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Are these DOS?

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The_Phoenix

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These bars are coming up on 8 weeks. Made with hibiscus tea and the usual ingredients of oils,
butters, and three different clays. However, I added grinded up hibiscus tea leaves to the soap batter. If it is DOS, that is most likely the culprit.
 

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Dawni

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The O in DOS is orange lol
Could it be mold? How are you curing these?
 

earlene

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I'd lean toward some discoloration from the hibiscus tea, but I'm not sure. It looks like there are some little holes in some of the spots, which make me think of organic matter. Was the tea made with the flowers? Or with tea bags? Did you filter the tea through a seive? Could some tea material have ended up in the batter?
 

The_Phoenix

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The O in DOS is orange lol
Could it be mold? How are you curing these?
The post look orange-ish. Redish orange-ish. I don't think it's mold. I cure them in a well ventilated closet with lots of space to breathe on wooden boards. It's dark, dry, cool, and away from dust.

I'd lean toward some discoloration from the hibiscus tea, but I'm not sure. It looks like there are some little holes in some of the spots, which make me think of organic matter. Was the tea made with the flowers? Or with tea bags? Did you filter the tea through a seive? Could some tea material have ended up in the batter?
I used loose dried hibiscus flowers (I make tea out them to drink). I purposely put some of the loose petals, which I grinded, in the batter. I'm certain that it's the dried flower, but wasn't sure if it went bad or just created empty pockets.
 
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The_Phoenix

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Thank you for your responses. I haven’t looked at these soaps for weeks and was concerned when I saw the spots. Now I know to look for true orange. Not kinda sorta orangish reddish brownish. I’ll refrain from putting the leaves in the batter in the future.
 

KimW

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I agree, it looks more like plant matter - like your hibiscus leaves - and not mold or DOS. A DOS, btw, will often have the smell of rancid oil. I don't use FOs, but had a heavily scented bar from someone else that had DOS, and on close inspection I could smell the rancid oil. But, that might be because I have the nose of a dog and I know the smell of rancid oil. 🙃

Since I think you said you use the leaves from already steeped tea, I'm guessing it's not the hibiscus leaves bleeding color. I'm thinking maybe just take more time blending them, or maybe they did bleed and just need to be a bit more dry before you add them. I let my used tea leaves dry until they're at least just a little moist.

One thing I've found helpful when adding plant matter, like ground oatmeal or orange rind or tea leaves, is to pre-mix (and mix til ya can't mix no more) the plant matter in a set-aside amount of soaping oils. Doesn't take much. I use about 4 oz soaping oils for 1 oz ground oats. You also have to take your time with stirring them into the emulsion. I find in this that stirring works better for me than stick blending, but that may not be true for you. Even the smallest clumps will turn into holes or funny looking masses. I've also had success with pre-mixing with glycerin. Pre-mixing with water doesn't seem to help and seems to increase clumping. Swirling it into the batter just before or after pouring is usually just a big mess, especially with HP. And adding it to the lye water, even when you were told not to...well... Can you tell I like adding plant matter to my soaps? LOL

EDIT: Now that I'm re-reading your posts I'm not sure if the leaves you added had already been steeped. If not, then they might have just bled. This can be solved by using leaves that have already been steeped and dried a bit - used tea leaves - or sometimes by grinding them finer, to a softer powder. Some leaves, like black tea, bleed more than others and some, like green tea, can prove difficult to prevent coloring the whole batch. I find flower leaves are usually well behaved, but it's been a few moons since I used hibiscus. My notes just say that it irritated my skin leaving it red (newbies get tested on the inside of my elbow).
 
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shunt2011

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I add no plant matter to my soaps because they always had shadows around them or discoloration. Plus I don't want floaties in my tub. Most botanicals/plant matter will turn brown anyway. I do use coffee grounds in one soap but the soap turns brown mostly anyways
 

The_Phoenix

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EDIT: Now that I'm re-reading your posts I'm not sure if the leaves you added had already been steeped. If not, then they might have just bled. This can be solved by using leaves that have already been steeped and dried a bit - used tea leaves - or sometimes by grinding them finer, to a softer powder. Some leaves, like black tea, bleed more than others and some, like green tea, can prove difficult to prevent coloring the whole batch. I find flower leaves are usually well behaved, but it's been a few moons since I used hibiscus. My notes just say that it irritated my skin leaving it red (newbies get tested on the inside of my elbow).
I stepped the dried hibiscus flowers in the tea, strained the tea, used the tea as part of my liquid weight, and then also grinded up some of the stepped flowers and put that in the batter. It's been so long since I made these that I don't remember if I added the pulp" to the lye water or the oils at trace or whatnot. I think it's possible that there were larger particles than others, thus creating not only pockets, but bleeding of color within the pockets. And there is no rancid smell to the soaps.

That said, since making this soap, I grinded a small batch of the dried hibiscus flowers into a fine powder. I haven't used the powder in any soap yet. I do like it as an additive because it is naturally sweet and contributes to bubbly lather. It's possible I can just get away with steeping the dried flowers without adding them in powdered form.

I add no plant matter to my soaps because they always had shadows around them or discoloration. Plus I don't want floaties in my tub. Most botanicals/plant matter will turn brown anyway. I do use coffee grounds in one soap but the soap turns brown mostly anyways
Yup. The tea was a BEAUTIFUL deep red color, but just turned the lye water brown. Now that I think back, I think I was experimenting to see if the botanical might be a source of natural colorant. It did not. I used to use brewed coffee as a colorant, but it dawned on me that I could just use instant coffee. So now I use instant coffee.
 

earlene

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I also drink hibiscus tea; iced it is a wonderful refreshing drink. But I've never used it in soap because to me the flowers are too precious to use for any other purpose than to make the drink. Besides that, I know the lye turns almost every organic I have added to tan or brown, so I would not expect a pretty color. I have used other teas (infusion) in soap, but the only times I've used the tea leaves or flowers in soap, the resulting scratchiness has turned me off to doing it again. Some folks don't get that scratchiness (I am not sure why), but I do and it is far too much for my skin to tolerate.
 

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