May 2024 SMF Challenge: Hanger Swirls!

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Sign-up list:
1. Justsomeguy - it's gonna be nerve wrecking but I'm in. My first venture into multicolored soap😬
2. Ackosel - I need to get a hanger and learn how to use it. Expecting to enjoy the learning process, submit a very unimpressive entry, and have fun doing it!
3. Relle
4. dmcgee5034 - have hanger, will swirl 🌸
5. McKherringFarm
6. akseattle
7. Firefly24
8. SoapM0m - I've been making soap for over 25 years and I've *never* done a challenge! This should be fun! :)
9. The_Emerald_Chicken
10. Vicki C
11. Zuleika - Hang myself on this.
12. Tammyfarms - starting to plan the design. This is the most time consuming part for me. 😂
13. dibbles - it's about time for me to attempt a Luna Swirl
14. CLMP this was a fun challenge!
15.Deebeesnj- excited to participate and learn!
16. ScentimentallyYours - have a new supply of 12” Dunkin’ straws for my swirl tool. 🧋💫
17.Nanna, been a few months since made a soap and thought this would be a good challenge.
18. Bubz
 
To enter the May 2024 SMF Challenge, copy and paste these instructions and the entire list into a new post, adding the next number and your name to the bottom of the list.

Sign-up list:

1. Justsomeguy - it's gonna be nerve wrecking but I'm in. My first venture into multicolored soap😬
2. Ackosel - I need to get a hanger and learn how to use it. Expecting to enjoy the learning process, submit a very unimpressive entry, and have fun doing it!
3. Relle
4. dmcgee5034 - have hanger, will swirl 🌸
5. McKherringFarm
6. akseattle
7. Firefly24
8. SoapM0m - I've been making soap for over 25 years and I've *never* done a challenge! This should be fun! :)
9. The_Emerald_Chicken
10. Vicki C
11. Zuleika - Hang myself on this.
12. Tammyfarms - starting to plan the design. This is the most time consuming part for me. 😂
13. dibbles - it's about time for me to attempt a Luna Swirl
14. CLMP this was a fun challenge!
15.Deebeesnj- excited to participate and learn!
16. ScentimentallyYours - have a new supply of 12” Dunkin’ straws for my swirl tool. 🧋💫
17.Nanna, been a few months since made a soap and thought this would be a good challenge.
18. Bubz
19. therealshari
20.
 
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Lots of learning happened today! Mostly I just made a bunch of dumb mistakes. First, I failed to remember that the lye solution would affect the total amount of soap, so when I divided the soap for colors very carefully by weight, I had a lot of batter left over. Had to scramble to find bigger containers for the divisions. Then I inadvertently colored the white soap pink and left the pink soap white. My blue turned green again. Realized that the batter was too thin when I started pouring, but carried on anyway. Did the hanger swirl, but I guess it probably just made mud because the batter was so thin. It wouldn't hold the topping I tried, so I let it sit on the counter while I washed up the dishes.

During cleanup I realized that I forgot to put the essential oil fragrance in because it was in a puddle on the counter. Evidently, essential oils melt disposable plastic cups! I'm glad I only made a small batch of soap. I sopped up the half ounce of essential oils with paper towels and threw them in the garbage. On the plus side, the garbage smells fantastic!😃 After an hour or so, I made the topping I wanted - kind of. By then the soap was pretty stiff for messing around with. I'll be surprised if it turns out looking like anything. It certainly won't smell lovely, but it doesn't stink and it'll still make us clean. Nothing is lost, and experience is gained. Win-win! I can't wait to try again tomorrow!🤣
My experience was similar in that my batter was super thin. I waited and stirred, waited and stirred. After about 4 hours I decided to move forward as I had a thin trace and was tired of waiting. In later realized that I had 6 colors plus neutral so 7 colors which would not have qualified for the challenge anyway. 🤦‍♀️ It’s a small batch and part of an experiment using different milk powders. So all is not lost. I cut it and it is really not very pretty. I learned a lot and the next batch will be prettier.
 
