Last night I finally got to try out the new Popsicle mold. I figured that I could use it for Valentine’s or Easter, too, so I wrote out recipes for a few varieties that I could do in pinks and reds. It wasn’t until I actually started to work with the ingredients that things got a bit iffy.
I decided that Cotton Candy would be a good scent to pair with a pink soap, and then decided that this would be the perfect time to try out the tutti frutti dye powder now that I know how to keep it from speckling, since it’s neon pink.
Now that my wholesaler has a Q and A section I read that the powder should be mixed in a bit of glycerin and used then as a normal dye. They mentioned that their small hand mixer worked wonderfully for this.
It took 15 minutes to get it like this. Seriously?! The little hand mixer is battery operated and has a little design flaw apparently. While doing this I found (Larry reminded me that I learned this lesson before, but I inconveniently forgot it apparently) the battery is located right under the lever that gets pushed down to operate the mixer. When the mixer runs very long that battery begins to heat up that little tab of plastic to a very uncomfortable temperature. At 15 minutes I was doing the potty dance from the pain, trying to use a hot pad (which didn’t work), and switching hands, since my fingers were turning almost as bright as that dye. *laugh* Thankfully there were only two speckles that I could still find, so I just fished them out, and decided to keep trucking.
Funny thing about that Cotton Candy FO…there’s so much vanilla that it’s a very yellow oil. When mixed with the soap it remained very yellow. Usually an extra drop or two of coloring will cover that up, so I figured it would be no big deal.
That is after 44 (!!) drops of neon pink and in desperation 2 drops of strawberry red. I don’t think it would have gotten to this mild of a pink without the heavy red, either. I have never used so much dye before. (Never fear, though, because I tested a little bit of the soap to make sure that the bubbles were still white. If the bubbles are colored, then there’s too much color, but as long as they’re clear/white, then you won’t dye the poor user.)
I looked up the mold on my wholesaler’s site and it said that there are 10 cavities that hold 3 oz each, so I did a test run with 12 oz of soap. Somehow I only managed to get 3 1/2 soaps when I poured though. Usually soap is right on, whereas lotion has a lot of loss during the mixing and pouring, so I figure they don’t intend for the user to fill the cavity completely. How was I to know that? Lol
I also discovered that the craft sticks don’t fit snuggly in the slots on the lid, like it seemed. They kept slipping down into the soaps and I didn’t realize when I held them until the soap started a soft set that my tremor had made the sticks a little…uneven. Yeah, we’ll go with uneven. I won’t use the terms I used when crying to Larry about the disaster. *laugh* After I got over my pity party I decided to unmold them and check for speckles. That’s what I decided, at least. Thankfully Larry hadn’t left for work yet, because apparently it’s not a one man job. They didn’t want to come out at all. Unlike regular silicone molds I could just flip the cavity inside out, either, because of the shape. Between Larry’s strength and long fingers that could hold the entire length of the cavity to twist and cause air bubbles, which allow the soaps to release, and my pulling on the sticks, we finally got them out. I had been justifiably concerned about pulling on the sticks, since they started to slide out of the soap a little. That’s how tight they fit. (I could have put the soap in the freezer to shrink it a little and see if they’d pop out then, but that usually makes the soap sweat and I think it decreases the durability of the mold, not to mention the soap, so I try to avoid it.)
They might have some flaws, but at first glance I thought they weren’t too bad, until I noticed this…
Apparently where the mold has a connecting strip from cavity to cavity it tends to create a little dent in the middle of each bar. Lol. I throw in the towel.
After a few uses I don’t think anyone will see the dent anymore, but it does make it a little less pleasing on the eye to sell them, unfortunately. (Not that I could sell this wildly crooked set anyway.) Shrink wrapping the soap and maybe adding a small bow where it meets the stick should help, but now I know that I can’t do multiple varieties in one setting and that I can’t unmold these little cuties on my own. That’s a little irritating considering how much I paid for the dang thing, but Larry came up with an idea to hopefully solve the sticks moving, at least.
I’ll experiment again in a day or two and will see if I can suspend some poppy seeds in some of the pops for some Strawberry Jam Popsicle soaps. Since anything that can go wrong does go wrong when I’m the one doing it, I’m betting that the seeds sink and that the dye will go wonky, which might be in my favor, since then you won’t see the seeds in a big clump at the end of the soap. *grin*
Okay, enough sarcasm and self teasing for the moment. I’m not too upset with the flaws and I had fun learning some new things (like to use a stronger mixer if I do powdered dye again!). I’m off to do some pampering and take a nap. I hope you have a day filled with just as much relaxation and that you’re also learning to not be so hard on yourself too. 🙂