Monday, 2 October 2017

Soap with Madder Root


 I read in a Soap Queen's article 'Formulating Cold Process Recipes'  that you could make a nice soap by using 30% olive oil, 30% coconut oil, 30% palm oil or lard and 10% of another oil such as rice bran oil. I was itching to try out the madder root that a friend had given me so decided to use that recipe for a trial run.



The plan was to half fill my new embossed mould with uncoloured, unscented soap as I wanted to cut it into blocks to show off the top as it doesn't really show up all that much when the soap is cut as normal.



 Then, in my other loaf mould, I wanted to pour a plain layer on the bottom and then I would do a 'pencil line' on top of that with cacao powder followed by a layer of soap coloured with madder root. I had seen this done with a tea infuser so I decided to use that. 

Unfortunately, while I was fiddling around trying to get the cacao powder to sprinkle over the bottom layer with no success as the powder wouldn't come out evenly, the remaining mixture was getting thicker and I still had to add the madder root and the scent. Oops! So then it was panic stations to get it all mixed up and by the time it hit the mould it just became globby and difficult to work with. 



So much for trying to do a straight pencil line. Oops! Maybe next time I will be more successful and will use a different strainer for the powder that's for sure. I wrapped up the soap and as I had made it at night I wasn't able to peek at it every hour or so to see how it was gelling like I normally do and, would you believe it, it turned out with a partial gel plus some of the top had cracked! That confused me as when I read what causes a partial gel it can be because the soap doesn't get hot enough yet the reason soap cracks is because it overheats as far as I know. This is probably double dutch for those who don't make soap and it is something new to me as it hasn't really happened before like this.





The soap in both moulds had partial gel which was so disappointing as these soaps were meant to be gifts and they don't look all that wonderful even though they are probably lovely to use. Never mind.



The next time I make soap I will do it during the day so I can keep an eye on it like I normally do but I had to go out unexpectedly when I had planned to make this batch. In Jan Berry's new book Simple and Natural Soapmaking she has photos of soaps which have had natural colourants added and you can see how they look after a couple of months when the colourants have been added to oils or to the lye mixture. It is very interesting and the book is worth buying especially as there are 50 recipes to experiment with. 



The 'Ugly Ducking' soap I made last time has been rebatched and is already useable. I added cocao powder to it before pouring it into the mould and it certainly darkened the soap. Rebatching isn't something I would like to do very often as you end up with less soap and it is hard to get it looking smooth. The original batch filled a loaf mould plus a number of individual moulds whereas after rebatching there was only enough to fill a loaf mould. 

If anyone is interested in the recipe I used for the soap with Madder Root here it is:

450g olive oil
450g coconut oil
450g lard
150g rice bran oil
211g lye
495g water
31g   mixture of White Rose FO, Lavender and Mint FO and Lavender EO.
1t     Madder root mixed in with some of the soap mixture before adding to the rest of the batch for
        the top layer after reaching trace. 

I hope some of my readers in Queensland and New South Wales are getting some rain at the moment. We haven't had a lot of rain like areas around Bundaberg but any rain is better than none. There has been light rain for much of the afternoon which is very much appreciated as it has been so very dry.

Have a great week everyone!

 



21 comments:

  1. Chel it looks as if both our gift soaps were bumbles. I do like the colour the madder root has given to the soap. I also love that mould. Have been letting the family know which soap mould I want and where to get it. I have a Birthday at the end of the month and I may as well get something that I want. I am going to get one anyway so this is a nice money saver as well. The brown rebatched soap looks really good. It looks like a nice soap to go in male gift packages.

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  2. Jane don't you hate it when you thought you had made a nice soap only to have it turn out 'not so nice'. Very disappointing. I hooe you get the mould you want for your birthday :-)

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  3. So interesting though!! I like the mold with all the flowers!

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    1. It is very pretty, Kathy. I know you are just busting to make soap. Go on! LOL!

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  4. I love reading all about your soap making and the experimenting...that's how great discoveries are made! Love that embossed soap mould...very pretty design!

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    1. Yes it is very pretty, Maria. I like experimenting with different soaps. It is amazing how you can use the same recipe and the soap can behave differently depending on the weather, etc.

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  5. It looks great! I've been wanting to try madder root. And Jan's book is great, lots of colour ideas to try...

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    1. I love Jan's book, Liz. So many recipes to try.

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  6. your soaps always look interesting!
    Bunderberg has had flash flooding & we are getting much needed rain here as well, though it seems to have cleared now, we could use a few more days of steady rainfall, it is just so dry here, at least we got a bit in the tanks!
    thanx for sharing

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    1. Glad you got rain, Selina. It was getting a bit parched around the place although some farmers got nothing.

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  7. Just wanted to pop in and say hello! Hope your well.

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    1. Hi Chrissy. Yes I am over the flu now but my son is sick so on it goes. It has been a very bad flu season this year.

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  8. Your soap experiments are really interesting Chel, requiring a lot of patience I think. Glad you had some rain. Ours is still coming:) Best wishes, Pauline

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    1. That is a shame you didn't get any, Pauline. I hope you get some very soon. It looks like there might be more to come next week.

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  9. I never knew there was so much you could do with soap, Chel. I think experimenting is a good thing because you learn then what works and what doesn't. At least with soap, it can be rebatched or used as is. I also love your new mould, very pretty. Meg:)

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    1. Meg, I haven't scratched the surface where different soapmaking techniques are concerned. I find something new online and in books all the time. Some things I can't be bothered with to be honest as it is only soap which ends up going down the drain :-)

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  10. The soap mold is so pretty, fun to play with. I'd love to know where your friend got the madder from, I'd really like to do some dyeing with it. We had rain here, quite heavy and made everyone very nervous. I don't think I'll ever happily anticiapate rain again, even knowing how much it's needed.

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  11. Nanette, actually she got it at a garage sale as a lady was selling all her soap supplies. It is available from Aussie Soap Supplies. I understand how you feel about the rain. It was the same for people in this region after the 2011 floods...especially so for the children.

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  12. I'm glad to have gotten any rain at all. We did get a long, consistent, light rainfall, which greened everything up. But as soon as the cloud cover leaves, and it's in full sun again, I don't think the rain we got will be sufficient. I can only hope we get more rain, they're predicting, but (as usual) haven't seen yet. ;)

    I always think your soaps look great, even when you say you messed them up. I love the staggered look of the madder-root soap. It's like looking at a core sample, with different levels.

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  13. Chris, we have only had a few drops the last few days. Apparently it rained in Ipswich and Warwick but missed us although it could have rained on the Range side which often happens and the NW side misses out. I will bring along to your workshop some of the messed up soap :-)

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    1. Awesome. I'd love to see and smell it!

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