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stanekster

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Hello All,
I have a strange issue I am facing. In the past I did a few batches of grapefruit EO scented CP soap with Rose clay. My notes show that I used 2 teaspoons ppo. I did this several times over the last year. They came out very nice pink color that I really liked (see below). But now something odd has happened. I used same EO, clay, and same recipe...and I got such a faint coloring it was a light tannish-pink. It was barely colored. So I did another batch and doubled it. This time it was better, but still very light pink.

I have changed a few things while making the soaps this time and was wondering if any of them could be the reason why.
1. I now mixed the clay with the oils and stick blend it before adding lye. In the past, I mixed clays with some water and added after the lye was mixed in.
2. I now placed the soap loafs in the freezer after I pour and they start to set (in the past they did not Gel or anything like that), but sometimes they would overheat.

I was wondering if the clay was absorbing the oils instead of the water and it is causing the color to not come out as much as before... or am I just losing it?

Steve.png
 

AliOop

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Such a pretty soap, and I like the stamp, too. :)

Gelling will give you a much deeper and/or brighter color. You mentioned that the soap "didn't gel but did overheat." If it overheated, it almost certainly gelled, and that's why you had the deeper color. So, I'd put my money on the fact that you are now freezing it, which is preventing gel, and resulting in a much lighter soap. I've done side-by-side comparison of gelled and non-gelled soaps from the same recipe, with the same disparate results you are getting now.

The additional water you use to add with the clay would have contributed to gelling at lower temperatures, as well. You can always try adding back in that water first, and see if the color returns even when the soap is put into the freezer. If not, then you probably need to let the soap at least get to the gel phase before putting it into the freezer.
 

stanekster

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Such a pretty soap, and I like the stamp, too. :)

Gelling will give you a much deeper and/or brighter color. You mentioned that the soap "didn't gel but did overheat." If it overheated, it almost certainly gelled, and that's why you had the deeper color. So, I'd put my money on the fact that you are now freezing it, which is preventing gel, and resulting in a much lighter soap. I've done side-by-side comparison of gelled and non-gelled soaps from the same recipe, with the same disparate results you are getting now.

The additional water you use to add with the clay would have contributed to gelling at lower temperatures, as well. You can always try adding back in that water first, and see if the color returns even when the soap is put into the freezer. If not, then you probably need to let the soap at least get to the gel phase before putting it into the freezer.
Well, thank you for the nice compliments.

Yeah, I am pretty sure those grapefruit bars did not overheat. We use the freezer now because we had a few batches of other soaps that did overheat (crack, have some gel rings in center, etc). We use goat milk in our soaps so sometimes depending on what stage the goat is in milking cycle the fats and sugars can vary. Plus some EOs we use seem to accelerate things. I love the look of the gelled soaps though. They are so vibrant and bright. I wish I could do those without risking ruining the whole batch with smell or uneven colors.

If think I will try a smaller batch as you mentioned doing it the old way again and see what happens. It seems to be the norm people mix 1 Tbspn per 1 tsp of clay and their soaps appear to be darker than the last two I produced. Would be a fun experiment. Wouldn't you know it is for someone that wants 10 bars specially stamped and having issues....
 

AliOop

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Of course that will be the time that issues arise, lol. Your idea of making smaller batches is a good one, since the reduced mass will reduce the heat. You can also try a slab mold so there is more surface to dissipate the heat.

If you are using wood molds, consider using just silicone instead. You can also elevate the molds on a cooling rack, and have fans blowing on them. That might allow them to heat enough to gel, but not overheat.
 

Peachy Clean Soap

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Beautiful Soap' love the stamp too. IMHO seams like more often then not when a request comes in to replicate a soap' for a customer or friend thats when my soap does not come out as it should. Hope it turns out for you 💞🧼.
 
