Testing things in soaps

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Rusti

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So, having been reading around here for a few months I see (and understand why) that folks make test bars for various things, especially fragrance oils.

So, my question is, when you go to make testers for these things, do you make a whole batch of your desired testing recipe and then add these things to each individual mold you pour the batter into and mix them in (which seems light years easier to me)? Or do you make bitty batches at a time to try out? Or both? And then the math, oh heavens the math, trying to figure out how much of a scent to add to a single tester bar mold.

As I want to start trying scents that could cause problems but don't want to waste a whole 2 pounds of oils batch with a disaster I don't know how to handle I figure this is a thing I should start working out a method to try. Because I don't want to confine all of the problem scents to lotion bars and body butters.
 

TeresaT

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I think everyone has their own method of testing. I know some make large batches and test 20 or 30 FOs at once using small dixie cups as the mold. Theyh'll pour one or two oz batter into the cup and then mix in the appropriate portion of the tester fo. They label the cup and watch what happens over time, making notes on the oil (accelerate/discolor, etc). That's far too involved/sciency for me. I make a one pound batch and test a new fragrance or additive that way. I have a friend that is willing to be a guinea pig for me for all of my soaps and he gets a bar of everything I make so he and his wife can give me feedback on it. I've been very lucky so far. I've only had one epic failure that I had to toss. Everything else was "soap" and it got us clean. There were some definite "do not share" batches; however, none of my batches except that one have been dangerous; just fugly!! And honestly, that one batch wasn't dangerous, I just rebatched incorrectly: far too much water and it never hardened again. After several days, I tossed it. In retrospect, I probably could have used it for laundry, but I was so new at soaping at the time, I was afraid of what was in the pot and didn't realize it at the time.
 

dillsandwitch

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I make small 360gm batches to test new fos. It makes 3 bars per batch. Ive had a couple that smelled great oob but smell absolutely terrible in soaps. Ive been sending them to my guinea pigs erm i mean family to get feedback on them.
 

penelopejane

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I do a lot of research reading reviews on FO's and other additives. When I have narrowed it down to a definite I make a whole batch. I haven't had a shocker of a scent yet. Quite a few I don't like but not shocking. I now only buy 1oz (30g) testers.

If it is really, really awful - too soft, colour runs etc. I confetti into a good batch and try and do something artistic. I have quite a few confetti batches! :mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen:

This method works for me because I am a particularly slow learner (just discovered since making soap :() and practice is getting me closer to a good bar. I also need to try a recipe a few times and give a few to family and friends.

When it comes to soap everyone has an opinion!
 
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The Efficacious Gentleman

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I have 4 moulds that make 500g batches each, so if I want to test something that I am really not sure about, I'll just take one of them.
 
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