What soapy thing have you done today?

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We are on vacation. Our first leg here is with old friends, we all did a year of service a lifetime ago and we reunite every few years. Last night Mrs. Zing and I gave out our treat bags -- she contributed homemade canned goods and of course I gave out soap. Two friends here also make soap (utilitarian holy trinity style) so they ask intelligent questions. This group is full of DIYers so we've been getting schooled in homemade yogurt, pottery, food recipes, canning, etc.
I'm trying to keep up here with intermittent WiFi! Can you all slow down?! :)
 
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I just made another 40 bar batch of my tried and true recipe. The FO was Cranberry Balsam. It was at heavy trace before 3 minutes. Adding Burgundy Oxide really seemed to accelerate the trace. I added the fo quickly before it was too late. Still, it was not a bad pouring. We were able to smooth it out well with a pastry knife. It's "cooking" now in my covered wooden mold.
 

Tara_H

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I noticed a while back that our local agri store sold pine tar and resolved to get some on my next visit... Of course, by the next visit they had changed over to only selling some kind of sprayable version, which I presume is not the right thing for soap 🤔 Then we went to another branch of the same store (looking for chick food) and they had the right stuff so I snapped it up!

Now I'm wondering... How much soap do I want to make this month? I'm itching to try the pine tar (no pun intended) but I also want to do the ombre challenge, and I'm trying to be on something of a soap diet before we're entirely overrun! I guess the two couldn't really be combined...?
 
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Some time ago, a wise person foresaw that, some day, I would explore how small a batch still would be able to volcano:
FWIW, I do HTHP — and it is not as scary as it sounds! The volcanoes are not uncontrolled, and are more properly called “expansions.”

[…]

@ResolvableOwl I’ve never tried a small batch; sorry I cannot give any helpful tips there. But with your scientific approach to soaping, I’m sure you would do well with this technique!
Well, this day was yesterday. With mere 100 g oils, it wasn't very dangerous, but just fun to watch. More like a mudpot (cute funny type of volcanism!). I melted the oils on a pot (probably a bit too warm), and after adding the still hot lye solution, it appeared to heat up, so I spontaneously decided to turn it into HP, and turned on the heating. It boiled like crazy, and I switched off the stove, but it just went on bubbling :eek: though it barely covered the bottom of the pot. Well, after a minute or two, I scraped it into the mould, and wondered why it wouldn't give an even surface – well, it was bubbling and rising!

The fastest-moving batter I've ever witnessed. A few things to blame:
  • As part of my current indigo vat trials, it had partially reduced indigo in it (no idea how this might affect trace), but it also had quite some fructose (sugar).
  • But probably more important: I added 5.6% TOM of GSC (glyceryl stearate citrate). Well, it's not only a source of citrate and stearic acid, but also a strong emulsifier: It makes mixing the batter super easy (a few seconds with the spatula), but also promoted an intimate mixing of lye and oils – a good opportunity for the reaction rate to skyrocket. In normal soapmaking, there is very little emulsifiers present in the beginning – hardly enough to get a stable emulsion. It takes a few minutes (and often the convincing qualities of a stick blender) until the aqueous phase and the oils wouldn't easily separate from each other. But then the reaction picks up speed (gel phase) and eats through most of the saponification within half a day (CP) or one hour (HP). After 10 minutes, its consistency was like half through HP cooking, but without external heat.
My working hypothesis: GSC is a strong and lye-stable enough emulsifier for the lye and oils to disperse much more finely throughout each other. The point when enough conventional soap has formed to sustain the stable emulsion is much earlier, possibly within mere seconds after combining oils and lye.

So far I can't really recommend GSC for soapmaking. For one it does dissolve in hot oils, but the 5% solution became turbid again well above room temperature. I also didn't like that the oil phase foamed. And then this scary acceleration thingie.

Maybe at much lower rates it's a secret ingredient for the impatient to speed up lazy batters. But it's not realistic to use it as the sole source of citrate (a shortcut to get chelators into oils).


