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Handmade 101
4 Tips For Dealing With Fast Fragrances In Cold Process Soap
Author: Wholesale Supplies Plus
Monday, September 18, 2017

Since fragrance oils are all listed as ‘fragrance’ on the finished cosmetic label, it is easy to forget that each fragrance is different. Each fragrance oil is composed of numerous ingredients, and the unique blend of ingredients has differing effects on cold process soap. For example, the time it takes for the oils/butters to emulsify with the lye solution, also known as trace, varies with the addition of each fragrance oil. Some fragrance oils cause soap to accelerate very quickly, leaving limited amount of time to mold soap. Here are some tips for slowing down these fast fragrances.

1.) Use More Water
The more water used in a cold process soap recipe, the slower the time it takes soap batter to reach trace. Since a fast moving fragrance increases trace, we can balance this by using more water. A lye concentration of 25%-33% is recommended. 

2.) Limit Other Accelerating Ingredients
Solid oils will give you a harder bar of soap but a faster trace, while liquid oils will give you a softer bar but will slow down trace. Using too much butter in a recipe can also speed things up. You should also be cautious when using beer, honey, or milk as a water replacement. Even clay can accelerate trace, especially when added dry. Try mixing it with a little water or oil before adding it to your soap batter to avoid this acceleration. 

3.) Soap At Room Temperature
The cooler the temperature, the slower the time it takes soap batter to reach trace. Since a fast moving fragrance increases trace, we can balance this by allowing the oils and butters and lye solution to reach room temperature before mixing them together.

4.) Hand Mix Fragrance Oil
Stick blending accelerates trace, which is why it was been become such a popular tool in soap making! However, if you need to slow down acceleration, it can become your enemy. The solution is simple. Stick blend the oils and lye solution to light trace, and then hand stir the fragrance oil into the soap batter. This prevents you from over-mixing and ending up with a super thick trace by accident.

Questions & Answers (1)  
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"Is there a way to tell if a fragrance is "fast" before you is it?"

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Posted By: Vicki   |   November 21, 2017

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