Have you cut your soaps yet?
Yes, I have! I am torn between the 2. One is more dramatic and the other very subtle.
I learned that I shouldn’t have used my wire cutter to cut these soaps. When I took pictures of them the bumps were more prominent. They look so much nicer in reality than in the photos. And I didn’t notice any bumps till I took pictures.
 
@ackosel it can't be DOS as that takes weeks to develop. Since the soap is (unintentionally) unfragranced, it's more likely that some ingredient reacted with the lye solution to create the color dots, or the pouring and swirling pulled over some other colors into the white. Colors often change as the soap fully saponifies, so let us know tomorrow if those dots are still orange, would you?
The spots are still orange, maybe a little darker than they were yesterday. And today I noticed a couple small white spots on a bar or two.
Yes, I have! I am torn between the 2. One is more dramatic and the other very subtle.
I learned that I shouldn’t have used my wire cutter to cut these soaps. When I took pictures of them the bumps were more prominent. They look so much nicer in reality than in the photos. And I didn’t notice any bumps till I took pictures.
I've been trying to make something dramatic and keep coming up with subtle.😃

Oh dear! I just ordered a wire cutter, thinking that would be so much better than the knife I was using. Maybe I'll have to try and make a better miter box and keep using the soap knife I've been using.
 
I love using a wire cutter because I could never master a straight cut with a knife. A planer will smooth out the surface of the soap if the bumps bother you. I bought one (more for ash removal), and it is a nice tool to have.
I love my wire cutter and have a planer. I did plane one of the loafs. Next time I will use a knife when I know I am taking pictures. The bumps are very subtle in person but the camera really magnifies them.
The spots are still orange, maybe a little darker than they were yesterday. And today I noticed a couple small white spots on a bar or two.
I've been trying to make something dramatic and keep coming up with subtle.😃

Oh dear! I just ordered a wire cutter, thinking that would be so much better than the knife I was using. Maybe I'll have to try and make a better miter box and keep using the soap knife I've been using.
You will love the wire cutter. I love mine. For soaps that I will be photographing I will cut in the future.
 
The spots are still orange, maybe a little darker than they were yesterday. And today I noticed a couple small white spots on a bar or two.
Ugh, sorry! Sometimes stuff just happens when making soap. Or as @KiwiMoose says, "Soap do what soap do."

My best guess is that something reacted with the lye solution. If the spots aren't zappy or weeping, then even if it's not what you want to enter into the challenge, the soap should be fine for using.
 
Ugh, sorry! Sometimes stuff just happens when making soap. Or as @KiwiMoose says, "Soap do what soap do."

My best guess is that something reacted with the lye solution. If the spots aren't zappy or weeping, then even if it's not what you want to enter into the challenge, the soap should be fine for using.
No weeping and no zapping. No scent. Must have just been soap doing what soap do!🙂 That's okay though, I really wanted to make another little batch or two anyway. I'll be all stocked up with swirly soap for a while!
 
Oh dear, I am sorry! The soaps I've had to glob into the mold ended up looking a lot better than I thought they would. I'll bet yours smell wonderful! I'm using all natural colors and essential oils, too. That adds to the challenge of the challenge!

Did you use beef tallow? I have only ever used goat tallow, and that seems to speed things up. Batches where I leave the tallow out move much more slowly. I've got several garbage bags full of beef tallow coming from the butcher next week, so I'll get to see how that compares to goat tallow. I discovered that goat tallow requires a different amount of lye than beef tallow, and it's twice as cleansing! Oh, the things we learn!
I do use tallow from the 2 beef we had. Next batch will be with the lard I rendered, no tallow.
 
Colours turned out pretty nice. If I don’t think about how I wanted them to look I’m impressed they turned out considering how thick they were. I banged them down hard😁. Had to fill in a few holes but not much.
 

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Colours turned out pretty nice. If I don’t think about how I wanted them to look I’m impressed they turned out considering how thick they were. I banged them down hard😁. Had to fill in a few holes but not much.
I do like your colors! I'll bet the soap smells amazing!

Edited to add that I'll be sharing photos of my mistake soaps closer to the deadline. Maybe one that didn't turn out the way I wanted it to will be the best choice. Be prepared to be bombarded!😃
 
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