Tuesday, August 13, 2013

When soap goes bad

So what happens when you soap with distractions?  Well.... beautiful soap goes BAD!

I have a rule.  When I am measuring my ingredients, kids know mom is out.  I don't want to get confused.  I always double and triple check my measurements, even though I know my recipes by heart.  Well, I have learned I need to make sure my husband adheres to the same policy as the kids!  

Last weekend I decided to make a couple of fall soaps.  I also tweaked my recipe just a bit.  I began measuring, and my husband sat in the room chatting with me.  I kept getting pulled away due to various things, (crying baby, husband needing help, etc).  But I kept going, hoping that I was keeping track of where I was.  You see, making soap is pure science.  And requires precise measurements.  You need a certain amount of oil and liquid for the saponification process to occur.  Not enough oil, and you end up with Lye heavy soap.  Not what you want to bathe in!  (ALL soap is made with Lye, but it does not remain.  More on this later!)

So I set up my camera and soaped away.  I made 2 beautiful loaves of soap.  Everything seemed to be going perfectly.  The next day I checked my soaps, and realized the loaves seemed smaller than usual.  My soaps should fill the mold, and these were quite a bit smaller.  I un-molded them, and began to cut my first loaf.  That is when I realized there was a problem.  Instead of a beautiful, smooth soap, I ended up with a crumbly mess.  I was shocked.  And confused.  I sat with my recipe, and went over my numbers again and again.  And that is when it hit me.  When measuring, I didn't add enough of one of my oils - I read the wrong line.  And now I was stuck with 2 loaves of expensive, pretty, yummy smelling, lye heavy soap.  

Some soapers will re-batch.  (Melt it down and add the oils and re-mold it).  But I just couldn't bring myself to put my beautiful soap into a pot, and watch it turn brown from the colors mixing.  You see, I mix my own colors.  I spent well over an hour mixing until I found the perfect shades for these soaps.  Watching them mix while re-batching  - I just couldn't do it.  But I found some soapers across the country who couldn't wait to get their hands on my soap.  So I mailed that to them last week!  I am excited to see what they do.  

For me, time to soap!  I am going to attempt to re-create my soap, Jupiter and Draco, and hopefully will have better luck this time!  

Happy Soaping!

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