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Gee your soaps are all so beautiful ! mine are so plain brown and smell like soap.
I tried adding some esential oil once but it all burned off.....
My question is do you all use plain old lye? Red Devil/Gillets. Or is there something else? And how do you get the colors??
how do you prevent the lye from burning off the fun stuff ?
 

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I add my essential oils and any botanicals I'm going to use just before I pour, so the soap's not hot at all. It won't burn the EOs off. I don't purposely color any of my soaps, but there are certain things which will help. Peppermint leaves (providing they're either fresh, or have been dried in the shade to retain their color) will tint the soap ever so slightly light green, which looks really good with the darker green bits of leaves in the bars. Vanilla fragrance oil will make the soap dark brown. I think sandalwood will do that, too, but I don't remember now, it's been too long since I used that one. Dried calendula or marigold petals in the soap will give it a light, yellow-orange tint, then you also have the brighter yellow bits of petals which adds to the whole picture.

Play around with different combinations of EOs and botanicals and you'll see they're all different, even if only slightly.

~Lannie
 

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I make milk soaps which are a slightly different animal than regular CP. But my general rule of thumb is to soap Room Temp (RT). Melt the oils, let them cool to RT. If I'm using water to dissolve the lye, mix and let it cool to RT. I add the milk icy cold after adding the lye water if I've predissolved the lye. If I'm making 100% milk soap I start with the milk frozen in cubes and add the lye slowly till the lye is dissolved and the milk isn't in cubes anymore. Everything is usually mixed at RT.

For color I use micahs, alfalfa powder, alkanet root, and other botanicals. Sometimes liquid color made for soapmaking. The easiest way to get the swirl is to do an ITP (In the pot). Take a portion of your soap at a light to medium trace and color it, then pour it slowly in the pot swirling all around and at different heights. You can do a quick stir with a spoon around the pot once or twice, then pour into the mold.

For fragrance, certain EO's (especially citrus) don't hold well in CP. Add them at trace. Try the fragrance calculator at www.the-sage.com to give you ballparks of how much to use. I love Fragrance oils as well.

kids
 

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Why are your soaps brown???

Are you making milk soaps and burning the milk sugars with the lye?

How much EO are you using for each pound of oil in your recipe?
 
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