Saturday, 31 December 2016

Date Slice Soap

It is the last day of 2016 and while most sensible people are looking back over their year and planning for the coming one I have been making soap as I just couldn't say goodbye to the year without doing a little more experimenting. As it turned out I should have just made the time to do some contemplating as the batch didn't turn out as I had planned....at all!



In fact it turned out looking more like a batch of date slice than a batch of soap :-) 



A few weeks ago the lovely Suzie from The Curing Room  decided to do a declutter of her fragrance oils and sent them to me for which I was very grateful. She also included some Activated Charcoal powder for me to try out as I had never used it before. I did a search for it on The Soap Queen and found a post called Black Bath Bombs - A Cautionary DIY and realised that it might be messy to use so was very careful with it.



In The Soap Queen ~ Anne Marie Faiola's new book Pure Soapmaking she has a recipe for Coffee Swirl Soap which had a layer of Activated Charcoal in the middle and, even though I wasn't going to use that recipe I thought a blackish layer in the middle of the soap might look 'interesting'. By the way, see that design on the top of the soap....that is done with a piece of wire twisted into a spiral with a handle to hold it with while doing the design. Good idea, eh? 

In that recipe it says to mix 1 teaspoon of Activated Charcoal with 1 tablespoon of Rice Bran Oil so I poured out the Rice Bran Oil and was going to add the powder just before making the soap. I started heating the other oils and mixing the lye to the water and when I went back into the kitchen there was no container of the oil to be seen. Apart from my soap making supplies I had ready there was only a bowl of tomatoes that the CEO had just brought in that he found growing 'down the back'. 



Then it twigged .... he had put the tomatoes on top of the oil :-) Problem solved and after a lot a few mumbles under my breath  I cleaned up the tomatoes and poured some more oil. Nothing could go wrong now ~ could it? 

I decided to use a recipe I had used before with no problem which was:

400g Rice Bran Oil
300g Olive Oil
300g Coconut Oil
138g Lye
330g Water
30g    Fragrance Oils which were a combination of Egyptian Amber Fragrance Oil, Drakkar and 
          Ancient Sedona as there wasn't enough of each one to use for a whole batch. 
Now, I don't know a whole lot about using fragrance oils as I have only just started using them in the last few months after becoming disappointed that the scent from essential oils in soap faded quite quickly unlike the fragrance oils. However, I have learned lately that any with vanilla in them can make the soap go various shades of brown depending on how much vanilla is in the oil. Vanilla free fragrance oils are available though as well as ones that are phthalate free. So I am learning a little more about them as I go along. 

 I mixed everything up as per usual and then divided the mixture into three as I wanted two layers 'plain' and one black layer which had the Activated Charcoal added to it. However, I lost concentration as I was using the stick blender and let it go to a thick trace which was only after one minute and then I was left with three containers of lumpy soap which wasn't entirely what I had foreseen before starting. LOL! Anyway, we must press on so I spooned it into the mould and wrapped it up for 24 hours hoping that the gelling process might do something. I mean miracles do happen :-)


 I restrained myself from unmoulding the lumpy mixture for about 28 hours but it got the better of me in the end and this was what greeted me when I removed the towels. Oops! Oh dear!  All is not lost though when you have a sharp knife on hand. 


So after a bit of trimming and a try with my stamp so see if that would make it look a tad better it looks passable at the moment and as past experience has shown, it will be usable in 6 weeks time. It does look more like date slice than soap though. Just as well I don't sell my soap otherwise I would have to use tried and true recipes all the time. LOL! Experimenting is fun though and you learn something new almost every time you make a batch of soap.

I know some of my readers have expressed a desire to make their own soap but are just a bit scared of using the lye. Well why not make a decision that 2017 is going to be the year you face your fears and make your first batch. As long as you are careful and follow a simple recipe you should be fine. Just make sure there are no children, pets nor husbands around at the time though or else you never know what will happen to your soap supplies. 

All the best for a happy and healthy 2017 filled with God's richest blessings. 




20 comments:

  1. awww your soap looks awesome!
    a happy new year to you too!
    thanx for sharing

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    1. Thanks Selina. Hopefully it cures well and behaves.

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  2. Thank you so much for such a beautiful New Year's wish. The soap looks lovely. The tomatoes hiding the oil made me smile, my husband and I are always doing things like that to each other.

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    1. Sherri, my husband has had two cataract ops so he should be able to see oil in a container. Not so it seems :-)

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  3. Happy New Year to you, Nanna Chel and thanks for your well wishes. I think it's great that you experiment when soap making. I am one of those who needs to actually make some soap instead of dreaming about it. I've got all I need here and I did a little soap making course that was a birthday gift but still I procrastinate. I always seem to put it off for another day. Meg:)

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    1. Just make a date to do a batch, Meg. No more procrastinating :-)

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  4. Nanna Chel,
    Hope you and yours had a good New Year, while trying to keep cool. I like how the soap turned out and the stamping makes it look very professional.
    -Shiralee.

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    1. I hope the storm has cooled you down, Shiralee. It was a nice surprise.

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  5. Nana Chel, I love the look of the soap. It does look a bit like date slice but that is yummy and so is this soap.
    Hubby told me my last batch. my ode to imperial leather lavender soap, looks like it has mouse droppings in it. The droppings are the lavender flowers I mixed through the soap. Like you I am disappointed with the way the essential oils seem to fade.
    Hope that you and yours have a wonderful New Year full of new beginnings.

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    1. Yes Jane, I believe lavender looks like mouse droppings in soap. I have never added it after reading that :-)

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  6. Your soap looks perfectly wonderful. Just the way we like handmade soap to look.

    The grandsons wanted to make soap for their dad's family members this holiday, but when I began to assemble the ingredients they changed their minds. So, I think some melt and pour, some nice oils, herbs and maybe some colorings are more our style and preference these days. It should still be fun.

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    1. I think the Melt and Pour would be better with the children. I wouldn't like to have them handling the lye...just in case although I am sure they are perfect grandsons with the perfect grandma :-)

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    2. They are perfectly lovely, but they do not get that from my genetics. We still need to practice safety and caution with the hot melty stuff, but it should be so much fun and a wonderful result. I am thinking that we could embed some wee, soft toys (I have some squishy dinosaurs) in some of the bars for them to have.

      Juds

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  7. Your soap looks lovely Chel 😊. Happy New Year and I look forward to reading your blog again this year!

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    1. Thanks Maria. Happy New Year to you too.

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  8. Happy New Year! 2017 I am doing soap - I have decided!

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    1. Happy New Year to you and your family, Kathy. Yes, I think it is time you made some soap :-)

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  9. Wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year too. Guida

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  10. Chel I think your date slice soap looks wonderful and it's sure to be beautiful to use.

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  11. Hahaha....I'd put a lid on that bowl of oil next time. Your soaps look lovely and I'm sure will be just as nice to have as date slices in their own way.

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