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What Went Wrong With This Soap?

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KristaY

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I think I know but I want confirmation and a possible solution.

This is Peak's Lemon Colada which smells amazing, soaps well but discolors to med/dark brown. Since it's lemon it begs for yellow colorant, right? I mixed my usual, well behaved batter, then poured off about 5 oz to leave unscented and color. I added the FO to the rest of the batch (36 oz oils) & poured. I added Nurture's Sunshine Yellow mica that I pre-mixed with OO into the small portion. (I usually add about 1 tsp mica to 1 Tbsp OO) Since I wanted it bright yellow to contrast with the brown, I added about half the mixed mica. I did a bit of a drop swirl into the main batter.

About 14 hours later I unmolded and started to cut. My first cut ended up with severe chipping on the bottom of the bars. So I flipped it upside down and finished cutting. What I ended up with are these very ugly areas in the yellow part only. They feel very dry and are crumbly. My conclusion is I used too much colorant which dried out that part of the batter only. My normal lye to water ratio is 1:1.8 so maybe there wasn't enough water in the batch to help hydrate that much mica in a small amount of batter? Now what? Rebatch? Grate it up and use it as confetti? It's just so ugly I have to find another use for it. :-x

Lemon Colada 01.jpg

Lemon Colada 02.jpg

Lemon Colada 03.jpg
 

Cindy2428

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Sorry Krista - nothing specific comes to mind. It may be a little early, but have you zap tested yet? Also it looks like the top of your soap didn't get dry/crumbly??
 

navigator9

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You know, I looked at this yesterday and didn't have a clue. I still don't today, I've never seen anything like it. The only difference between the two is that the yellow portion had no fragrance, but did have color added? I don't even know where to start. Is any part of it zappy? Is it fuzzy like ash, does it wash off?
 

TVivian

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It looks to me like the yellow part was under mixed. Did you pour it in very thin? The discoloration around the edges may be due to the brown in the fragrance migrating into the yellow. That's what I can think of.
 

KristaY

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Sorry Krista - nothing specific comes to mind. It may be a little early, but have you zap tested yet? Also it looks like the top of your soap didn't get dry/crumbly??
Zap tested this morning and all good there. You're right about the top, Cindy, it's not crumbly. The only goofy part is the yellow within the soap. The main body of the soap is fine.

You know, I looked at this yesterday and didn't have a clue. I still don't today, I've never seen anything like it. The only difference between the two is that the yellow portion had no fragrance, but did have color added? I don't even know where to start. Is any part of it zappy? Is it fuzzy like ash, does it wash off?
You're right, Nav. The only difference is the yellow has color and no FO. It does have a fuzzy look and feel but it was like that when I cut. Can't be ash, can it? I took a bar and washed it under running water to see what would happen. The yellow looks better but not fabulous. Like it absorbed some of the water so it's not as crumbly and dry. I have a feeling it'll go back to it's other texture once it's dry again.

It looks to me like the yellow part was under mixed. Did you pour it in very thin? The discoloration around the edges may be due to the brown in the fragrance migrating into the yellow. That's what I can think of.
I did pour that part thin, TViv. The main batter was probably at a medium thick trace when I added the yellow. I agree about the discolor at the edges being from FO migration. Mostly I wanted to see if the yellow would hold up in the long run or if the FO would eventually turn it all brown. It's very possible I didn't mix in the color as thoroughly as I should have. I'm still really stumped!

I guess I'm going to put it down to adding too much color to such a small portion and under-mixing. It's just weird it happened this time because I've used this same technique many times for peacock swirls. I guess there's a difference in the repeated squirt bottle shaking as opposed to stirring in a cup. Ah well, lesson learned! I'm going to hold a couple of bars back and let them go through cure to see what happens. The rest are going into the salad shooter....

Thanks for your thoughts, everyone!
 

KristaY

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Did you gel? I made a confetti soap. My loaf mold gelled and was great, my column mold did not and it was crumbly.
I did gel, but not CPOP. I wrapped and insulated it. I wonder what difference that would make to the texture? A very interesting idea, Dixie!
 
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