Monday, March 24, 2008

Gracefruit, Hot Process Queen

Oh my botched batch has everyone all working in their brains to save the beasts.

Well, I asked the queen of Hot Process, Ms. Gracefruit herself. This was our conversation.

Elizabeth, I need help! Could you go to my soap blog and tell me if my botched batch is trash or can be rescued.... any words of wisdom other than I added WAY too much oil? I think I must have copied the recipe off the internet incorrectly.... me = big dummy

Thanks...humbly and sadly, Joanna
The Soap Bar

This was her response (so sweet!)
gracefruit said...

Thanks, Joanna.

I had a look at your Bad Boy and it appears the lye discount was much too low. It looks like you've got way too much 'free' oil in the soap.

I have never tried to rescue a soap like this, and I'm not sure what the best way forward might be, but I have an idea.

You seem to be short about one ounce of lye in your recipe. Here is what I'd suggest. I've never tried this before, so I can't promise you anything, but the cost of that meadowfoam seed is making me cringe. ;) We have to try something!

I think it's time for the crock pot. Grate or chop the Bad Boy batch into tiny pieces and put it in the crock pot. Then add a solution of 1.1 oz of lye dissolved in 2 oz of water to the pot. Stir as best you can and let it cook on low heat until it's all melted. You'll want it to look like thick petroleum jelly.

My hope is that the active lye will further saponify the free oils in the soap. You'll need to be careful that no active lye is left over, though. After you've cooked the soap for about 45 minutes, do a zap test.

Take a tiny amount of soap out of the pot and let it cool, then rub it between your fingers. If it's gritty, leave it alone to cook more. If it feels waxy and smooth, tap your soapy finger to the tip of your tongue. If it doesn't 'zap', the soap is safe. If it does, you'll need to keep cooking it.

I don't know if this will work, but I think it's worth a try. Your end result soap probably won't be pretty, but it will be mild!

Please let me know how you get on. And good luck!

Elizabeth x


Can I share with you her amazing talent?? Here are some beautiful soaps she has made.....

Buttermilk and Cucumber Soap

Spiced Umeshu

Left: Rose, Right: Amberwood

Pomegranate Noir soap with black/green mica

And, of course, another talented soap maker who is across the world. She is in rural Scotland. I just need to watch to see the talent, maybe be a fly on the wall for a few days - I think I must be in the wrong place!


gracefruit said...

Aw, thank you!

I am crossing my fingers for you. I've no idea if this will work, but I'm hopeful.

E x

gracefruit said...

PS: Make sure your crock pot is COLD when you add the grated soap and lye solution. Give it a stir and let it sit for a bit before you turn it on. Straight lye solution and heat sources don't get on very well.

/fretting mom voice

Heather@Twin Birch said...

Hey Joanna, I LOVE gracefruits soaps, they are soo gorgeous! So, let me know how that ZAP test goes, ok? I'm way too chicken for that! :)

Anonymous said...

It is a lot of work chopping it up, but yes it will work as long as you follow the instructions from Elizabeth (HP guru) and stir it well. I have total faith, the stirring part will most likely be the hardest and time consuming.

There are lots of different things you can do with it once it's cooked. Like split some off enough for a couple of bars and add a little bit of clay to it for color or add some ground herbs or spices or some chopped up soap or even some colored jojoba beads for a fun texture if you have some. Lots of choices with HP. We want pics of the finished soap. Arhh I know you can do it. :-)

dcyrill said...

Ok Joanna,

The suspense is killing me. I hope the soap turns out ok.

I followed Elizabeth's HP tutorial for one of my soaps. I am hooked.

Can't wait to hear. (biting finger nails) :)

Anonymous said...

I am amazed and delighted by the knowledge and helpfulness of the soaping community! I hope it'll work for you this time, Joanna.

Joanna Schmidt said...

Teresa, I, too, am surprised and delighted. I do not feel worthy. At all. We should move on. How 'bout her soaps, yah? Gorgeous!!

Heidi said...

I was just over at her site this morning drooling over the beautiful soaps. So cool!

Good luck on the experiment! I can't wait to hear what happens.

Kim said...

Good luck with the re-batch!

Elizabeth's soaps are stunning! Spiced Umeshu is to die for.

KaytiBear said...

Where can I get some of that pretty soap?

Sherrie said...

I thought she might be able to help! Her soaps are so beautiful! Good luck, and definitely let us know how it turns out!

Michelle said...

Hey Joanna,

You might want to consider buying a good soap book! I recommend the Soap Naturally book and many beginning soapers seem to like it too. It also has a chapter on how to create your own recipes. She gives you ranges to use when you experiment with different oils like for example no more than 30% coconut oil or your soap will be too drying.

It could save you some botched batches in the future :)

By the way, her soaps are gorgeous!

Heidi said...

I'm curious...are those embeds (like the pink curls) other cp soap, or are they melt and pour? I have been wanting to try embeds for a while and am wondering if those are as complicated as they look...

Anonymous said...

Yup, she has totally gorgeous soaps! :)