13 may. 2011


I like to try out new things...as you might have guessed by now if you've read my previous posts :) I've always been drawn by the beautiful designs of M&P soap, designs not achievable in CP or HP soap. I've also read that making the M&P base is very complicated. I also like challenges so I found an M&P making guideline and a cool little calculator for clear soap - and dove in!

I did a first test...with several fragrances and coloring, just to check out how the soap came out. It did not come out completely clear and I believe it was because of the cocoa butter, so in my second attempt today, I have removed the cocoa butter from the recipe.

Part of the test yesterday I put in nice little star molds I got at my local supermarket - the ice cube ones. They were amazingly simple to unmold, which I thought was going to be a pain, but it wasn't. So today I'm going to embed those stars into a clear soap bar.
I already have the soap cooking, and it's really quite simple if you have the right recipe...which is where the calculator comes in...it's marvelous and takes the guessing game out of it!

Steps for making the soap are very much like normal HP soap. You mix the oils with the lye and achieve a thick trace. I do this directly in my crock pot just because it minimizes the stuff I have to wash later on. Once the mix is in thick trace, I put the lid on the pot and cook for about an hour and a half to two hours. It's more than usual HP takes, but it ensures all the oil particles have become soap and the lye has been broken down.
At the end of the cooking period, blend the alcohol into the cooked soap. I used a mixer for this, in the lowest setting. make sure you scrape the sides of the crock pot and incorporate all the soap bits with the alcohol, you will not be able to do this later without compromising the clarity.

Put a towel over the pot and put the lid back on. cook for another hour or until the soap has completely dissolved with the alcohol. Don't lift the lid up too much otherwise the alcohol will evaporate. If you absolutely need to, you can always add more alcohol to compensate, but this will add more water into the mix, so just do it if absolutely necessary. Water compromises clarity.

Once the soap has completely dissolved with the alcohol (about 1 hour of cooking) add the sugar water mixture and the glycerin. Mix very gently trying not to create bubbles, but also quickly so that the soap does not get a skin on it. Test the clarity of the soap on a glass that has been put on the freezer for a few minutes. If the soap is not clear, let cook for 30 more minutes and re-test. Continue until the desired clarity has been reached. You can now add fragrance and coloring if you want to and transfer the mixture to the prepared molds. Spray the tops with alcohol to remove air bubbles and ta-da!! you have clear soap!! The next day pop the molds in the freezer for about 30 minutes and then try to unmold, this made it a lot easier for me to unmold. Curing time is 2 weeks, like a normal HP soap bar. shrinking is expected as the alcohol evaporates.

It sounds really complicated but it really isn't...I worked my day job during the process...it doesn't need any baby sitting, the crock pot knows what it's doing :)

I'll take pics of the finished bars tomorrow and post. I Hope they turn out like I picture them in my head.

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