Quantcast

Working with Discoloring FOs

SoapMakingForum

Help Support SoapMakingForum:

JoyfulSudz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2020
Messages
95
Reaction score
112
Location
Portland, OR
If I'm using a FO that is known to discolor to tan, for instance, I might divide my batter in two and add FO only to half. If I do, would that mean I should use only half as much FO and therefore create a very mildly scented soap? I'm guessing that if I used the full amount for my total batter, the soap might be irritating?
Alternately, could I add FO to the entire batch and then use an extra large amount of TD to compensate?
 

Catscankim

Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2020
Messages
1,131
Reaction score
2,113
Location
Florida
I used td last night to lighten up a “medium tan” discoloration, and now its bright yellow.

What is your fo? Someone here might have experience with it.
 

JoyfulSudz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2020
Messages
95
Reaction score
112
Location
Portland, OR
I used td last night to lighten up a “medium tan” discoloration, and now its bright yellow.

What is your fo? Someone here might have experience with it.
I'm thinking about discoloring FOs in general, not any particular one. I often avoid using them even though they are so often my favorite smells.
 

dibbles

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Joined
May 6, 2015
Messages
6,551
Reaction score
6,866
Location
Minnesota
If you have an FO that doesn’t discolor but will compliment the scent of the one does, you can split the batter and use the non discoloring one for an accent color. I think adding the entire amount of FO to half the batch would be more likely to be problematic with FO weeping from that part than irritating. Using the soap would mean using the whole bar, not just the fragranced portion.
 

Catscankim

Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2020
Messages
1,131
Reaction score
2,113
Location
Florida
Usually I lighten them up with TD, but last nights soap turned bright yellow. I was prepared for the tan, or lighter tan with my accent color. Haven't cut it yet, but it is pink clay for the middle color. It turned yellow. Yellow is going to be a disaster lol. So I guess they are all different. Who knows, maybe it will go back to tan after the cure. My candy cane fo discolors to dark tan/light brown. I added TD and it looked nice and white for a few weeks. Then it just got dark again.

I tried adding to only colored batter, but after the cure, the lighter batter had discolored as well around the edges and bleeding into the layers. Sucks, because I already took the pretty pictures and posted them, then they were not so nice after 6 weeks.

Sooooo....if you post the fo that you plan to use in the future, somebody might have experience with that particular fragrance and give you some insight as to how it worked before you use it, instead of being an experiment like mine last night LOL. They are all different.
 

AliOop

Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
2,720
Reaction score
3,617
Location
US
We have a great thread going about how to make your own inexpensive vanilla color stabilizer. @Todd Ziegler has posted a bunch of pics of his trial soaps, and they look amazing - white soap even when using an FO with 9% vanillin.

The VCS you can buy from the fragrance places is pretty expensive, but you can buy the ingredients to make it yourself pretty cheaply. Search this forum for “homemade vanilla stabilizer” and it should come up.
 

Todd Ziegler

Circle Z soaps
Joined
Sep 10, 2018
Messages
1,247
Reaction score
1,399
Location
Tipton IN
I have had success so far in stopping discoloration from vanillin and other in FO's that don't have vanillin but still discolor it. If you look up the thread that @AliOop mentioned, you will find the formula. Or if you want to check back later, I am going to post a summary thread without the comments.
 

TheGecko

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2019
Messages
1,408
Reaction score
1,807
Location
Oregon
If I'm using a FO that is known to discolor to tan, for instance, I might divide my batter in two and add FO only to half. If I do, would that mean I should use only half as much FO and therefore create a very mildly scented soap? I'm guessing that if I used the full amount for my total batter, the soap might be irritating?

Alternately, could I add FO to the entire batch and then use an extra large amount of TD to compensate?
If I am using a FO that discolors to brown, I generally embrace it...in whole or part depending on the level of discoloration. Something like Autumn Harvest discolors to dark brown so I just leave it. The amount of TD that it would take to offset the discoloration would lead to a thick trace and glopping it in the mold and potential air pockets or all over glycerin rivers.

