The learning curve smooths out….just a little.

The order from Wholesale Supplies Plus arrived today with the anxiously awaited Pearlizer & Bubble Booster on board.  I added some ( as per instructions) to a small bottle of body wash I’d made with Peach FO and a slightly larger bottle of shampoo with the same FO and wowee!  It looks much better  – in the bottle at least – so the real litmus test will follow later this evening when I try it out in the shower.  Can’t wait!

Also in that box of wonders was a quartet of colours for soaps that are all oil locking.  This means it’ll work best being added to oils as I soap and hopefully my soaps will take on a whole new dimension! I’m very excited to try them out soon, though no soaps are really needed right now, so maybe i’ll give ’em a whirl with a rebatch.  There’s some fugly soap I’ve chopped up to be rebatched tomorrow.  The scent might need a bit of a booster, but the soap is fine.

For those who don’t really know the difference, oil based, Hot Process or Cold Process soap is very different from a Melt & Pour soap.  The oils in HP or CP soaps moisturize, leaving the skin feeling soft, supple and soothed after a shower or bath and the lye used is taken up by those same oils and neutralized in the curing (in the case of CP) or cooking (in the case of HP) so it is no longer in the soap itself once it’s ready for use.  CP soaps generally take about 4 or even 6 weeks to cure as they are not cooked but rather blended with the melted oils and the lye solution together at a similar temperature.   The saponification process takes place in the mold.  It goes through several stages, some of which are known as gel phase, which looks sort of clearish and slightly greasy, almost like Vaseline.  Rather gross in my opinion.  HP – Hot Process –  cooks the oils with the lye solution, forcing it to reach a quicker saponifaction stage and the stages come up much faster if you use a stickblender to get the two halves to mesh.  The colour will change, and slightly thicken, then it cooks and rolls in on itself.  It becomes very thick, too thick to stir with a stickblender, so a spoon helps here or even a spatula.    CP soap is easier to work with if you want to create swirls, or something equally fancy like frosting for soap cupcakes because it’s thinner when you pour it into molds.  It’s easier and you have more time to play around with it adding colours and giving it that tie-dye look.  Some soapers use funnels for this, others use plastic cups, others use other items that hold small amounts of the soap with enough room to blend the colour iin before adding it to the base in the mold.  Generally speaking CP soap is prettier.  Still I’m a die-hard HP fan.  It might not be all that pretty, but it’s the next best thing to instant gratification.  The soap can be used in a week or two rather than a month or two.

Melt & Pour is great if you’re in a pinch for time and really need something to take to someone the next day or within a few days.  It’s already sapped, takes colour beautifully so long as the colour is water-soluable, and FOs stay true in it.  It’s great for doing soaps with multiple designs, weaves, knotworks, hearts, flowers, bugs, etc.  It can be painted, tinted, or brushed with a gilding or glitter and be gorgeous.  Just keep in mind that often the glittery look does not translate well on the ‘net in pictures.  All in all it’s a great way to get your feet wet in the soaping business and decide if it’s what you’d like to try further.

It’s now time to go test the body wash and shampoo to see how I like that Pearlizer & Bubble Booster.    Now it’s clear what to do with the shampoo base to make it the way I want it to look, so let’s see if it’s the way I want it to feel.

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