Archive for July, 2009

The Top 10 Reasons to try a new fragrance oil!

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Wow! I just was given the new list of the Top 10 Fragrances. I just had to share this list with you starting from 10 and working down to 1. Enjoy!

10- Rose Fragrance Oil
9- Sandalwood Vanilla Fragrance Oil
8- Coconut Fragrance Oil
7- Cucumbers & Melons Fragrance Oil
6- Jasmine Fragrance Oil
5- Honey Almond Fragrance Oil
4- Oatmeal, Milk & Honey Fragrance Oil
3- Coconut, Lime & Verbena Fragrance Oil
2- Green Tea Fragrance Oil
1- Baby Powder Fragrance Oil

Enjoy!

Andee

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MMS is now on Twitter!

Friday, July 31st, 2009

If you are familiar with Twitter, I have exciting news for you! We now have a Twitter account and we will be using it to release new product notices, discontinued products and special offers.

Here is the direct link to our Twitter account. http://twitter.com/mmtnsage

Enjoy!

Andee

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How to use the Original Lye Calculator

Thursday, July 30th, 2009
A sample recipe from our Lye Calculator. Click for a larger image.

A sample recipe from our Lye Calculator. Click for a larger image.

Did you know the Lye Calculator has been in operation since 1996? Many soap makers have used the Lye Calculator for their recipes and even for checking recipes they were given by fellow soap makers. However, those who are new to making soap want to be able to use the Lye Calculator easily.

Several years ago, a tutorial was created for the Lye Calculator and it includes information about all the fields and buttons for entering a recipe. This tutorial is a great resource for those wanting to learn more about our Lye Calculator.

Along with this tutorial we also released “How to Read the Lye Calculator Printout” and “Understanding Specific Gravity“. These were written to help all soap makers understand how the Lye Calculator works and use this tool to their greater advantage.

Have fun making soap!
Andee

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Grease Monkey Hand Scrub

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009
We are now approaching the end of July and I’ve been spending my time out in the garden, but my biggest difficulty after weeding is trying to scrub dirt out of the my knuckles. Unfortunately, this scrubbing doesn’t only occur after weeding, but after any dirty chores. I realized I hated spending so much time trying to scrub and still not completely getting rid of the dirt. After I realized this, I asked myself, “Why am I spending so much time trying to scrub my hands when I can make a scrub that works quickly?”

I sat down and made a list of products that would help me achieve the desired effect of clean hands! I decided to start with the Glycerin Scrub Base and the Fine Pumice. I made a small test batch and realized that there wasn’t enough texture to help scrub my hands. I decided to add Fine Dead Sea Salt to the batch and see if that worked. Once I had mixed in the salt, I found the coarse scrubbing texture to be just right, but I wanted more help removing grease from my hands. That was when I remembered the conversation I had had with Tina about the properties of clay that can be useful for helping to remove impurities from the skin, like oil. After that thought, I had to find my Red Morocco Clay to add to the scrub. I added the clay, but because the pumice and salt had already been added, the clay did not mix well into the scrub. I set that test batch aside and started over again.

This time I added the Red Morocco Clay to the Glycerin Scrub Base and stirred before I added any other ingredients. Once the clay had been stirred in completely, I added the Fine Pumice and Fine Dead Sea Salt. This time the scrub was just what I wanted!

Collect needed supplies:
Glycerin Scrub Base
Fine Pumice
Fine Dead Sea Salt
Red Morocco Clay (or clay of your choice)
Fragrance or Essential Oil of your choice (I’m using Eastern Amber Fragrance Oil)
Transfer Pipettes
Measuring spoons
Container for mixing
Scale
Mixing spoon
Containers and caps of your choice

Recipe: (In grams)
150 grams Glycerin Scrub Base
4 grams Red Morocco Clay
50 grams Fine Pumice
50 grams Fine Dead Sea Salt
1 gram Eastern Amber Fragrance Oil
Makes 255 grams

Recipe: (In ounces)
5.30 ounces Glycerin Scrub Base
0.15 ounces Red Morocco Clay
1.75 ounces Fine Pumice
1.75 ounces Fine Dead Sea Salt
0.05 ounces Eastern Amber Fragrance Oil
Makes 9 ounces

Weigh the Glycerin Scrub Base and clay into your container for mixing and blend thoroughly until there are no more clumps of clay. Once the clay has been incorporated into the scrub base, add the pumice and salt to the mixture. Stir until there are no more pockets of dry ingredients. Add the Eastern Amber Fragrance Oil and stir.

