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Jersey Girl

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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!
Im happy to hear you are feeling better!
 

Todd Ziegler

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Have you made one withe GM and ZCS yet? If you try one I would suggest putting it right in the freezer. I’m too afraid to try again. I love GM soaps too.
I have made soap with goat milk powder and the ZCS and didn't have any problems. So it could be the liquid milk that is the problem, maybe.

If you mix VCS or ZCS with your FO it will turn a milky color and sometimes thicken. However if you let it set for a while, it will separate back out. I no longer mix the 2 before adding it to the rest of the batch. My best guess is that when it's mixed with the oil, lye and water it gets emulsified and that is why it still works in the soap. Don't forget that when you mix the ZCS and FO you are mixing oil with water.

On the overheating issue that you are having. I really think it is the FO in combination with the liquid goat milk that is causing the overheating. I have only experienced overheating once and the FO that I used caused the overheating. I used it without the ZCS and still overheated. I have used both VCS and ZCS with 25 different FO's and with goat milk powder and only experienced the overheating that one time.

Have you tried leaving the liquid goat milk out or use the powdered instead? It might give you a better idea of what is causing it.
 

Jersey Girl

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I have made soap with goat milk powder and the ZCS and didn't have any problems. So it could be the liquid milk that is the problem, maybe.

If you mix VCS or ZCS with your FO it will turn a milky color and sometimes thicken. However if you let it set for a while, it will separate back out. I no longer mix the 2 before adding it to the rest of the batch. My best guess is that when it's mixed with the oil, lye and water it gets emulsified and that is why it still works in the soap. Don't forget that when you mix the ZCS and FO you are mixing oil with water.

On the overheating issue that you are having. I really think it is the FO in combination with the liquid goat milk that is causing the overheating. I have only experienced overheating once and the FO that I used caused the overheating. I used it without the ZCS and still overheated. I have used both VCS and ZCS with 25 different FO's and with goat milk powder and only experienced the overheating that one time.

Have you tried leaving the liquid goat milk out or use the powdered instead? It might give you a better idea of what is causing it.
Actually, the second batch I made I used powdered GM and Aloe Juice instead of the evaporated and half the amount of ZCS and it still it overheated. The only thing I can think of it it could be the FO in combination with the ZCS because when I made the third batch with all evaporated GM but no stabilizer it was fine. Which FO did you use that overheated? Because I used a blend, of two different scents I’m not sure which one was the culprit! It was about a 70/30 blend of milk sugar kisses to OMH. I really want this to work but I’m afraid to try again! Im using the pentahydrate form of the thiosulfate if you think that could make a difference.
 

Todd Ziegler

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Actually, the second batch I made I used powdered GM and Aloe Juice instead of the evaporated and half the amount of ZCS and it still it overheated. The only thing I can think of it it could be the FO in combination with the ZCS because when I made the third batch with all evaporated GM but no stabilizer it was fine. Which FO did you use that overheated? Because I used a blend, of two different scents I’m not sure which one was the culprit! It was about a 70/30 blend of milk sugar kisses to OMH. I really want this to work but I’m afraid to try again! Im using the pentahydrate form of the thiosulfate if you think that could make a difference.
The FO that overheated was "sugared strawberry" from nurture soap.

It could be the combination of the FO and the ZCS but this is the first time that I have heard this happening. All things are possible though. But I feel bad because it is my formula that caused your failure. I guess that I am more personally tied to its success than I thought. I keep trying to blame everything else lol.

It could be the pentahydrate form that is causing it and the only evidence that I have for it, is that you are the only one who I know that is using the pentahydrate form. However I just don't think that it is the pentahydrate form but I will do some research and get back to you.
 

Todd Ziegler

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I want to clear something up for everyone. I have had several questions about the correct form of thiosulfate that should be used in the ZCS.

I did a lot of research and made a phone call to a chemist friend of mine.

Sodium thiosulfate pentahydrate is the correct form of thiosulfate to use. It seems that some sellers drop the pentahydrate from the description for some reason and that makes it confusing.

Sodium thiosulfate is a white powder and has less water in it. Sodium thiosulfate pentahydrate comes in a crystal form.

If the description says sodium thiosulfate pentahydrate or just sodium thiosulfate but it shows a picture of crystals, then you have the right one.

If you have a powder instead of crystal clear form then you have just plain sodium thiosulfate. Sodium thiosulfate can be used but you will have to use less than 3 oz amount because it is a more concentrated form.

I have never used the sodium thiosulfate powder and I don't know exactly how much you would need to use. So I highly recommend that you get the pentahydrate form. If you have any doubt, ask the seller to confirm which one they are selling.
 

Todd Ziegler

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Here is another original soap from the beginning of my tests. It has yellowed a little bit. The picture is not great. The FO is the same as the picture I posted a couple of days ago. The only difference is that I used white mica in the other one and this one is without color except for the blue. I still consider this a success because without the ZCS it would be a very dark brown.
 

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Todd Ziegler

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Well I have found a FO that has partially defeated the VCS & ZCS. I say partially because the FO causes a very dark brown with any stabilizer but I still get a little yellowing around the edges. However the middle is white, which leads me to believe that heat plays a part in the prevention of discoloring. I stop gelling my soap at a minimum of 150°F and this one got up to 155°F, except for the edges which only got about 145°F - 148°F +/-.

