarters, and then each of those in half, creating 8 cubes of about 100 oz of oil, which fit perfectly in my largest bowl to melt in the microwave. Cutting was pretty easy – like butter that had been sitting out on the counter for a short while – not all melty, but not too hard to pull a knife through.

I was pleasantly surprised at how bright white this Palm oil was:

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The first half of the cube was on the left side of the bag and has been chopped off

Each cube took about 8-9 minutes to completely melt. I then poured the bowl full into a plastic pail that I use for Master Batching oils. After all the oils from the first half of the 50 lb cube were melted and in the pail, I stirred them and divided into 1 gallon jugs. (Weighing each, as I was interested in how much I would get of the final product after drips & spills.)

Since I had cut the 50 pound cube in half from top to bottom, everything would still get mixed together by doing 25 pounds (half the cube) at a time.

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Forefront: 1/8 cube; middle: 1/4 cube; and in the back, the second half of the oil still in the bag

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Palm Oil cooling in containers

I ended up with 49 lbs, 13.5 oz of oils, so 2.5 oz were lost in the bag and while pouring into the jugs (dribbles and spillage). I put all of these gallon jugs in my dedicated soap freezer and exceeded my freezer space (having to put several jugs in the wild game chest freezer, knowing someone wouldn’t be to happy sharing that space…guess that means I need to make more soap!!)

This whole project took me 2.5-3 hours, which is a lot of time. I have not calculated out the difference of cost per gallon (including shipping) if buying a gallon at a time (7 lbs) verses ordering in a cube, melting and divide it all up.

It was much easier to chop up a block, rather than getting Palm in a bucket and having to use a belt warmer for hours & hours and still ending up with a big chunk in the middle that had to be chopped in the oil around it, pulled out, and microwaved.

I am also interested in trying Homogenized Palm Oil (which is sold by Soapers Choice). A 50 lb cube of that could be cut into smaller cubes, wrapped and frozen as is, melting only what is needed – a quick & easy process. Since it is Homogenized, all of the “layers” are incorporated. (Homogenization is a process used to make a mixture of two mutually non-soluble liquids the same throughout.) If you have tried Homogenized Palm Oil for soaping I would like to know what you think of it.

Grapefruit, Kumquat and Lime – Pink Himalayan Salt Soap using negative impression mat and tiny embeds on top

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Left: from 12-bar mold with embeds; right: 6-bar mold with negative impression mat

 

The Plan:
Use 6 bar mold (36 oz) with negative impression mat. Cut in 6 hours. (Pour this one first)
Use individual 12 bar mold (72 oz) with diagonal dividers and tiny embeds on top. Pour different color on each side of divider, pull dividers & zig-zag colors, then top with little birds & hearts, one on each bar.

PH Salt Master Batch Oils: 52.75 oz /1495 grams oils (Plus 2.5 oz Sal Butter)
Makes: 79oz/ 4.9 lbs – plus 30 oz PH salt; Total:109 oz/ 6.8 lbs soap

Oils: 52.75 oz/ 1495 grams
Plus 2.5 oz Shore/Sal Butter/ 71 grams
NaOH/Lye 10% SF: 8.13 oz/ 230 grams
Distilled Water & Aloe 1:1 (2.15 disc) 16 oz/454 grams
Kaolin Clay: 15 grams
Pink Himalayan Salt: 30 oz

Scent Blend: I would normally use 6 oz of FO’s – 2 oz of each BB Pink Grapefruit, Lime, & Kumquat (and this is what I recommend). But because the Kumquat is two years old and has lost a lot of it’s scent and the Grapefruit is very light, I used 3 oz of each of these.

Batter/Colors/Salt/FO:
39.5 oz Fizzy Lemonade Yellow & TKB #10 Lake Yellow with 15 oz (by weight) PH salt
39.5 oz TKB #27 Red & TKB Cosmic Carolyn (dark pink) with 15 oz (by weight) PH salt

 

The Reality:
I went with the odd amount of 52.75 oz of oils because that was the exact amount in my jug and I wanted to finish it off. I also added some Sal Butter to boost the total amount of batter to fill both the individual 12 bar mold and the 6-bar mold. (Run through the lye calculator of course.)

I combined my 110 degree lye with 102 degree oils and stick blended to emulsified, separating the batter evenly into 2 large Anchor Pyrex glass measuring cups.

I colored both batters, then added my FO blend to each, as well as the Pink Himalayan salt; alternately pouring the colors into a 6-bar mold with a negative impression mat.

 

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Top of 6-bar mold, which will become the bottom

I moved on to my 12 bar rectangular mold with dividers, simultaneously pouring both colors into each mold. I found this to be a bit difficult and clumsy with the big & heavy Pyrex glass containers. (In hind-sight, I would recommend using smaller plastic containers and refilling them with the batter.)

After removing dividers:

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Soap before swirling – the dark pink lightens up in 1-2 days.

I swirled most of these with a little chopstick – trying out a variety of swirls and leaving a few un-swirled for some variation.

I added some tiny birds and hearts in different places on the molds. I think they add a bit of contrast:

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The Cut/Unmolding:

The pink lightened up considerably:

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From 12-bar mold with tiny embeds

The pink and yellow blended nicely to create a hint of orange in the 6-bar mold:

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From 6-bar mold with negative impression mat

 

Conclusions:
I will go back to using my 9-bar mold (or buy an 18-bar mold?). Although I wouldn’t be able to do this diagonal design, the bars come out much better from the 9-bar mold with dividers (as long as they are un-molded within 6 hours). The 12 individual silicone molds kept the soap very soft for several days – I ran out of patients in 4 days and un-molded them, getting lots of broken corners.

I also would like to go back to soaping at a higher temperature: 120-130 degrees. They seem to gel better and are ready to un-mold just as they are cooling off. (Even though I had a space heater going and the soap covered, the individual molds never warmed up, and I’m not sure they gelled.)

And despite using so much FO, after curing, the scent is very light. Moral of the story is to not buy such big bottles, as the FO just doesn’t hold up long enough.

I like the soaps that are swirled much better than the un-swirled soaps, as they seem too linear. I also like incorporating the tiny embeds on top with the swirls – something new & different. Which do you like the best?

 

An Aside:
I had poured off 2 oz of soap before dividing the batter in half. I then mixed in BB Tangerine Orange mica and 5 ml of Southern Peach; spooned in some pink & yellow from the main batch (before FO was added) and poured into a 4 oz leaf mold.

I got a sample of this FO to test, as the FO I had turned out to be 2 years old and had lost most of it’s scent. So far, it seems like the new scent is holding (but still on the light side). A good reason to make sure your FO’s don’t get too old.

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Testing BB Southern Peach FO. I poured this at a very light trace, and even after steaming several times, I could not get rid of all the ash.