After all ingredients are completely mixed, fill the containers of your choice. This is a great scrub to put in the Grand Oval Bottles, especially if it for the grease monkey with really dirty paws! (Pun intended.)

Enjoy this scrub!

Andee

Collect needed items.

Collect needed items.

Weigh the Glycerin Scrub Base.

Weigh the Glycerin Scrub Base.

Weigh the clay.

Weigh the clay.

Stirring the clay into the scrub base.

Stirring the clay into the scrub base.

Clay mixed into the scrub base.

Clay mixed into the scrub base.

(more…)

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Testing Colors, Part 3

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009
Melt & Pour on the left and Cold Process on the right.

Melt & Pour on the left and Cold Process on the right.

Today, I’m going to show you the Yellow Lip Balm Color in Melt & Pour Soap and Cold Process Soap.

Melt & Pour Soap Notes:
I melted some Transparent Melt & Pour soap in a large glass beaker and then added about 8 drops from the Professional size of the Yellow Lip Balm Color to the melted soap. Again, I used an immersion blender at the very beginning of the test. The color never changed and remained looking like a pitcher of orange juice.

Cold Process Soap Notes:
Yellow:
I added 8 drops of the Yellow Lip Balm Color to the oils once they were melted and used an immersion blender to make sure there were no particles of color floating in the oils. At this point, the oils were a yellow orange color, like orange juice, and then I added the lye mixture and used the immersion blender to mix. The color didn’t change at all as I blended the soap or even after I poured it into the mold. Once I cut the soap, I noticed that the soap was a smooth bright yellow color.

8 ounces weight Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
4 ounces weight Coconut Oil
4 ounces weight Olive Oil

2.2 ounces Sodium Hydroxide
6 fluid ounces cool water

Weighing time: 8 minutes
Adding lye to water: 5 seconds, followed by 60 seconds of stirring
Heating of oils time: 2 minutes
Adding color to melted oils: 1 minute
Pouring lye solution into the fat mixture: 5 seconds
Using immersion blender to mix soap solution: 90 seconds
Pour into mold: 10 seconds
Allow soap to rest: 24 hours

Andee

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Testing Colors, Part 2

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

Melt & Pour on the left and Cold Process on the right.

Melt & Pour on the left and Cold Process on the right.

Yesterday, I showed you the Blue Lip Balm Color in Cold Process Soap and Melt & Pour Soap. I thought that I would continue the color testing of the Oil Soluble Lip Balm Colors until all of the colors have been tested. Today, I’m going to show you the Coral Lip Balm Color in Melt & Pour Soap and Cold Process Soap.

Melt & Pour Soap Notes:
I melted some Transparent Melt & Pour soap in a large glass beaker and then added some of the Coral Lip Balm Color to the melted soap. Again, I used an immersion blender at the very beginning of the test. I was hoping that the color would stay in the same range that it started in. The color didn’t change much in the Melt & Pour Soap and I was very excited.

Cold Process Soap Notes:
I added the Coral Lip Balm Color to the oils once they were melted and used an immersion blender to make sure there were no particles of color floating in the oils. At this point, the oils were a warm coral orange color, and then I added the lye mixture and used the immersion blender to mix. The color didn’t change much as I blended the soap, but after I poured it into the mold, it turned a pretty pink color. Once I cut the soap, I noticed that the soap changed colors to a warm orange.

8 ounces weight Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
4 ounces weight Coconut Oil
4 ounces weight Olive Oil

2.2 ounces Sodium Hydroxide
6 fluid ounces cool water

Weighing time: 8 minutes
Adding lye to water: 5 seconds, followed by 60 seconds of stirring
Heating of oils time: 2 minutes
Adding color to melted oils: 1 minute
Pouring lye solution into the fat mixture: 5 seconds
Using immersion blender to mix soap solution: 90 seconds
Pour into mold: 10 seconds
Allow soap to rest: 24 hours

The pictures don’t give these soaps justice.