Bourbon Chai Toddy discolors a medium brown...what I did was to split the batter after adding the FO and then mix a bit of TD to one third and do a swirl...looks really cool. Chocolate Espresso also discolors to a medium brown...I split off about a quarter of batter before adding the FO; I add TD to the unscented portion for a 'whipped topping' and brown oxide to the main batter to darken it. I do add full FO to main batter and haven't had any issues, but I'm only sectioning off a small amount. Any amount larger than a quarter, I would use to complimentary FOs that didn't discolor.

If the discoloration is a light brown or tan, I have a little more flexibility, but I also choose complimentary 'dark' colors as opposed to pastels.
 

cmzaha

Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Messages
11,592
Reaction score
10,768
Location
Southern California
Many of my best selling FO's discolor such as my DB. I always separate off batter to add in colors or no colors, then add in the fo to the balance of the batter. It makes no difference in the soap where the fo goes, after all the soap is used with water and dilutes when you use it, plus the fact many fo's are used at 6% PPO so how much fo are you actually getting in a bar once the water dilutes it. I would rather have that than adding another chemical to my soap. I used chelators in all soaps so prefer no other chemicals such as Vanilla stabilizers. In other words, I embrace the brown.
 

JoyfulSudz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2020
Messages
95
Reaction score
112
Location
Portland, OR
Thanks to all for so much good input on this. Embracing rather than fighting the discoloration and separating a small amount to "protect" it seems like the best way to go.

Many of my best selling FO's discolor such as my DB. I always separate off batter to add in colors or no colors, then add in the fo to the balance of the batter. It makes no difference in the soap where the fo goes, after all the soap is used with water and dilutes when you use it, plus the fact many fo's are used at 6% PPO so how much fo are you actually getting in a bar once the water dilutes it. I would rather have that than adding another chemical to my soap. I used chelators in all soaps so prefer no other chemicals such as Vanilla stabilizers. In other words, I embrace the brown.
@cmzaha Can you tell me more about chelators? Do you mean things like clays?
 

linne1gi

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
1,591
Reaction score
1,657
If I'm using a FO that is known to discolor to tan, for instance, I might divide my batter in two and add FO only to half. If I do, would that mean I should use only half as much FO and therefore create a very mildly scented soap? I'm guessing that if I used the full amount for my total batter, the soap might be irritating?
Alternately, could I add FO to the entire batch and then use an extra large amount of TD to compensate?
I don't split the batch in two - more like 1/5 - then I put the fragrance in the 4/5 and swirl the 1/5.
 

linne1gi

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
1,591
Reaction score
1,657
Thanks to all for so much good input on this. Embracing rather than fighting the discoloration and separating a small amount to "protect" it seems like the best way to go.


@cmzaha Can you tell me more about chelators? Do you mean things like clays?
I use citric acid in all my soap - it's a mild chelator and a natural one at that. You can use 1-3%. I generally use 2% (of oils). You have to add the citric acid to your lye water. It needs to go into the lye water, because sodium hydroxide converts citric acid to sodium citrate, which is the actual chelator. Also, citric acid will neutralize some of the lye - 10 grams of citric acid neutralizes 6 grams of NaOH. So, if you are making 1000 grams of oils (about 2 pounds) and add in 2% of citric acid, that's 20 grams of citric and an extra 12 grams of NaOH.
 

