Archive for March, 2010

Watermelon Soap

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010
Lately, I’ve been dreaming about watermelon and I’ve even found myself with a mouthful of pillow one morning. You can imagine my disappointment when I realized that it was NOT watermelon! Today, I’m going to show you how I made my recent batch of watermelon soap. I don’t know that it has cured my craving at all, but it is a fun soap!

Collect needed items:

Ingredients
Sweet Almond Oil
Coconut Oil
Palm Kernel Oil
Avocado Butter
Deodorized Cocoa Butter
Sodium Hydroxide
Water
Amethyst Pink Color
Liquid Glycerin
Blueberry Seeds
Kalahari Melon Fragrance Oil
Equipment
Scale
Soap Spoon
Gloves
Guerrilla Soap Mold
Immersion Blender
Time spent:Weighing time: 8 minutes
Adding lye to water: 20 seconds, followed by 60 seconds of stirring
Heating of oils time: 4 minutes
Pouring lye solution into the fat mixture: 15 seconds
Using immersion blender to mix soap solution: 5 minutes
Pour into mold: 45 seconds
Allow soap to rest: 24 hours
Recipe in ounces:
20 ounces Sweet Almond Oil
20 ounces Coconut Oil
20 ounces Palm Kernel Oil
15 ounces Avocado Butter
5 ounces Deodorized Cocoa Butter

11.76 ounces Sodium Hydroxide
20 to 30 ounces water

1 Tablespoon Amethyst Pink Color premixed in glycerin (See Notes for details)

1 Tablespoon Blueberry Seeds

1.2 ounces Kalahari Melon Fragrance Oil

Weigh your fragrance oil and set aside. Measure color and seeds and set aside as well.

Add sodium hydroxide to the water. Mix well. Allow to cool to near 120 °F. Exact temperature is not critical. Allow the lye solution to cool as the oils are being melted. Measure oils on your scale. Warm on the stove or in the microwave. Bring temperature to near 120 °F. Once again, exact temperature is not critical.

Combine oils and lye solution. Stir until thin trace. Upon trace add the fragrance oil, color and seeds. Stir well. Pour soap into molds. I used the Guerrilla Mold from Dirk’s post earlier this week. Allow to sit until soap is firm.

Cut into bars. Stack to allow good air circulation. Allow to cure for several days before using. Longer curing will result in a harder bar.

Notes:
To create my premixed Amethyst Pink Color, I mixed 2 oz wt Amethyst Pink Dry Pigment with 16 oz wt Liquid Glycerin. This allowed the color to be even through out the soap with no speckled clumps of pigment. After all, I didn’t want to take a shower and have red stripes from the clumps!

Don’t forget to submit your blog or video posts to win the MMS Perfumer’s Kit. Remember, this kit is worth $280! Submissions are due by March 1st for posts during February.

Did you know that you can become a fan of Majestic Mountain Sage on Facebook? Receive the latest updates, blog post notifications and more!

Don’t miss your chance to vote for future blog topics! The poll can be found on the right side of the screen between the Join In and Follow us on Twitter sections. Every vote counts! You can choose up to five answers if there are multiple topics you would like to see!

Andee

Watermelon soap. Yummy!

Weighed oils.

Mixing the lye solution.

Adding the lye solution to the melted oils.

Blending the lye solution and oils together.

Mixing to a light trace.

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Milk Soap Challenge – Sheep Milk

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Nina submitted her milk soaps for our Milk Soap Challenge. She used the Half & Half Method with sheep milk.

Enjoy!

I have a special love for milk soaps! In fact I will no longer do without one in my shower. They are all that I make now.

For this soap challenge I decided to use sheep milk; my new favorite! Sheep milk has a higher fat content than goat and cow milk and is wonderful for dry, sensitive skin types. I wanted to create a very gentle soap and I wanted it light in color, which can be hard to achieve with cold process milk soaps.

For this particular recipe I chose oils which are of a lighter appearance to ensure a whiter looking bar.

Ingredients:

30% – Hydrogenated Soybean oil
25% – Palm kernel oil
20% – Rice Bran oil
10% – Sunflower oil
10% – White refined Shea butter
5% – Castor
Aloe juice
Sheep Milk
Lye
White Kaolin clay
Titanium Dioxide
Fragrance Oil
Silk Fibers

1) I weigh and melt the fats, then set aside to cool until room temp. This is to prevent the soap batter from overheating and seizing which milk soaps are notorious for. I usually weigh and heat the fats before preparing the lye because the fats will take longer than the lye solution to cool.

2) While the fats are cooling, I weigh the first half of the total liquid as aloe vera juice and set aside.