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glendam

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I had read that clays always needed to be hydrated before adding to soap, so I wonder if dispersing them in water prior also contributed to a better distribution. Your pink is pretty! I don’t use rose clay anymore as it turns out like flesh or meat color for me, I may try combining it with some yellow now
 

stanekster

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I had read that clays always needed to be hydrated before adding to soap, so I wonder if dispersing them in water prior also contributed to a better distribution. Your pink is pretty! I don’t use rose clay anymore as it turns out like flesh or meat color for me, I may try combining it with some yellow now
Your thought about water causing clay to distribute better than oil occurred to me last night too. But I do not remember seeing any clumps in cut bars or on bottom. So maybe the oil just caused it to clump in tiny well distributed clumps? I don't know..... So this morning I started a two-part experiment. I created a 2 loaf batch. This time I mixed the clay with some water to hydrate it. I also then added it to the lye solution (after it was thoroughly mixed). I stick blended it. Then I put one loaf in the freezer and one on counter. So hopefully, we can see:
1. impact of mixing with water (no freezer) - testing water and possible gel in past.
2. impact of mixing with water (with freezer) - testing water mixture and freezer impact

I will let you guys know what happens. Soap usually lightens up after 3-4 hours in fridge.
 

Peachy Clean Soap

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Your thought about water causing clay to distribute better than oil occurred to me last night too. But I do not remember seeing any clumps in cut bars or on bottom. So maybe the oil just caused it to clump in tiny well distributed clumps? I don't know..... So this morning I started a two-part experiment. I created a 2 loaf batch. This time I mixed the clay with some water to hydrate it. I also then added it to the lye solution (after it was thoroughly mixed). I stick blended it. Then I put one loaf in the freezer and one on counter. So hopefully, we can see:
1. impact of mixing with water (no freezer) - testing water and possible gel in past.
2. impact of mixing with water (with freezer) - testing water mixture and freezer impact

I will let you guys know what happens. Soap usually lightens up after 3-4 hours in fridge.
looking forward to your two findings' 🧼💞
 

stanekster

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Ok.... I think I am going to go bonkers. I have attached the photos. Apparently, neither the freezer, nor adding the clay to water or oil matters much. The bar on the right is my original one. The one on the left is one of the newer batches (clay added to oil). You can see the difference.

IMG_5744.jpg

The photo below is not so great. But you can see that pretty much all the bars look the same except the original one.

Blue mold - Clay in lye solution, room temp to cure (don't judge my spillage)
Top, middle bar - clay added to oils, put in freezer right after pouring. (Same bar as pictured above photo)
Far right - Clay in lye solution, put in freezer right after pouring.
Bottom, middle bar - original bar....who knows how the heck I did that.

IMG_5746.jpg

So now I have a ton of these skin colored bars... They kinda give me creeps, they look like big chunks of flesh. Maybe I could sell them if there is ever a serial killer convention in town. Does anyone have any luck selling bars this color?

Well, I have no idea what I did in the past to get the original bar. I am 95% sure I did not add mica to color. But maybe I can try that next.
 

The_Phoenix

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So now I have a ton of these skin colored bars... They kinda give me creeps, they look like big chunks of flesh. Maybe I could sell them if there is ever a serial killer convention in town.
I like your sense of humor. :D

My avocado soaps were originally called "It Puts the Avocado On Its Skin." I only changed the name because its too long to fit on a label. And only a small handful of people got the reference.

Well done on the experiment!
 

Catscankim

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I dont think they are a horrible color. I am leaning toward the bottom one gelled whether you intended for it to or not.

Not really sure it matters how you dispersed your clay in regard to how deep the color is, but I disperse mine in my FO before adding to my batter. But i can only do this if my measurement of clay is precise because i will will be adding the whole thing to the batch portion or i will lose FO. If i am winging it with the colorant, then i use distilled water. Neither method changes the final color for me. I always cpop/gel.
 

AliOop

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I vote with Kim on the gelling. They also aren't a horrible color IMO.

To dress them up, make a very small batch of plain white or charcoal black batter, and do a string pull like the Nov SMF challenge. My bars were light pink, and both of those colors looked great as contrast (warning: my string pull flowers were... ahem... "amateur" would be a kind description, lol, so look at someone else's bars for a better idea of how they SHOULD look).

