Homemade Vanilla Stabilizer?

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Vicki C

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Some of my soaps can be cut the same day that I poured them. It really depends on the ingredients and if you gell your soap.

I bring my soap temperature up to about 150°F and I use sodium lactate and depending on the behavior of my FO I can cut some batches the same day. It is usually 14 - 18 hours later and if I pour the soap around 9am.

I force gell my soap with heating pads and towels wrapped around the soap mold. I have developed a recipe that allows me to get the soap up to 160°F without it going volcano, braining or separating.

However the FO plays a critical role and I have eliminated any FO that generates heat, quick acceleration or any other undesirable trait.

Having said that, it does not always mean that I can cut it the same day.
Good intel thank you! Hoping to try my ZCS today (day off) but got waylaid when my car didn’t pass inspection. Sigh. Always something never nothing.
 

AliOop

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Good intel thank you! Hoping to try my ZCS today (day off) but got waylaid when my car didn’t pass inspection. Sigh. Always something never nothing.
My mom and I like to tease each other, so my expression is, "If it's not one thing, it's your mother." 😄
 

Todd Ziegler

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Good intel thank you! Hoping to try my ZCS today (day off) but got waylaid when my car didn’t pass inspection. Sigh. Always something never nothing.
Sorry to hear that. Inspections are a pain. Indiana got rid of them in the 70's
 

ccsslb

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I've poured through this thread and made copious notes. Thank you to everyone who is so willing to share your findings. It really says a lot about this community!

I'm wondering though, unless I just missed it, how did the .5:1 ZCS:FO trials turn out? Was it as effective as the 1:1 ratio or would it just be easier to stick with the 1:1?
 

Jersey Girl

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Ok...so I just made a soap and used some of the homemade VS and I’m experiencing something I never have before. I’ve had soaps heat up and start to crack, but this was starting to volcano. I’m thinking that using goat milk is the issue. I used 50/50 concentrae GM and aloe juice. Also used 2 T of ground oatmeal and @IrishLass yummy OMH FO combo. As soon as I added the FO/ZCS to the batter, it turned a bright yellow and it soon started looking curdled. I got it in the mold and put it under a cardboard box. I checked on it after a few minutes and it was at 127 with the heat gun. 5 minutes later it was at 158 so I immediately took it out to my back room which is unheated. On the surface the temp dropped pretty quick but then it started getting really dark in the middle and I could actually see it starting to bubble and ooze clear liquid. Slightly panicking I put it outside and surrounded by ice. It’s still got a very dark area in a portion of the middle. I don’t know what happened but I’m going to have to keep a very close eye on it. I’m thinking I can say goodbye to any fragrance if it burned off! Has anyone had this mixture heat up their soap like this? 😬
8026A765-0328-4FC5-8738-3E2ED2DEADF1.jpeg


So I discovered the dark spot is fragrance oil that has leaked out and is sitting there just under the surface. I’m hoping it will reabsorb. Things have thankfully cooled down and I brought it back inside. That was freaky! 😳
 

Todd Ziegler

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I've poured through this thread and made copious notes. Thank you to everyone who is so willing to share your findings. It really says a lot about this community!

I'm wondering though, unless I just missed it, how did the .5:1 ZCS:FO trials turn out? Was it as effective as the 1:1 ratio or would it just be easier to stick with the 1:1?
I personally have not did a 0.5:1 ZCS with a vanillin content, brown discoloring FO. However I have used that ratio for FO's that have no vanillin but cause a slight yellowing of the soap and it works well at that ratio. It is a personal risk when you use less than 1:1 and I do it based off of a lot of personal experience and being very familiar with the FO. So when in doubt always go with 1:1.

Here is an updated picture of one of the original ZCS test soaps. It has a vanillin content of 9% and a dark brown discoloring. It is almost 3 months old and the yellowing you see is because of the camera and not the soap. So far so good.
 