JoyfulSudz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2020
Messages
95
Reaction score
112
Location
Portland, OR
@linne1gi Thank you for that info. I use citric acid (in the form of lemon juice) as a preservative when I do canning, so I'm guessing that it also acts as a preservative in soap, helping prevent DOS, etc.
I use sodium lactate in all my batches. Do citric acid and sodium lactate play well together?
 

linne1gi

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
1,591
Reaction score
1,657
@linne1gi Thank you for that info. I use citric acid (in the form of lemon juice) as a preservative when I do canning, so I'm guessing that it also acts as a preservative in soap, helping prevent DOS, etc.
I use sodium lactate in all my batches. Do citric acid and sodium lactate play well together?
Yes, they play well together but of course they do different things. Sodium lactate helps with unmolding clean crisp edges of your soap, and sodium citrate is a chelator and helps with soap scum. I use both (or in many cases, salt) with all my soaps. Lemon juice does not have as much citric acid as the powder but I believe it can be used in soap. Here's an article explaining this. Citric acid, Citrus juice | Soapy Stuff
 

AliOop

Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
2,720
Reaction score
3,617
Location
US
Many of my best selling FO's discolor such as my DB. I always separate off batter to add in colors or no colors, then add in the fo to the balance of the batter. It makes no difference in the soap where the fo goes, after all the soap is used with water and dilutes when you use it, plus the fact many fo's are used at 6% PPO so how much fo are you actually getting in a bar once the water dilutes it. I would rather have that than adding another chemical to my soap. I used chelators in all soaps so prefer no other chemicals such as Vanilla stabilizers. In other words, I embrace the brown.
I felt the same way at first; with all my sensitivities, you know I'm always trying to use less stuff in my body care products! But here's what changed my mind. The FOs themselves contain a lot of sensitizing chemicals. I can't use many of them myself because of that reason. The ones I'm usually able to tolerate tend to have vanillin in them.

Adding in a homemade vanilla stabilizer with those FOs only requires one additional ingredient: sodium metabisulfite. This is also used to make wine and beer. That means anyone who makes wine soap or beer soap is already adding some metabisulfite to their soaps. I've not heard any complaints that beer soap or wine soap gives any bad skin reactions. So I'm willing to give it a go in order to be able to use some FOs that I like and not have all brown soaps, esp since my favorite colors tend to be pastels.

On another note, I'm kind of surprised that the FO makers don't add metabisulfite to their vanillin FOs to begin with. Maybe it doesn't play well if it is mixed in advance?
 
Last edited:

linne1gi

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
1,591
Reaction score
1,657
I felt the same way at first; with all my sensitivities, you know I'm always trying to use less stuff in my body care products! But here's what changed my mind. The FOs themselves contain a lot of sensitizing chemicals. I can't use many of them myself because of that reason. The ones I'm usually able to tolerate tend to have vanillin in them.

Adding in a homemade vanilla stabilizer with those FOs only requires one additional ingredient: metabisulfate. This is also used to make wine and beer. That means anyone who makes wine soap or beer soap is already adding some metabisulfate to their soaps. I've not heard any complaints that beer soap or wine soap gives any bad skin reactions. So I'm willing to give it a go in order to be able to use some FOs that I like and not have all brown soaps, esp since my favorite colors tend to be pastels.

On another note, I'm kind of surprised that the FO makers don't add metabisulfate to their vanillin FOs to begin with. Maybe it doesn't play well if it is mixed in advance?
And by metabisulfate do you mean, sodium metabisulfite?
 

AliOop

Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Messages
2,720
Reaction score
3,617
Location
US
@linne1gi correct, sodium metabisulfite. :) I edited the post above to clarify it.

Also, Todd's blend includes the metabisulfate and sodium thiosulfate. But he was pretty sure that only the first one is needed. I'm planning to buy some metabisulfate and try it myself once I've used up the store-bought stuff that I purchased RIGHT BEFORE I read that you could make your own. 😆

ETA: Here is the post that includes Todd's experiments and recipes.
 
Last edited:

linne1gi

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
1,591
Reaction score
1,657
Funny: POTASSIUM metabisulfITE is used in wine making in my country (Slovenia). Potassium, not sodium, and xxxsulfite not xxxsulfate.
Hope both work in wine though. I can testify for our wines, they are excellent!
Yes, it is sodium metabisulFITE, not metabisulFATE. And basically it is used as an antioxidant and preservative.
 

Latest posts

Top