When FOs Misbehave: Ricing, Accelerating, and Seperating

Sometimes a fragrance oil is too good not to use just because it rices or accelerates. Different variables can change the outcome of the project. Some of those variables include stick blender speed, strength and how long the batch was stick blended. Additionally, temperature and humidity can be problematic also. 


Here's one trick you can use while working with accelerating soap: Take one ounce of liquid oil OUT of your main recipe and heat it up to 100 degrees. Then add fragrance into this oil. This dilutes the fragrance oil’s initial power. Add the oil/fragrance mixture at thin, thin trace and hand stir the fragrance/oil mixture in with a fork/ladle and  never, ever use a hand blender for problem oils.

You can also raise your temperatures to about 110 to 115 degrees. This will help to keep your mixture more liquid than at a lower temperature.


Ricing occurs when an ingredient in the fragrance oil binds with some of the harder oil components in the recipe to form little hard rice-shaped lumps. Often, ricing can be stick blended out. However, in utilizing the stick blender to smooth your soap out, you may end up with a much thicker trace than expected. 


Separation occurs when the fragrance oil can’t be mixed into the soap batter, and oil slicks can start to pool on top of the batter. It looks much like cream of wheat with butter on top! Separation can look a lot like ricing, and the two sometimes occur together. The main difference between them is you can see pools of oil on the soap with separation — it almost looks like it’s falling apart.

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