After a week without soap – I fell while jogging (first time in five years!) and scraped my hands up pretty good, I was able to get three test batches done yesterday.
In response to the news that hard water and my formula don’t mix well, I’ve run two batches that have higher amounts of myristic acid, hoping to improve the bubble factor. I’ve dubbed them Old Iron Tub for now, which was almost the name of the company.
I decided to try stopping gel phase by putting the first batch in the fridge. It seems it achieved partial gel, though.
Those rings will probably fade quite a bit over time – the very first batch I ever made, an 80/20 Olive/Coconut oil soap, had it, and it faded to obscurity after about 8 weeks.
However, I’m so pleased with the second version, which is also a no palm oil blend, that I may not worry about trying to stop gel phase.
A close up of the whipped texture on top.
Finally, I tried my first scented soap. I had two little bottles of Wake Up Rosemary, a limited edition scent from Brambleberry that I hope becomes a permanent product. I’ve been using it to great reviews in my whipped body butter. I thought it would make a good scent for the shampoo bar, which I had planned from the start to make with rosemary and nettle tea.
I made the teas in the morning, so they would have time to cool down before I began that batch. I used bulk herbs from Mountain Rose – beautiful stuff – the nettle was a gorgeous deep green that I wish would have survived it’s encounter with sodium hydroxide, but alas, it was too fragile. The lye solution – half nettle, half rosemary tea – ended up a murky reddish brown. It may be the tea that I’m seeing in the picture below.
Then again, it may have something to do with the FO that I used. I didn’t realized it at the time, but WUR has not been tested in CP soap by Brambleberry. Whoops! Guess I’m lucky it turned out as well as it did!
It smells amazing right now. The soap has a lot of cocoa butter in the formula, and coupled with the FO, it smells like mint chocolate chip! I’m sure it will fade, but it’s really yummy right now. I think I finally understand why so many people like scented products. They smell effing good!
So I have a giant order of various fragrance and essential oils on their way from Brambleberry. Can’t wait till that arrives – should be here in time for next weekend’s soaping adventure.
The soaps from two weeks ago – Tomato and the Sweet Tea – are aging beautifully, too. Salad Bar still has a scent of tomato, but it smells fresher now, and Sweet Tea has a very sweet smell to it – not obviously tea, but there is something different about it that Tabula Rasa doesn’t have. Very nice.
Today I plan to make a larger batch of Pay Dirt, without cornmeal in it. I’m finding the cornmeal leaves behind way too much of an odor – it’s like washing with a tortilla chip. Although, coupled with the tomato soap, it sounds like a good snack!