Ok, quick lesson in soapmaking:
1. You take a bunch of oils (or just one :wink:), some form of liquid, and sodium hydroxide (the dreaded lye.)
2. You run your proposed recipe through a soap calculator, to make sure you're using just enough lye to saponify the oils.
3. You weigh out everything, as precisely as you can.
4. You mix the lye into the liquid, then pour that into your oils.
5. When it reaches "trace", you pour into your mold. ("trace" = when you pull out your mixing implement, the soap that drizzles onto the batter leaves a trace on top. Real scientific, huh? :lol:)
It's a pretty simple process. If you want color/scent, you add it in between steps 4 and 5. Got it?
Usually, you have no problems. However, sometimes things happen. The ones occurring most often:
1. Acceleration. This is when you go from an oil slick to soap-on-a-stick faster than an Indy-1 car goes from 0 to Race.
2. Discoloration. This is when an ingredient causes the soap to discolor - usually it's an oil. Cocoa Butter makes the soap go brown, some oils (hemp and some types of olive) shift it to green. Sometimes the scent will shift the color - and it usually shifts it to a weird tan/brown.
Now. I wasn't planning on soaping today, but I've had a recipe running thru my head lately. It's a new one - I've NEVER soaped it before - and I finally just HAD to try it.
Normally, I test a recipe with no color/no scent. But...I have a bunch of plain soap lying around, and I didn't want to get this new recipe mixed up with my "proven" ones. So I decided to use my favorite scent ("Rainforest" by DayStar Scents - it's a dupe of Lush's "Jungle"), so I decided to use the colorway I do for this scent (green/brown).
I'm not sure what caused it, but I went from oil to sludge in under 30 seconds. I managed to get the batter colored, then I glopped it into the mold. I had to slam it against the tabletop a few times, to make sure it was evenly distributed (have I mentioned it was SLUDGE?), then I did a "fancy" textured top (to disguise the ugly). :sigh:
At least this soap was intended for ME (and a few testers), so it doesn't have to be pretty, but I'm going to have to do another batch plain to see if I can figure out what caused the acceleration.