|Monday was a great snow day. It was 12 to 28 inches of white stuff, depending on where each MMS employee lives. This slow moving, heavy storm brought up our failed soap ideas. What do you think of doing when the weather dumps lots of snow? A cup of hot cocoa, tea or coffee. Today we are going to make a failed batch of soap. It may seem odd to you that we are trying to fail, but the act of saving a batch can only be implemented when the soap starts to fail. So, the plan is this:
Our basic test batch from last soap week. 6 ounces Hydrogenated Soy, 5 ounces Coconut Oil, 4 ounces Olive Oil, 1 ounce Mango Butter. The scent is Blackberry Sage. This scent is noted to make great room sprays, lotions, liquid soaps, shampoos and more, it just doesn’t work in cold process soap. We will add about 1/3 fluid ounce fragrance to our test batch.
Prepare your tea kettle before you collect your soap supplies. Set it on the stove to heat. Collect your soap supplies. Once the water comes to a boil, pour the water in a cup over a tea bag, and set aside. Put the kettle back on the stove, you need to maintain at least a simmer.
Weigh the fats. Weigh the sodium hydroxide. Measure the cold water and add your weighed amount of lye. Stir well. When you add the lye solution to the fat mixture start blending with an immersion blender. Take the soap almost to a trace. If you can’t remember the definition of trace, go back to the previous blog posts and catch up to today.
Add the fragrance oil, first in a few drops. See the white change in our soap where the fragrance oil was dropped? This fragrance will accelerate trace. We are going to go from liquid, to mashed potatoes, to concrete in less than 30 seconds. Quick! Get the tea pot! A dose of boiling water over the top, about ½ cup, then stir it in, and blend if possible. Pour into your mold. The boiling water does the trick to thin the soap so it is fluid again, or at least fluid enough to pour.
Your brow probably has beads of sweat. Now, you can be relieved that you use a mold that has some extra height (the additional water takes up space) and you have mastered saving a batch. Once you have cleared the counter of your work you tea is the perfect drinking temperature.
In all the years we have made soap, there was only one batch that couldn’t be saved by this method. We discarded it in the trash. You might wonder why we don’t save each of our test batches when we make soap. The reason is we want to see the results of the soap through normal processing. Certainly we could wait to rebatch later, but it just isn’t worth our time for these test batches. Rebatching is only a way to save a batch of soap you would otherwise discard. It will compromise the soap shelf life, makes the soap cosmetically challenged and isn’t the cleanest task to ever undertake domestically.
Even if you don’t think you will need the tea kettle, put one on anyway. The worst thing that can happen is you have the water left in the kettle when you are done. The hot water in your kettle is the perfect excuse for making tea, cocoa or another hot beverage.