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Working with Discoloring FOs

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AliOop

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Thanks for catching that, @linne1gi and @Ladka - I have hopefully fixed it in all the places I wrote ATE instead of ITE.

I do see that in some countries, they use PH instead of F, as in, xxsulphite, rather than sulfite.
 

dibbles

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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?
The first time I used a VCS, I mixed it with my FO. It turned my batter a bright yellow - I mean, really bright yellow. I think the FO mix might have gotten pretty thick and gloppy too, but I can't remember for sure. The body of the soap ended up being white and green as planned, but the tops stayed pretty discolored. So I'm guessing that yes, mixing it ahead of time could be problematic for FO manufacturers. After that experience, I always stick blend the VCS into the batter before adding the lye solution.
 

linne1gi

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The first time I used a VCS, I mixed it with my FO. It turned my batter a bright yellow - I mean, really bright yellow. I think the FO mix might have gotten pretty thick and gloppy too, but I can't remember for sure. The body of the soap ended up being white and green as planned, but the tops stayed pretty discolored. So I'm guessing that yes, mixing it ahead of time could be problematic for FO manufacturers. After that experience, I always stick blend the VCS into the batter before adding the lye solution.
Why would that help? Stick blending shouldn’t affect the color?
 

dibbles

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@linne1gi I don’t know. I think it happened because the FO and VCS were mixed directly together. I always stick blend any additives that go into the batch oils to get everything incorporated before adding the lye solution. I didn’t want to experiment further with mixing the FO and VCS together before adding to the soap batter. This was just my experience and a thought on why FO manufacturers don’t routinely add VCS to FOs when they are formulated.

The result I experienced may not happen with all FOs either, I don’t know. Another reason could be the smell. Even though the VCS. smell isn’t noticeable in the finished soap, the OOB odor is strong and unpleasant. I don’t think it would be a successful selling point to have it premixed when it would likely produce an unpleasant OOB smell.
 

linne1gi

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@linne1gi I don’t know. I think it happened because the FO and VCS were mixed directly together. I always stick blend any additives that go into the batch oils to get everything incorporated before adding the lye solution. I didn’t want to experiment further with mixing the FO and VCS together before adding to the soap batter. This was just my experience and a thought on why FO manufacturers don’t routinely add VCS to FOs when they are formulated.

The result I experienced may not happen with all FOs either, I don’t know. Another reason could be the smell. Even though the VCS. smell isn’t noticeable in the finished soap, the OOB odor is strong and unpleasant. I don’t think it would be a successful selling point to have it premixed when it would likely produce an unpleasant OOB smell.
I have never been in the practice of adding my fragrance to my oils. In my experience, fragrance always does something when added to the batter, and usually it accelerates (even a little), but sometimes it decelerates. In any event I always like to mix my colors, before adding scent. That’s why I wondered why you are stick blending the fragrance and VCS into your oils.
 

dibbles

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I have never been in the practice of adding my fragrance to my oils. In my experience, fragrance always does something when added to the batter, and usually it accelerates (even a little), but sometimes it decelerates. In any event I always like to mix my colors, before adding scent. That’s why I wondered why you are stick blending the fragrance and VCS into your oils.
I am not stick blending the fragrance in. Just the VCS. I don’t mix the two (FO and VCS). I usually add my fragrance at or just before emulsion if it’s well behaved, or after I split and color just before I pour if it accelerates or It is new and I don’t know how it acts.
 

linne1gi

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I am not stick blending the fragrance in. Just the VCS. I don’t mix the two (FO and VCS). I usually add my fragrance at or just before emulsion if it’s well behaved, or after I split and color just before I pour if it accelerates or It is new and I don’t know how it acts.
I don't know why I thought the fragrance (with vanillin) and the VCS were to be mixed together?
 

lenarenee

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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 have some of that lovely obnoxious) soap myself - good thing I left half of it brown. It's a weird yellow gold color. It was BB Ancient Sedona.
 

cmzaha

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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?
I completely understand your point, but I never minded the discoloring. Vanilla is dark. 🤪

@JoyfulSudz as for chelators, my daughter has extremely hard well water and I have found EDTA and Sodium Gluconate at 0.5% each work the best for her and for us. I have bad plumbing that would require a plumber every 3 months on average when I first started soapmaking. When I cut my superfat and added in Chelators I also cut my plumbing bill to about 1 per year. In the beginning, I tried Citric Acid but the amount I had to use to make a difference caused crystalization on the outside of my soap that neither my customers nor I liked so I went on the hunt for something different. I originally changed to EDTA then a couple of years ago after my daughter moved I discovered Sodium Gluconate was in many products being sold where she lives. I have never turned back.
 
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AliOop

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I don't know why I thought the fragrance (with vanillin) and the VCS were to be mixed together?
I believe those are the instructions given by some of the suppliers. However, from everything I've read, the VCS seems to work better if it is blended into the oils first, then add the lye, and then add fragrance last. I don't know why the suppliers recommend otherwise given all the reports as to how much better it works this way.
 

earlene

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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 noticed an unexpected result using the BCN VS with DB when I added it. The normal DB scent changed almost immediately. I haven't mentioned it here before, and had actually thought I'd start a new thread on this topic (VS changing the scent of a fragrance) but also thought I'd give it more time and see if the fragrance reverts back to normal. It's been over a month and the scent hasn't changed at all. It smells like Root Beer.
 

Zany_in_CO

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Yes, it is sodium metabisulFITE, not metabisulFATE. And basically it is used as an antioxidant and preservative.
BTW, it's also used by home brewers to sanitize bottles. I learned this when I first started making lotions. I would sanitize containers before filling them.
 

AliOop

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I noticed an unexpected result using the BCN VS with DB when I added it. The normal DB scent changed almost immediately. I haven't mentioned it here before, and had actually thought I'd start a new thread on this topic (VS changing the scent of a fragrance) but also thought I'd give it more time and see if the fragrance reverts back to normal. It's been over a month and the scent hasn't changed at all. It smells like Root Beer.
Oh, that would be horrible! I mean, I like the smell of rootbeer, but not when I'm expecting DB!
 

earlene

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Oh, that would be horrible! I mean, I like the smell of rootbeer, but not when I'm expecting DB!
It was certainly a surprise. I don't recall exactly how I mixed the two; if together prior to adding to the oils or separately. I just looked back at my notes to try to determine how I did the adding. I added the DB FO to the oils, as per usual, then I added the BCN VS to the oils separately. So they weren't pre-mixed, which I thought of when reading some of the comments above.

But, so far (one month) no discoloration from the altered DB fragrance. And I know positively this DB always smells as I expect it to when I add it alone without the Vanilla Stabilizer; It's from the same bottle I've used several times, including just recently before the VS came from BCN. Now I'm going to have to look through my FO's for another discoloring FO and see if it alter the scent with another one. This was totally a unexpected.
 

KiwiMoose

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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.
That's exactly what I do Dibbles. One of my classics is Black Currant Absinthe. I make black and white soap, use the BCA in the black part, and anjou pear in the white part:
831AE161-E99F-4091-B237-1AFC1EDD49C2_1_201_a.jpeg
 

dibbles

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That's exactly what I do Dibbles. One of my classics is Black Currant Absinthe. I make black and white soap, use the BCA in the black part, and anjou pear in the white part:
Good work around!
 
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