3) Next I weigh the second half of the total liquid as milk into a separate jug. I make sure the milk is very cold.

4) I grab the jug of aloe juice and add the lye slowly to the liquid. I then stir the lye solution gently to ensure the lye has fully dissolved.

5) I add the lye solution to the melted oils and blend until I reach a very light trace.

6) Now it’s time to add the milk to the lightly traced soap mixture. With a few short bursts from the blender the milk is fully incorporated.

7) Next I add the (non-discoloring) fragrance oil. Mmmmm

8) Voila! Now the process is complete and the soap mixture is ready to be poured into the mold.

I decided against insulating the mold because again milk soaps are known to get very hot and I wanted to prevent overheating. This will also help the soap to stay a lighter shade.

….

2 weeks later!

I usually allow my soaps to cure for 4 weeks but this week I decided to go ahead and test a bar. Well all I can say is WOW what a dream it was to shower with. The soap is very gentle and moisturizing with a thick creamy lather. YUM!

Hope you enjoyed!

Nina

Don’t forget to submit your blog or video posts to win the MMS Perfumer’s Kit. Remember, this kit is worth $280! Submissions are due by March 1st for posts during February.

Did you know that you can become a fan of Majestic Mountain Sage on Facebook? Receive the latest updates, blog post notifications and more!

Don’t miss your chance to vote for future blog topics! The poll can be found on the right side of the screen between the Join In and Follow us on Twitter sections. Every vote counts! You can choose up to five answers if there are multiple topics you would like to see!

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Guerrilla Soap Mold

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Dirk, one of our web programmers, wrote this excellent tutorial on making a simple soap mold. This tutorial allows anyone to make a mold just with lumber scraps!

Enjoy!

Making your own handmade soap is a great example of chemistry in practical use. You are mixing fats with a solution of lye to convert the fat to soap. Pretty easy isn’t it? I think that once you get over the fear of soap being chemistry, the entire process is a wonderful creative outlet.

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Milk Soap Challenge – Soy Milk

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Stephanie submitted her milk soaps for our Milk Soap Challenge. She used the Half & Half method with Soy Milk and it turned out beautifully. Guess what? I’ll bet if she tries buttermilk again, it will turn out perfectly!

Enjoy!

I decide to try a soy milk for the first time, it was alot of fun. I had tried buttermilk but didn’t have much luck with it.
I used:

Canola oil 11oz
Coca Butter 2oz
Coconut Oil 8oz
Olive Oil 11 oz
Water 6oz
Soy Milk 6oz
Lye 4.5 oz
Tea Tree EO 1 oz

I first mixed water and lye together using the half and half method in mind. Let the water and lye cool to 110 degrees. While waiting I mixed oils together to 110 degrees. Then added the lye mixture to the oil mixture. Use hand blender to light trace then add room temperature soy milk. Mix to medium trace and add Tea Tree EO. Mix well and pour into an empty milk carton. After sitting for 24 hrs. I unmolded the soap and it turn out great, did have some little are bubbles here and there. I love the way it turned out. I think I am getting the hang of soap making after all!

Thanks,
Stephanie

Don’t forget to submit your blog or video posts to win the MMS Perfumer’s Kit. Remember, this kit is worth $280! Submissions are due by March 1st for posts during February.

Did you know that you can become a fan of Majestic Mountain Sage on Facebook? Receive the latest updates, blog post notifications and more!

Don’t miss your chance to vote for future blog topics! The poll can be found on the right side of the screen between the Join In and Follow us on Twitter sections. Every vote counts! You can choose up to five answers if there are multiple topics you would like to see!

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Milk Soap Challenge – Goat’s Milk & Lavender

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Lynda submitted her milk soaps for our Milk Soap Challenge. She used another variation of the Half & Half method and she also included Lavender Buds in her soap. The concentrated lye mixture is added after the milk. This is a different process for sure.

Enjoy!

Yesterday we made our fourth soap – Lavender Goat Milk. We liked the goat milk soaps we purchased in Florida and at a local craft show, so I thought I’d like our next soap to include goat milk. Then I researched soap making with milk and I almost backed out. The first three soaps were so easy. This was going to be a challenge!

This recipe combines oils that were in a soap I bought at a local craft fair (and loved!), plus I added the castor oil and palm oil. I also wanted to incorporate plants from our garden so I included lavender buds from last year’s crop.

Since we were using several more oils and other ingredients than the last three batches, I measured and mixed the smaller items before we even started. I measured the liquid silk and the GSE into their own bowls. I ground the lavender buds and let them soak in the essential oils. I measured out both the water and goat milk and set them aside until we were ready to begin.

