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Frappucino Soap

Difficulty: Intermediate
Time: 1 hr
Yields: 1200 g soap or approximately 10-12 bars

I love my coffee! Even when it’s hot and muggy in summer, I like to drink coffee, preferably ice cold and with cream on top. In my opinion, one of the yummiest inventions is the creation of the frappucino! What would we do without them?

One of the problems with making coffee and chocolate scented soaps is that most of the coffee and chocolate fragrances discolour your soap brown. To avoid this, I added titanium dioxide to the cream of the soap. The soap also contains coffee grounds, which gives it a bit of an exfoliating effect, but not too much, just enough for using it daily in the shower.

The fragrances I’m using here are Chocolate Fudge and Fresh Coffee from Candlescience, which you can purchase from Pure Nature. The mica is Antique Bronze from Mica Your World. And the paper straws I purchased from AliExpress.

Before starting, please read the safety and precautions post, especially since this tutorial requires the handling of caustic soda!

If you have never made cold-process soap before, I strongly recommend you check out the basic cold process soap tutorial first.

ONE: Prepare your lye as usual and leave it to cool down to room temperature. I always place my lye in the sink, for safety reasons.

I’ve added 2 teaspoons of sodium lactate to my lye solution. Sodium lactate is a natural additive derived from the fermentation of natural sugars, and it helps to make the soap harder allowing to unmould it quicker.

TWO: Weigh out the coconut oil and cocoa butter in a microwaveable jug or bowl, and heat in the microwave until the oils have melted. Then add the liquid oils to the now melted coconut oil and cocoa butter.

THREE: Add the fragrance. I’m using coffee fragrance to which I’ve added a little chocolate fragrance.

FOUR: Once the lye has cooled down to room temperature, and making sure you are still wearing protective goggles and gloves, carefully add the lye to the oils.

FIVE: Use a whisk or stick blender to mix the oils and lye to thin trace.

SIX: Separate roughly 1 1/2 cups of soap into a separate container. This will be your ‘cream’ on top.

And separate another cup of soap for the uncoloured soap in the swirl.

SEVEN: Add the brown mica to the remaining soap in the pot.

EIGHT: Separate another 2/3 cup of soap and add the coffee grounds. Give it a good stir to get rid of all the clumps.

I’m using the content of one of the Nespresso pods, which is roughly a little more than a teaspoon.

You should now have two cups of soap, one uncoloured and one with the coffee grounds, and the brown coloured soap in the main pot. You should also have the ‘cream’ part separated in another container.

NINE: To do an ITPS (in-the-pot swirl), pour the colours into three spots in your soap, as shown in the image. Make sure you pour them from a height so that the colour reaches the bottom. I poured each colour twice in each spot.

Then take your spatula, and move the spatula in a circle through the soap once or twice, but no more. The more you move it, the more you will blend the colours together. If you want more distinction between your colours only go round once. I did two circles in my soap, one smaller and one bigger circle.

TEN: Pour the swirled soap into your mould.

ELEVEN: Add the titanium dioxide to the soap in the separate container. I added it straight in powder form, but it’s better if you mix it with a little water before adding, to avoid white specks in your soap. Use your stick blender to mix it to a thick trace.

TWELVE: Use a teaspoon to plop the soap on top. I did three lines and then two more lines on top of the other three, to create this whipped cream appearance.

Cut the straws into roughly 2-3 inches and then stick them diagonally into the soap.

THIRTEEN: Leave the soap to cure for a day or two before unmoulding. Then let it sit for another day before cutting the soap into bars. I used a thin filleting knife to cut this soap 12 bars. The bars will need another 6-8 weeks of curing.

The soap smells absolutely delicious. Very much coffee with a hint of chocolate. Just how I like my frappucino!

Frappucino Soap

  • Difficulty: intermediate
  • Print
Before starting, make sure you wear protective goggles and gloves and work in a well-ventilated area, free from any distractions!

