Quantcast

Vanilla Powder vs Oil

SoapMakingForum

Help Support SoapMakingForum:

Joined
Jan 30, 2018
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
Hi! I am new in this forum but have beginner's experience with soap making. I just made a batch and it was perfect, unscented this time. I used Shea butter so I can smell it in the bar soap I made, it smelled so good alone. I even added bentonite clay for impurities, after cook for my melt and pour soap.

I've been looking up about vanilla and vanillin, especially the "oils" that it's essentially not really an oil but an extract. So I wanted to avoid purchasing Vanilla oils, instead I read one can use vanilla powder for soap making, but very few has talked about it. I wanted to ask if anyone has advice, suggestions and/or experience in using food powders. I have a Bourbon Vanilla powder readily in my pantry, just wanted to know if a stabilizer is required or not? should I add it after cook, or in between with the essential oils and melted base oils? Before the lye or after?
I would also ask about the minerals/clay that can be added for soap color, but I did that with the bentonite after cook and with the EOs, turned out great. I would only hope I'm doing it right.
Powders are a hard thing to come by in research for soap making, thanks in advance!!!
 

earlene

Grandmother & Soaper
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 30, 2016
Messages
7,226
Reaction score
6,752
Location
Western Illinois, USA
No personal experience with powdered vanilla, but what a great question!

You have me wondering, so I looked online for vanilla powder and most of what I find is not pure vanilla. One source indicates it is mixed with corn starch (or food starch) and sugar. So the other additives need to be taken into account. I don't know what corn starch would do to soap, but sugar increases bubbles. The one source that has 100% pure vanilla bean powder with no additives, fillers, etc. is very costly. But it is the only one I found that actually looks the color of a vanilla bean (see this link). The other ones are the color of very pale brown sugar, which obviously cannot be pure at all.

Even Nielsen Massey Bourbon Vanilla powder that claims to be pure lists cornstarch as an ingredient.
 
Joined
Jan 30, 2018
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
I'm glad I asked, I have Cook's Organic Bourbon Vanilla Powder. the ingredients are different, it only has organic sucrose and organic vanilla extractives. Basically sugar and I'm assuming dried/dehydrated vanilla bean pods/beans. However it's white and of course, I'm sure it'll brown when wet? I'll do a test in water with the vanilla powder and boil it. another just leaving it in the water for a week to find some answers.
Granted, I knew vanilla wouldn't be 100% pure, that's difficult to find unless I buy the pods themselves and utilize it somehow by extraction (CO2 being the most expensive extraction and can't be done at home :( )

Sucrose would make more bubbles, I guess that would be a good thing? I wouldn't mind it and my kiddos wouldn't either. I don't mind brown soap bars if I have to, just wondered how to do a white or beige soap bar with vanilla POWDER and without stabilizer; if at all possible.

I'm gonna see if my tests shows if it browns when boiled or left in water(decomposing). Will let everyone know, in the meantime, if anyone knows a stabilizer is needed for powdered vanilla in soap, would love to hear it and why :)

thank you!!!
 
Last edited:

MorpheusPA

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2010
Messages
782
Reaction score
746
You don't really need a stabilizer, and I tend to embrace the deep brown tones of vanillin discoloration, even sometimes making a swirl with it that develops over time as it cures.

I have a suspicion that, being an oil, the vanilla scent is going to migrate through the soap just like a bleeding colorant. It'll turn brown and spread, eventually turning the entire soap an uneven, slightly spotty brown. Again, if you embrace that as a design element, it could be cool.

You can lighten and overwhelm the brown--to a point--using a whitener like titanium dioxide. How well that works depends on how much vanilla scent is in there... One soap I made has a ton of vanilla and a large amount of titanium dioxide. It went a gorgeous mahogany brown. Very small amounts of vanilla might have resulted in a beige.

Vanilla stabilizer (essentially, an oxidant stronger than the vanilla) does work but...some of them are currently being studied as possible carcinogens. And they only work temporarily. Once the stabilizer is oxygen-saturated, the vanillin starts to turn brown. Given the potential problems and temporary nature, I don't use them.

And the sucrose isn't an issue! It'll enhance lather a bit, which is always nice. A lot of us toss a teaspoon of honey or sugar into our soap per pound of oils just for that purpose.
 

cmzaha

Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Messages
11,305
Reaction score
10,220
Location
Southern California
Okay I am a little confused, you posted in the Lye Soap forum, but mention melt and pour? Did you make a lye based hp soap? That would not be melt and pour, or are you using a m&p base? If you are talking hp lye based soap why do you want to use expensive powders, that will leave no fragrance? I have a natural vanilla infused oil from The Sage that is wonderful in lip balms and lotions but the scent would never hold up as a fragrance in cp or hp soap. Ground vanilla bean which some suppliers sell will contribute exfoliation but no fragrance. If you use discoloring fragrances in either m&p or cp stabilizer will not help indefinitely. My daughter whom used to work exclusively with melt and pour always used stabilizer, which is costly, and her colors would hold 6-9 months after that the dark creeps back. I work with cp and I just work with the dark coloration and not even try to lighten with Titanium Dioxide (TD). Cornstarch which was mentioned above does nothing to cp, in fact I use powdered sugar when I am to lazy to dissolve sugar for my soap. Powdered sugar is cornstarch and sugar. First off we need to know just what you are making. If you are melting down soap noodles that would be re-batch soap, not milled, not melt and pour.
 
