Christmas Cupboard Gifts – Beth

Over our break, I received an email from Beth. Her first order from us was on its way and she had some questions. Beth, welcome to the adventure and fun of making your own toiletries and cosmetics. Beth is located in Florida and was concerned about our Shea Butter Lip Solution melting while in your pocket. Excellent question. During the summer and even down south in the winter, this is a major concern for many people. I mean, who wants an oil stain in their pants pocket? I’ll pass, thanks. Beth, you can use to the Shea Butter Lip Solutions as is, or if you want it firmer, you can add some beeswax. How simple is that? How would you know what you want? The plate test! We finding adding up to 1 oz of beeswax gives a lot firmer varitaion. Add small amounts at a time and plate test after each addition.


Now Beth also sent me a list of what is in her cupboard. Shall we take a look and have some fun? Let’s head off to the kitchen for some fun! In Beth’s cupboard, there is; Olive Oil, Sunflower Oil, Coconut Oil, Castor Oil, Lanolin, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Beeswax, dried Calendula Petals, Plumberry Spice Fragrance Oil, Honey Harvest Fragrance Oil, Tassi Lavender Fragrance Oil, Shea Butter Lip Solution and Vitamin E Oil. I think we should make a lip balm recipe that Beth could also use as a base for a solid perfume. Are you ready? Let’s go!


Recipe in Ounces
2.01 ounces Beeswax
0.50 ounces Shea Butter
1.00 ounces Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
2.51 ounces Castor Oil
1.00 ounces Coconut Oil
1.50 ounces Cocoa Butter
0.50 ounces Sunflower Oil
1.00 ounces Olive Oil
Recipe in Percentages
20% Beeswax
5% Shea Butter
10% Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
25% Castor Oil
10% Coconut Oil
15% Cocoa Butter
5% Sunflower Oil
10% Olive Oil

Weigh all of the oils into a microwave container. Heat gently until liquid. Pour into lip balm tubes or jars. This recipe will make 50 regular tubes.

Beth, to make a flavored lip balm, add the flavor oil of your choice and pour into tubes or jars. To make a solid perfume, add the fragrance oil of your choice and pour into tubes or jars. Be sure to check the usage rates on your flavor or fragrance oils. Enjoy!

Capped Lip Balm Tubes.
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Freebie Friday! Er… Tuesday?

Ah… Freebie Friday. It has been a while since I have had a Freebie Friday so this week we are having Freebie Tuesday! With the final mad dash to the holidays and finals upon me, I have hardly had time to breathe let alone make soap! As I was scrambling for time and inspiration, I came upon some samples waiting to be sent out. So, in order to share some resources that might be a source of inspiration I have a Freebie Friday (er… Tuesday) for this week. Yay!

The first fragrance on my list today is Lavender Flowers. Sometimes lavender can be strong and medicinal and just way too intense. This fragrance is nothing like that. It is a genteel lavender that is soft, sweet and well rounded in its floral notes. Very popular on its own, I have seen it recommended to be blended with vanilla or chocolate. Yum. Either would be lovely but I think I would prefer the vanilla blend. 😉 Well, I will never know until I try both!

Next on our list to “discover” is Cotton. This is a fresh clean scent that is wonderful. I really like to use this fragrance as a linen spray. Things have a freshly washed odor and it almost smell like clothes have been hanging out on a line, sway in a delicate breeze.

Let’s turn our attention to Ginger. Our Ginger Fragrance Oil is spicy and fresh with a hint of floral. This is sure to be a hit! Don’t miss out on this fabulous scent for the holidays!

Now we can look at Romantic Wish.  This scent is a blend of orange, apple and pear. It is complemented by jasmine, lily and sweet melon, with a base note of sensual musk. I really like this scent. It is soft, sweet and feminine. This is a must try!

Next on our list today is Green Tea. Now this isn’t like a cold cup of over steeped tea. This is like a fresh hot cup of green tea with the delicate flavors just beginning to bloom and inviting the drinker in for the first sip. This is sure to delight any green tea drinker!

Let’s look at Relaxation now. This is a soft fragrance of white lilies, hyacinth, jasmine, tuberose and vanilla, that has a hint of musk and spice and a touch of lemon. This is a wonderful scent that invite you to slow down and relax. Try this in Cold Process soap. The scent blooms when wet. Wow!

Do you need a fragrance that is a treat? Try Pink Sugar! This olfactory treat has a strong base of vanilla wrapped up neatly with soft bergamot, sweet raspberry, delectable fig, rich caramel and sensual musk. Try this yummy fragrance without counting the calories. YAY!

Last on our list today is Wild Strawberry. This fragrance is absolutely luscious. This fragrance makes me think of warm summer days, when I have gone hiking in one of the local canyons and discover the treasure of wild strawberries. Wild strawberries are always small, but they have more flavor than what one can imagine.  In this fragrance, some one went hunting for wild strawberries and stuffed them in a bottle. This is a must have for every berry lover.