Ingredients

  • 400 g olive oil
  • 300 g coconut oil
  • 100 g cocoa butter
  • 150 g rice bran oil
  • 50 castor oil
  • 141 g caustic soda
  • 280 g water
  • 2 teaspoons of sodium lactate
  • 25 ml coffee fragrance
  • 5 ml chocolate fragrance
  • 1/4 tsp titanium dioxide
  • 1/2 tsp brown mica
  • 1 tsp coffee grounds
  • 10 paper straws

Directions

  1. Measure out the caustic soda and the water. Then add the caustic soda to the water  (not the other way round!) and stir until the caustic soda has completely dissolved.
  2. Add 2 teaspoons of sodium lactate to the lye solution and set aside to cool down.
  3. Weigh out the coconut oil and cocoa butter and melt in the microwave or on the stove top until completely melted.
  4. Add the olive, rice bran and castor oils to the now liquid coconut oil and cocoa butter.
  5. Then, add 25 ml of coffee fragrance and 5 ml of chocolate fragrance to the oils and give everything a good stir.
  6. Check if the lye has cooled down to room temperature, and making sure you are still wearing protective gear, carefully pour the lye to the oils and, using a whisk or stick blender, mix until emulsified (thin trace).
  7. Pour about 1 1/2 cups of soap into a separate jug. This will be the ‘cream’.
  8. Separate another cup of soap into a different cup or container.
  9. To the remaining soap, add 1/2 teaspoon of brown mica and give it a quick mix with the stick blender.
  10. Fill another cup with the brown soap, and add to it 1 teaspoon of coffee grounds. Mix well.
  11. You should now have one container with soap for the cream.
  12. You should also have one cup of uncoloured soap, one cup of brown coloured soap with coffee grounds, and the main pot should contain the brown soap.
  13. To do an ITPS (in-the-pot-swirl): In three spots, like a triangle, pour the uncoloured and coffee-grounds soap into the brown soap in the main container. Do this twice, and each time pour into the same three spots.
  14. Stick the spatula into the soap and move it around in a circle through the soap. Do this only once or twice.
  15. Then pour the soap into the mould.
  16. To create the cream: Mix the titanium dioxide with a little water and add it to the remaining soap in the other jug or container. Use your stick blender to mix it until a thick trace.
  17. Plop the soap onto the surface of the swirled soap with a teaspoon.
  18. Cut the straws into 2-3 inches length, and stick them into the soap diagonally.
  19. Leave the soap to cure a couple of days before unmoulding, and then let it stand for another few days before cutting into bars. The soap bars will need to cure for a further 6-8 weeks until ready for use.

 

 

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Testing Fragrances Part 2

In part 1, I discussed vanillin discolouration, but it is quite possible to have a fragrance with 0% vanillin that will still discolour your soap. Fragrances are comprised of many different components, some contain 100 or more ingredients to make up a unique scent. Any of these can affect the colour as well as other aspects of soap, which is why not all fragrances are suitable for soap making. Fragrances that are considered safe to use in soap making must be skin-safe, suitable for cosmetic use and have undergone strict testing to comply with international standards. Only source your fragrances from responsible distributors, such as Pure Nature, who can provide safety data and certification from their suppliers.

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Even if the fragrance doesn’t contain vanillin, they can still cause discolouration, as the different shades of white of these soaps show.

To create a fragrance, different essential oils, resins, as well as natural and synthetic aroma chemicals are mixed together to a unique blend. Unfortunately, in most countries, fragrances do not need to list their exact constituents, because it falls under ‘trade secret’, so we usually don’t know what exactly is in them. Certain components will change the colour of your soap, just like vanillin, but because we don’t know the exact make up of the fragrances, it is difficult to pinpoint which component causes discolouration or even to predict what a fragrance will do to the soap.

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The top soap was an early test for one of my tutorials and instead of remaining white, turned a rather bright yellow during the curing time. The fragrance contained no vanillin, yet still caused significant discolouration.

