Sunday, 4 July 2010

Alkanet Experiment 3

I think I may be getting somewhere! The change in this soap is that I reduced the water content by about 14% from Alkanet Experiment 1. There is clearly a change. An odd change... It looks like that for whatever reason, there are some parts that are the same colour as the other soaps and then some nice blue streaking? Look at the top and the sides... Nice teal baby blue?

This soap actually has 1 other difference as well - The Essential Oil blend - one of the three oils is Benzoin, as per Alkanet Experiment 2. As I suspected with the Benzoin, once again this soap traced so quickly that it got chunky. You can see it clearly on the top this time. However, just like Alkanet Experiment 2, the chunkiness is only on the top! The inside is beautifully smooth. I will not be using Benzoin again, at least not for my Alkanet experiments. I cannot figure out what caused the streaking??? Another of the oils - Vetivert - I have never used before... and could have caused the streaking? I will go back to a simple EO blend, without Benzoin and stick to it for these experiments.

CONCLUSION from Alkanet Experiment 3
- Alkanet colouring in soap IS affected by water content. I will need to continue to experiment how it is affected. My first assumption appears to be – the less water, the bluer?

Getting back to the list of advice for altering Alkanet colour in soap:
- Changing water quantities (keep experimenting)
- Using different oils
- Using oils in your recipe that produce a relatively white soap
- Avoid fragrance or essential oils that will drastically change the shade of your product
I am adding 3 new ideas myself...
- Add a pinch of salt (because my salt soap is VERY purple)
- Add some lemon juice or vinegar (because it would make it more acidy?)
- Using different types of water? (I am currently using Distilled water... maybe I should try tap water, sea water, rain water, regular bottled water...)

TEASER... Alkanet Experiment 4 will be using different liquid oils...

Happy soaping everyone!
Xo Jennifer


AromaBeauty Natural Soaps said...

I love the way you do these experiments! it would be great to have a tried and true way of getting great colour with alkanet.
Not sure about the water content, I use 1 litre filtered water per 3000 gram batch and I pre-soak the alkanet in olive oil for a few days before using it. I think the Ph might have something to do with the colour, so I can't wait to see the results of your next experiment with the lemon/vinegar.

Ambra said...

Jen, I'm wondering if the reduced water content results in more alkaline hence blue. I agree with ABNS that I'm curious to see what happens with lemon/vinegar! I've thought of adding soe to my soaps, but wondered if that interupted the saponificatin (is that a wokrd?) process. Maybe add it at trace?!