Sample-sized soaps for testing

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VM0914

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Forgive me if this has already been asked.

My wife and I are in the process of starting to make soap. She brought up the question: If I want to mix essential oils and test them, how do we make a single bar of soap to see if we like the combined oils?

Is there a way to just make one bar? Is this logical?
I guess we just want to stay away from making a huge 5 pound batch (which seems to be the norm for most recipes I see) just to see if we like the scents.


Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your time.

-Michael and Vanessa
 

paillo

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You could put a couple of drops of the essential oils you'd like to try on a cotton ball and smell it frequently as the scents blend. This can really help sort out what you like and don't like.

Or you could also try making a very small, like 1-lb, loaf of soap, divide the batter into cups, scent each cup with a blend you want to try, then pour into small containers like a small Tupperware to cure.
 

PinkCupcake

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I have tested colors and fragrances like Paillo suggested. I mix small amounts, like 1/2 cup or so, in a paper cup, then leave it in the cup to harden rather than finding a mold for it. Since it's just for testing, I don't care what shape it's in.

Also, I have a 2-lb mold and a 5-lb mold. I have learned through difficult trial and error NEVER to make a 5-lb batch that I haven't tested first in the smaller mold. For me, there's a big difference between having 7 bars of ugly soap and having 17 bars of ugly soap!
 

VM0914

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Thank you both for your quick responses. They make perfect sense!!!
We will be making our first "samples" today!

Thanks again.
 

SoapMakingTommy

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well the soap calculator helps with that if you wana make a really small batch, as long as you have the mold for it.
You can pre mix all your oils and whenever you are ready to make any size bar just load your recipe from the soap calc you saved and change it from 5lb or whatever you are used to making to say 1lb or 1/2lb.

As fas are testing out new smells, I didn't like the idea of using whole drops, so i take a bunch of toothpicks and a bunch of papers i ripped into strips and i just dip my toothpick and spread it on the paper, and i test it out that ways by combining different scents without using too much scent for waste.
 

cmzaha

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I actually make 4 oz batches of soap in a pyrex measuring cup for testing. I use a silicone mold that has 12 round cavities or the one with 9 square cavities for my test soaps, You will end up with a little leftover that you can either toss or pour into the little brownie bite molds for a sample. I do not use the brownie for all the test samples because they are just to small to give a good indication of overheating, whereas the round or the square cavites will. I use these for felted soapies if they turn out okay. You can really use anything to pour you test sample into. The 4 oz batches will also give you a good indication if you batter is going to overheat and give you added problems. You will need a reliable digital scale for these small batch tests and if just beginning use grams instead of oz for accurate measuring. There is less forgiviness in small batches. I hate wasting 1 lb batches for failed soap and the larger amount of eo's or fo's it takes. When doing tiny batches you can convert your fo's or eo's into drops to get the correct percentage, and I find this to be a invaluable convertor program so I do not have to sit and do the math conversions.
http://joshmadison.com/convert-for-windows/
 

JusDin

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Thanks for the link Carolyn. Very helpful, will save me from having to type my requests into google every time I want to convert something.
 

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