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Sudds

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I personally have not did a 0.5:1 ZCS with a vanillin content, brown discoloring FO. However I have used that ratio for FO's that have no vanillin but cause a slight yellowing of the soap and it works well at that ratio. It is a personal risk when you use less than 1:1 and I do it based off of a lot of personal experience and being very familiar with the FO. So when in doubt always go with 1:1.
Hi Todd, I am new to this forum and everyone has pointed me and others in your direction in regards to using a Vanilla Stabilizer solution in our cp soaps to keep them from turning brown when using vanilla or vanillin. I used to make cp goat's milk soap, almost 8 y.o. I have decided to go back to making it and it has changed dramatically in those years, to say the least! I started researching how to make a homemade vanilla stabilizer when I saw the price, stupid expensive in mho. I learned that a 25% sodium thiosulphate 75% distilled water was the best way to go. Using 1 part vanilla stabilizer to 2 parts fragrance for fragrances that contain less than 10% vanillin & 1 part v stabilizer to 1 part fragrance for fragrances that contain more than 10% vanillin. I see in this forum that folks are using sodium metabisulfite as well do you have any thoughts on these two different products? I am just basically curious. Also, I looked on the Acronyms page and couldn't find what ZCS stands for, would you please enlighten me, I would appreciate it!
 

AliOop

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Hi @Sudds I am not Todd, but I can say that "ZCS" is our forum's acronym for the homemade vanilla stabilizer, which we affectionately dubbed "Zigali's Color Stabilizer." You can search "Zigali" if you want to read more about why we named it that. 😄

Todd did a lot of reading of the patents for the commercial VCS, and then conducted experiments. Based on what he's seen so far, the combination of metabisulfite and thiosulfate seems to work best. He also worked out a formula for how much to use, based on the vanillin content of the fragrance. Here is a separate summary thread that he wrote up.
 

AliOop

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Ok...so I just made a soap and used some of the homemade VS and I’m experiencing something I never have before. I’ve had soaps heat up and start to crack, but this was starting to volcano. I’m thinking that using goat milk is the issue. I used 50/50 concentrae GM and aloe juice. Also used 2 T of ground oatmeal and @IrishLass yummy OMH FO combo. As soon as I added the FO/ZCS to the batter, it turned a bright yellow and it soon started looking curdled. I got it in the mold and put it under a cardboard box. I checked on it after a few minutes and it was at 127 with the heat gun. 5 minutes later it was at 158 so I immediately took it out to my back room which is unheated. On the surface the temp dropped pretty quick but then it started getting really dark in the middle and I could actually see it starting to bubble and ooze clear liquid. Slightly panicking I put it outside and surrounded by ice. It’s still got a very dark area in a portion of the middle. I don’t know what happened but I’m going to have to keep a very close eye on it. I’m thinking I can say goodbye to any fragrance if it burned off! Has anyone had this mixture heat up their soap like this? 😬

So I discovered the dark spot is fragrance oil that has leaked out and is sitting there just under the surface. I’m hoping it will reabsorb. Things have thankfully cooled down and I brought it back inside. That was freaky! 😳
Jersey Girl, how did this soap turn out after unfolding and cutting? Have you had any further adventures with ZCS?
 

Todd Ziegler

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Hi Todd, I am new to this forum and everyone has pointed me and others in your direction in regards to using a Vanilla Stabilizer solution in our cp soaps to keep them from turning brown when using vanilla or vanillin. I used to make cp goat's milk soap, almost 8 y.o. I have decided to go back to making it and it has changed dramatically in those years, to say the least! I started researching how to make a homemade vanilla stabilizer when I saw the price, stupid expensive in mho. I learned that a 25% sodium thiosulphate 75% distilled water was the best way to go. Using 1 part vanilla stabilizer to 2 parts fragrance for fragrances that contain less than 10% vanillin & 1 part v stabilizer to 1 part fragrance for fragrances that contain more than 10% vanillin. I see in this forum that folks are using sodium metabisulfite as well do you have any thoughts on these two different products? I am just basically curious. Also, I looked on the Acronyms page and couldn't find what ZCS stands for, would you please enlighten me, I would appreciate it!
I can't really add any more to what @AliOop has said without a really long post. I will just reiterate that the combination of sodium metabisulfate and Sodium thiosulfate together will give you the best value and coverage.

If you are making a lot of soap with vanillin in the FO, this will save you a lot of money.
 

