If you look at the photos of the soaps I’ve made since I started blogging last May 2013, you may notice that I never had one that was a perfect white. Even the ones with titanium dioxide (TD) were off-white, partly because of the fragrance or essential oils used and partly because of the carrier oils. Achieving a white-white soap was not important to me, so I always used less TD than the recommended 1 tsp per cup of soap.
Early last month I made soap with 95% olive oil and 5% virgin coconut oil that I named Fil-Castile. It didn’t contain any TD but it turned out a gorgeous white which came as a complete surprise. The only problem I had with it were the pockmarks. I tapped the stick blender to “burp” the oils but somehow I still got a lot of trapped air bubbles.
Because of the high amount of olive oil, the Fil-Castile soap batter takes more than an hour to reach trace. When I made another batch a week ago, I did not immediately pour the batter into the mold after stick blending it into an emulsion. I left it in the mixing bowl while I made other soaps, hand stirring it every now and then. After about an hour or so, the batter finally reached light trace – similar in consistency to light creme anglais. I slowly stirred it for another couple of minutes before pouring into the mold.
The result is soap as smooth and fine as porcelain. It still has a few air bubbles, but hardly noticeable.
I get it now why it’s important for some soap makers to achieve a white-white soap. It is beautiful in its simplicity and purity. Just to see what kind of white I could get using TD at full dosage, I made a batch using a normally off-white formula containing olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil and cocoa butter. I chose a clean-smelling yet feminine FO that is colorless and non-discoloring. It has notes of ozone, watery greens and white florals: smells soooo good! I am calling it Aqua, and for Christmas, I am thinking of adding some peppermint and/or eucalyptus and naming it Snow.
Fil-Castile is almost as white as Aqua, but the TD in Aqua makes it brighter. Here they are side by side:
I wish you all a happy week. 🙂