Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Kudzu Experiment: (Finally!) Making Soap

It's finally time to make my kudzu soap!

If you need a recap, here are my first and second blog posts on the Kudzu Experiment.

For both batches of soap, I made tiny 3 ounce batches of soap batter. Both batches contained the same oils: olive oil, coconut oil, and castor oil, which makes a mild and bubbly bar of soap.I did not use a fragrance oil or essential oil in either batches.

First, lets take a look at my kudzu-infused oil soap...
For this batch, I substituted my kudzu-infused olive oil for regular olive oil. The oil had a rich, forest green color, but once the lye/water mixture was introduced, it morphed into a creamy green shade. The batter did not a or d (accelerate or decelerate, which is the speed that the batter traces), which is fantastic!
Coconut oil, Castor oil, and Kudzu oil
Mixing everything together!

 Next, lets take a look at my soap with kudzu powder...
With this batch, I waited until the soap batter had reached a medium trace before adding the powder. This ensured that the kudzu did not all sink to the bottom once the soap was in the mold, but stayed suspended throughout the bar of soap. Before adding the powder, the soap batter was egg shell white (a nice off-white, traditionally what I get with this recipe), but once the powder was added, the color changed dramatically to a rich green with dark-green specks. This kind us surprised me a bit, because not all plant additives to soap will change the color throughout, but rather just make the soap speckled.
The powdered kudzu has always had a green tea-like scent to it, and I sniffed this soap in the mold last night, and it retained the smell! I'm very anxious to see if the scent lasts through the cure... Usually, with other plant matter, they dont!
After adding the powder!
Coconut oil, Castor oil, Olive oil

I had a little left over from each batch, so I mixed them together and made two more bars, which will be interesting!
Batch #1 in top, Batch #2 bottom middle, Mixes of the two on the bottom sides

 These soaps will be in the mold over the weekend. Usually, soap can be unmolded in about 2 days, but when I made up this recipe, over half of the oils are olive oil, so the soap will still be soft. I cannot wait to see what these babies are going to look like after their cure!!
I will be posting a YouTube video of the unmolding (yay!), and I plan on making a second video trying out the soap in about 4 weeks, so keep an eye out for those!

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