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Homemade Vanilla Stabilizer?

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earlene

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My plans to start testing got delayed, but I think I have my testing plan pretty much set, Todd. I'll send you the way I set it up via PM (conversations) and hope to hear back from you if it sounds anything like a reasonable process.

BTW, how did your surgery go? Mine was postponed due to an anomaly in my EKG, and it looks like it won't happen until Februrary at the earliest now.
 

Todd Ziegler

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I have been using Sodium Metabisulphate by itself and it’s working for me at half of my FO amount.

I have found that keeping my lotion slightly acidic keeps Vanillin FO discoloration to a minimum. I use BB Cocoa Butter Cashmere FO in lotion and it doesn’t turn but we usually use up a batch of lotion within 3 months. I havent kept the lotion for over 3 months to see if it does eventually turn brown.
Thanks for the update. I also personally believe that it does not need to be used at a 1:1 ratio. Depending on how dark and what color the FO will turn the soap, I will adjust the amount of ZCS or VCS that I use. If it will only get a little yellow, I will use just 50% of the ZCS to the FO.
 

JoyfulSudz

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If I were to add the ZCS to my soap, I assume I would need to add these components to my ingredients list. I'm concerned people might be put off by the sound of these strange sounding chemicals in their soap. I've already had to reassure a number of people about such scary words as sodium hydroxide and sodium lactate. Could you just list it as Color Stabilizer?
 

AliOop

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If I were to add the ZCS to my soap, I assume I would need to add these components to my ingredients list. I'm concerned people might be put off by the sound of these strange sounding chemicals in their soap. I've already had to reassure a number of people about such scary words as sodium hydroxide and sodium lactate. Could you just list it as Color Stabilizer?
According to INCI definitions, you can list it as fragrance.
 

AliOop

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I make CP. The FOs my 8 year old uses for Melt and Pour don’t discolor so I haven’t tested it in Melt and Pour.
Thank you! I just wasn't sure from your post whether you had only tried the metabisulfite in lotion, or also in your CP soap. Based on your experience, and Todd's experiments, I'm going to try the metabisulfite when I run out of the other VCS. :)
 

glendam

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@AliOop
Thank you! I added the ROE to the master batched oils. So either the thiosulfate has migrated to the half that didn’t have it (top half) or the ROE is helping prevent the oxidation. I can see some discolored ghost spots, like purplish brown but they are hard to see.
I stamped it bc the bum effect was frustrating to me!
@Todd Ziegler I stamped this one the day after cutting it. Mainly as a distraction for the failed drop swirl. It was a 40% lye solution and thr soap was pretty solid, I have been experimenting making the stamps and stamping lately, so I have tried them with soaps as old as 10 days and the day of cutting (do not recommend it). 10 day old soaps have worked If the soaps were soft to begin with (swirly designs). But on others, day three can be too late. (If fragrance accelerated, and used low water)

I added the ROE at 0.05% rate of all the oils, before adding the lye, so pretty low %. I wouldn’t use higher because I have read here it will work the opposite (promote oxidation rather than prevent it).
The vanillin content is supposed to be 0.5% yet it has produced dark brown soap before. Darker than milk chocolate, more like dark chocolate.
 

Todd Ziegler

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@AliOop
Thank you! I added the ROE to the master batched oils. So either the thiosulfate has migrated to the half that didn’t have it (top half) or the ROE is helping prevent the oxidation. I can see some discolored ghost spots, like purplish brown but they are hard to see.
I stamped it bc the bum effect was frustrating to me!
@Todd Ziegler I stamped this one the day after cutting it. Mainly as a distraction for the failed drop swirl. It was a 40% lye solution and thr soap was pretty solid, I have been experimenting making the stamps and stamping lately, so I have tried them with soaps as old as 10 days and the day of cutting (do not recommend it). 10 day old soaps have worked If the soaps were soft to begin with (swirly designs). But on others, day three can be too late. (If fragrance accelerated, and used low water)

I added the ROE at 0.05% rate of all the oils, before adding the lye, so pretty low %. I wouldn’t use higher because I have read here it will work the opposite (promote oxidation rather than prevent it).
The vanillin content is supposed to be 0.5% yet it has produced dark brown soap before. Darker than milk chocolate, more like dark chocolate.
0.5% is a low amount of vanillin and I have come to the conclusion that there is a lot of different ingredients that can cause the soap to discolor other than vanillin. That is why it is important that you buy from a retailer who tests their FO's and gives you an accurate description of what will happen when you use the FO.

