New Problems with every batch of soap

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TheGecko

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I think what makes Micas expensive for me is probably the added shipping costs and German taxes and customs, but I absolutely agree with the FO! I researched some prices and it´s crazy how much European vendors want for even 30ml. Unfortunately importing from the US is also not an option, as I am not planning to pay 100€ in shipping with additionally taxes coming on top

I would be more than happy to help a fellow soap maker out. If you put in an order with say...Nurture Soap who has free shipping over $30, you could ship to my house and then I could send it on your way...value slightly understated for VAT.

You mentioned "American Teaspoons"...is there a difference across the pond? I always assumed that a cup was a cup and a teaspoon a teaspoon the world over because we all use cups and teaspoons.
 

Kiri Kiri

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I would be more than happy to help a fellow soap maker out. If you put in an order with say...Nurture Soap who has free shipping over $30, you could ship to my house and then I could send it on your way...value slightly understated for VAT.

You mentioned "American Teaspoons"...is there a difference across the pond? I always assumed that a cup was a cup and a teaspoon a teaspoon the world over because we all use cups and teaspoons.

Whoa thank you so much for that offer! Luckily I still have enough stuff at the moment, but I will definitely come back to you once I run low on FO or Micas 🤗

So in my experience the cup and teaspoon measurement has always been rather vague. I have cups of all sizes as well as teaspoons of all shapes. Also in Europe we don´t really use these dome shaped measuring spoons like you have them in the US, so I am quiet sure that my normal teaspoon would give me a different amount than your teaspoon :D I do prefer just working in grams haha as no matter which spoon you use the amount at the end will always be the same.

@Kiri Kiri, to prevent cracking on the top of overheating soap, place it on a cooling rack, or anything that will hold the bottom of the mold up above the work surface, like a trivet or cans (canning jars, for example). The added air flow underneath the mold will add enough cooling surface to stop the overheating, which is what causes the cracking.

Regarding measure spoons, the ones I use for micas are plastic baby-food spoons, rather than regular cooking measuring spoons. I just had to get used to how much mica to use to get the color intensity that I desire. Whatever you use, you will get used to how much you need after some practice. The test swatches is a definitely a good idea, but not everyone goes to that trouble. If you do, it can be helpful to take a photo of your results to have on hand as a reference. Also others here would love to see your results in photos here as well.

We do love seeing soapy photos here at SMF!

Good luck with your new mica colorants that are coming your way. I hope to see some beautiful soaps coming out of your soaping room.

Thank you so much for the encouragement!! I will try cooling them down with a fan and see if that makes a difference!
I agree. I have been using a super small spoon so far and just started counting how many spoons I used and compared it to the colour the soap had at the end. Practice will make perfect 💪
I will update you all with a picture of the next soap I make with my proper Soap micas 🥰
 

TheGecko

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So in my experience the cup and teaspoon measurement has always been rather vague. I have cups of all sizes as well as teaspoons of all shapes. Also in Europe we don´t really use these dome shaped measuring spoons like you have them in the US, so I am quiet sure that my normal teaspoon would give me a different amount than your teaspoon :D I do prefer just working in grams haha as no matter which spoon you use the amount at the end will always be the same.

Bless @earlene, but she gave me an interesting read, but it didn't include teaspoons. Since you mentioned the shape of our measuring spoons being different, I went hunting for English/British ones and run across a UK cooking/baking site and the bulb above my head grew brighter. Sometimes it's easier for me to understand something when I can associate it with something I already know. Like associating weight measurements from watching Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood and then baking myself and understanding how confusing American cooking can be because we also have measuring cups for 'dry' ingredients and ones for 'wet' ingredients. To be honest, I don't know if they are the same volume wise or it was a way for companies to make more money by selling us stuff we didn't need, but thought we had to have because it's 'different'...it's the first time I have questioned that in 60 years.

ETA since I didn't mean to post this yet.

So the site include includes a table for measuring spoon equivalents and then says: "This table give the equivalents with an accuracy that is greater than is practical for measuring."

So 1 US teaspoon is 1/6 fl oz (0.167) = 0.170 fl oz British
And 1 US tablespoon is 1/2 fl oz (0.50) = 0.52 fl oz British

So from I gather...the difference between American measuring spoons and British measuring spoons is almost moot. However, when it comes to 'cups' and dry vs wet ingredients...makes my head spin. I think it would be much simpler to find a similar 'local' recipe or have the extra equipment.

Speaking of which and what I went hunting for in the first place...I managed to get logged on the Amazon UK and from what I can see British measuring spoons sets they look just like American measuring spoons sets...same sort of materials (plastic, ceramic, stainless steel) and the same sort of shapes (round, oval, rectangle, domed and flat bottoms). And I think you all have the same marketing people there that we have here with the measuring sets that are two sided (round and oval) so we can get into any size opening. Hmmmm...I just used a smaller spoon.

True dat on the weight. I've thought about it for consistency. Found the these little 'weigh boats' about the size of a Post-It Note and malleable so you can 'pour' with them, but then come in packs of 125 because they are 'disposable'. I don't need that many...they are made of polystyrene so I could wipe them out with a damp cloth. So I just went with an extended stainless steel measuring spoon set that goes down to 1/8 tea.
 
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Your post made me smile- I've made a hundred batches of soap and it still doesn't come out the color I intended it to- with HP or CP soap. I've solved that problem by not expecting it to look like I thought it would- or at least accepting that it's not going to. Luckily sometimes it works in your favor. Last week I thought I ruined a batch with too much color, but it lightened up 2 shades as it hardened- perfect!

I'm terribly impatient so I've taken to freezing distilled water cubes and measuring out my liquid including an ice cube on the scale. After I dissolve the lye in the liquid, I carefully drop in the ice cube to help it cool down faster. Happy soaping!
 
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Your post made me smile- I've made a hundred batches of soap and it still doesn't come out the color I intended it to- with HP or CP soap. I've solved that problem by not expecting it to look like I thought it would- or at least accepting that it's not going to. Luckily sometimes it works in your favor. Last week I thought I ruined a batch with too much color, but it lightened up 2 shades as it hardened- perfect!

I'm terribly impatient so I've taken to freezing distilled water cubes and measuring out my liquid including an ice cube on the scale. After I dissolve the lye in the liquid, I carefully drop in the ice cube to help it cool down faster. Happy soaping!
.... or you could masterbatch your lye solution. :)
 

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