Then before working with the lye, we measured all of the oils, putting the solids in the soap pot and the liquids in another container. We then added the liquid silk to the water.

I chose the half water and half milk cold process method. Having less water takes more time for the lye to dissolve and seemed to be hotter. Once the lye was added to the water and dissolved, I melted the solids that were in the soap pot. After that was completed I took the soap pot off the burner and added the liquid oils and the GSE.

Now we stirred and waited for both the oils and the lye water to come down to 95 degrees. When they were around that temperature, I added the room temperature goat milk to the oils. Once they were stirred in, we added the lye water.

I’m not sure how long it took, but it did take longer to come to trace than the other batches. Once it was at trace we added the ground lavender and essential oil mixture and poured it into the 4 lb wood mold. I left the mold on the kitchen counter without any insulation. After 24 hours we took it out of the mold, cut it, and put it away to cure.

Since we ground the buds, they are just flecks of lavender throughout the bars. We might try next time leaving them as buds. I would also leave out the GSE since it sounds like the majority of soapers feel it doesn’t provide any benefit. The soap is a pretty color and a nice lavender smell. They also were firm bars, even after just 24 hours. I will make more milk soap, but will probably cut down on the number of ingredients since they contributed to our stress levels!

Happy Acres Lavender Goat Milk Soap

Mango Butter (5%) 45 grams
Avocado Butter (5%) 45 grams
Shea Butter (5%) 45 grams
Castor Oil (5%) 45 grams
Coconut Oil (30%) 270 grams
Olive Oil (30%) 270 grams
Palm Oil (20%) 180 grams
Water – 171 grams
Goat milk – 171 grams
Lye – 126 grams
Liquid Silk – 9 grams (add to water)
1.5 tablespoon ground lavender buds
2 teaspoons lavender essential oil
1.5 teaspoon grapefruit seed extract (GSE) optional

This makes 4 lbs of soap or 10 bars.

Don’t forget to submit your blog or video posts to win the MMS Perfumer’s Kit. Remember, this kit is worth $280! Submissions are due by March 1st for posts during February.

Did you know that you can become a fan of Majestic Mountain Sage on Facebook? Receive the latest updates, blog post notifications and more!

Don’t miss your chance to vote for future blog topics! The poll can be found on the right side of the screen between the Join In and Follow us on Twitter sections. Every vote counts! You can choose up to five answers if there are multiple topics you would like to see!

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Milk Soap Challenge – Goat’s Milk

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Holly submitted her milk soaps for our Milk Soap Challenge. Again, we have the Skim Milk Method being used to add the milk. I think it looks like lots of fun!

Enjoy!

I used an olive, palm, coconut, castor, and avocado oil combo. I mixed my lye with distilled water at 75% of the water amount. I brought my soap to trace as usual and then added the following 25% of liquid water amount as canned goats milk. The canned version is concentrated and I add it as is instead of diluting it. Since it is concentrated, using it at 25% should be the same as using goats milk at 50%. I did add some titanium dioxide to this batch to help lighten it up some.

Don’t forget to submit your blog or video posts to win the MMS Perfumer’s Kit. Remember, this kit is worth $280! Submissions are due by March 1st for posts during February.

Did you know that you can become a fan of Majestic Mountain Sage on Facebook? Receive the latest updates, blog post notifications and more!

Don’t miss your chance to vote for future blog topics! The poll can be found on the right side of the screen between the Join In and Follow us on Twitter sections. Every vote counts! You can choose up to five answers if there are multiple topics you would like to see!

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Milk Soaps Challenge – Buttermilk

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Rebekah submitted her milk soaps for our Milk Soap Challenge. Rebekah’s method is simple, easy to follow and should be exciting to try. If you want to make milk soap, but you aren’t sure about the Half and Half method, this is a good compromise to try. What should we call this method? The Quarters Method? The 3/4s method? The Skim Milk Method?

Enjoy!

Oatmeal, Milk, & Honey Soap: Scented or Unscented. Why not both?

Some people love fragrance oils and some people prefer a more natural option. I made a 6 pound batch of oatmeal, milk, and honey soap to please both. I was a little shy about using milk, so I used more water than buttermilk for this attempt.

