Archive for the ‘natural colorants’ Category

Why Rebatch

Friday, April 18th, 2014

rebatch soapRebatching your soap can literally be a “saving redo” for your soap recipe.

Sometimes your homemade soap bars are cracked, brittle, or just not performing like what you were hoping for. 

These are all perfect examples as to why you would rebatch your recipe.  But, it just doesn’t stop there. 

Soapers rebatch a soap recipe for a variety of reasons.  Below is a list of the benefits and key points you should know about rebatching a soap recipe.  Rebatching soap is essentially making the soap twice.  The first time you are completing the saponification process.  (Or, you may be using soap that has already been through the saponification process.)  Then, the second time you grate down the soap and melt it (for the reason you are rebatching). 

Benefits of a Rebatch
Rebatching a soap recipe for the addition of heat sensitive ingredients: 

Sometimes with homemade soap crafting, there are certain fragrances or essential oils that you really want to scent your soap bars; but worry that the scents cannot handle the high heat due to the saponification process.  Many times with low flash point fragrances or essential oils, there is scent burn off.  What results in your finished bars is soap that has little or no scent.  Rebatching soap will not only safely allow you to add these heat sensitive scents, but allow them to stay true to their scent (less burn off). 

Also, some fragrance oils may cause cold process soap to seize (turning your soap into a solid mass with no fluidity).  If you have your heart set on using one of these fragrances in your soap recipe, it can be done through the process of rebatching; without seizing your batch.  Usually fragrance oils that seize  your soap contain DPG.  None of the fragrance oils we carry at Natures Garden contain DPG. 

When it comes to coloring for cold process soap, it is very important to select ones that do not morph.  Through the process of rebatching, you do not need to worry about pH sensitive colorants.  And, sometimes this is just the answer to achieve that certain color.  With rebatch soap, the soap base that you are using has already completed the saponification process; therefore, the colorants that normally would discolor will not.   This is true for herbs that are used as natural soap colorants as well.  Although it should be stated that some herbs naturally discolor due to oxidation. 

Herbs not only offer color, but also wonderful and various benefits to your finished bars of soap.  The only problem is they can directly affect your soaping procedure.  Many herbs can speed up trace.  Even more so, some herbs cannot survive the saponification process and will discolor as a result.  With rebatching, this is not as big of an issue.  Herbs like lavender flowers, for example, can be added without worrying that those beautiful flowers will turn brown. 

Rebatch Opportunity
Rebatching allows for perfection:

Rebatching is also a wonderful method to use to correct a soap recipe.  Things can get a little chaotic when soaping, and it could be possible that you overlooked adding one of your soaping ingredients and did not realize it until after the soap was molded.  This resulted in your finished bars being too lye heavy.  A rebatch allows you the perfect opportunity to add that missing ingredient and balance out your soap.  This opportunity also allows for superfatting a recipe after saponification; or correcting soap bars that are too soft (made with too many fats or soft oils).

It is possible too that while making soap, your batter becomes too thick too quick for the addition of color or scent.  With rebatch, the soap can be scented and colored like you never missed a beat. 

Rebatch can also help correct a false trace recipe.
 
Rebatch, a Second Chance for Soaps
Sometimes, as a soaper, you will have pounds of soap scraps that you have on hand.  Rebatching the soap lets you make loaves (and bars) of them once more.  And will clear out all of that soaping space. 

Points to Know about Rebatch
Some soapers love to rebatch soap, others rebatch only when necessary, and some soapers just do not like to rebatch.  What ever your stance is on rebatch, it is a method that allows for many otherwise missed opportunities.   Here are some key points to know about rebatch. 

When making soap that is a rebatch, it will never completely liquefy.  Even after spending hours in the crock pot, or on the stove top (with the double boiler method), the best you will ever achieve is more of a thick gel like state.  Sometimes the soap may even be globby like.  This does not affect the soap being soap, but it will affect the finished look of your bars. 

When it comes to molding your rebatch soap, it is highly likely to get trapped air bubbles.  This is just the nature of the thick gel like globby beast.  It is extremely important to tap your mold as your fill it to prevent these pesky little buggers from being a problem in your finished soap bars.  You may also notice that it may be slightly more difficult to mold your soap while in this state.  This will be especially true if you are used to pouring it (like cold process soap batter).  With rebatch soap, you will need a ladle and scoop the rebatch soap into your mold. 

For the finished bars of rebatch soap, they will look very similar to hot process soap bars.  They have a very rustic look to them, and will not have the traditional smooth and creamy look that cold process has. 

On a final note, rebatching soap is truly a labor of love.  There will be lots of TLC (because of the time put in) and additional work to do this method.  But, if you are willing to put in the extra effort in (grating the soap), you will be able to rebatch your soap and have the end results that you are looking to achieve. 

Brittle Soap

Monday, April 14th, 2014

soap that has too much sodium lactate
Warning, the following pictures may disturb some soapers!

