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Large unbreakable fragments in mica?

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SpaceCorgi94

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So a little while ago I bought some really cheap (and low volume) packs of Mica off Ebay to kind of start off my collection, give me some options, etc.

I've used these particular micas a few times and all of which I've noticed these large fragments (that I really can't use) making up maybe.... 20% of the total volume of the amount I'm using.

I've sort of gotten around this by alcohol-washing my mica before I actually add it to the soap, kind of like reverse gold panning. I pile an amount of the mica into a shallow pool of alcohol and swill it around, pouring out the viable dissolved mica into a 2nd vessel, and continuing to wash the leftovers up to 3 times. The photo below is of the mica after 3 washes, for reference, some of these fragments are larger than 1mm wide, so not especially great for soap making 👀

127058191_223027012753281_4463808761511810597_n.jpg

I'm not especially upset or anything, it's not like I've wasted a heap of money or anything like that, I'm just wondering what these large fragments could potentially be. Sand? Unprocessed mica? I'm guessing it's a staple of cheap micas and why to avoid them, but with what I've salvaged through the washing has lead to some great pastel colourings for my embeds.
 

SoapMedic

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no idea what those fragments could be. Is the mica definitely listed as skin-safe? Micas are also used in many industries like the auto industry to color paints, etc. If it was made in China no telling what debris could be in it. I understand you are just starting a collection, just be careful what you use. Hint: today (Black Friday) Nurture soaps is selling their sample size micas for 50% off! You get a decent amount, they are high quality/tested in soap and great customer service. (and no need to alcohol-wash!) Have fun!
 

AliOop

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You can also try grinding the large pieces in a spice grinder/ coffee grinder to break them up. I have an older one that I use only for making body-care products, not food. I think it was $10?
 

SpaceCorgi94

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no idea what those fragments could be. Is the mica definitely listed as skin-safe? Micas are also used in many industries like the auto industry to color paints, etc. If it was made in China no telling what debris could be in it. I understand you are just starting a collection, just be careful what you use. Hint: today (Black Friday) Nurture soaps is selling their sample size micas for 50% off! You get a decent amount, they are high quality/tested in soap and great customer service. (and no need to alcohol-wash!) Have fun!
Yeah the listing said it was safe for all sorts of the usual applications (soap, candles, bathbombs, etc) however it's clear they're just bulking their product out with extra material.

As for the tip on Nurture Soaps, thank you! I bought these colours a long while ago, so, truth be told I've already built a collection with higher quality micas, but I think I will get a sample pack from somewhere like that (which cheaper shipping in Australia 😛) just so I can get rid of these first ones I got for good.
 

Anstarx

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Likely minerals that are used for filler material. They are usually harmless but specks like that aren't unusual, so possibly a bad batch.
And no, not even bad mica should have those.
I live in China so the so called bad mica is all I can get without spending an arm and a leg, and I had never seen specks like that. Never trust that supplier again lol.
 

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