Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Melt & Pour Soap Making Ooops: The Lady Bug & Pinwheel Soap Molds

Pictured above is one of the newest molds that GoPlanetEarth is stocking from the Mold Market line. I absolutely love this little ladybug. Simple and clean lines and, with a little practice, very easy to pour in multiple colors.

If you have been following my blog and Facebook posts this summer, you know that I've been having our college girl, Sophie, pour up some of our soap samples. I continue to do our tutorials and the more complicated soaps. However, there is a two fold reason for having a novice employee pour soaps.

1) It gives me a good idea of what issues my customers face when they are new to melt and pour soap making. Soap making is new to Sophie. So, whatever problems she is having, the chances are fairly good you will too.

2) It is good practice for Sophie. Everytime she messes up, she learns something. I am a firm believer that the best way to get good at anything is to practice. If you screw-up, then try again. Here are some of the issues that Sophie faced when pouring soap in our new Ladybug and Pinwheel molds.

Note that Sophie did not pour the dots on the back side or the eyes of the lady bug in an opposing color. This would have definitely made a difference in the final appearance of the soap. It looks like Sophie tried to pour one eye in black (the iris part) but it didn't work well. I would like to have seen the dots on the body poured in black and the eyes in white with a drop of black for the iris (or the opposite). I did like how Sophie poured the body of the lady bug in layers of black and red.

Now... this pinwheel pop soap had some issues going on. Quite honestly this is an easy mold to pour in dual color. Whenever you see a separation of colors like this, it's clearly an indication that you waited too long to pour that second color AND may not have used a liberal amount of rubbing alcohol between color layers. Using rubbing alcohol between layers really does make a difference. It helps that next color layer to adhere to your first. The picture below is a better indication of what you would hope to accomplish when using this soap mold.

If at first you don't get it right, try again. Ask questions, network with others in the biz or others just doing soaping for fun. And, as always, feel free to email us for help with any of our molds and products. We'll do our darndest to help yah!


Kathy (gardeningAngel) said...

Is there a way to "reattach" the two layers that have come apart? I had this happen after I cut a loaf that had several layers - the top came off when I cut each piece. The rest of the layers stayed together. I tried spraying the top with alcohol to reattach, but no luck. Any suggestions?

Thanks so much, I love your blog!


Denise said...

Hi Kathy, reattaching the two layers is not likely, though not impossible. You could melt soap base (use the same color base as your soap layer) and drizzle some of the melted soap between the two layers. It would act as a glue. When layers separate, it indicates that the second layer was poured after the prior layer had already set. Spraying alcohol does help with adhesion, but only if the prior layer still has a bit of give. Once firm, you're going to have issues with layers separating.

There is such a delicate balancing act when pouring soap layers. I think most all of us in the soaping business have experienced the drama of our loaf layers separating.