ETA: Pics, background, and updates in the indigo vat thread:
 
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I packaged up some of my soap sprinkles. I hope to make enough that I never have to do this again LOL. The little balls I mixed in are the most tedious, but it is a mindless activity while watching TV.
 

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Made M&P with one of the grandsons last night. He had great fun unmolding this morning. He really really wants to make CP soap so he can do more designs. He's a bit young for that, but I'm already planning to update my estate plan to ensure that he receives all my soaping stuff someday. 😁

PS - he chose the molds, color, and scent. Most of the colors chosen are currently in his hair, although most of his purple washed out during the long day at the lake yesterday. 🤣
 

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@Tara_H
No I don't think it's easy to combine soap diet and overrun. But I guess you'll find a solution for this one 😜

Instead, it might be in reach to combine ombré and pine tar soap. AFAIK tar/creosote/rosin/resin is what the average soapmaker would call “fast-tracing/accelerating” ingredients (due to free acids), so not very ideal for a patience-demanding technique like ombré. On the other hand, nothing speaks against a stylised pine cone inset (pine tar soap, e. g. pull-through with self-3D-printed plate), embedded into an ombré gradient like Soap City's sunset birds.
 

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I made an Oatmeal, honey and colloidal oats soap today. My kids were begging for kid soaps, so I made the batter uncolored and brushed a little dry mica into the dinosaur shaped cavity molds. Just enough batter left for a couple rectangular bars for myself. I'm not quite as keen to scrub myself with a stegosaurus as my little ones are. 😂
 

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Hi, how did you made these soaps? am still scratching my head... are these CP or MP soaps?
It’s cold process soap and a pull-through technique. Here’s a how to video:



Wild Platanica is also where I get all my pull-through tools. It is a pretty fun soap making pour. Look at some of @TashaBird posts… she is the pull-through queen!
 

Rattanjeet

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It’s cold process soap and a pull-through technique. Here’s a how to video:



Wild Platanica is also where I get all my pull-through tools. It is a pretty fun soap making pour. Look at some of @TashaBird posts… she is the pull-through queen!

Hey thank you for sharing the video, what mold is it called ?
 

earlene

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I noticed a while back that our local agri store sold pine tar and resolved to get some on my next visit... Of course, by the next visit they had changed over to only selling some kind of sprayable version, which I presume is not the right thing for soap 🤔 Then we went to another branch of the same store (looking for chick food) and they had the right stuff so I snapped it up!

Now I'm wondering... How much soap do I want to make this month? I'm itching to try the pine tar (no pun intended) but I also want to do the ombre challenge, and I'm trying to be on something of a soap diet before we're entirely overrun! I guess the two couldn't really be combined...?


Perhaps if you used an extremely low percentage of pine tar, but then that might defeat the purpose of using pine tar. But you could perhaps do the hombre gradations based on increasing (tiny) increments of pine tar added to individually separated containers of the base batter. If I were to attempt this, I'd start extremely low and go only a little bit higher toward the end, adding the tiny changes of pine tar to each subsequent layer each time, because when added, it accelerates quite quickly. My mind is not working well today; I awoke with a horrendous headache, which waned, but is now returning, so I hope I have not suggested a terrible experiment. But anyone were able to tackle a difficult process like this, I would say you, Tara are one who would tackle it with dedication.
 

Tara_H

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Perhaps if you used an extremely low percentage of pine tar, but then that might defeat the purpose of using pine tar. But you could perhaps do the hombre gradations based on increasing (tiny) increments of pine tar added to individually separated containers of the base batter. If I were to attempt this, I'd start extremely low and go only a little bit higher toward the end, adding the tiny changes of pine tar to each subsequent layer each time, because when added, it accelerates quite quickly. My mind is not working well today; I awoke with a horrendous headache, which waned, but is now returning, so I hope I have not suggested a terrible experiment. But anyone were able to tackle a difficult process like this, I would say you, Tara are one who would tackle it with dedication.
Ooh, you've definitely given me an idea for how I might be able to work it into a design I've been wanting to do for a long time... Must go and do some plotting and scheming :)

Hope your head feels better soon!
 
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