Monday, February 7, 2011

I'm Mad At Titanium Dioxide

First, we had a nice lovely discussion about Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) like adults that we are. But it did cause a raucous didn't it? By the way, TiO2 is the chemical formula and I'll be referring to it as TiO2 throughout the post.

Then, a few days later, a puff of TiO2 blows directly in my face just at the moment I inhale. (Lungs. Seized. Help.)

And then, I make Ruby Rock Star soap and decide to create a pretty swirl with some TiO2 blended soap, and {{wham!}} 24 bars are now SALE BARS because I now have some soft crumbling sides. I am convinced it's the TiO2. Why? Because the soap is great except it's falling apart. Update: I think it IS the TiO2, but it also must have been a temperature thing even though I covered my pans of soap... see?

The compromised peach sides are my problem.

Do you remember the first time titanium dioxide ruined my other Rubies? The snow on top and what was up with the center? They were pretty AND ugly all at the same time. Just like lizards!

old rubies

I think I'm done with titanium dioxide. Hmm, let me think.... are there any soaps that would suffer design -wise? Only the Raspberry Linzer Cookie and I already went darker again with that because I wanted the cookie part to look more well done from the oven.

And why attack my Ruby Rock Stars? What have they done to the TiO2 anyway?? They are sweet, like princesses, is that why you hate, TiO2? Because you don't want them to be their pretty little sparkly little things? It's always picking on Ruby. Ruby The Rock Star.


Left me mad one too many times. I'm done wasting my time and soap on you... Here I come with my brown and creamy hues. I'll just make it interesting for Spring....another challenge (as if I need one). The 10 years off my life when I breathed in an ounce of the stuff and then my two loaves of soap... yeah.

Damn you, TiO2


Teresa said...

I am with you, Sister.
I am giving up the TD ... slowly.
I wonder if I currently have a bad batch of TD. I have been getting that crazing (is that a word?) effect that Tierra Verde was getting.
Hmmm....I have used white clay in the past, but it does not give that super-creamy white of TD.
LOVE that pic!
Angelic Hugs,

Ann Stoermer said...

I have had batches turn out almost exactly like that. I am almost 100% positive it was a result of temperature problems. I have been doing more CPOP this winter because I couldn't figure out exactly what was causing it. Too cool? Cooling too quickly? I'm not sure. I rarely use TiO2 myself, so I know it couldn't be the culprit. I hope that helps with your Ti02 relationship... :0/

Burnt Mill Candles and Soap said...

I never use TD but I agree I have had a few random batches that have come out hard or crumbled. I would lean towards temp maybe? though a few of mine were without FO so I thought that could have been part of it.

Soap making just loves to toss you a curve ball sometimes I think!

Dreaming Tree Soapworks said...

I think it's the temp..looks like whats touches the sides of the mold are cooling too quickly, maybe next time wrap the molds in a snuggy/towel. Also check with your manu of the the ruby red rockstar see if they did some "reformulating" without telling you.

Dreaming Tree Soapworks said...

Ohhh also check out your organic palm. If the bucket/bottle isn't entirely melted down and stirred shaken each production run you get uneven distribution of the stearic acid, which can cause streaking/brittle/crumbly edge soap.

Mimi&Max ,love,life and soap said...

It looks like partial gel to me ,gel starts from the inside and expands to the sides .If you look at the bars , you'll see a distinct pattern of where the gel stopped . As for the older bars , you just got some ashing there on the top which has nothing to do with the TiO2. A spray of 95% alcohol on the top of your soap when you first uncover it willgo a long way to help reduce ashing .


Joanna said...

My gigondo bucket of palm oil is solid, I don't have a 50 lb warmer... I scoop it out like ice cream.

So what to do? How do you handle that?

Anonymous said...

I love my TD and would never give it up.... I love my white soap's...

Although sometimes it feels like rocket science knowing just how much and being sure to stick blend it in the lye mixture, then not letting the soap get to hot......

Dreaming Tree Soapworks said...

Funny thing I posted it on twitter a while ago... my big buckets of oils I sit infront of my heat vent melts in down np in and hour or so... but you Miss Jupiter can probably just let it sit down outside. Even though it costs a little more I started ordering my organic palm by the jug for that exact issue and it's easier for me to manage.

Joanna said...

oh great - now I can't blame Titanium Dioxide?!?!?