Andee

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Testing Colors

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

Cold Process Soap on the left and Melt & Pour Soap on the right.

Cold Process Soap on the left and Melt & Pour Soap on the right.

Last week, I showed my tests of the Ruby Lip Balm Color in Melt & Pour Soap as well as Cold Process Soap. After my test was over, I started to wonder what using some of the other colors would turn out to look like. Today, I’ll show you how the tests with the Blue Lip Balm Color turned out.

Melt & Pour Soap Notes:
I melted some Transparent Melt & Pour soap in a large glass beaker and then added some of the Blue Lip Balm Color to the melted soap. Considering my test with the Ruby Lip Balm Color and that it didn’t blend unless I used an immersion blender, I used an immersion blender at the very beginning of the test. I was extremely excited to discover the soap remained a bright vibrant blue.

Cold Process Soap Notes:
I added the Blue Lip Balm Color to the oils once they were melted and used an immersion blender to make sure there were no particles of color floating in the oils. At this point, the oils were a dark blue color, and then I added the lye mixture and used the immersion blender to mix. At first, the color started to turn a green color and then it changed to a murky brown color. The soap stayed at that murky brown color for a short time and I was so sad, but as soon as I had come to terms with the soap being brown, it changed color again to a burnt orange! The soap stayed at the burnt orange color until the soap had hit trace. I poured it into the mold and then allowed the soap to rest for 24 hours. Imagine my surprise when I came back after 24 hours to discover that the soap had turned a lovely purple! Wouldn’t you agree?

8 ounces weight Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
4 ounces weight Coconut Oil
4 ounces weight Olive Oil

2.2 ounces Sodium Hydroxide
6 fluid ounces cool water

Weighing time: 8 minutes
Adding lye to water: 5 seconds, followed by 60 seconds of stirring
Heating of oils time: 2 minutes
Adding color to melted oils: 1 minute
Pouring lye solution into the fat mixture: 5 seconds
Using immersion blender to mix soap solution: 90 seconds
Pour into mold: 10 seconds
Allow soap to rest: 24 hours

Andee

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Random Mold Drawing!

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

As I was sitting at my desk, I realized that I haven’t done a drawing for products for some time. I have 6 beautiful butterfly molds that were discontinued. The molds have three cavities and each cavity holds approximately 3.5 ounces. The dimensions are 3.5″ x 2.75″ x 1.25″. I wish I could keep one for myself, but that means I can’t share the joy of the beautiful molds!

I have a list of comments since May 7th until July 12th and I used a random generator to pick 6 comments as the lucky winners of these molds.

From Rainy on the Farmer’s Market Help for Bath and Body Vendors “How cute is that!!! I love the car freshner idea! I want some sheep!”

From bgmorse on the Coloring Blooming Bath Oils “Andee, that’s a beautiful bath oil! But I have a couple questions. What is it that makes it “blooming” instead of just bath oil? Also, is the Polysorbate 20 tel help the FO mix with the oil? Thanks, Bonnie in OR”

From Bonnie on the Blog Reader’s Challenge Questions Answered, Part 5 “I have this book and it is wonderful. I chose to make the recommended alcohol version of liquid soap. I struggled with knowing when the soap was at trace before I cooked it and probably didn’t stir it enough. Could you include a picture of what trace looks like? Thanks to you and all the MMS staff!! Love soap making and all things moisturizing.”

From patti_56 on the Hot Process Soap by jaspersgarden “Thank you kathy for sharing info on the difference between CP and HP! I can’t wait to try my first batch in HP.”

From Zany on the Blooming Bath Oils “Hi Andee, I just received a bottle of Rose Blooming Bath Oil as a gift — can’t wait to try it! I’d like to try making these as well. Unfortunately, my scale doesn’t weigh less than 1 oz. — so, if using a pipette, 0.06 oz. would convert to ??? ml? Thanks, Cee PS: I use my buckets to make up “master batches” of soap — my normal batches use 90 oz. oils. I make up a 5 X 90 batch and divide it between 5 buckets. My oils are then ready to go whenever I have time or get “the urge”.”

From littlehillsoaps on the Making Soap with Becky “Love the swirling! What was used to color the yellow and orange in the swirl? Was it oxides?”