Ingredients
30 oz Canola
30 oz shortening (Crisco)
30 oz coconut
6 oz olive oil
13.8 oz lye
24 oz water
1 Tablespoon un-iodized salt
1 cup buttermilk
4 oz oatmeal
2 oz honey
2 oz rice bran oil
8 grams vitamin E
1 oz oatmeal, milk, and honey fragrance oil

First I dissolved the salt into the water. Then I mixed the lye into the water. I weighed out the canola, shortening, coconut, and olive oils and
put them in a large enamel pot on the stove on low heat. While the lye solution cooled and the oils melted, I ground the oatmeal into a fine powder with a coffee bean grinder. I mixed the rice bran oil, vitamin E, oatmeal, honey, and buttermilk in a small bowl. When the lye solution and the oils were both at about 110 degrees, I mixed them together with a stick blender. When the soap was almost to trace, I blended in the buttermilk mixture. I poured about 2 pounds of this soap into a 6 cavity silicon muffin pan, creating 5 ounce bars of unscented soap. Then I blended the fragrance oil into the remaining 4 pounds of soap in the enamel pot. I poured the scented soap into a loaf mold, creating 4.5 ounce bars of scented soap. I sprinkled oatmeal on top of both bars for a decorative touch. Best of both worlds! I
got 6 unscented bars and 15 scented bars.

In the future, I will not put salt in the water. It made the soap set up really quickly after I added the buttermilk mixture. I had to work fast to
get it into the molds before it seized in the pot. I tried buttermilk soap before Andee’s blog post. The batch had incomplete saponification and my buttermilk curdled when I added the lye! I love Andee’s half and half method. The soap turned out great.

Don’t forget to submit your blog or video posts to win the MMS Perfumer’s Kit. Remember, this kit is worth $280! Submissions are due by March 1st for posts during February.

Did you know that you can become a fan of Majestic Mountain Sage on Facebook? Receive the latest updates, blog post notifications and more!

Don’t miss your chance to vote for future blog topics! The poll can be found on the right side of the screen between the Join In and Follow us on Twitter sections. Every vote counts! You can choose up to five answers if there are multiple topics you would like to see!

Finished soap.

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Milk Soaps Challenge – Goat’s Milk Soaps

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Dear Readers,

I’ve been absent from this microphone lately for two reasons. 1) I’ve been participating in a community play and while I’m sad that it will be ending soon, I’m also excited to write a daily blog again. 2) I recently came down with a lovely cold that traveled to my sinuses very quickly. I have several blog posts ready for you to read and I will release one each day of the week. Today, I’ll release the Milk Soap Challenge Responses from Terry and Rebekah. Tomorrow I’ll release another Milk Soap Challenge Response and on Thursday, I’ll release the post about my first time making cream soap.

Terry submitted her milk soaps for our Milk Soap Challenge. While Terry’s method is different from ours, it is a different perspective and worthy of review. If you are just starting with milk soaps or you are having problems with Terry’s method, go back to the fail proof Half and Half Method.

Enjoy!

I have been making soap for a little over two years now, and just love how creative I can be, either with color, scents or molds. I have only bought a few “real” molds, instead I just made a few wooden boxes, used round PVC, rain down spouts, or just about any square baking dishes, etc. I don’t like all my soaps to look alike, so I change the shapes.

I recently made goat’s milk soap and wanted to share the process with others. Handmade cream soaps are out of this world and your skin will feel so smooth. It is not really any more difficult than using distilled water or other liquids, just a few steps during the lye process will help keep your soaps stay nice a white.

My very first batch was a milk soap, when I added the lye, it immediately turned bright orange and had funny lumps. I ran straight to my soap forum to ask for help. A very experienced soaper (as in an author who has written 4 or 5 books) said “dear” I think you should start with something a little simpler and work your way up to milk soaps. Are you kidding, not me, I want to start with something difficult and work my way backwards. Anyway, the soap did turn
out fine, I just wasn’t prepared for the interaction with the milk and lye. Then there was the time I wanted to make coconut milk soap, inspired by a coconut sitting in the produce section for only $1.39, but that is a whole other story.

I will go through my process, geared more towards someone who has experience with cold process, but newcomers or beginners are welcome to ask questions too.

First, I decided what size batch I wanted to make and then I created my recipe. I decided to make a batch that used 28 oz. of oil. Here is the breakdown of my recipe:

10.64 ounces Goats milk
3.9 ounces lye
6.16 ounces coconut oil
8.4 ounces lard
2.8 ounces grapeseed oil
5.6 ounces olive oil
5.04 ounces sunflower oil

If you decide to use this recipe, be sure to run it through a lye calculator just for extra caution.

Before you start your process, decide and prepare what mold you want to use. For this batch I used both a celtic mold and a heart mold. The batch made nine soaps from the celtic and five from the heart mold. The other day, I was making back to back soap batches and knew the mold I wanted to use, but when it was almost time to pour I couldn’t find it and had to scramble to find something else. I knew as soon as I was finished, I would find that mold! Yep, there it was under the kitchen sink, where I had used it to check for a leaky faucet. Plan ahead.

