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1  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / Re: Shampoo bar! (Recipe plus guide of sorts) on: April 14, 2011 09:25:08 PM
I found this recipe to be a real winner, and recommend it strongly.  However, I modified the recipe with a minor twist that you might find helpful (and basically eliminates the patience requirement you commented on:  I cut the water content of the caustic so I was using a 50/50 (wt/wt) mix of NaOH and water.  I also warmed the oils to about 100 F to help the butters and solids to melt/dissolve in the liquids.  When I mixed the caustic into the oils there is a pretty rapid reaction with significant temperature increase.  The mixture traces in about 5 minutes, and at this point I added my essential oils.  I poured the mixture into a long log mold as quickly as possible after mixing in the EO.  The mixture is pretty thick at this point, so it takes a bit of effort to get the mixture out of the mixing bowl, but it moves well with a rubber spatula.  Be sure to level any added materials and tap the mold once or twice to remove air bubbles trapped between the any layers of mixture in the mold.  My mold is made of wood, coated with Thompson's water seal (R) and sprayed with silicone mold release (local hardware store), I have not used any liner film and to date have not seen any negative reactions on the wood surfaces.  The reacting mixture gets pretty hot in the wooden mold (probably around 170F).  I leave the molds in the oven over night with the light on to maintain a temperature of about 90F to help the reaction along.  By morning the molded mass is quite hard and ready for demolding and cutting.  I have had great success simply removing the end piece of the mold, and then prying the log out with a spatula.  The bar has more than enough strength to lift out as a single log, and then I hand cut into bars about 1" thick.  I age the bars 3-4 weeks at house temperature (68F) at which point the weight is quite stable.  The resulting bars have an exceptionally rich lather that my wife loves as a shampoo bar.  I love the recipe myself and have already repeated at the 6 lb scale.  This is going to be a very popular bar with me, my wife and our friends.  Hope you find this suggestion helpful.

      Mr Z.
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