Congratulations to the winners! I will be sending you an e-mail to get a shipping address to send you this beautiful mold!

Andee

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Rebatching

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

Rebatching.  This is sometimes a dirty word.  What is it and why do people do it?

Rebatching is sometimes confused with milling, or French milling. Rebatching is when a batch of soap is melted and additional items are added or a failed batch is reworked. Rebatching is done to make small, custom batches of soap from a large initial batch. The resulting bar of soap has a shorter shelf life than a properly prepared, handmade batch of soap. Rebatching is also a soap that is more likely to be cosmetically challenged (ugly).

Milling is when excess lye, fat and glycerin are removed from the soap and the resulting soap is shredded into flakes, pressed through a series of rollers and then molded. Milling makes a hard bar of soap that can last a long time. It is also not as skin friendly as a properly prepared, handmade batch of soap. Milled soaps are generally beautifully molded bars. These soaps are also more likely to be brittle.

Rebatching, when done to save a batch, is the only time MMS recommends doing this labor intensive work. Our favorite method of rebatching is the oven method. While still time consuming, the oven method is not a constant attention process.

To rebatch, using the oven method we use, shred or grate all of the soap and put it in an oven proof, lye resistant container (glass or stainless steel please!). Set the oven to 200 degrees F. Pour a bit of boiling water over the soap gratings and mash with a potato masher. I allow 1/2 hour for each pound of fat in the original batch. I mash and stir each 1/2 hour until the mixture appears fully melted and smooth in consistency. The mixture will probably be thick but it shouldn’t have major chunks. Small bits are OK to leave, but do expect color differences in the final bar of soap if you leave any small bits unmelted.

Add boiling water anytime you get a mixture that is too thick or dry. Do not add a lot of boiling water, just a little. If too much boiling water is added, then the soap will expand and probably float. Very wet soap is a problem because as it dries the sides will become concave.

To avoid the work of rebatching, try making each batch correctly the first time. The idea of making a very large batch of soap, then intentionally rebatching 1 lb at a time, seems to be wasteful of life’s precious minutes. No bar of soap that has been rebatched is an improvement over a properly made batch of handmade soap. Rebatching is for prevention of ingredient loss. It is a “waste not, want not” activity.

Tina

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Searching for a Red Color

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009
In my quest to find a red color for Melt & Pour and cold process soap, I thought I would test the Lip Balm Colors, Oil Soluble to see if the Ruby Lip Balm Color would work. Imagine my surprise when both types of soap turned a vibrant orange color.

Melt & Pour Soap Notes:
I melted some Transparent Melt & Pour soap in a large glass beaker and then added some of the Ruby Lip Balm Color to the melted soap. When I first started stirring, the soap had a beautiful ruby color and I was so excited. Then I realized there were still particles of colorant floating around in the soap. I couldn’t get the particles to mix in by hand, so I grabbed the test kitchen immersion blender to see if I could blend in the color particles. Once I started blending, the soap turned orange! I was so shocked, I almost knocked the beaker off the counter!

Melt & Pour Soap on the left and Cold Process Soap on the right.

Melt & Pour Soap on the left and Cold Process Soap on the right.

Cold Process Soap Notes:
I added the Ruby Lip Balm Color to the oils once they were melted and used an immersion blender to make sure there were no particles of color floating in the oils. At this point, the oils were a rich ruby color, and then I added the lye mixture and used the immersion blender to mix. Wow! It turned a bright orange color so quickly, I couldn’t even say “lip balm.” Once the raw soap had hit trace, I poured it into the mold and then allowed the soap to rest for 24 hours. When I cut the soap, it was still a vibrant orange.

8 ounces weight Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
4 ounces weight Coconut Oil
4 ounces weight Olive Oil

2.2 ounces Sodium Hydroxide
6 fluid ounces cool water

Weighing time: 8 minutes
Adding lye to water: 5 seconds, followed by 60 seconds of stirring
Heating of oils time: 2 minutes
Adding color to melted oils: 1 minute
Pouring lye solution into the fat mixture: 5 seconds
Using immersion blender to mix soap solution: 90 seconds
Pour into mold: 10 seconds
Allow soap to rest: 24 hours

Andee

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