Sunday, April 29, 2012

Cucumber and Aloe Soap with Yogurt

Last night when I made soap I tried a few new things:

  1. the Cucumber and Aloe fragrance oil from MMS
  2. taking a water discount and adding yogurt to the oils
  3. using a few ounces of shea butter rather than the sweet almond oil I usually use.
I used a method commonly called "CPOP", for cold process, oven method, but which I like to call "warm process."  Why "warm process"?  Because we call it "cold process" when we don't add heat to the process (other than melting the oils).  We call it "hot process" when we heat up the soap to fully saponify it.  But I'm just putting it in a warm environment to speed things up a bit, so "warm process" seems good.  However, I will use "CPOP,"  so other soapers won't be confused.

I wanted to do a two-color layered/swirled soap, and by the time I got the soap traced, some poured out to leave white, and the stuff still in the pot colored nicely, it was really thickening up.  By the time I got all the soap into the mold it was like stiff mashed potatoes.

You can see the air holes from the thick soap, and the lumpy mashed-potato-looking top.  It's hard to make a swirled top look nice when there are thick, mashed-potatoes lumps in it!  I'm weird--like lumps in my mashed potatoes.  Not in my soap tops, though.

I left the soap in the mold, in my warm oven, all night and cut it this morning.   Wonder of wonders--the cut soap looks better than I expected.

The tops are noticeably lumpy, but they don't look bad.  And I really like the way the layers came out.

Even with the nice layers, though, I have to mush up a few bars into soap patties, just because I like them.  The design in the middle of the soap patties is from a cookie press.  The soap is really too stiff and waxy to take a nice impression from the cookie press, but I like it anyway.

I don't know whether the soap got so thick so quickly because of the FO, the shea butter, or the water discount.  I suspect the FO.  Next time I use it I'll need to pour at a thinner trace.

The yogurt I put in?  I was very cautious with it because milk products can cause problems with soap.  So I added only 6 T to this 5-lb batch of soap.  It wasn't enough to make a noticeable difference.  But it didn't cause any problems, either.  So next time I'll try a little more. And then a little more.  Until I get it just right.  Baby steps, baby steps!

Oh, and about the FO ... it still smells awesome!  You know, some fragrances morph or disappear in cold-process soap, so I'm always happy when I find a new fragrance that stays true.  And this one really does.

What does the FO smell like?  To me it smells like really good cold cream. Seriously.  Way back in the mists of my childhood I must have smelled a cold cream with a similar fragrance. Fortunately, this makes a great soap, too!  I'll definitely be making this one again.
Hello!  I decided to create a new blog to talk about making soap.  Mostly, I guess, for a place to show pictures of my soap, and talk about new fragrances and techniques I'm experimenting with.

So, welcome to my first MyDragonSoapBlog blog post!