Before I start gathering and weighing all of my ingredients, I weigh the goat’s milk and pour it into ice cube trays. Once they are frozen, I try to cut them in half and place in a stainless steel pan or glass container to add the lye. My dogs love ice cubes, so I had to convince them, or bribe is more like it, these were not for them! After I have all of my ingredients together, I weigh them in the pot I will be using to melt the oils. Be sure to use a good scale. A cup of flour and a cup of water, do not weigh the same, even though they fit in the same container. Now comes the extra step with the GM, pour a little lye over the ice cubes (never liquid into the lye!!!) and stir. Continue to add just a little lye at a time and keep stirring, this way the milk doesn’t get so hot it scorches the milk and turns it an orange color. It doesn’t hurt the finished product, it just depends on the color you are looking for.

Once lye and oils are about 100 degrees, lye mixture may be a little cooler, but that is OK, use a stick blender to bring to trace. What is trace? When I first started, I looked for the drops to make an indentation on the top of the mixture, or make a trail across the top when you pulled a spatula through. I think trace means when everything is completely emulsified, and depending on your oils can take as little as 5 minutes or longer. I usually look to see when the
mixture is a little thicker in consistency and there is no variation in color from
the different oils, all one creamy color.

Now that you have your mold ready, remember plan ahead, pour the soap. I usually cover it with a cutting board if it is a large square, or wax paper. There seems to be a difference in opinion about covering it and insulating with towels or blankets. Some say it makes it’s own heat, others say insulate to keep the heat in. I normally will cover it and insulate and then unmold in about 24 hours.

I shrink wrap my soaps and then label, it keeps them cleaner and holds the scent. With this soap I did add a few drops of warm vanilla fragrance at trace, just seemed like cream and vanilla went together.

Have fun soaping and be adventurous. The worst thing that will happen is you might have to toss a batch (hasn’t happened to me yet), the best thing is people will think you are a genius and love your soap.

Don’t forget to submit your blog or video posts to win the MMS Perfumer’s Kit. Remember, this kit is worth $280! Submissions are due by March 1st for posts during February.

Did you know that you can become a fan of Majestic Mountain Sage on Facebook? Receive the latest updates, blog post notifications and more!

Don’t miss your chance to vote for future blog topics! The poll can be found on the right side of the screen between the Join In and Follow us on Twitter sections. Every vote counts! You can choose up to five answers if there are multiple topics you would like to see!

Celtic Mold.

Heart Mold.

Soap curing on a wire rack.

Finished soap.

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New Containers

Friday, March 19th, 2010
I’m so excited to share our latest additions to the catalog with you! We just released the Daisy Lip Balm Pots and they are just so much fun. These pots are easy to fill and a wonderful bonus is that you can stack several pots and have a collection of lip balms that stay together. Who wouldn’t love these cute Daisy Lip Balm Pots? Don’t forget to use the Oil Soluble Lip Balm Colors to give your lip balm a beautiful color!

I will be creating a new poll so I can learn what you would like to read on future blog posts. If you have requests for items to be on the poll, please send them to me. I think I know what you want, now you get to prove my theory right or wrong. You can be specific in your requests: Chamomile Herbal Cold Process Soap or you can be vague : More lotions please

Either way, I’m listening.

Don’t forget to submit your blog or video posts to win the MMS Perfumer’s Kit. Remember, this kit is worth $280! Submissions are due by April 1st for posts during March.

Did you know that you can become a fan of Majestic Mountain Sage on Facebook? Receive the latest updates, blog post notifications and more!

Our new Daisy Pots!

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What is Saponification?

Thursday, March 18th, 2010
This is a question that comes up for everyone learning to make soap. I recently stumbled across this cute illustrated explanation of saponification.

This is a fun way to enjoy learning about saponification without covering several whiteboards with chemical changes at the molecular level. I wish all confusing questions could be solved this way!

Over on The Sage Soapmaker’s Forum, we have a Pampered Mother’s Day Swap. Come over and join our swap to pamper those special mothers! The last day to sign up is March 25th, so hurry and come on over as we would love to have you join this swap. These swaps are not only fantastic ways to share products, but also help you get great feedback about your submission.

Don’t forget to submit your blog or video posts to win the MMS Perfumer’s Kit. Remember, this kit is worth $280! Submissions are due by April 1st for posts during March.

Did you know that you can become a fan of Majestic Mountain Sage on Facebook? Receive the latest updates, blog post notifications and more!

© 2008 Canis Art

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