Thursday, February 01, 2007

Bad Batch

Well, I was due for a humbling experience. My sister requested some baby soap. A few years ago, I made a really nice baby soap with beeswax and honey, so I was trying to replicate that soap. I changed the formula a tiny bit, to accomodate the ingredients I had on hand. I used 4 oz of beeswax in a 48 oz batch, which might have been too much.

Hunk o' beeswax. Now I remember why I prefer using beeswax pellets. I had to heat this block in the microwave to cut it. The issue with beeswax is that it has a high melting point. 130 F is the lowest temperature I can get the oils without having the beeswax solidify. I find that making soap at 130 F is stressful because the soap sets up right away before you can even get it mixed properly, hence my problem.

One of these molds is a cylindrical candle mold and the other is a bread baking mold from Pampered Chef. They make a nice flower shaped soap. I tape the ends with clear packing tape, then place the metal lids over the end. As you can see, I got some leakage.

After the pour, looking golden and beautiful.

30 minutes later, uh oh, some dark brown goo coming up. Yikes, they feel hot under those towels!

One hour after pour, super heating, and going dark brown. Shortly after this, they started to volcano out the bottoms of the molds, all over my towels. I had to stanch the flow with the towels, so I can't get a good photo.

Okay, so high temps, too much beeswax, not enough mixing, metal molds, all of these are issues here. There's a reason that most soapers use wooden molds, great insulation but no superheating. I have successfully used these metal molds before, so they are probably only contributors to the failure. The soap that I put into the rubber seashell molds looks nice, so it's not a total loss. The whole house smells like beeswax now.

This reminds me of a photo someone posted on a soaping forum once, where they had used a Pringles can as a mold. The soap volcanoed upward and was sort of flesh colored and looked extremely disturbing, absolutely obscene. Wish I could find it, hilarious.



Blogger vickibarkley said...

Wow. Great 7th grade science project you've got there. Glad I could help you with it.

And the Pringles picture desription got me and Debby to both guffaw.

8:25 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

I wish I could find that photo. Really, it was the funniest thing I've ever seen.

4:35 AM  

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