Now remember, you can request any of these fragrances in your next order. These are a great way to receive ideas and inspiration. Try it out!


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Christmas Cupboard Gifts – Deb

Deb emailed in asking for help formulating a mint lip balm that is tingly when she applies it. Let’s take a look at her cupboard and see what we can do for her!

Deb has Shea Butter, Castor Oil, Olive Oil, Palm Oil, Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil, Hemp Seed Oil and Beeswax. In her formulation, we will use, Shea Butter, Castor Oil, Coconut Oil, Hemp Seed Oil and Beeswax. This lip balm is firm with a smooth glide. Wow, Deb, you are in for a treat! This recipe will fill 100 tubes.


Recipe in Ounces
2.31 ounces Beeswax
.7 ounces Shea Butter
2.01 Hemp Seed Oil
3.02 Castor Oil
2.01 Coconut Oil
Recipe in Percentages
23% Beeswax
7% Shea Butter
20% Hemp Seed Oil
30% Castor Oil
20% Coconut Oil

Weigh all of the oils into a microwave container. Heat gently until liquid. Pour into lip balm tubes or jars.

Deb, for a strong mint flavor, I would start with a 0.7% usage rate of the Peppermint Essential Oil. Enjoy!


Capped Lip Balm Tubes.
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Christmas is HERE!

Ack! Can you believe that Christmas is this Sunday? Egads! Do you need help making last minute gifts? This week we will be helping you make last minute recipes with items that are in your cupboard. Send us an email with a list of oils, butters and containers you have, and we will help you formulate a fast and easy recipe to help you get everyone on your list taken care of. We are going to focus on scrubs, lip balms, lotion bars and lotions. Keep an eye on the blog as we help people gift from what is in their cupboard. I am so excited to help! Best wishes everyone! 


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Guest Blog Theme – Gratitude

The guest blog theme for next week is gratitude. Many of us could not be where we are today without the help of others and it is always good to share your gratitude from those whom you receive a smile, a dinner or treat, a raise, a sale, inspiration or their time. People like to be helpful and they appreciate receiving a thanks for it.


Tell us how soap or cosmetic making has given you the gift of gratitude or you can show your gratitude to all of those who have helped you get where you are today and become the person you are. We really want to hear your story. As a child, I remember learning about gratitude. My mother has a collection of cassette tapes from Bright Music and gratitude was one of the values I learned from those tapes. Even now, when I think of gratitude I can hear, “When you have a gratitude attitude, others are going to love you, love you…” and “Think about a thank you, think about a thank you. It doesn’t hurt a bit to say…”. It makes me smile when I hear those songs in my head and the next time I visit my mother, I am sure to think of those precious cassette tapes tuck away in their drawer waiting to be played again.


Remember, your entry gives you a chance to win a $100 dollar certificate! Wahoo! Submit your story today!




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Family Guest Blog – Julie

I cannot say that soap making is a “family affaire” in my case, but more a personal passion. As I reflect on how it has impacted my family in the last few years, I have started to realize how everyone has their own role in my little passion.

I first started making cold process soap as an answer to my son’s extremely sensitive skin. He was barely a few months old and was already plagued with dry skin, eczema, impetigo and the like. I quickly realized that babies do not really need soap, but since making soap was so much fun, I started making it for my family and friends. My son is now three years old and still does not use soap for bathing. He actually think soap is something for “big people”, and can’t wait to be old enough to use those cute round smelly things mommy makes! He is fascinated by my soaps. He helps me place them on the drying shelves once they are cut and stamped. And if the next time he checks on them they have changed position, you can be sure I get scolded for it!

I now have another little one. She is not yet one year old, but has “shared” my soap passion from the womb. As I decided to stay home for a year after her birth, I used some of my spare time to expand my soap making passion into a little soap making company. Her great blue eyes and happy smile are always great assets when selling products at baby shows! Like her brother, she does not use soap yet, but as my soaping endeavours have spread to other body products, she is always willing to try new butt cream or new baby massage butter. Her role is greatly appreciated!

From the start, my husband has been my greatest supporter and my greatest challenge. He thinks making soap is amusing because I wear a scientist’s lab coat. He often assists me by taking care of the kids during my soaping hours, providing me with mould materials (he is a plumber, so the round ones are his speciality!) and packing the car before and after a show. He has tried everyone of my soap and provided me with feedback. Even the ones he think stink. BUT … here’s my never-ending challenge: I have yet to make one that beats his store bought Pears soap! He swears that my soaps are the best (sweet of him) of all the store bought and handmade soap he has try, except for his favourite Pears soap. So he keeps me going. Hopefully one day I will meet his challenge!

So you see, even though I am the only one making soap in my family, my family is why my soaps are what they are. And that is very precious to me.


