Contents | Olive Oil (Olea europaea), Breast Milk, Coconut Oil (Cocos nucifera), Shea Butter (Butyrospermum parkii), Sodium Hydroxide, Macadamia Nut Oil (Macadamia ternifolia), Tea Infusion, Essential Oils (Sandalwood, Neroli, Lavender, Chamomile), Tea Leaves.

Sample bar weight: Approx 67 gms (start of curing)
Full bar weight: Approx 124 gms (start of curing)

Curing completion date | 4 March

Visit the soap store here for more info on the ingredients.

Lots of stress with this one. For starters, while mixing the lye with the tea infusion, the lye stopped melting and temperature stopped climbing. So I add in a couple of frozen bits of milk. Lye didn’t climb which makes sense because it’s frozen bits of milk with already stagnant temperature. I add in all the frozen chunks of milk and gradually add in the remaining lye. The thermometer spat out a figure that was below 25°C. WHAT? But hey, the milk is melting. Gah. This whole lye-milk-tea infusion was starting to smell like soap, looked a little like soap which I understood to be normal – the reaction between the lye and the fats in the milk.

So I put it aside, measured my oils and when they were ready, I heated up the lye to the right temperature. I tried straining but there were already too much solid bits of stuff so I decided to toss the entire lye mixture in – herb leaves and all. It took a while to get to trace which I thought was normal with high amounts of olive oil and extra fat. I didn’t insulate this one – just covered the sides and that was it. After 30 minutes, I went to check and the mould was warm-cool. Wait a minute. I thought milk soaps were supposed to get bleeding hot, especially considering that I soaped at 40°C. By midnight (one hour later), it was just getting to thick trace (I moved the mould a little to see what would happen). Gah. Time to go to bed.

At 4am – after a feed – (can you see where this is heading?) I go in to take a peek. The soap wasn’t moving so I guess it was just starting to set (if you press your finger on the surface, it is still quite soft) but it wasn’t very warm to the touch. Then at 7am when I got up for the day and went to check, it definitely set and was a little harder (still soft tho) than before. Temp? Not very warm either.

I unmoulded it like 12 hours after bedding and got a nice firm log which had an even colour. There was some residual oil on the bottom – I had this with my chocolate soap – but otherwise, the log look good. No oozing and so forth. I left it sitting in the kitchen – maybe it’s a little chilly today (my soap usually saponifies in the bathroom at a nice 24-25°C and the kitchen/house is 20-22°C) – and one hour later, I see a large dark patch on all four sides!!!! OMIGOD OMIGOD, talk about panic. I immediately went to work on cutting the bars and as you can see, nothing – the inside looks alright.

I suspect I got a gel but it was weird considering that when I unmoulded, the soap was already at room temperature. Maybe the drop in temperature affected it. I don’t know. We’ll see what happens to the sliced bars as it cures. If it’s anything like my first soap, it’ll darken a little and then over time, the patch ought to even out.

But yeah, talk about stress!!!!

(No stamping pictures – the soap is much too soft to be handled in that manner. Maybe tomorrow.)

Tranquility: The side of the sliced bars

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