Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Gumball Soap


So, a few months ago I picked up a bunch of one-ounce sampler fragrance oils from Nature's Garden. One of the scents I bought was their Bubble Luscious FO. Out of the bottle, it smells to me just like pink bubble gum, and the scent stays true in soap, too.

Sometimes you can smell a scent and know right away how you want to soap it. Other times, you have to think on the design for a bit. And sometimes you know what you want your soap to look like and you have to find a scent to go along with your plan.

With this fragrance, I saw colorful gumballs embedded in a white soap. A few years ago, I picked up this ice cube mold at a kitchen store and had yet to use it. This mold makes cylinders of ice for water bottles, but it's great for soap, too! I figured I would use it to make cylinders of melt-and-pour soap and embed them in my cold process soap. When cut, the soap tubes will look round, like gumballs!

Soap balls would have also worked great for this project, but I didn't have the energy to make a batch of CP soap and roll it into soap balls. I thought about using my silicone ball molds (Bramble Berry carries them in small, medium, and large sizes), but since I had only two of them I decided to use the ice cube mold instead.

Melt-and-pour embeds
I confess that I am lazy when it comes to making CP embeds. Oftentimes I don't feel like making a batch just for embeds, requiring two days of soaping to complete one project. And other times I just fail to plan ahead. I tell myself that one day I should just make an extra pound of soap when I'm already soaping, separate it out, color and scent it, and make some embeds for a future project and also gee whiz was that so hard? Trouble is that I never remember to do that, or I don't have enough time, or I don't know what kind of embeds I want for what kind of project, blah, blah, blah. So CP embeds just never seem to happen for me. At least, not so far.

But melt-and-pour soap offers flexibility, and embeds can be made quickly and easily with it. So, M&P was my go-to for embeds once I planned this gumball soap out in my head.

For my embeds, I chose clear M&P base and Fizzy Lemonade, Tangerine Wow, and Electric Bubble Gum neon colorants from Bramble Berry. (Tip: These pigments are best mixed with glycerin to work out the clumps before adding them to the soap. Don't disperse them in rubbing alcohol - it doesn't work.)

I chopped up the M&P, covered my container with plastic wrap to prevent the moisture from evaporating, and nuked it in the microwave for 30-second bursts until melted. Then I added my colorant and poured the soap into the ice cube mold. Because I had only one ounce of the fragrance oil, I didn't scent my M&P embeds. But I totally would have if I had had more FO. (Another tip: There is one cylinder in the center of the mold that does not have an open bottom. It's got this crisscross design instead, making it impossible to get the soap out. Avoid that particular cylinder. I had to soak my mold in water for, like, an entire day before the soap disintegrated enough for me to remove it. I don't know why it's like that or what it contributes to the mold - stability, maybe? - but there must be a reason for it. Just wanted to give you a heads-up.)

Ideally, I would have made my embeds the day before and allowed the soap to cool overnight. Of course, I didn't do that, so I was pressed for time. After pouring the M&P, I put the mold in the freezer for about 30 minutes or so to make the soap harden faster.

After I put the M&P in the freezer, I made my CP soap. I opted for a one-pound batch using a palm-free recipe from The Nova Studio Blog. I used the first recipe listed, which uses 40% vegetable shortening, 30% olive oil, 28% coconut oil, and 2% castor oil. If you give this recipe a go, make sure you read the vegetable shortening label carefully! Some shortening contains palm oil, which would totally defeat the purpose if you're trying to go palm-free. Look for a soybean/cottonseed blend. (SoapCalc has "Crisco, old" on their list of oils, and I used that to run the recipe using soybean/cottonseed shortening through their lye calculator.)

I added the FO to the cooled base oils, along with some titanium dioxide dispersed in glycerin to whiten the soap.

By the time my CP soap was ready, the M&P was due to come out of the freezer. Once the soap was hard, I partially pushed it out with my thumb and gripped it with a paper towel to pull it the rest of the way out. I also used said paper towel to dab away the condensation on the surface of the soap.

When the CP and M&P soaps were both ready to go, I poured enough CP soap into my loaf mold to create a base to nestle a few cylinders of M&P end-to-end. I covered the embeds with more CP, and then laid some more embeds. I did three layers of embeds total, and topped the loaf off with the end pieces I had trimmed from the M&P cylinders.

Here is a video of the process:


I placed the soap in the freezer overnight to avoid gel phase because I feared that the M&P soap might melt if it gelled. I also soaped cool - around 95 degrees F.

The fragrance oil and the recipe behaved beautifully. The trace was nice and slow, and the scent is strong. And I'm happy to report that this FO does not discolor. Sweet scents often contain vanilla, which can cause the soap to discolor brown. But this FO has a 0% vanillin content, and it stayed nice and white!

And I love Bramble Berry's neon colorants! The colors are so bold and bright, and they really pop against the white.

The soap held up fairly well in the shower. I worried that skipping gel phase might cause the embeds to not adhere as well. Once the soap got worn down and became thinner and more pliable, a couple of embeds came loose near the end of the bar's life. No biggie for me, though.

Have you combined melt-and-pour with cold process soap before? How did you like it?

36 comments:

  1. Looks amazing, as always! An embed soap with soap balls is on my bucket list...maybe this fall when things slow down...or maybe not! I have a bubblegum FO that would be perfect. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Linda! I have so many things on my must-try list, too. I can't wait to see your embed soap when you do get around to it!

