Alkanet and eggshell

I love that little dish. It's not silver, I don't even know if it's
silver plated, but the design is just lovely. It's another one
dollar find at the Good S...
I used Alkenet in a soap the other day.  I have used it before with no great results.  It has turned beautifully blue as I add the lye to the oils, but during curing it has all but disappeared.  I now know that I need to use more of it than I have been doing.  I think I have only been putting a tablespoon or two into a batch of 5-800 g. / 17-28 oz which is my usual batch size, but I am not quite sure.  So this time I was careful to measure everything.

This time I figured that if I used yoghurt I should get a nice colour, since it is acid.  But just to make sure I had some lemon on hand to add to the soap as well.  The experience was really strange and I thought I was losing it when the whole thing turned a greeny-yellow with a blue frame around it.  I didn't take photo's of that because:
  1. I thought it looked really, really ugly  - and 
  2. I  was convinced that the soap would stay that way and I would get a chance to snap a photo should I develop a desire to do so.  
But instead it changed colour and first turned gray and then it started to turn lavender.  Not a strong purply lavender, but a soft shadowy kind.  So I haven't cracked the Alkanet mystery yet althought I like this soap.

The colour isn't perfect, in fact it looks better in the photo than it really is.  The white flecks in it are egg shell.  I read about that and had to try it.  I amassed a large quality of egg shells when I was baking for the wedding.  As I used the eggs I washed the shells out and let them dry.  Then I put them into a mortal and pounded with a pestle.  It was quite hard work to get them to be very small, but I got there in the end.  Now the thing that I read said that the egg shells would sink to the bottom and make a layer on the bottom, which I thought was quite a good idea.  But in this soap it didn't do that but is dispersed throughout the soap.  I think I will try this again and add the egg shell to a very thin soap to see if I can get it to sink to the bottom.  I think that is quite cool.

The recipe is for 500 g. of oils / 17.6 oz (the oz are approximate):

Olive oil            30% 150g / 5.3 oz
Coconut oil       25% 125g / 4.4 oz
Lard                  25% 125g / 4.4 oz
Sunflower oil    15%  75g /  0.9 oz  (60 g of this was Alkanet infused oil - I didn't have any more)
Cocoa butter      5%   25g / 2.4 oz

Yoghurt            38%  190g / 6.7 oz
Lye                              71g / 2.5 oz
5% SF.

I used frozen yoghurt for the water.  I dissolved the lye VERY slowly since I didn't want to burn the milk proteins in the heat.  The liquid turned a pretty yellow once I had dissolved the lye.  When I had added the liquid to the oils the whole thing turned a gray colour with blue around the edges and as I stirred the thing it turned this greeny-yellow.  At that point I added 2 tbs. of crushed egg shells and some lavender and bergamot EO.  I also added 1 tbsp. corn starch to see if I can get the scent to stay a little longer than usual.  I have just tried out the off cuts, a bit early, but it produced a nice lather and the egg shells were great for exfoliation.  But then again I can never find bath brushes that are scratchy enough, but it may not be to everyones liking.
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Comments

  1. Ambra te quedaron muy lindos los jabones. Yo uso el alkanet infundido en el aceite y bien cargado, pero con la luz solar desaparece el color con el tiempo.
    Un abrazo

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  2. I adore this one... wow. I love the colour that came out and the whole idea of egg shells too! I may try yoghurt one day... Thanks for sharing your Alkanet experience and your recipe, which I just may try... xo Jen

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  3. Very pretty color! The soap sounds fantastic with yogurt and eggshells -lovely and unique!
    ~Becky

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  4. Thanks for your nice comments Texia, Jen and Becky.

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  5. Beautiful colour, so soft and pretty! I think the acid idea sounds great, makes sense. The same as hydrangea flowers, acid for blue and alkaline for pink, I think?

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  6. I just used way too much alkanet infused olive oil in my soap and it turned black! I used a half ounce of the same infusion and got a perfect purple color.

    How was the egg shell? Was it too scratchy? I want to try that soon with some home-raised eggs and can't wait.

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  7. Wow, only half an ounce! I've always used way more than that. I need to try to use less next time. But, yes the eggshell was scratchy. In this soap I could use it on my body, but I made another one with eggshell and that time I didn't crush it small enough. That one tore my skin to shreds, blood and all! So I think that you need to very careful about the size, maybe even use a pestle and mortar.

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  8. Alkanet is the most fancyful lady I know.

    Your lavender-grey is very sweet.
    Yogurts become more acid when they grow old. Perhaps to try again with an older yogurt?

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