However like I said, this soap could be a very dark brown if not for the ZCS. I have used this FO 4 times, twice with VCS, twice with ZCS and the outcome has been the same. Except for the one I used titanium dioxide in and it didn't have any discoloring that came through.

I used blue and green mica in this and the picture is not great but I think you will get the gist of it.
 

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RDak

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Just saw this thread, THANKS Todd.

So please anyone let me see if I got this right:

Basic recipe: 3 parts ST, 3 parts SM to 10 parts water?

Use this mixture at a 1 to 1 ratio with the amount of fragrance oil (e.g., 1 ounce mixture with 1 ounce FO)?

Can I use this mixture as part of my water when dissolving the lye or only after the soap is made and added at the same time as the FO? In other words can this mixture be in the lye water and no need to add later on after I cook the soap (I use the double boiler method)?

ETA: Do I adjust my lye water amount if the mixture can only be used later on when adding fragrance oil?

And, this will ONLY work with vanillin to keep the soap lighter colored? It will not work to make all soaps lighter colored?

Thanks for any info.
 

Todd Ziegler

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Just saw this thread, THANKS Todd.

So please anyone let me see if I got this right:

Basic recipe: 3 parts ST, 3 parts SM to 10 parts water?

Use this mixture at a 1 to 1 ratio with the amount of fragrance oil (e.g., 1 ounce mixture with 1 ounce FO)?

Can I use this mixture as part of my water when dissolving the lye or only after the soap is made and added at the same time as the FO? In other words can this mixture be in the lye water and no need to add later on after I cook the soap (I use the double boiler method)?

ETA: Do I adjust my lye water amount if the mixture can only be used later on when adding fragrance oil?

And, this will ONLY work with vanillin to keep the soap lighter colored? It will not work to make all soaps lighter colored?

Thanks for any info.
You have the formula right.

We recommend that you make this ahead of time and store it in an airtight bottle. Then you can just measure out what you need. I do not recommend adding this to your lye/water. Just add it at the same time as you add your FO.

It's possible to do a water discount but you don't need to. I personally don't do it.

The ZCS will help prevent discoloring from FO ingredients of all kinds but that is all.

I don't recommend making this in small batches and you need to make your bottle (glass or plastic) airtight with a rubber stopper or a liner of some kind when you screw on the lid. If it is exposed to air for a few days, it will crystalize and become unusable.

I use it at 1:1 with the FO. If your FO discolors without vanillin, then you can use a little less than 1:1 but only experience with the FO will let you know how much to use. If in doubt always use the 1:1 ratio.
 
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RDak

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Thank you Todd!!!

Was kinda hoping I could add it to the lye water but I won't now.
 

Zonda

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Hi, New to soaping so trying to catch up on the acronyms. "3 parts ST, 3 parts SM". What is SM? Thanks,
 

dibbles

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Hi, New to soaping so trying to catch up on the acronyms. "3 parts ST, 3 parts SM". What is SM? Thanks,
SM = sodium metabisulfite
ST = sodium thiosulfate
I'd go back and read through the thread. There are a lot of little nuggets sprinkled about. And welcome! :)

Edit to add: I just remembered that @Todd Ziegler posted a closed thread today that should have all the information in a more concise format. Making homemade VCS, called ZCS

Edit again to add: there is a sticky thread listing acronyms in the beginner's section that might be helpful for you. The Acronym and Abbreviation Definition Thread...
 

Todd Ziegler

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SM = sodium metabisulfite
ST = sodium thiosulfate
I'd go back and read through the thread. There are a lot of little nuggets sprinkled about. And welcome! :)

Edit to add: I just remembered that @Todd Ziegler posted a closed thread today that should have all the information in a more concise format. Making homemade VCS, called ZCS

Edit again to add: there is a sticky thread listing acronyms in the beginner's section that might be helpful for you. The Acronym and Abbreviation Definition Thread...
Thank you @dibbles for posting the sticky link. I was getting ready to do it myself. If anyone thinks that there is something that needs to be changed or added to the sticky link please PM me and I will look it over. I am going to add the acronyms today.
 

Todd Ziegler

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I am going to make a suggestion for the acronym for the thiosulfate. I think it should be STP (sodium thiosulfate pentahydrate) because there are 2 forms of it and the pentahydrate is the correct one. The only difference between the two is the amount of water in it and the shape.

Sodium thiosulfate is a powder and it has less water than the sodium thiosulfate PENTAHYDRATE. Also the powder form is more expensive.

I want to get ahead of this because this is the most asked question that I get from people who just discovered the thread.
 
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RDak

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Todd: I just went and looked at your sticky post again and you say the ST has two different forms not SM.

Am I missing something?
 

Todd Ziegler

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Todd: I just went and looked at your sticky post again and you say the ST has two different forms not SM.

Am I missing something?
Yes, we are making the corrections right now. The sodium thiosulfate comes in two forms.
 

Todd Ziegler

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The picture shows a soap that I used ZCS in. The only difference being that I force gelled one and not the other. I have seen this happen with some other discoloring FO's that I used with ZCS but after a few days of curing the color disappeared. It leads me to believe that force gelling helps the ZCS work better or faster, not sure which.
 

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