With summer in full swing and Dandelion Honey Tea Soap still curing, I felt an urgent need to fill the gap and create a few more summer inspired bars. Inspired by the Sangria Festival, I got to work imagining a Strawberry Mojito Sangria soap. Sounds too delicioso to be soap, doesn't it?
Relaxing with a real glass of Strawberry Mojito Sangria in hand, and sipping slowly to appreciate the flavor and the aroma; I wanted to try to conjure up some suds that invoked a Summer Sangria and the feeling of relaxing and enjoying the Summer sun. Songs started popping into my head and with them, two new sudsy ideas as well! Do you like Piña Coladas? I love that song! And then, who knows why but my mind's radio switched to Put the lime in the coconut and drink it all up. Bet one of those songs is going to stick in your head for a while now! Oops! Sorry!
YouTube playing in the background, I got to work kreating recipes and setting up for a soap making marathon. Because time was of the essence (Summer is short after all), I decided to hot process these soaps as opposed to cold process. With hot process, your soap is ready in considerably less time as basically it cures as it "cooks" in the crockpot or double boiler. So instead of a six-week cure time as with cold process, cure time is reduced to about a week. Two at most. I figured I could make all three in one day without a problem.
Oopsie! Never assume you can work with new ingredients in a rush! For the Sangria soap, I kreated a recipe using red wine, orange juice and a puree of organic strawberries and mint. For the Piña Colada soap - organic coconut milk and pineapple puree. And for the Lime in the Coconut I used an organic coconut and lime puree and coconut milk. I've used organic fruit purees in many of my hot processed soaps in the past (Hot Apple Pie a la Mode for example), but I've never worked with red wine so I knew I had to do some research first. All the reading I did said that the sugars in red wine will heat up quickly, accelerate trace and make it difficult to work with especially if you are inexperienced. That is similar to milk. I consider myself an experienced soap-maker by now, so I froze the wine, milk and juice, studied all the tips and tricks and got to work.
Sangria soap was first on the to-do list. And whoa, everyone was right! Not the hardest thing in the world, but you really need to focus and work quickly once you start mixing. You have very little time to add anything extra. So in this sense, it was probably a good idea to go with hot process as everything gets added after the soap is “cooked”. But hey, other than the color, everything seemed to come out ok and as hoped. Sometimes the color changes by the following day or during the cure time, no worries. So I finished it up with mint essential and strawberry essential oils, set that batch aside, (no insulation for this one), cleaned up the crockpot and got to cooking up the next Summer kreation.
Next up, Do you like Piña Coladas? When working with milk of any kind it is a good idea to freeze it ahead of time so that the sugars don’t burn when mixing with the lye to create your lye solution. (Remember, no lye, no soap; but it all comes together with the oils to saponify and create beautiful soap.) Everything went as it should and in no time, I was ready to clean up and start the last batch of Summer inspired soaps. The smell in there was heavenly between those two new soaps. I love how my basement smells with all the soap scents combined!
Again I got my frozen organic coconut milk cubes along with everything else and got to work. Everything was proceeding according to plan and this one smelled the best by far! Clean, citrusy delight! Time to put this last one into the mold and set them all to rest until the following day. As I gave it one final stir, I was so excited, planning in my head what blurbs I would write for my newest concoctions when right in front of my eyes… I don’t know what happened. My perfect consistency turned into runny green oatmeal with lumps! I tried to stir it back together, hand blend it, fold it upon itself. Nothing worked, but I wasn’t giving up. I scooped it up and put it into the silicone mold and crossed my fingers to see what would happen during the next 24 hours.
Fast forward 36 hours - (I decided to give it a little extra time in light of the limey disaster.) All three batches felt a little softer than normal. Hmmmm, not a good sign. Ok let’s wait one more day before cutting.
The Piña Colada bars looked fine. A little soft, but fine. Phew! Now for the Coconut Lime disaster. These bars felt like bars of butter as opposed to soap! (They still smelled divine though.) They were oily, almost mushy and slippery. It’s as if the oils and the lye didn’t bind and didn’t make soap. I decided to give them a bit more time before tossing them in the garbage. Maybe it would still happen. Disappointed, I went on to the final batch of Summer sudsy fun.
More disappointment. The Strawberry Mojito Sangria soap bars were not what I’d expected either. They were definitely not the color I’d seen in all the other recipes and blogs. I was expecting a wine color like theirs had. Mine were kind of orangey-brown and had a lighter colored circle in the center indicating a quick gel phase. Clearly, very hot in the middle, very quickly. They had very little scent left also. It must have burned off. Don’t misunderstand, they are still soap, still useable; but not as nice looking, and most certainly not Strawberry-minty. The circle will likely change to match the rest of the bar anyway. But orangey-brown doesn’t remind me of Sangria. Why don’t you enjoy some on me? These will be my freebie giveaways. The first five readers to contact me via email will receive a free bar of Strawberry Mojito Sangria soap. Try it, let me know how to improve it.
Honestly, I don’t know if I miscalculated the ingredient ratios in my recipes, was in too much of a rush, measured incorrectly or maybe my crockpot is getting old and wasn’t heating up evenly or wasn’t hot enough. But Put the Lime in the Coconut didn’t work out at all and Strawberry Mojito Sangria was only a partial success in my opinion.
Lesson learned – take your time and if at first you don’t succeed…
They say you can turn soap disasters into laundry detergent by grating it down and adding a percentage of Borax. Maybe that is the next thing to learn. Meanwhile, enjoy the two newest Kimsoapia Kreations – Dandelion Honey Tea and Do you like Piña Coladas?
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Welcome! My name is Kim. I'm a wife, mother, teacher, grandmother, avid crafter of all sorts and yoga enthusiast. Kimsoapia Kreations is my latest kreative endeavor. Everything is kreated with love and healing in my heart. I hope you enjoy.