Another option is to paint red and gold mica hearts on them for Valentine's day. Here is a link to a YT video about painting bath bombs; you can paint soap the same way. Hearts are super easy to paint, even for a kindergarten-level artist like me. If I can paint a heart using this technique, anyone can! 😂
 

Becky1024

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Ok.... I think I am going to go bonkers. I have attached the photos. Apparently, neither the freezer, nor adding the clay to water or oil matters much. The bar on the right is my original one. The one on the left is one of the newer batches (clay added to oil). You can see the difference.

View attachment 52072

The photo below is not so great. But you can see that pretty much all the bars look the same except the original one.

Blue mold - Clay in lye solution, room temp to cure (don't judge my spillage)
Top, middle bar - clay added to oils, put in freezer right after pouring. (Same bar as pictured above photo)
Far right - Clay in lye solution, put in freezer right after pouring.
Bottom, middle bar - original bar....who knows how the heck I did that.

View attachment 52073

So now I have a ton of these skin colored bars... They kinda give me creeps, they look like big chunks of flesh. Maybe I could sell them if there is ever a serial killer convention in town. Does anyone have any luck selling bars this color?

Well, I have no idea what I did in the past to get the original bar. I am 95% sure I did not add mica to color. But maybe I can try that next.
Interesting experiment even though you didn't get the results you wanted. Science is that way sometimes. By chance did you start with a new container, new lot or new supplier of clay with the pale batches? Since clays are natural, there can be color variations depending on where it is sourced. Btw, I use rose clay too. I have seen no difference if I prewet the clay in oil or water, they both disperse nicely.
 

Peachy Clean Soap

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Ok.... I think I am going to go bonkers. I have attached the photos. Apparently, neither the freezer, nor adding the clay to water or oil matters much. The bar on the right is my original one. The one on the left is one of the newer batches (clay added to oil). You can see the difference.

View attachment 52072

The photo below is not so great. But you can see that pretty much all the bars look the same except the original one.

Blue mold - Clay in lye solution, room temp to cure (don't judge my spillage)
Top, middle bar - clay added to oils, put in freezer right after pouring. (Same bar as pictured above photo)
Far right - Clay in lye solution, put in freezer right after pouring.
Bottom, middle bar - original bar....who knows how the heck I did that.

View attachment 52073

So now I have a ton of these skin colored bars... They kinda give me creeps, they look like big chunks of flesh. Maybe I could sell them if there is ever a serial killer convention in town. Does anyone have any luck selling bars this color?

Well, I have no idea what I did in the past to get the original bar. I am 95% sure I did not add mica to color. But maybe I can try that next.
I love the color's really pretty. 🧼💞 Thank you
 

stanekster

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@AliOop Those are 2 excellent ideas. I may give the pull string flowers a go. They look pretty cool. Is there any time limit on when you need to add the flowers (in relation to how long the bar has been curing)? Meaning, if the bars are a week old, is it too late to add the flowers to them?

@Becky1024 I have same type of clay from manufacturer....but newer bag. I thought I used this bag before on some of the older bars...but I could be mistaken. That is interesting, it never occurred to me about variation in the clay batches.
 

AliOop

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@stanekster, no time limit on the string pull or the mica painting of which I'm aware. My pink bars were 6 weeks old, and my brown ones were 3 weeks old. I think other people practiced on bars that had been cured for a few months.
 

stanekster

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Ok, so I added more clay for dark color but as it cured became very light again. So I am thinking it may be as others mentioned ....maybe I gelled the soaps (without realizing it)? I would like to try to gel these milk soap to see if the color pops. In past these bars were soft when I cut them, wouldn’t gelling make them harder to cut?

I have never gelled normal soap and never knowingly did a milk soap. Does anyone have any recommendations on temps to trigger full gel? I saw some suggestions for normal soaps, but wondering how to proceed without creating a glorious volcano. I think the milk in recipe may require the temps and insulation requirements to be lower than normal soaps?
 
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