Variations in AC (Activated Charcoal)

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lalam

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Hi All!

I bought a pound of Activated Charcoal and now I'm making messes. :) I call these The Ultrasound and My First Pencil Lines. Made with 50% Lard, 25% OO, 10% CO, 10% Apricot Kernel, and 5% Castor. The ultrasound (my failed attempt at a more zebra-stripe-like ITP) are scented with NG's Straight Up Savage and the pencil line is NG's Sherlock Homie.


Seriously, if anyone is doing baby shower soaps for an unconventional mom-to-be, may I recommend skipping the pink or blue and going with an AC ITP swirl? 😄
 

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You pound of ac will last til the end of time. Great job there -- I especially like the pencil lined/mostly white one. It can be messy but I do like the results.
 

lalam

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I dislike A/C...I use Black Mica or Oxide.

Is your preference due to its effect on the finished soap, its behavior, or something else? I've seen that some folks find it drying and others find it stains their washcloths.
 

TheGecko

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Is your preference due to its effect on the finished soap, its behavior, or something else? I've seen that some folks find it drying and others find it stains their washcloths.

I dropped the container...it went POOF! It went everywhere...like the time I had a toner cartridge from a copy machine explode on me. Then there was the general cleanup...it just seemed to stick to everything and smear around. I had purchased a quality AC, but it seemed like I had to add a lot of it (in comparison to Mica/Oxide) to get black that didn't have a grey cast to it.

Since it was used as one layer in a three layered soap, I don't know if it was 'drying', but yeah...it stained a couple of wash cloths (which are now dish cloths)
 

lalam

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@TheGecko goodness, the clean up from just these two loaves was a pain, but omg I can't imagine that dust everywhere!!
 

Becky1024

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I dropped the container...it went POOF! It went everywhere...like the time I had a toner cartridge from a copy machine explode on me. Then there was the general cleanup...it just seemed to stick to everything and smear around. I had purchased a quality AC, but it seemed like I had to add a lot of it (in comparison to Mica/Oxide) to get black that didn't have a grey cast to it.

Since it was used as one layer in a three layered soap, I don't know if it was 'drying', but yeah...it stained a couple of wash cloths (which are now dish cloths)
Same thing happened to me! Mine was in a ziploc bag that opened and spilled all over the closet where my soaping supplies are kept. What a mess! Took all day to clean up! I still need to paint the closet door where smears will not clean up.
 
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FWIW, the best way to clean up an AC or mica spill (or any fine particulates for that matter) is to vacuum first. Use a vacuum with a good HEPA filter, or a ShopVac.

This avoids the horrible smearing that comes from using a damp rag. Vacuum several times over a few hours (or days if you can stand it) since some particles will always fly up and then re-settle after a bit.

I learned this from my contractor husband. He worked on a lot of high-end homes where they expected him to leave the job site clean at the end of every single work day. This meant cleaning up everything from large debris to small particles. His saying is: “The ShopVac is your friend.”

After the ShopVac, then they used electrostatic cloths, like the Swiffer brand. This pulled up all the particles that were static-y. He recommends doing this until the cloths come up almost clean. Only then do you move to a damp cloth to clean the final residue.
 

TheGecko

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FWIW, the best way to clean up an AC or mica spill (or any fine particulates for that matter) is to vacuum first.

After the ShopVac, then they used electrostatic cloths, like the Swiffer brand.

Vacuumed twice, then used dry then damp microfiber towels.
 

lalam

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I'm continuing with my AC messes here instead of starting a new thread for each. Hope that's ok! This is my response to @Jan Kates thread here Here (Black Mica) in regards to a black soap without grey lather. I had read that using a discoloring FO could help get soap closer to black so that less colorant was needed, but had no experience myself to recommend it, and it inspired me to test it myself.

I used NG's Toasted Hazelnut FO as it is meant to discolor to a "dark chocolate" and 1tsp AC PPO based on this post from Nerdy Farm Wife which suggested that this amount would produce "faint grey lather". I also went with a Bastille because it'd be darker than my usual lardy soaps (and I had been planning to make one for my vegan sister in law anyway).

So it's 80% OO, 15% CO, 5% Castor. 33% lye concentration. 1 tsp AC PPO, added and dispersed in the oils before adding the lye water. Oils and lye both around 115 degrees. I poured a small tester circle prior to adding the FO to compare the black with and without the FO. Mica on the loaf is NS's Rapunzel, which they sent me a sample of with my last order. I'm a fan. 😍

Right out of the mold things were looking promising, but post cut and in the light of day...meh, not a huge difference. (And air bubbles galore in my loaf! I'm almost embarrassed to show this one lol). And while it's not the deep dark gothic black I was hoping for, it'll do. Minus the air bubbles, I'm pretty pleased with the overall effect. It seems like a good way to hide a discoloring FO, if nothing else!
 

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I'm continuing with my AC messes here instead of starting a new thread for each. Hope that's ok! This is my response to @Jan Kates thread here Here (Black Mica) in regards to a black soap without grey lather. I had read that using a discoloring FO could help get soap closer to black so that less colorant was needed, but had no experience myself to recommend it, and it inspired me to test it myself.

I used NG's Toasted Hazelnut FO as it is meant to discolor to a "dark chocolate" and 1tsp AC PPO based on this post from Nerdy Farm Wife which suggested that this amount would produce "faint grey lather". I also went with a Bastille because it'd be darker than my usual lardy soaps (and I had been planning to make one for my vegan sister in law anyway).

So it's 80% OO, 15% CO, 5% Castor. 33% lye concentration. 1 tsp AC PPO, added and dispersed in the oils before adding the lye water. Oils and lye both around 115 degrees. I poured a small tester circle prior to adding the FO to compare the black with and without the FO. Mica on the loaf is NS's Rapunzel, which they sent me a sample of with my last order. I'm a fan. 😍

Right out of the mold things were looking promising, but post cut and in the light of day...meh, not a huge difference. (And air bubbles galore in my loaf! I'm almost embarrassed to show this one lol). And while it's not the deep dark gothic black I was hoping for, it'll do. Minus the air bubbles, I'm pretty pleased with the overall effect. It seems like a good way to hide a discoloring FO, if nothing else!
This is stunning! Great job -- not sure what the whole 'embarrassed' thing is! Can I ask what you used for gold?
 
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