Monday, October 10, 2016

Cinnamon and Patchouli Soaps

My fourth batch of soap I was finally comfortable enough to do a scented one. This one had cinnamon leaf essential oil. But no colorant. I was not brave enough to do both at once...yet. Also, I had run out of beef tallow and so branched out into the convenience of lard. One pound blocks of it.


And that's the only photo from that batch. It was uniformly colored so didn't look much different in cross section. Cinnamon scent still remains a favorite of mine. Also you can see the cardboard has been replaced with wood blocks on the ends. Each soap "loaf" makes 14 bars of soap. The end pieces are always a little wrinkly looking, so I always keep those for me. I cut soap with a chefs knife, but grew tired of my imperfect slices so have since bought a cheapo miter box from home depot that helps me have uniformly sized bars. I gave the soap as gifts to people over the course of a year, and then two people have started buying it from me on occasion so I always cut 1 inch bars now. The end pieces are always slightly under 1 inch, but I get 12 1-inch-thick bars that are nice enough to sell or give away out of each batch.

My next batch was both colored and scented, my first try at that. It was also the only batch of soap that I refused to give away (because it was botched)...or really use much of personally. I made a mistake with the pigment powder which resulted in soap that produced a pink lather. Like bleeding soap. I still have at least half of the batch. I tried using it for a while, but it would stain my tub and shower curtain and I got so tired of having the scum on our ancient tub be so obvious that I felt obligated to clean more often...and so I nearly threw it out. I'm glad I didn't because I have finally found a use for it, which will be in a later post.

The scent is patchouli. It didn't do anything for me and I wouldn't use it again, at least not alone.

That white stuff on top is quite visible on this soap. I didn't understand what it was for the longest time. You can rub it off easily, but it was rather irritating. Finally this year (2016) I read something about it. It is ash precipitate from the lye. I put enough oil in the soap that the lye is fully used up in the chemical reaction, but there is still the precipitate on top. The solution is to spritz with rubbing alcohol after pouring. I don't have the issue anymore, but you'll see it on a few more projects.

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So long, and thanks for all the fish.