Sunday, January 17, 2010

More soap making fun!

Okay, so the first batch looked good. The second batch looked good too. Time to make it more challenging. How do you do that? Well, you try to make clear soap.

Turns out that one method for making clear soap involves adding some amount of ethanol and dissolved sugar to the mixture. And some glycerin as well, although why should I do that just because some recipes do and some don't?

Well, attempt number 3 of soapmaking (the first attempt at transparent) went horribly wrong. The soap didn't even saponify properly. That was before I acquired some nice measuring stuff. I now can measure with impunity! Anyway, 3 was a disaster. 4 worked really well for part 1, the saponifying. Part 2, the clarifying, was interesting. With the use of a blender and some Britta filtered methylated spirits (I figured it was the best source of ethanol I was going to get), I went about estimating from some vague online recipes the amounts of ethanol I needed given the amount of Lye. It certainly did turn out translucent, and with my new set of dyes, I went to make bars of translucent soap! Now it turns out that either my calculations were broken, or that glycerin(e)/glycerol actually does something I should know about. Anyway, I now have a bunch of liquid soap that looks like this in close-up:

I have also acquired some pH test strips which clearly indicate 1-14 using 4 different indicators. Very cool. Also, quite sure my successful soaps are good now and not going to burn anyone's face off.


Cozalcoatl said...

Cool. I made soap for xmas pressies last year, but i cheated and bought the kits. Was fun though.

Put Chris on the plane today after his whirlwind visit.Grand Canyon, pool and Zombies...we know how to treat our guests. Sent back a pressie with him for you. nomnom

MrSnerg said...

Oooh what kind of soap making? Melt and pour or cooking up stuff?

I look forward to the pressie, and not at all scared ;-)

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

you intrigue me, Mr Snerg, what brought on the sudden rash* of sap making?


Cozalcoatl said...

Melt and pour.The easy way. I did buy molds, colours and extra things like scent and lavender bits.

Pressie i think you will like....Now we need Chris to help convince you to visit ;)

MrSnerg said...

Melt & Pour does make it easier but it's still a bit of effort to get it to look right!

We are definitely keen to visit, more a matter of working out how and when!

As for the so-called rash of soap making, I only have 4 spots! I blame the Christmas presents!!

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

btw that reject soap looks kinda like some sort of Dr Who special effect. icky! was it salvagable?

MrSnerg said...

*this* soap was actually useful as a liquid pump soap. The really useless stuff I chucked out.