Soaping at nine months pregnant
Genevive selling soap!
Luwin building soap molds

Luwin sorting soap
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Family Guest Blog – Judy

For me, making soap is all about family.  My oldest daughter has sensitive skin that is prone to eczema and painful drying and cracking in the winter months.  After buying some handcrafted cold process soap, I was inspired to learn to make it for her.  I started with Kathy Miller’s wonderful site for the beginner,   Kathy is a wonderful lady, generous with her knowledge and time, also devoted to family, and was kind enough to correspond with me when I was a relative newbie.As I have developed as a soap maker, I have made individual recipes tailored to family members’ tastes and preferences.  My daughters also offer ideas and inspirations.  My youngest, then 8, wanted a “cocoa-nut” soap, scented with coconut fragrance oil and swirled with cocoa powder.  She also loves lemon poppy seed muffins so together we invented a soap with poppy seeds, lemongrass EO, and anise.  I colored it with charcoal and a bit of virgin palm oil and poured it in layers.  Bumblebee soap was born!  A recent request,  watermelon soap (more poppy seeds!) took quite a lot of planning to carry out.


For my older daughter of the dry skin I formulated a simple superfatted soap with just three oils – avocado, babassu and cocoa butter.  This became ABC soap and all of the ingredients including fragrance (but minus sodium hydroxide) began with the letters A, B or C.  For my sister, whose 50th birthday I missed due to the great blizzard back east at the end of 2010, I made a soap in her honor on that day because I could not be with her.  She loves cinnamon rolls, so I made a soap fragrant with cinnamon bark essential oil and almond and vanilla fragrance oils, swirled with ground cinnamon.  I have one bar left and it still smells great.



My husband is an outdoorsman and a hunter.  Last fall he bagged an elk and I rendered elk tallow for the first time.  I processed it with rosemary and mint from our garden and made a soap just for him.  It is reminiscent of a campfire with a light gray smokey swirl made from the charcoal from our wood burning stove.  I also recently made a soap with oils infused with cedar fronds and rosemary from our yard and scented with black spruce, folded lemon, and hints of vetiver, black pepper and galbanum.  Smells like a forest!


For my dear grandmother, about whom I have written before, I made a soap in her memory on the blue moon of last year, redolent with almond and cardamom and luxury oils that would have been kind to her older skin.


Finally, there is my extended family of friends, co-workers, and teachers.  My older daughter, and now my youngest, have been performing in a local production of the Nutcracker and in other ballets for the last four years.  This has become a family tradition and these young dancers have become like family to me.  I feel like I have a dozen extra teenage daughters!  I have been making limited edition soaps as gifts to cast members for opening night.  Last year for Nutcracker, I did an orange spice.  This year cranberry spice and pumpkin chai.  For the Alice in Wonderland ballet, “Red Court Raspberry.”  For teachers, I’ve been making soaps in school colors.  And for one of my graduate students, Scott, I offered to make soap favors for his wedding gift.  Imagine my surprise (dismay?) to find out he and his bride had invited 200 guests!


Using my loved ones as a source of inspiration enriches my creativity and makes my products special and meaningful to me, and I hope, to the recipients.



Alice Soaps
Cocoa Nut Soap
Nutcracker Soap
Watermelon Soap
Elk Tallow Soap
Lemon Poppy Anise Soap
Pumpkin Chai Soap
Spruce Soap

Scott & Mary's Wedding Favors
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Family Guest Blog – Crystal

Family,For many it is just a word, but for me it is the center of my soul. I am the youngest of eight children, my father passed away when I was only 3, leaving my mother with seven children still at home. My mother is a very strong woman, she went to work at the sugar factory and then in the coal mines, just to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. That left the older children to take care of the younger ones. Me, I was spoiled rotten of course because I was the baby. We managed, and I have great respect for all of my older siblings, as well as my mother. I learned to cook and clean at a very young age, and to embroider, paint, crochet, latch hook (or I at least that is what I think it is called), and many other creative outlets.


You see, my mom is the craftiest person I know; she can cut doll clothes patterns from a piece of newspaper. Fashion an old tube sock into a Barbie dress. Look at a piece of wood and tell you what she can make out of it. From her we have all etched our creative side into this world. My oldest sister is amazing at sewing, quilts, aprons, dresses you name it she can sew it. My brothers; one runs his own cabinet shop, as well as makes custom furniture, the other has a water jet machine that creates whatever his imagination can draw up. My sister Pat, she is amazing, she gardens, crochets, sews (if she has too), and makes lotions and potions. Dema is also great at sewing, and crochets baby blankets. Bobbie, well she is there for support. She does not sew, or crochet, but she has a great eye for designing brochures, fliers and the computer technical kind of stuff. My sister Gwen passed away from lung cancer 18 months ago, and although she is gone, she is in my thoughts. She liked to cross stitch and sew baby quilts. That leaves me; I am betting most of you know what my creative passion is…… Yep Soap! However, I do know how to crochet, embroider, and create just about anything I put my mind to.


