some interesting soap making occurences

So, today we made a batch of soap with coffee added to it to be an exfoliant.  I got the coffee from a prospective customer who is opening a coffee shop nearby. It is espresso ground, so it’s very fine.

I completed the soapmaking process with today’s batch.  It was starting to get thick, and I was a little afraid that the soap would seize once I put all those coffee grounds in there.  And at first it was clumpy.  Then I got out the stick blender and started to work it all in and one second it was this sticky stiff mass and all of a sudden it became totally liquid again.  I am thinking it has something to do with the coffee grounds changing the ph of the soap.  Anyway, it got super hot, I actually was seeing steam rising from the soap.  I dunked the hot pot of soap double boiler style into a pot with cold water, and stirred it and blended it until it started to cool down enough to think maybe it will turn into a solid mass of soap…and we poured it up.   I will keep checking on it and noting if it does go into gel phase or something.  Unfortunately we were not able to get any pictures of the weird chemical reaction though.

Another soap making situation occurred in the batch of lavender soap I made a few weeks ago.  It is not cured yet, but sometimes I wash my hands with a soap even if it’s not cured just to see what the qualities of the soap are shaping up to be like.  It’s probably not the best habit, but really all that happens is my hands will be dried out for a few hours.  Anyway, I discovered with the lavender that there is a limit to how much beeswax should be in a soap.  It makes it just a little bit harder to lather with, it still works but I would say it has great potential for using where kids wash their hands a lot, as it is hard and probably won’t get all soggy.  I am still learning so much about this with all the oils and herbal/food type additives.

post script on the lavender….at fully cured stage it lathers beautifully and is really a nice soap, so I think I jumped to conclude that the weak lather was from the beeswax.  most likely it was just not completely saponified.

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