The most common discolouration from a non-vanillin component is off-white, ivory or a creamy colour, although there are other possible colours as well. Oakmoss and amber, from Candlescience, for example, can cause your soap to turn a shade of mauve.

Then, there are some fragrances or components of fragrances, which have a natural tint to them and can also discolour your soap. For example, orange essential oils range from yellow to bright orange in colour, which may cause soap to turn yellow. In general, my rule of thumb is if the fragrance is not clear, that’s a warning sign! But that doesn’t mean that all tinted fragrances discolour, just like not all clear fragrances won’t discolour. And to complicate matters further, your soap recipe, the oils you use, your soaping method and the temperature can all have an influence as well. This is why you often get conflicting reports of fragrance discolouration. The only fail-proof method is to test a fragrance using the exact recipe and method yourself, to be absolutely sure of no discolouration. However, in most cases, slight changes don’t matter that much, and for the extreme discolourations that vanillin causes, looking up the vanillin content, or reading the fragrance reviews are often a good help. Or you can go for one of the water white fragrances.

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Although not a water white fragrance, the discolouration is only subtle and doesn’t distract from the overall design.

Water white fragrances are fragrances that are clear liquids, have 0% vanillin content and cause no discolouration.  There is no standard that labels these fragrances as such, and the only way to know which fragrances are water white fragrances is usually from testing or from test results that other soapers have done for you.

Here are four Candlescience Skin-Safe fragrances that can be considered water white fragrances:

And lastly, another option is to add titanium dioxide to your soap. Titanium dioxide acts as a whitener in your soap, although it will only work on light discolourations. It won’t magically turn your brown soap into the pure white! The good thing is that you only need a tiny amount to counter the discolouration, I use a maximum of half a teaspoon in one kilo of soap. Don’t use too much or you’ll end up with the unsightly glycerin rivers. Incidentally, titanium dioxide added to micas can make the colours pop, stand out more!

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How to use soap pigments

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I’m a big fan of soap pigments. They tend to colour my soap very evenly and are easy to use. They are definitely a lot less messy than lakes and micas, and also a little goes a long way. I would strongly suggest to invest in a trio of soap pigments, if you are into cold process soap making!

I use soap pigments from Pure Nature, which are available for $12 per 10 g. They are a bit more expensive than the lakes and micas, but are a lot more economical and will last you for a long time. They stock the basic three colours: yellow, red and blue, which can be easily mixed to create more colours, such as green and blue.

Soap pigments are water-soluble and very easy to work with. The pigments are mixed with water before use, and then added to the soap at trace. If you pre-mix them, you can store them in the fridge for a week. I use these little mini-bottles from Systema for my prepared colours.

The recommended usage rate for these pigments is 0.02%, which is really a very tiny amount. But I found that you can easily double the usage rate to 0.04% without any trouble – meaning no staining and no coloured foam. To calculate the usage rate into workable amounts, I added 2 mini-scoops (0.15CC each) to 3 teaspoons of water, which gives me exactly 0.02% (MATHS: 0.3 ml / 15 ml = 0.02). Add 1 teaspoon of the solution to 500g soap for a 0.02% usage rate, and 2 teaspoons of the solution to 500g soap for a 0.04% usage rate.

As mentioned earlier, the pigments can be easily mixed to create more colours. For a green, mix one part blue with one part yellow. Add more yellow for a more yellowish grassy green, or more blue for a teal colour. One part red and one part yellow will make orange.

Purples and lavender are a bit more difficult to get right. Purples tend to be more toward the red end of the colour spectrum, so mixing 1/2 red and 1/2 blue usually doesn’t work. With the pigments, I found the ratio 2/3 red to 1/3 blue worked well for me. If you wanted a more reddish purple, you could even increase to 3/4 red to 1/4 blue and increase the usage rate to 0.04%.

Adding titanium dioxide will whiten your soap to make your colour appear more true, as you can see in the picture below. To get the shade of lavender, I added 1 teaspoon of titanium dioxide to 500 g of soap.