I use ROE in the same way and amount that you do but if the FO caused any discoloring, I used some amount of ZCS in the soap. So I don't have any soap to look at and compare results.
 

dibbles

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Wait...now I'm confused. Todd, did you add ROE to all your soap batches in addition to the ZCS? Do you add ROE to your oils when you open the bottles, or only to your soap batches?
 

glendam

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0.5% is a low amount of vanillin and I have come to the conclusion that there is a lot of different ingredients that can cause the soap to discolor other than vanillin. That is why it is important that you buy from a retailer who tests their FO's and gives you an accurate description of what will happen when you use the FO.
Agreed. Nurture soap did show a picture of their soap being dark brown, so I was prepared for it. You are right that other ingredients can cause discoloration, I have noticed that too with the fragrance Sweater Weather from Bescented, which has 0% vanillin yet it turns brown. The first time I used the Nurture Soap fo that discolors, it did so within two weeks. The picture above with the stamp was taken at the 3 week mark, which is why I am wondering if it is the ROE helping out.
 

AliOop

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@dibbles I am curious about that, as well. I don't normally add ROE since I don't have issues with DOS. Although now that I am starting to add RBO, maybe I will.

In any event, I'd hate to learn that the success of ZCS was dependent upon also using ROE. Hopefully Glenda and Todd can suss that out for us.
 

glendam

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@AliOop Next time I master batch oils I will set apart a portion before adding the ROE to test. I only started using ROE consistently in the last couple of months, so I am curious to see what happens too. I made the chocolate mint soap that I linked earlier in Feb of this year, and it did not have ROE.
 

Todd Ziegler

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Wait...now I'm confused. Todd, did you add ROE to all your soap batches in addition to the ZCS? Do you add ROE to your oils when you open the bottles, or only to your soap batches?
I add the ROE when I first open the bottle. But I only add ROE to my safflower oil at a rate 0.5% of the bottle weight, which is 0.04ozs. and not to anything else, plus I only use 10%-15% safflower to any of my recipes. So I really doubt that the ROE in my recipes is doing anything. Some of the recipes that I have tested with the ZCS have no ROE in them.
 

dibbles

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@glendam and @Todd Ziegler thank you - this clears things up in my mind better. I will add ROE to my oils when opened if they are in a large jug. The smaller ones I don't as I can use them up quickly. I haven't ever added ROE to my soap batter in addition to that, so I was wondering if you do one or the other, or both.
 

Sheedy18

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I have been using Sodium Metabisulphate by itself and it’s working for me at half of my FO amount.

I have found that keeping my lotion slightly acidic keeps Vanillin FO discoloration to a minimum. I use BB Cocoa Butter Cashmere FO in lotion and it doesn’t turn but we usually use up a batch of lotion within 3 months. I havent kept the lotion for over 3 months to see if it does eventually turn brown.
Hi @Saponificarian I've just got my Sodium Metabisulphate in, may I ask how you mix it into the batch? Do you dissolve in water first? I saw earlier you said you add it to vinegar do you think I could add it to the lye solution?
 

Saponificarian

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Hi @Saponificarian I've just got my Sodium Metabisulphate in, may I ask how you mix it into the batch? Do you dissolve in water first? I saw earlier you said you add it to vinegar do you think I could add it to the lye solution?
I would advise you mix into water or vinegar. Please use a mask when working with the Sodium Metabisulphate. I add the mixture to my FO and then add to my oils or my batch. I have never added it directly to the lye water.
 

