Monday, November 10, 2008

Finally Success!

So when I left off yesterday I had two batches of soap made, both adequate but nothing to write home about. Certainly nothing good enough to give the family for christmas! So I decided to bite the bullet, and try CP soap. And moreover, to do it right.

This is the recipe that I used:

80% olive oil
10% coconut oil
4.5% castor oil (I had meant to do 10, but I ran out)
5.5% avocado butter (subbed this for the rest of the castor)
8% lye discount
8oz water for a 2lb batch of soap

I set up a 2lb vat of oils, in my crockpot that was turned OFF. I mixed my lye-water, then left it alone while it cooled. I played warcraft. I knit. I read a little. Eventually, it was 110 degrees, and I mixed it. I decided to try scenting it, with peppermint like I'd done the first batch, and then thought about adding some cocoa powder to it as well - andes mint soap! Mr Sweetie was kind enough to head out to the store while I stirred. He even got more castor oil <3

Only thing was, the soap did not want to wait for him to get home with the cocoa powder. It hit trace FAST, and did not play around. I had to go ahead and add the peppermint oil without the cocoa powder, so to cheer myself up from not making andes mint soap, I added color! I was trying to recreate the coloring of this awesome Plum Blossom soap I saw on Etsy, layered pink and undyed soap, but I forgot to add the layer of... whatever that is in the middle. Probably really-darkly-dyed soap.

So instead I got this!

Something that amused me when I unmolded: I used plastic grocery bags to line my molds. And by molds, I mean cigar boxes! Yay recycling. As it turns out hot soap is like silly putty, and can pick up print.

Please imagine that my entire house is not as yellow as this picture makes it seem. I mean, yes, our walls ARE yellow on that side, but not THAT yellow. The soap is yellow-white and pink, and got hard very quickly! It's been curing for about a week now, and I had trouble breaking one of the bars in half so I could wash the dog with it (mmm, peppermint dog).

So then Mr Sweetie got home with the cocoa powder and the castor oil, and I had already made the soap. What else was there to do, but make another batch, with the same recipe? I even remembered to add a layer of cocoa powder in the middle.

For this batch, I used 12floz of water, since I was impatient (again) and trying to cool down the lye. 4oz of ice cubes does not make a huge dent in those kinds of temperatures, as it turns out. I can REALLY tell the difference in the finished soap, though - the chocolate mint soap is still very pliable, and tears more than cracks when I break it (btw, guess what I've been using in the shower? I smell fabulous). When I do another batch with this recipe, I'm going to try mixing the lye with only 4oz of water, and either subbing out some milk or yogurt for the missing liquid, or just seeing how it does with a 50% water discount. If it makes it cure faster, then I am ALL FOR IT, because it is halfway through november and Go Time for presents is NOW.

And I don't feel at all prepared. I have too much family, and too little soap.

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