the ramblings of my journey through life, following my passion and enjoying the adventure

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

rice milk in handmade soap

Rice has traditionally been considered a source of beauty in Asian countries. Many of their beauty products have rice based ingredients added, from rice powder/flour to rice milk. As the folklore story goes, the female workers who spent many hours in the sun working the rice paddies, would use the water that was left over from washing the rice to bathe in and wash their faces.


(http://kids.britanica.com/comptons/art-90734>)


Today, starch and oil from rice are extensively being used in cosmetics and hygiene products. Rice bran oil has gained a strong and loyal following with many soap makers, having a good source of Vitamin E and antioxidants and imparts a silky smoothness to soaps.

Liking the soaps that I have made where I have used rice bran oil up to 5% of oil weight, I was curious to see what rice water or milk would do in soap.  Steeping my brown rice in mineral water, stirring every now and again, I left it overnight to find a very thin textured, off white diluted liquid the next morning. Referred to as rice milk by some, and rice water by others, I decided to treat it as a milk and freeze it in ice trays, reckoning the starch from the rice would produce sugar which might make a 'very hot' undesirable lye mixture. It stank, it HEATED up, it caused me moments of frantic panic and scrambling for a second lot of ice cubes for the ice bath, all the while leaving me very sceptical that I would have a successful batch of soap, let alone that it would add anything to the soap.


Rice milk soap unmolded and cut.

Nice and white, lemon, bergamot and peppermint essential oils.


Rice milk soap after 8 week cure.

It's smooth and silky, creamy and lathers like crazy. The rice milk is an ingredient I really loved working with and will try it again (hopefully more prepared for the lye reaction) with an essential oil blend that will keep the 'milky white' look!

Greetings from Cape Town!


16 comments:

  1. The color changed really strong there, but love your soaps look.
    Tried today a batch with almond milk, went wrong, but hey it's the fun of soaping that counts.
    Many greetings!!

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    Replies
    1. Want to try a batch with almond milk as well, have made a test batch with almond butter that I wasn't very impressed with and have to change the recipe for better results.

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  2. Wow, fantastic soap, and interesting change of colours... I like it.

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  3. I think it's a mild and creamy soap.
    Someday I'll try it...
    love&bless,
    Claudia

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    Replies
    1. It has a creaminess to it that I did not expect, and if you try it I'd love to know what you think.
      xx

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    Kisses

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  5. I use Rice Bran oil all the time in my soaps. Sounds like the rice water gives it a great consistency. Love the sound of your first EO blend too.

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    1. Michelle, I always keep a bar of soap to track the changes of the colour and how the EO's hold up etc. Maybe I am being biased (as you say, I really like the 'feel' that the rice water gives the soap), the citrus EO is sticking more than the peppermint after nearly 4 months.
      xx

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  6. Lovely looking soap Cynthia! I was one of the kids who bathed in the water left over after washing rice. It is used to treat prickly heat during the hot summer days. Did the color change from a white to pink? I must try out this rice milk in soap.

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    1. Hi Nitya, thank you for the lovely comment. Bet you have a beautiful skin. The colour is more of a beige than a pink, and this I believe to be as a result of the essential oils more than the rice water. I haven't made another batch yet, but plan to soon with a different eo blend to test this.
      xx

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  7. You will love almond milk! It is gorgeously creamy in soap. I don't add lye to my 'milks'. Instead I divide my liquid amount by 2 and add lye to water as half of this(I keep this liquid just slightly more than the lye amount so it dissolves well). I add the rest as milk - any kind - to my oils and blend in well before adding the lye solution. Have fun with your vege milks!

    Your soap is really pretty and the deepened colour looks very rich xx

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    1. Thank you, almond milk is on my list to try! Have been of late adding the 'milk' in the same way as you describe and it has definitely made soaping with milk much more pleasurable.

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  8. I tried adding rice milk that I made myself and it produced a super hard bar. When I use coconut milk in my soap, it's added always after trace.That way it won't affect the colour and burn the milk. I notice when I added the rice milk with the lye, it had a pudding consistencey...very interesting! I can't wait to try it!

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  9. I've made rice milk soap before. In fact, I'm letting it cure at the moment. I had to freeze the rice milk prior to adding the sodium hydroxide. Do you know a way of making soap without having to freeze the rice milk?

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