Monday, 21 June 2010

....one disaster too many

I've had the most disastrous month of soapmaking. Serious.
Overall, I've lost 5 batches due to seizing, oils sitting on the top of batches, crazy chemical reactions and scent loss (F.O's).
Not good.
First up, I was to make a coconut scented soap with mini coconut balls inside it. I wanted a really nice infusion for this so I used real Mysore Sandalwood, Galangal, Patchouli leaf & Oak Bark. I placed these ingredients into my lye and left them to infuse before straining through muslin. The smell was really good too...even in lye.
I made my soap base, cooled both mixtures to my usual temp. Soaped. Added my fragrance oil (coconut) with some patchouli oil & orange oil and BAM. NO GOOD. The mixture curdled, seized, riced. All of it in one hit. Into the black bin liner it went.
Second up was another attempt with a coconut fragrance from another supply. Same infusion again. This time, soaped beautifully. Even the woody scent from my infusion was in the background...but no scent of coconut whatsoever. Fail. Into the black bin liner.
Now I could've re-batched and Sharon from Morgan Street DM'd me on Twitter with instructions. It would've been a simple task, but you know when you're so mad at yourself and at the damn supplier of the seizing/non smelling oils that you just can't even look at the sorry mess you made....well, that was me.
Next up was a mango soap, which I wanted for a quick summer line. Again, no scent, seizing and another load of £££'s down the drain.
3rd batch fail.
Next failures were this weekend.
I have made 'Sandal Scandal' soap just once before and I brought it to the line as a summer soap treat for your feet. The first time I made it, it came out perfect. No issues at all.
No fragrance oils, just Tea Tree, Lemon & Clary Sage oils with a pumice/oatmeal base and an organic shea topping.
This time, it just went plain wrong. I really don't know what to blame here. It was certainly one of the oils. The 1st batch I made this weekend contained essential oils from a different supplier. When I added the lemon oil to the blend, the mixture went cloudy. The oils smelled like my usual essential oils...some differences but nothing too noticeable.
Well....this seized like you've never seen before! In the pot. Like a rigid soldier.
Bin liner!
I attempted the mixture again (Matt said 'bit risky isn't it?...but I ignored him!).
Again, seize! But I did manage to get it into the mold. Then yesterday when I unmolded it, ouch ouch ouch. Caustic nightmare. I only touched it with my hand when unmolding and my hands were stinging! WTF?
So...that went into yet another bin liner.
The 1st one I salvaged and made into balls for other soaps so all was not lost.

ONE LAST TRY was a batch of the newly named Geranium & Patchouli (the white one with the line).
This went absolutely perfectly. Beautiful flowing soap.
Its new name is 'White Witch'.

After all that, I could use a good witch to come to my house and wave a magic wand.

12 comments:

A Life Deliberate Soap Co. Blog said...

Ugh! What does that always seem to happen in waves?! That's so frustrating! Sending you good mojo for the next batch!

Patrice-The Soap Seduction said...

Oh my goodness! Coconut fragrance oil seems to be the kiss of death in CP soaps. I can't imagine how much money you've wasted in oils, butters, and fragrances...Sending you good vibes too:)

josee said...

Unfortunately FOs are more unpredictable than EOs . Sorry for your run of bad luck , i'm sure things will go better next time .
Hugs and mojo coming your way :)

Tracey Broome said...

Sounds like you need a good restful soak in the tub with the new successful soap! I could send you some pics of the 5 f'g barns I made that all have cracked roofs if that would make you feel any better haha!
I will tell you that I took the last of my soaps I got from you on vacation with us and had a wonderful bath the first night there. They are sooo soothing and my skin feels great!

Topcat said...

Oh Tiggy! It can be so demoralising when that happens, especially when you KNOW you know what you are doing and it still happens! I am so glad you got that lovely White Witch success at last so you know you still have your soaping mojo.

I am loving Elijah's Comfort in my shower right now, just thought you would like to know that :)

Amy Warden said...

Well, stinky poo!!! I am so with you on the idea of rebatching though. Major pain the the patoot. I refuse to do it anymore! So glad the last batch was cooperative. Hopefully you can say "so long!" to the bad batches for good!

FuturePrimitive said...

Hello all and thank you for your boosters! What a nightmare. You know how angry you get, right?!
x

Ing said...

I just wanted to add another encouraging word! I've had plenty of batches go bad, and they usually come in a string. This too shall pass! Glad you had the white witch success.

Amber said...

So sorry for all the failed batches. I haven't even attempted to make soap in weeks after everything started going wrong for me here. I just can't seem to get back in the groove, you know?

I'm glad you ended with a good batch though. White Witch is a fantastic name. :)

Alexandra Mason said...

Hope everything is going well now, its crap when everything keeps going wrong xx

Jennifer Young said...

So sorry to hear about your string of bad luck. I have a tiny tiny mold (3 bars) for trying out new things and although I get frustrated... I cannot imagine loosing a big batch like yours. I will bet the luck has turned for you now... can't wait to see your next soap picture. Your pictures are some of my favourite as your soaps are so unique. xo Jen

Anne-Marie said...

Oh wow, that is such a disappointment. The coconut scented soap with the mini coconut balls inside was the one that broke my heart the most ... Yes, you definitely might want to take up rebatching. You'll be so happy when you can 'save' those batches (even if it's just to give away!). =)