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
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.