Tierra Verde Handmade Soap said...

A couple of things;you absolutely have to melt down your palm and stir each time you use it. I don't have a melter either - my system it a small (less than $20 electric heater-I put my bucket and the heater in the laundry room and close it off - melts right down - then out to the garage it goes to be stirred with a drill attachment.)While I have it melted down I weigh out several buckets to get me by for the week -that way I don't have to melt it down for each and every batch. I try to melt my palm down on the weekends for the weeks worth of soaping.

The td issue could also be that you are using too much. Too much td will make your soap chalky and crumbly. In tweaking my formula it made my formula lighter and I am able to use just the very, very minimum of td and get a very,very white soap with a smooth texture.

Remember my theory about the super heating in the core of your soap. Palm is a heater, td is a thickener and a heater as well, silk is a heater, sugars cause heat, milks cause heat,castor is a heater, and rice bran - any of these my cause your batch to be pretty hot at the core - and if they are in a combination you may have to re-think your formulation. That is what I finally did.

innerearthsoaps said...

TD can be a problem child! I also find that if my soaps overheats in the gel phase I get that crackle-glaze effect in the bits where I've used TD.

I'm not sure if it could cause your crumbliness though ... how much do you use? I would be more inclined to blame the temp as well.

Two Rivers Soap Company said...

I hate that lizard skin effect that can happen using TD too. I don't use it anymore.

Nedeia said...

Please check this discussion about TiO2. Maybe you can use some of the advice given by MMS and befriend with TiO2 once more :)

I have never used it, but I find this post helpful for the future!


Nedeia said...

erm... of course, I forgot to paste the link:

FuturePrimitive said...

I have no idea. all this palm oil melting talk too...don't you just melt it with your coconut oil in the pot before adding to the liquid oils? The palm I use comes in a box (bagged) so I scoop out and melt along with my coconut.
Erm...maybe I read all of this wrong I don't know?!
I don't get these probs with TD and I don't think your soap turned out the way it did because of it. I always mix mine with some oil before adding it at trace.
I'm all out!

Dreaming Tree Soapworks said...

Palm oil, especially the organic one has to be melted and mixed every time because the stearic settles at the bottom of the container as it cools,causing uneven distribution which makes for weird soap behaviors. When its in bags it could be a little different cause it gets mushed about man I miss the days I could get away with purchasing palm in bags...

FuturePrimitive said...

Hmm...I've never had a problem - ever. I buy my boxes as 12.5kg, which come bagged inside a box.
Nay problemo.
Good luck jo jo

LongLeafSoaps said...

A heating pad strapped to the side of my 50 lb pail of palm melted it...took the better part of the day, but it worked. I then divided up into smaller, more managable buckets,

LongLeafSoaps said...

Oh, melted the oil, not the bucket! LOL!

Briny Bar Soap said...

Hm. Melt and stir palm oil. Interesting. Anyway I'm in the mood for some porn. You feeling up to it there Jo?

Ruth at The Nova Studio said...

Re: the palm oil issue: look for palm oil that is "homogenized" or "votated". No need to melt the whole bucket then. I know that Mission Peak Soap and Columbus Foods both carry it, but there may be others. Just ask your supplier.

Platypus Dreams said...


For the bottom soap, it's not the TD IMO. Make sure you mix all the lye into the soap mix before pouring off to colour. Get right to the bottom with that stick blender and stir it around.

The crumbling on the sides I feel is either a water discount issue, oil blend or non gel problem. I have seen this issue with olive heavy soaps, water discounts and non gelling right to the edges of the mould. Insulating the mould can sometimes be that you need to wrap a towel around the sides of the mould and insulate less on the top of the mould. It depends on your ambient room temps. I would say just by looking at this soap you didn't have much humidity in the air at the time of gel. PM me on ash if you dislike it and I will see what we can do to solve it.

The pink soap. It looks like the sides were stick blended more than the middle, therefore it was hotter than the middle or cooler than the middle when poured and it has done the crazy crack thing. Ie separated a little. The dry side either has not gelled or overheated somehow and lost all it's water content. Have a look at your water discounts as well.

It's really hard without seeing the soap in person. Just remember what you did and how and it should help you with sorting out these anomalies.

Feenzauber said...

I like both soaps very much...they are special ;-)