Joined
Jan 30, 2018
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
ohh, I apologize. I am new at the soap-making hobby and yes, I used lye. I didn't realize the melt and pour was without lye and lye-based hot pour was the technique I used.

I basically made my first soap bars from scratch using the caustic soda (lye), shea butter and melted oils before mixing them. Once cooled and mixed at the right temp, I added chia seeds and bentonite clay after. I followed a calculated recipe on soapcalc.net and it worked like a charm. I even went to use one bar the next day without curing, was too excited. It has suds and had excellent moisturizing properties. it worked for my son who has eczema. My first batch was unscented at the time but the Shea Butter was prominent and smelled unique.

I was just wondering about using the vanilla powder as an added fragrance (plus other benefits) after the mixture was done? I don't really care about discoloring and the stabilizer, but there were no answers about this topic ANYWHERE online. I was just wondering if using a stabilizer, is it possible.. (if it held the scent and color to expectations of staying white and fragrant of vanilla) or if I can just add the vanilla powder toward the end of a lye based hp soap?
What about melt and pour, or CP? using vanilla powder of course.
 

earlene

Grandmother & Soaper
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 30, 2016
Messages
7,226
Reaction score
6,752
Location
Western Illinois, USA
For fragrance to remain, the only thing I can suggest you could try, and may not really work for a lasting scent, is Hot Process. If you make the soap HP, and don't add the powder until after gel phase, then perhaps the scent might stick around. But I really don't know and wouldn't expect it to last the lifetime of the soap. However, unless someone has tried it and can report on their experience, the only other way to know is to try it yourself.

If you make the soap using CP, probably not because the lye will interact with what's in the powder and the result could possibly be less aromatic. However, again, unless someone who has tried this and can report on their experience, it still comes down to you might just have to try it and find out.

If you do decide to try it, might I suggest making two smaller batches as your test soaps: one as HP and one as CP. Then do let us know how it works. We always love to hear how people's ideas and experiments work out! (But if you do CP, please don't let your son use it when it is still young. It is not safe for someone with skin conditions to use newly made soap. And make sure you do a zap test before you use any soap you make. If it zaps, it's not ready to even try and use it.)

And all soap benefits from a decent cure, by becoming milder and more luxurious. The improvement with age is remarkable.
 
Joined
Jan 30, 2018
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
Soap that zaps, that's news to me. Thank you!! Now, I have to make sure they aren't high in Ph levels. Luckily I didn't feel the zap sensation as I tried it first, my bars are 50% Shea which really shows on my skin. they were cured only a week and looked dry, oops. My son's skin was completely healthy by the 3rd day after using it twice, no reactions at all. I'm glad you told me about that, ill have to be sure to reread safety again :)

looks like ill be testing the vanilla powder theory, and will of course share it with you. once again, I appreciate you're time everyone!
 
Joined
Jan 30, 2018
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
I also know my lye percentage was within the recommended percentage in soapcalc.net so I'm assuming that would be pretty accurate that a lye based soap isn't lye heavy?
 

earlene

Grandmother & Soaper
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 30, 2016
Messages
7,226
Reaction score
6,752
Location
Western Illinois, USA
Soap that zaps, that's news to me. Thank you!! Now, I have to make sure they aren't high in Ph levels. Luckily I didn't feel the zap sensation as I tried it first, my bars are 50% Shea which really shows on my skin. they were cured only a week and looked dry, oops. My son's skin was completely healthy by the 3rd day after using it twice, no reactions at all. I'm glad you told me about that, ill have to be sure to reread safety again :)

looks like ill be testing the vanilla powder theory, and will of course share it with you. once again, I appreciate you're time everyone!
Then this is a Must-Read: How to Properly/Safely Perform a Zap Test. If you do this, you don't need to waste your time on unreliable pH test strips.

Dry doesn't equal cured. As long as you have no zap (using the above How-To as your guide) then your soap is skin safe, but it is not fully cured in only a week. See this very detailed explanation of what happens to soap as it cures: https://classicbells.com/soap/cure.html

I also know my lye percentage was within the recommended percentage in soapcalc.net so I'm assuming that would be pretty accurate that a lye based soap isn't lye heavy?
Well, yes as a matter of fact, given no user error were made. But we are all fallible and sometimes even scales fail. So zap testing is really necessary to ensure safe-for-skin use. Another good read about how SF is affected by factors such as lye purity and the average SAP value given in soap calculators: https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/zero-percent-superfat.62504/#post-631804
 

Soapmaker123

Active Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2018
Messages
39
Reaction score
41
Vanilla absolute: there's a really, reeeeeaaallly good vanilla absolute from Trilogy, in New Jersey.

And no alcohol !

(Load your big soap block mold with curing soap that has TOO much alcohol, and, later, watch the beast collapse into a flow of slime like a space amoeba when you go to cut it in front of a crowd.) Now, How do I know this ? . . .
 
Top