Friday, January 8, 2010

Oh Noes! The Dreaded Orange Spot! (by Kat)

Are you sick and tired of my soap woes yet?

Part of the "excitement" of soap making is the waiting. After you've combined your fats and lyes, fragrances and color, poured the slurry into the mold, unmolded and sliced your bars, you get to wait. And wait.

Four to six weeks later, you have a bar of "young" soap. Four to six months later, you have a bar of well-cured soap. For laundry purposes, just a few days cure may suffice, but if you want to use it on your body, the longer you wait the better your product will be.

I'm in the waiting stage on my first batch, kind of in a holding pattern, wondering if I should start a second batch before gauging the success of my first batch. I know I need to insulate the soap better so that I get a complete gel. I know that I should probably make sure the temperature of the lye and the fats are more similar before combining the two. I know these things because of problems that I see in the soap.

BUT, here's the frustration. I now have Dreaded Orange Spot. Yep, that's the official term! DOS is what the real soapmakers call it. DOS makes your soap project a POS!

Mistakes that I can learn from are okay, in a way. Problems that I can't learn from just make me angry. Grrrr.

On the positive side, 'cause I'm such sunny and upbeat person at all times, the DOS makes the soda ash seem like a very minor detail.

Seriously, though, I think I'm falling in love with soapmaking. Science meets kitchen meets something better for my family? How cool is that?!!


  1. I for one am not tired of your soapmaking posts. It's something I've always wanted to do, so I'm actually quite interested.

    "Aged like fine...soap" just doesn't have the same ring to it, I'm afraid.

    I'm imagining a children's picture book, featuring the adventures of a young bar of soap as it grows older, and must battle against the Dreaded Orange Spot.

    I love this: "Mistakes that I can learn from are okay, in a way." Eminently quotable.

  2. You must write this story down for your 2 year-old! And send it to me, too. I love children's books!
    Is Spot a good name for a (dreaded orange) dragon?

  3. Spot, the Dreaded Orange Dragon - I love it!

    Do you draw? I'll need an illustrator.

  4. The only "drawing" I do is at target practice.
    I draw on paper about as well as I make soap!