Friday, October 28, 2011
First Rebatch- Lavender Spoon Swirl
So, it seems as though the soap gremlins have hit my house for the first time... Maybe it's because I got their attention by starting to post videos? So, yesterday morning, the soap was hard enough to unmold but not yet hard enough to cut, so I let it sit until the evening, when I tried to cut the first piece off... nope, still too soft to cut. So, I let it sit for a couple hours more.
I put lil' man down for bed and went and checked on the soap again. To my horror it had started to sweat profusely!
Now, in the past, the only way I had to test and see what the sweat is, is to stick my finger in it and see if it burns. I am SOOOOOO glad that I had been able to invest in some pH strips... 'cause the pH of that sweat was at 14!!! What?! Soap is supposed to be more around 8 or 9 (water even lower than that) and given that it was only a day old I would've guessed it to be more around a 10 or 11... the test piece that I had cut off earlier wasn't sweating, but was still testing at a 13. Hmm... I think it is finally time I tried my first rebatch and see if I can "save" this soap as it still smelled wonderful.
I pulled out my brand new 2 quart crock pot that I had bought for such an occasion. The crock pot is small, but I work in small batches, so it works just fine for me. First up was donning on some gloves and chopping up the "soap" into small chunks and putting it into the crock pot. I wanted to cry 'cause the swirls had turned out to be rather pretty.
You can see that the soap was incredibly soft and gooey in the middle, but I didn't come across any lye pockets, thank goodness. I turned the crockpot onto high for the first 15 minutes so that it would heat up fast on me and then turned it down to low. The soap sat in the crockpot heating up while I watched the last episode of Merlin season 3 (what an excellent show! I can't wait for season 4 on Netflix!) and the first episode of Army Wives season 5. All in all, about an hour and a half, getting up every so often to give the soap a stir so that the stuff on the bottom didn't burn and the stuff on the top had a chance to melt.
The entire batch was the consistency of really thick applesauce or thin mashed potatoes by this point. I tested the soap once more and it was at a 9 on the pH level. So much better! It was also an ugly gray color. So, I attempted a swirl by adding titanium dioxide into the entire batch to lighten it up just a little bit and then separating a couple spoonfuls of the soap into another container and adding more purple colorant to it.
Then, I made a divet in the center of the soap that was in the crockpot and spooned the colored soap into the divet. I folded the two colors together a couple of times to get a "swirled" effect but not so much as to actual homogenize the colors together. Then I stuffed the soap into one of my silicone molds (ok, well, it's the only big sized silicone mold I own right now).
You have to be careful with the soap at this point because it is very hot and still is thick enough to where it needs to be pressed into the mold. Heat resistant gloves are a good thing for rebatching ^_^;; Once the molds are filled up you let them sit and cool for several hours and unmold once they're cool and hardened.
I'm happy that the fragrance had survived the process but the final results just aren't my cup of tea... especially for giving as a present to someone. So, in the works now is processing the soap a third time. Wish me luck!