Here was the scenario:  Using a Hot Process Recipe, we made a soap batch that we thought would work.  However, we got a little too sodium lactate happy.  As a result, our soap bars were not functional.  And, to be completely honest, some of our soap could not even be classified as a bar.

Can you feel the soaping life lesson coming on?

Our hot process soap was molded and ready to be removed and sliced.  The end was trimmed off, and we went in for our first cut… that was when the slice fell, and broke into two pieces.

brittle slice of soap

Again we tried, but to no avail…

crumbly soap

That was when we thought to slice the bars thicker.  Still the same result, a broken bar of soap.

high amount of sodium lactate

Heart broken, we came to the conclusion that there was too much sodium lactate in our recipe.

Yes, sad but true; we have brittle soap.  And, a 4 pound batch at that!  Even though the soap was brittle, we still wanted to find out how it performed.  So, we washed our hands with the bar pieces.  This action made the finished bars completely crumble as we rubbed them together under the running water.

testing the processed soap

The original recipe was a failure, but not a complete one.  We were able to see first hand what happens to soap when too much sodium lactate is added.

soap that needs a rebatch

In one of the earlier Natures Gardens blog posts, we wrote that using too much sodium lactate in your soap recipe will produce finished bars that crumble or are brittle.  This soap is the perfect example of exactly how this worked.

The recipe that we used contained 1 ounce of sodium lactate per pound of soaping oils in our recipe.  We thought that this would help harden the bar, especially since the soap was made from very soft oils.

Well, we were wrong.  This is why testing is highly suggested when dealing with soaping additives like sodium lactate.

Coloring Cold Process Soaps with Herbs

Monday, September 30th, 2013
Picture1

Adding herbs to your soap not only provides great skin loving benefits, but also can naturally color your soaps as well.

If you are looking for a way to naturally color your cold process soaps, herbs may be your answer.  The addition of herbs to your soaping recipes not only can provide your skin with different skin loving benefits, but can also give your soaps beautiful color as well.

There are basically three ways to incorporate herbs into your soaping recipe they are:

1.  As is.  If the herb you are adding is in a powder or small leaf/seed form, they can be added when your soap batter has reached trace.
2. Herbs in tea form.  This is done by steeping the herbs in water to create a tea, and then this “tea” is used as the water portion of your soap recipe.
3.  Oil infusion.  If you are selecting to infuse your herbs this way, you must make your herb oil infusion several weeks before using it in a soaping recipe.  The selected herbs are placed into one of your oils (that will be used in your soap recipe) and allowed to set for 4-6 weeks.  Then, strain the herbs out and use the oil in your soap recipe.  Please Note:  This process can also be done by adding the herbs to the melting pot as you wait for your soaping oils to melt.

The choice of how you would like to infuse your herbs is up to you and testing.  It is important to keep in mind what the end goal of adding the herb is before choosing your herbal addition method.  The answers as to why some people prefer different methods over others various based on easiness, time frame, best color production, or even strongest herbal infusion.  However, if you are simply looking to add herbs to your soap recipe for natural color, the herbs are added to your soap batter at trace.

It is also important that you test for discoloration in a soap recipe before adding an herb for colorant.  Natures Garden has a list of every fragrance oil they carry and how it preformed in cold process soap.  It is on their website under each fragrance oil’s page in the Fragrance Tested area, or for a complete list click Fragrances Tested in CP Soap Results.  You want to be prepared when adding herbs to soaping recipes, so knowing a little about how the fragrance oil reacts will only prepare you more for what to expect, especially when it comes to colorants!

Open House At Natures Garden

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

building We’re Planning an Open House at Natures Garden! 

Where:  Natures Garden Candle Supplies

Address:  42109 State Route 18  Wellington, OH  44090

When:  Saturday, May 21, 2011 (Our Anniversary Date)

Time:  9:00 am – 5:00 pm (We understand that 8 hours is a long time to attend an event, so you are welcome to visit us anytime during these hours the day of the Open House).

What:  We will be having an Open House for our wonderful customers!  We can’t wait to meet you!!  There will be sales, games, prizes, and food.  This event is FREE to our registered customers.  We are determined to make this event very special for you!  Don’t miss it!!

Can you attend?  Please fill out the Contact Us form located on our website:  http://www.naturesgardencandles.com/candlemaking-soap-supplies/category/contact/Contact-Form.html .   Fill this form out completely, and send it back to us.  We will confirm that you are a registered customer of Natures Garden, and provide you with an official Open House Invitation.   Present the invitation at the door the day of the Open House.  It’s that easy!! 

Please let us know if you plan to attend before May 5th.  That will help us plan the amount of food and prizes we will need for the Open House.

Thank you for your support and patronage over the past 12 years!! 

Deborah Ward
CEO Natures Garden Candle Supplies
www.naturesgardencandles.com

Meet a few of Natures Garden Staff Members Below:  On the day of the Open House, all of our staff will be there to meet you! 

nicolemelissa

kathy

justin

josh

tiffany

building natures garden