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Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Successful Seize

I normally purchase fragrance oils from soap suppliers that indicate whether or not the fragrance will speed up trace or will work in general with cold process soap, but a wholesale customer of mine ordered two loaves of soap in a HONEY scent, not Oatmeal Milk + Honey, so, I took a chance with a couple of fragrances I had. Let me explain.

I had Herbal Accent's Milk + Honey, Peak Candle's Wild Mountain Honey (so nice, but I would only recommend it for bath and body products and candles...you'll understand in a second), and Majestic Mountain Sage's Honey Harvest. I knew mixing the three fragrances was a red flag the minute I started. Yeah, I was flying by the seat of my pants on this one. Call me a wild card! I needed to get the soap done, I had some great fragrance oils, and I had all of my ingredients. Soooo, I thought...let's get crackin'!

Well, I poured the lye/water mixture into the oil mixture and I mixed it to trace, lalalala..happy happy joy joy, then I began to slowly pour in my fragrance mixture. I held my breath, nervous. Nervous it might turn to clumpy porridge. It seemed to be working out fine. I stirred until it was fully incorporated and I moved it over to the lined molds and saw it starting to change, but not sure how. I hurried to the molds, started pouring and as I'm pouring MID POUR, the soap batter hardened. I am talking, stopped moving mid wave. Imagine an ocean wave halting completely - freeze frame! I have NEVER had this happen before. It turned into what felt like wax! I was about to throw the whole thing out until I just thought to myself, hell, just shove that wax down into the molds and call it a day.

That I did. I shoved that waxy batter down deep with all of my weight and crossed my fingers hoping it got down deep enough to hold the shape of the mold. I was wondering if the soap would cure, if it was even soap at all! If it was soap and it did cure, would it be all crumbly and weird?

Is this what they call soap seize?

Shoot. I think I'll try to stick with fragrances that have been tried and true because it's hard to spend all that money and time on quality oil and butters and to throwing it out makes me cringe.

Update** So two days later I take out the honey wax soap out and it seems fine... Looks a bit like crumb cake. Not perfect, not perfect. I'll have to share photos next time I have access to my camera. Nice soap, too. Lathers, not harsh....smells good, too.

:) I guess you'd call it a successful seize.

Has anything like this ever happened to you before? If so, what happened to the final soap? Love to hear your experience...

14 comments:

FuturePrimitive said...

yup, as mentioned on the tweet..baked bread f.o from brambleberry (yeah I know you use it with great success) and hazelnut f.o from gracefruit...not the makers fault..but seize the day..me tinks not...had to chuck it all out the next day..just a sorry ass mess!
we live 'n learn..but yes, it hurts to waste money on spoilt loaves.

Ruth said...

I've never had a batch seize mid-pour (I would have liked to have seen that, actually) but I have had to glop soap into a mold before (ok, several times). It ended up ok, just had lots of air pockets in it. I think that if you have time to distribute the FO before it starts to seize, it will still be at least usable.

Heidi said...

I've had that happen! I made a wine soap with BB's Berry Wine fo. I think it was a combo of the actual wine (which I cooked the alcohol out of) and the fo. Not pretty when going in the molds. It looked a little weird coming out of the mold too. Kind of mottled. It smelled fantastic though and lathered like nothing I've ever seen. Not one of my finest soapmaking moments for sure.

TeresaR said...

I have no experience, but I'm very impressed with the save. ;) I'm too chicken to mix fragrances just yet.

Amy W said...

Here's what you do if that ever happens again: take the soap out of the mold and put it back in your soap pot. Put it on the stove and start cooking it. It will soften back up and gel in the pot. Then you can glop it into the mold quite easily! The only downside is that you may flash off some of the fragrance. You'll just have hot process soap instead!

kat said...

Something similar happened to me with muscavado brown sugar fragrance which I was completely not expecting from that scent. It was so completely solid, yet crumbly that I ended up hot processing it in order to get it into the molds.

Fortunately for me, it looks just like crumbly brown sugar, so it was still a success. Did not see that one coming and it sent me into a panic, which looking back seems hilarious.

Kim said...

Glad to read the comments above that there is a remedy for a seize! I've had it happen once and was so surprised. I did manage to press it into the loaf pan, as you did, but it was quite a shocker. Learning by experience!

Crystal said...

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http://indiestyleblog.com/?p=381

innerearthsoaps said...

Sweetcakes Christmas Spice is the worst seizer I know of. I use it every xmas now becuase it's such a lovely scent (and prepare myself to work at super-speed, lol) but the first time I used it I had soap on a stick!

Niki said...

Sigh...I know all too well the mid-pour seize. Its frustrating because you mix in your oils and think, huh, ok, no seizing, I'm good to go. You start to pour, la la la, and BAM. Next thing you know you're trying scrape hard-as-rock soap from your best soap pan. When I've had this happen I usually end up with some decent soap but not anything I could actually sell- what I call the uglies....fine for friends and family but not for the public :)

Michelle said...

I've never had a seize happen that moved faster than I did. The worst that has happened was ricing. It's only happened to me once - it beaded up into pellets, separated and oozed out all the unsaponified oil. It was horrid. I think that was from a Rasberry Vanilla FO. Not sure where from. Sigh.

- Michelle

Anonymous said...

hi! i found your blog on google when i was searching for 'soap making'. i spent over an hour on your blog just looking through it. i just love the photos!

Annette

Sharon said...

When you get instant seize where the stick blender can't even blend the soap and it happens in a matter of 5 seconds then you have bad seize, leave it in the pot insulate it until it starts to gel and then glop it in the mould like HP.

You will be able to soap this fo blend once again if need be, as you will know how fast it moves. Stick blend the main part for a very short time not until trace, work at room temps or even cold lye mix, then mix in the fo with a wooden spoon really fast and pour it. This may give you more time, if not stick blend the fo in and you have upto 5 seconds to get it poured in the mould, no time to scrape the bucket. You will work like a crazy woman but then that is adrenalin soaping. lol. Arh the challenge. love it...

lilchoc said...

hi, i had just about the same seize in under a minute last night. I scooped it and put it in the mold, but in about halfway of transferring the mashed potato like mixture, i squeezed it with a spatula and the liquid came out from the bottom of the mold! i scooped it all anyway, covered it with plastic and blankets. after 12hours the soap is still warm and liquidy.. Geee, i just don't know what's gonna happen next..
i don't know if it's because of the FO or too high temp (145c)... i'll just hope it'll turn out fine..