One would think that being from such a large family that I would have married into a small one….. Not a chance. My husband is the youngest of eight as well; yes I have a huge family. I was lucky enough to marry in to a family that brought me in as one of their own. There are always days when one butts heads with their mother in law, but she is just as supportive as my mom. And I am very lucky to have her in my life as well.


Family does not always mean blood, or marriage. I have a few friends that are sisters, because they have stolen my heart many moons ago. They too offer support. I could not leave out my online family, the Forum at MMS; you are all so helpful and supportive. I know just where to go if I need a question answered, or a shoulder to lean on because something (probably soap) just blew up in my kitchen. The tears and laughter we share are like none that are shared with anyone else. Only we are insane enough to have this passion of soap making, a hobby that has a mind of its own!


You would think I would be done; I have saved the best for last, my husband and kids. They are my light, my joy, my soul. I have been married for 22 years, and have three amazing teenagers. My husband supports me, by listening nonstop about soap, fragrances, what sells, and making my molds, again and again, until the right size is achieved. My kids give my soap as gifts, always recommend my product, and are there for packaging help, dishwashers, test subjects and inspiration. And for that I love them deeply.


You may ask yourself what this short history on my family has to do with my current soap business. Support, every one of them supports me in my passion. My mother will come and package, or give creative ideas, or just visit on long days of making product in my kitchen. Pat and I bounce ideas off of each other all of the time. Bobbie lives in the big city and goes shopping for those items that I cannot find locally or are too expensive to ship, as well as helping me with my brochures and fliers. John makes soap dishes for me, and I trade product for herbs from Tom’s wife Kim. Dema and her family buy soap, a lot of soap; she is my business person to go to when I have questions. The Decker side of the family spreads the word about Dirty Water Soap, and little by little my tiny company is growing.


You see, family, is my soul, they have always been there, and are now ever more present in my soaping world. I would not have my life be any other way.


Just for curiosity: These figures include in laws as well. I have 1 husband ( who needs more than one?) 3 children, 2 mothers, 1 father,  23 brothers and sisters, 46 nieces and nephews, 30 great nieces and nephews and one great great nephew. I am not old enough to have that many family members! Most of them use Dirty Water Soap, how great is that?


Enjoy your family this holiday season, pull them close, and hug them tight, you never know when you will get another chance!



Dirty Water Soap Works

This picture was taken 5 years ago. This is my side of the family, and my oh my how it has grown since!

Mom and Dad Decker, myself, my husband, and our 3 kids
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Charity Guest Blogger – Cheryl

Over the years of doing crafts and soap making; I have learned so much about myself. It has taught me to be patient and to never give up (some projects you have to do over and over till it gets done right). But most important it has taught me to give back, and to share with the less fortunate children that are not able to do the crafts whatever their situation might be.


Every year I spend countless hours trying to find donations, donating myself to give to the children the learning and wonderful experience of crafting. The 100’s of children we have been able to give to and meet have taught me to never give up on anything, and when things get tough to just keep your head high.


We had to close our construction company this year do to the fall of the economy and it has brought a strain and depression I would not wish on anybody. And I always think back to the children that don’t have a roof over their head; and I make myself remember it could be worse and to just have faith!


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Charity Guest Blogger – Ana

The principle of charity, the pure love of our fellow beings, has been and will be a lifetime endeavor. I’ve got a long way to go before I come anywhere close to getting good at it, but the journey has been rewarding and the effort worthwhile. The thing about it, though, is that it has to be done on a one-on-one basis. There is no blanket answer to loving another person, whether we know them well or not. I can’t just say, “I love you all, so very, very much”, and believe that one size fits all! It takes getting in the trenches, getting down and dirty with another person who needs some help, to really know what another needs and if I have that to offer.

What I’m striving to do with my personal care products business is to include that principle of individual worth and needs into each product. It’s truly my motivation.

I started soaping because I needed something different from what was on the market in general. I needed something that was good to my skin, something I could live with, and something that had my own personal touch involved. I love it that I can create different soaps and lotions that offer different qualities that meet different needs. My friend C’s skin is too dry for commercial products and even for many other handcrafted products, but I can make her something that works for her. My husband gets really grody at work, and I can make a soap that scrubs the gunk off his hands but leaves his skin soft and intact. I think of different people who I know, their needs, and I begin creating (my SIL calls is brewing!) something for them.

Much of my research and development, my R&D, my song and joy, is driven by who I know that needs something specific, and then I get to find out if it works for them by having them be my testers, giving me feedback in candid and constructive ways that I truly need. We both gain from this loving principle!

Ana Baird



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