Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Spring is here...well maybe not

It's freezing cold outside and all I can think about is Spring flowers, Spring colors, Spring weather!

Yes, we are still in the middle of winter but when you make cold press soap you are a season ahead. Especially since you need to allow your soap to cure and get nice and hard which can take from 4 weeks to 6 months depending on your soap recipe.  So here I am thinking of floral scents and pretty nervous since I have not done so good in the past with floral fragrances.

I have also been having such a hard time controlling the temperatures for my oils and lye water.  I used to be able to mix my lye and water and while it would cool off I would melt my oils, and all the temperatures would be perfect between 100 to 110 degrees when I was ready to combine them.  Well with the house being much colder, and since I usually soap late at night when the kids are finally put to bed, my mixtures are dropping down in temperature pretty quick.  The last soap batch that I made the temperature dropped pretty quick and as soon as I added the Lilac fragrance oil it started getting lumpy on me.  I tried to smooth it out with my stick blender and pour it in the mold but when I was finally able to unmold it I ended up with lye pockets.  That was pretty frustrating!

So I asked from some advice from my fellow soapers in the TeachSoap blog and decided to follow some of their suggestions.  This time I mixed my oils first and then my lye water mixture.  Placing the lye pitcher in  ice water bath to gently bring down the temperature as that of the oils.  It actually worked.  Only problem was that I had to monitor it more closely. 

I decided to try "Spring Rain" fragrance oil from Nature's Garden.  It is described as the following:
A musky accord enhanced with a fresh floral bouquet of carnations, tiger lilies, alyssum, orchids, and roses, with hints of fresh greenery

Here are some pics:
(Yes, I floral pastel bouquet colors...I actually ran out of my pinks and yellow and had green and blue in stock to play with)

I have been stressing lately with all my failed soap batches and trying to plan out my blog when it occurred to me that the reason why I started this blog was to share my little successes and failures in this soap journey.  I have learned much in the past year and continue to learn and have my "Aha!" moments. 

Later this week I will share my next little "learning" experience.  Got to tell you...never a dull moment when you find me making some soap :)

Thanks for checking out my blog!  Happy soaping!!!



  1. So pretty Roxana, I love the soft blue and green combo. Do you like this fragrance? I'm so glad you've been able to find a solution for your temperature issues. I suppose if soapmaking was too easy, we would have gotten bored a long time ago...celebrate those challenges and frustrations! =)

    1. Hi Cee Gee!
      I am still debating on whether I like it or not. It is a little fresh and floral...but there is something to it that has me hesitating somewhat. It did really well during the process :)

  2. I love these swirls,Roxana and it's a beautiful soap the way it is.
    I've been making mostly milk soaps lately and working at room temps (below 90F). Do you think low temps affect the seizing after adding f.o?

    1. Thanks Maja! You know just lately I have been having problems with it, and I really think that it's due to the temperature dropping so quick. I am going to try to mix it directly to the oils next time and hope that it works out better.

  3. Gorgeous swirls, Roxana! I love the green and blue together. I do the same thing with my oils and lye - I melt and mix my oils first and while they're cooling, I make my lye solution and stir it in an ice bath. I also start with chilled distilled water (or whatever liquid), so after about 10-15 minutes of stirring in the ice bath, the temp of the lye solution has come down from about 165 degrees to around 110. By then, my oils are usually somewhere around there, too. If my oils are too cool, I pop them back into the microwave for a few seconds. If my oils are too warm, I stir them in the ice bath for a bit. I love my laser thermometer for watching the temps. I'm sorry you've had some failed batches lately - I hope your luck turns soon. Looking forward to hearing about your next learning experience!

    1. You know maybe I should try popping the water in fridge to cool it down some and maybe that will avoid me having to place the lye water pitcher in the ice bath, which makes me a little nervous

  4. Love the colors and tops! Rose Geranium EO clumped on me the once I've tried to soap it too. I feel your pain, I was so disappointed. :(