      Delete
  2. Your soap looks like good eating...reminds me of the old fashioned taffy-like rectangle candy with colorful gummy things. I can't believe after making probably a 100 batches of cold process, I've yet to do a single melt and pour!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Cindy! It does sorta look like taffy! Melt-and-pour soaping is fun, too. I used to do only M&P for about two years. Then I got into CP, but I still like to sometimes incorporate M&P into the process.

      Delete
  3. Your soap looks so much fun, Jenny! I'm too obsessed with CP right now that M&P or embeds have not yet crossed my mind. I should try it one of these days, but I could totally see myself feeling the way you do about doing all that separate work for the embeds! But I'm sure it's all worth it after seeing the cool results. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Silvia! CP embeds seem like so much work, especially if I'd have to devote two separate soaping days to one project. If I actually planned my embeds in advance, it wouldn't be as much work. But I usually forget, or don't have a plan in mind when I'm already soaping another batch. M&P embeds can be made much faster. I'll have to try CP embeds one of these days, though.

      Delete
  4. Love the look, Jenny! I am too chicken to try fridge/freezer soaping, just have this unmolding nightmares in my mind! I've bought that FO before too, and it is very nice! I think I used it in MP though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Laura! I tried putting the soap in the fridge once and got a partial gel, so I prefer the freezer now. Sometimes it's a challenge to make room in the freezer for the soap! I usually unmold the soap the next morning after I take it out of the freezer. The soap just slides right out of my plastic loaf mold. The soap does sweat from the condensation, so I set it on some paper towels and leave it for a while. I wait a few extra days to cut it since it's ungelled and tends to be softer. The bubble gum FO is yummy - it smells like the real thing!

      Delete
  5. Nice idea Jenny und great colors - makes you want to cheerfulness, summer, sometimes childhood memories. I love gumballs in my childhood.

    Greetings,

    Krissi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Krissi! I was hoping to capture cheerfulness in this soap. It reminds me of childhood, too. I remember buying gumballs from vending machines when I was a kid. The gumballs always looked so bright, beautiful, and tempting!

      Delete
  6. What a fun soap! I love the colors. Nice and bright. I also have the fragrance oil and have not had a chance to soap with it. I was excited to read your blog and learn that the fragrance does really well. I will be soaping with it soon for sure Jenny!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Roxana! I love BB's neon colors. I hope that you like the FO - I can't wait to see what you do with it!

      Delete
  7. This is such a good eating soap, Jenny! Love the summer colors and the idea of using MP embeds in a CP soap!
    What an interesting and full of chilhood memories soap!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Natalia! It does look like you could eat it, doesn't it? I haven't done much with M&P soap over the past couple of years, so it was fun to play with it some.

      Delete
  8. The soap is so fun and the embeds are super cute!
    I have used MP embeds in CP soap, but I did not know not to gel the soap and I got some melted MP.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Marika! I am happy with the way the embeds worked out. I avoided gel phase because I wanted to keep my cylinders round, but I think that gelling soap with M&P embeds could make a cool soap, especially if the design was abstract or confetti-like. I've seen some neat CP soaps with an M&P swirl, too.

      Delete
  9. What a fun soap...I love those bright colors and I bet it smells amazing! I use MP a lot too for embeds, it's just so much easier!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Cee! The bubble gum scent is nice and strong, and I love those neon colorants from BB. I agree - M&P embeds are so much easier! M&P lets me be more spontaneous, and I don't have to plan ahead as much or set aside an extra day just for making embeds.

      Delete
  10. Jenny I might try this one for my grandchildren....it looks just like gumballs and they would love it! Always look forward to your posts, I learn so much from you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Gloria! I hope that your grandchildren enjoy the soap if you give this a try!

      Delete
  11. This is so beautiful! The scent perfectly suits this vivid design! I like embeds, grate way for recycling and for original soap creation, but haven't tried MP yet. I hope one day it will happen :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Gordana! Thanks for the kind words. M&P is fun. It offers a bit more spontaneity, and you can get some really vivid colors - especially with micas - that can be difficult to achieve in CP.

      Delete
  12. So lovely summer colors, Jenny !

    ReplyDelete
  13. Fun! I really like those neon colorants..especially the pink. To answer the question, no...I haven't combined MP with CP before. It looks fun and really adds to the bar, but I think it's because when I order supplies, all I'm thinking about is CP! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kalla! I love that neon pink, too. I mostly stick to CP now, but I still have M&P left over from a while back. If I ever use it all up, I should keep a little bit around for projects like this!

      Delete
  14. It looks so edible! in fact,when I look at this soap,my mouth waters, reminds me so much of some fruit jelly cake!
    As for your question on the picture 'Why' ,well, I don't know why, but next time try to use it as a funnel for other tubes. You alternate the colours (as many as you wish)and you will get the most beautiful designed round soaps!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Maja! It does look like jelly cake, too. Yeah, I wish that I had looked at the underside of the mold before pouring my soap so I would have known to avoid that particular cylinder. Maybe it could be used as a funnel, though!

      Delete
  15. What a fun soap Jenny! I would love to make a soap like that (but all MP of course). I even bought an ice cube tray in rounds for just that purpose. Now you've inspired me.

    Great to know about the pigments too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Monica! Thanks for the kind words. I'm glad that you enjoyed the post! I'm looking forward to seeing your gumball soap!

      Delete
  16. Looks like you had fun with this one -- I bet it smells delicious, too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Mom! It was fun combining melt-and-pour and cold process soap. It's been a while since I've used M&P, so it was fun to play with it. I love the neon colors, and the soap does smell yummy!

      Delete

Spammy or inappropriate comments will be removed.