Jersey Girl

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Jersey Girl, how did this soap turn out after unfolding and cutting? Have you had any further adventures with ZCS?
Hi! I had 2 failed overheated loaves. My first ever fails! Second loaf I even used half as much ZCS and it still overheated badly. I threw them both out. I made a third loaf and didn’t use the ZCS and it was fine. It had to be the goat milk. I’ve used the fo before with no issues. So be warned...it doesn’t play well with milk! 😬
 

AliOop

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Oh no, I use GM in almost all of my soaps. 😭
 

Jersey Girl

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Oh no, I use GM in almost all of my soaps. 😭
The only other thing I can think of is that one of the fragrance oils i used to mix the oatmeal milk and honey blend is milk sugar kisses from Daystar. I used @IrishLass wonderful blend. That FO has phthalate in it. I wonder if that reacted somehow. When I mixed the ZCS and FO together with a mini mixer to get them to blend it became a milky color and thickened up within a couple minutes to a slurry consistency but it didnt feel hot. Just got thick and white. It was weird
 

AliOop

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@Jersey Girl Wow, it does sound like a reaction with that specific FO.

I still haven't made any ZCS yet, because I'd just purchased several bottles of VCS from Bittercreek before this whole conversation (or is it a movement? 🧐😁) got started. Plus, I haven't soaped much since before the holidays, when we were down with COVID. Still catching up with life now. Guess I need to start soaping and using some vanillin FOs so I can move on to trying ZCS!
 

Sudds

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Hi @Sudds I am not Todd, but I can say that "ZCS" is our forum's acronym for the homemade vanilla stabilizer, which we affectionately dubbed "Zigali's Color Stabilizer." You can search "Zigali" if you want to read more about why we named it that. 😄

Todd did a lot of reading of the patents for the commercial VCS, and then conducted experiments. Based on what he's seen so far, the combination of metabisulfite and thiosulfate seems to work best. He also worked out a formula for how much to use, based on the vanillin content of the fragrance. Here is a separate summary thread that he wrote up.
I think I read everything he posted and I so appreciate the work he did. I also went back again and looked at what I had previously read and the information I was reading was for HP soap! Duh, I feel really stupid. I must apologize to Todd as I do realize how much effort he put into his research! I hope I have not stepped on too many toes, I didn't mean to.
 

Sudds

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I can't really add any more to what @AliOop has said without a really long post. I will just reiterate that the combination of sodium metabisulfate and Sodium thiosulfate together will give you the best value and coverage.

If you are making a lot of soap with vanillin in the FO, this will save you a lot of money.
Hi Todd, Please let me apologize for reading the information I quoted to you incorrectly, it was for HP soap, not cold pour. I am so sorry, and please accept my sincere apology. I read every post you wrote on the stabilizer as I was appalled at the price for one thing and was super curious about how you went about finding all the info you did! I really appreciate the time you spent doing all the research for the rest of us that use and will be using your vanilla stabilizer. I have both products coming today along with airtight bottles! I love vanilla and will be using it a lot in the future, so thank you for saving me a lot of money so I can buy more oils and butters, etc.
 
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Todd Ziegler

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Hi Todd, Please let me apologize for reading the information I quoted to you incorrectly, it was for HP soap, not cold pour. I am so sorry, and please accept my sincere apology. I read every post you wrote on the stabilizer as I was appalled at the price for one thing and was super curious about how you went about finding all the info you did! I really appreciate the time you spent doing all the research for the rest of us that use and will be using your vanilla stabilizer. I have both products coming today along with airtight bottles! I love vanilla and will be using it a lot in the future, so thank you for saving me a lot of money so I can buy more oils and butters, etc.
Absolutely no need to apologize. The thread got very long and confusing. We started a second thread with the intention of boiling it down to just the pertinent information but that got out of control too lol. If you have a specific question about the ZCS or VCS please ask.

Here's the formula that I use, just in case you need it.
10 ounces of distilled water
3 ozs - sodium metabisulfate
3 ozs - sodium thiosulfate
Heat the water up to speed up the dissolving. Then I dissolve the thiosulfate first because it is the easiest to dissolve and then I dissolve the metabisulfate.
I add just a little bit more water before I heat it up in order to compensate for water that is lost through steam. I add about 0.05 more.

Please share your results with us. Also you can PM me if you have any questions. It helps cut down on the size of the thread.
 
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