Latest soap failure that actually ended up not so bad

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bumbleklutz

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As I have mentioned in the past, I am EXTREMELY swirl impaired; but that ain't gonna stop me from trying. :twisted: So last night in a fit of madness; after watching a "soaping 101" tutorial on youtube, I decided to try a tilted tiger stripe. I really need to stay off of youtube. Everyone's soaps there are too gorgeous, and I'm easily tempted.

Of course I decided to use an untried and untested FO just because, why not? :crazy: Well, everything was going pretty well. I had added the FO to the oils before the lye, just as a precaution; because I'm only mostly nuts.

As I began to pour, the batter started to go grainy. I'm not sure if this was ricing or not; but I beat the snot out of it and it smoothed out so I continued on. By the time I got all the batter in the mold, it was pretty thick; and in another momentary loss of reason I decided it would be a good idea to CPOP. Cause, you know. Why not?

I wanted the colors to POP and I needed to get a nice full gel for that to happen. :problem: So into the warming drawer set at 160f it went for an hour. After an hour, I shut off the heat and checked on the soap.

What awaited me in the drawer looked like something out of a horror movie! We had brains! Not just any old brains, but ALIEN BRAINS, and not just your garden variety alien brains. These were suicidal alien brains that had decided to sacrifice themselves and to end it all by throwing themselves into the erupting volcano that had formed!

When I tried to move my growing monstrosity from the warming drawer; it was then that I realized the entire loaf of soap was LIQUID. Not just thin, not soupy or lava-like, not even a pudding; but LIQUID sloshing around the mold like pure water bubbling up from a spring, a spring in Hell.

I was sure all was lost. So I shut the drawer, and went to bed. I did sleep with one eye open just in case the monster decided to come take revenge on its creator. :smile:

Fast forward to this morning, I decided that I needed to clean up the mess. So I carefully removed the mold from the drawer, and to my surprise the soap had solidified! I thought for certain that it had separated in the mold and was ruined. I just KNEW it wouldn't be usable. It had to have lye pockets or something; and it certainly wouldn't be pretty.

I was about to chuck the critter in the trash when temporary insanity struck again. I thought, "Since you've gotta get it out of the mold anyway, you might as well cut it up. What's to lose"? Am I ever glad that I did. Other than the alien brains which can be trimmed off the top of the bars, and the few bars that were ruined by the volcano. (It was on one end of the mold.) The rest of the soap turned out OK!

The bars are weeping a little bit of glycerin. I zap tested, and it's definitely not lye. It's not FO as this liquid is clear and the FO had a pinkish color. So I'm thinking it must be glycerin as it has a slightly sweetish taste to it.

The best part though: The #$@@^% tilted tiger stripe CAME OUT FINE!!! The soap is still too soft to trim up and polish, but once the glycerin reabsorbs/evaporates/does whatever it is that glycerin does and the bars firm up a little pics will follow.

It just goes to show you, it ain't over until it's over. Thanks for listening to my rant.
 

snappyllama

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Ha! I'm glad your monster turned into a mouse instead!

Do you normally CPOP at 160? Most of the folks around here pour into a warmed mold and then turn off their oven to just leave their soap in overnight.
 

earlene

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I love your descriptive story telling technique!

I am really glad you didn't toss it into the trash. What a learning experience, huh?

Next time, turn the oven off as soon as or just before you put the molded soap batter into the warming oven. If you have a lower setting than 160, use that, but if 160 is as low as it will go that's fine. You just don't want to keep it that hot.

Depending on if you have a lot of sugary ingredients or a lot of Coconut Oil, well both can lead to volcanoing in combination with too much heat. Also the more liquid in the recipe, the more likely, too. I tend to soap at higher lye concentrations, which means less liquid, and haven't had any volcanoes in quite some time. But I do remember a couple from when I used the default setting in Soapcalc and using high sugar content ingredients.

How did the colors come out? Did they come out to your expectation? I await your photos.
 

bumbleklutz

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Ha! I'm glad your monster turned into a mouse instead!

Do you normally CPOP at 160? Most of the folks around here pour into a warmed mold and then turn off their oven to just leave their soap in overnight.
Snappyllama, I'm relatively new to CPOP, and I've only tried it a few times.

I chose to use the warming drawer, because it only has 1 setting 160f; and I was afraid if I left it in the oven which goes as low as 140f someone would try to cook something without looking inside first. :silent:

I had read a few different tutorials online concerning CPOP that indicated that I should put the soap in the oven at various temperatures (140f-170f) and leave it there for various amounts of time (1 hour-3 hours) then turn off the heat and leave it over night.

Seeing as I tend to seek the path of least resistance, (read that as I'm lazy..lol) I just split the difference and figured about an hour at 160f would be ok.

Not so much, I guess.

The only other time I got alien brains, was the first time I tried CPOP; and that was mild by comparison. In that case, I forgot to set a timer and left the soap in at 160f for THREE hours.

That one came out ok, but my god was it an ugly baby. :twisted:

Earlene, I had 14% coconut oil and 14% PKO in that batch. I find that the two together have a synergy that each one alone doesn't. With 5% castor added in I get the bubbles that I want. I loves me some bubbles... lol.

Unfortunately, with palm and pomace olive oil added in; my soap can trace mighty fast. Even at just above room temperature. That's why I went to hand whisking instead of stick blending. That and the fact that I need the workout...:)

No sugar in the batch, but you're right about the water. I was using a 25% lye solution. I wanted to use a weaker lye solution (i.e. 25%) to slow down trace as I like to use a lot of hard oils in my recipe as you can see, and I'm EXTREMELY swirl impaired. I figured the extra water would give me a little extra time to play.

Thank you for your kind words, and thank you for the info on CPOP, I'm going to take your advice on the next batch.

The colors turned out very nice for the most part. My violet ultramarine wasn't strong enough to overcome the yellowish/greenish tones in my oils, so it came out kind of greyish instead of violet, but that's ok. The grey look actually makes a nice contrast against the pink, pastel green, and yellow in the other lines. :) I think the TiO2 I used probably created some glycerin rivers too, but I kind of like that "crackled" look.

Finally, a picture of the monster...lol. The bars are still very soft. The one on the right has had its "brains" removed and is slightly cleaned up. It's still to soft to shine it up, but at least you get an idea of how the striping came out. The other 2 are there as a warning of what NOT to do to your soap, and as an example of "alien brains"...LOL
 
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lenarenee

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I had no idea there could be a happy ending to alien brains. It's very pretty so you'll have to change your thinking about being a swirl klutz!
 

bumbleklutz

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I had no idea there could be a happy ending to alien brains. It's very pretty so you'll have to change your thinking about being a swirl klutz!
Awww! Thanks for your kind words lenarenee. I still don't think it compares to some of the gorgeous soaps I've seen from others here on the forum and elsewhere; but the more I look at it the more I like it. :) For me, it's a definite "swirl success". Given how some of my prior attempts have turned out, I'm actually quite proud of this one. :grin:
 

penelopejane

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I was using a 25% lye solution. I wanted to use a weaker lye solution (i.e. 25%) to slow down trace as I like to use a lot of hard oils in my recipe as you can see, and I'm EXTREMELY swirl impaired.
The lower the lye concentration the longer the soap will take to harden up.
You might find waiting for your lye mixture to be cold before you mix your other oils etc in together. This will give you more time to do your swirls.

I warm my oven to 100*F turn it off and check with a thermometer before I put my soap in. I wrap my soap in a blanket and leave it overnight.
 
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