Dark Centered Honey Soap
by Brenda Jackson
(Coventry, RI USA)
Hi I made two batches of honey oatmeal soap. One batch came out darker than the other and the centers where darker than the edges. Why did this happen and can I still use the soap.? The other batch came out a wonderful cream color all the way through.
The darker colour is likely due to the honey content heating the soap up a bit too much. Any type of sugar (and milk since it contains lots of sugar) can be a catalyst that will jump start the saponification process and can cause the soap to overheat.
In your case it sounds like the soap just had a minor overheat. Perhaps one batch had more insulation on it than the other? Or contained more honey? Was hotter when it was 'put to bed'?The darker shade in the center is only asthetic and the soap should be fine to use.
Next time you make a honey (or milk) soap, keep an eye on it. Once you can feel heat coming through the insulation check it regularily.
When you see that the soap has fully gelled take all insulation off the soap so that it can cool down before it starts to overheat.
I also like to direct a fan blowing on the surface of the soap so that any condensation cannot settle back on the soap leaving soda ash behind.