Todd Ziegler

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Hi @Saponificarian I've just got my Sodium Metabisulphate in, may I ask how you mix it into the batch? Do you dissolve in water first? I saw earlier you said you add it to vinegar do you think I could add it to the lye solution?
I would suggest that you make a master batch of your metabisulfite and then use it and add it to your oils.
 

earlene

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Thank you to AliOop for posting the article in your OP & starting this thread, and thank you to glendam for posting your video and findings in your experiments. And thank you Todd for your generous sharing all of your experiments and findings. And thank you to Jersey Girl for finding & posting that information about the aka's for the chemicals in question & the ingredient list for the WSP VS. And to everyone else who contributed additional information along the way. It all helped me to work out what information to look for in developing a plan to do my own testing that I hope will complement what you all have already done, as well as to satisfy my own curiosity on this topic.

My plans to start testing got delayed, but I think I have my testing plan pretty much set, Todd. I'll send you the way I set it up via PM (conversations) and hope to hear back from you if it sounds anything like a reasonable process.
My trials for DIY Vanillin Color Stabilizing formula variants will start after my order from WSP comes, and quite possibly after Christmas because we are closing on a house for my son next week and I will be helping him move cross-country immediately thereafter.

After consulting with Todd & DeeAnna, I have a plan designed for doing 9 variants of formulas using these two chemicals (sodium metabisulfite; sodium thiosulfate pentahydrate) at different strengths, singly & in combination, plus a control and a comparison against BCN's VS.

The two factors that delayed my getting started was designing & fine-tuning a written plan and data collection methods & criteria, as well as the fact that other life events are ongoing. The latest delay has been that I decided to go with a fragrance oil that was readily available to most soap makers rather than the more limited availability of a made-to-order FO that most folks cannot, nor may never be able to get in the future. The FO I have chosen has a vanillin content of 9% and I bought enough of it to repeat this DIY Vanillin Color Stabilizer project a few times over. In other words, I ordered enough to get this done without running out. I hope I don't come to hate the FO! I will be using only one FO in my test project, as well as the same soap formula and no added colorants to make analysis easier use color saturation data.

I will not be repeating all of Todd's testing, but will be doing some other formulations in the process, as well as conducting periodic and long-term data collection. So it will be awhile before I report back with possibly conclusive results. I intend to follow this project through over the course of a year with follow up data collection for another year thereafter. However, I will post periodic progress & interim reports, perhaps on a monthly basis to start, with a 6-month interim report, first end-of-year report and follow-up in the second year for long-term results. Providing long-term data will hopefully show which of the 9 formulas provides longer term color inhibition.

Type of soap I will make for this project: Cold Process soap only.
What will not be included in this study: any other form of soap or B&B product; any possible ancillary contributing factors to color change inhibition (such as what any other chemicals or soap ingredients may contribute.)


In the meantime, folks, please remember to wear appropriate PPE when you work with these chemicals.

In my research to prepare for this project and in my written plan, I included not only PPE requirements for said chemicals, but also disposal requirements in the case that disposal is ever necessary, so you may want to take a look at that section on both MSD Sheets if you are going to be working with these chemicals yourself.

Below are 4 links that indicate PPE required for working with these two chemicals. If you are in the UK, you will need the EU equivalent (or better) for the masks/PPE. For our purposes, full skin protection is recommended, including boots, and N95 mask at minimum, and a well ventilated area and handling powder in such a way that dust is not bandied about. In fact, it is suggested that for high dust situations, dust particles be container under a ventilation hood. And caution must be taken to prevent animals and other humans from exposure.


For also-known-as or synonyms or other names for these chemicals, should you need them here are some links:
 

Melysg25

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Heres what im understanding:

3oz metabisulfate
3oz thiosulfate
10oz water

then use 1:1: for f.O
Ex: I use 1oz FO per batch so would I use 1oz of above solution?

Can this solution be stored in fridge for later use?
Does that 1oz solution NEED to be calculated into my water weight even though it would go in post cook?
 
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