Category Archives: Soap

Packaged Soap – Caramel Style

Packaging Inspiration. Yum!
Packaging Inspiration. Yum!

One of the hardest parts about making soap for me isn’t formulating or mixing or even swirling. It is packaging. There is a mind boggling amount of packaging available for soap. You can use shrink bands, cigar bands, boxes, bags and more! You can even leave your soaps “naked”. Today I wanted to share a fun way to package your soaps. It is especially great for the upcoming holidays. Red, green and gold anyone?

Finished Wrapped Soaps
Finished Wrapped Soaps

What actually inspired this packaging was caramels. Every year, the women of my family gather in someone’s kitchen and we make caramels. Not the pre-made type that you melt down or cut. No, we make caramels from cream and sugar and butter.  The kind of caramels that your grandmother remembers with a wistful smile.

Placing Soap
Placing Soap

After we have stood over the hot stove stirring till each of our arms has given out, we pour the caramel onto my mother’s marble block so that it may cool. Once the caramel has cooled, we slice that huge slab into bite sized pieces and we wrap it in little twists of paper. They remind me a little of salt water taffy when we are done. They are beautiful and a much coveted treat during the holidays.  Come join me as we wrap another welcome gift, soap!

Wrapping Soap
Wrapping Soap

For this project you will need your finished soap cut into bars, tissue paper, tape and ribbon. Let’s get started!

Lay your tissue paper out flat, short end toward you. Place your soap in the center, closer to the top. Wrap the top of the tissue paper toward yourself and roll the soap until you reach the bottom of the tissue paper. Secure with a small piece of tape.

Placing Tape
Placing Tape

Crinkle the excess paper that is right next to the bar. This allows you to tie a ribbon around this section with relative ease. Tie a ribbon around the section of tissue paper that your crinkled. Repeat on the other side. You are done and ready to present your soap!

Taylor

 

Crimping Tissue Paper
Crimping Tissue Paper

P.S. Send pictures of your holiday packaging for a chance to win one of our Extra Large Handmade Tray molds. You must be an MMS customer to win. Winners will be selected by the MMS Staff based on creativity and visual appeal. Two winners will be selected. Submissions must be sent to blog@thesage.com by 12:00 PM on November 25th or they will be disqualified. Prizes will ship December 3rd.

Tying Ribbon
Tying Ribbon

 

 

 

 

 

Finished Soap
Finished Soap
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Honey and Beeswax Soap

Finished Honey and Beeswax Soap
Finished Honey and Beeswax Soap

I had a lot of fun experimenting with honey and beeswax in soap. But what about putting them together? What kinds of risks and challenges might one face? What will the finished soap be like? Today, I wanted to make a soap containing both honey and beeswax so that we can answer these questions. Join me in the blog kitchen for some sweet fun!

Ready to make soap
Ready to make soap

I am really curious about combining both honey and beeswax in soap. In the soaping world, we generally recognize sugars as heat sensitive ingredients. Honey is no different. So how do we make soap using one ingredient that requires high heat for mixing but another requires low heat? Are you ready to find out?

Ingredients
Coconut Oil
Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
Olive Oil
Beeswax
Water
Lye
Honey
Equipment
Scale
Microwave Safe Container
Spoons
Pipettes

Recipe:

Recipe in Grams
170 g Coconut Oil
156 g Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
113 g Olive Oil
14 g Beeswax
177 mL Water
64 g Lye
7 grams Honey
Recipe in Ounces
6 oz Coconut Oil
5.5 oz Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
4 oz Olive Oil
0.5 oz Beeswax
6 fl oz Water
2.28 oz Lye
0.25 oz Honey
Recipe in Percentages
37.5% Coconut Oil
34.38% Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
25% Olive Oil
3.12% Beeswax
Q.S. Water
Q.S. Lye
Q.S. Honey

 

Adding Lye Solution to Oils
Adding Lye Solution to Oils

Weigh all of the oils into a microwave safe container. Heat gently until they become liquid. While your oils are heating, weigh out the sodium hydroxide. Add the lye to the 6 oz of water. Never add water to your lye container. It can cause a dangerous volcano. Your safety is of the utmost importance. When your oils are at about 160º F and lye solution are at about 110º F, add the lye solution to the oil mixture. Mix until you reach a light trace.

Mixing Soap
Mixing Soap

The reason why there is such a large temperature difference between the two mixtures is because we do not want to beeswax to solidify nor do we want the soap to overheat. The difference in temperatures allows for the soap to be mixed without volcanoing out of the mold. Once light trace has been achieved, add the honey.

Adding Honey
Adding Honey

I like to have had my honey sitting in a warm water bath so it is easier and faster to get it into my batch of soap. I also like to hand stir the honey into the soap. This prevents over mixing and pudding like consistencies. Pour the soap into a mold. Allow to sit for at least 12 hours. Cut and allow the soap to cure.

Mixing Honey into Soap
Mixing Honey into Soap

If you are not sure if the soap is fully cured, check out this post. It helps makes sense of the mysterious cure time and dispels some popular and dangerous myths. If you need help keeping track of your curing soap, try our fabulous cure cards. We can even include them into qualifying orders for free! Enjoy your soap!

Soap in the mold
Soap in the mold

Notes: When I added the honey to my raw soap and stirred it in, there was a color change but it didn’t seem as drastic as my plain honey soap. I can’t figure out why. What did seem fairly drastic was when my soap started to gel. It became a very dark brown, almost black in appearance. I was afraid it would get so hot that the soap would crack but it did not.

Soap going through gel phase
Soap going through gel phase

When I cut the soap 12 hours later, the soap was a deep tan color. It also smelled like burnt sugar, somewhat like a dark caramel. I was really surprised by the odor because my other soaps had such minimal odor, it wasn’t very noticeable.

I tested the soap at the sink and was pleasantly surprised by the rich, frothy lather that was produce. Wow! Talk about incredible. I even used this bar on my face and am pleased by the results. It is not drying but does not feel heavy either. After patting my face dry, my skin felt like I had put on a very small amount of light moisturizer on it. I think this bar has a permanent place in my bathroom.

Finished soap
Finished soap

If you will be adding honey and beeswax to your soap, please keep the following in mind: we recommend you do not exceed 1 tsp of honey per pound of fat. We also recommend that you do not exceed 0.5 oz of beeswax per pound of fat. These are luxury ingredients where a little goes a very long way.  It is also recommending when using temperature sensitive ingredients that you use mold where you do not pour more than 2 inches deep. Happy soapmaking!

Remember, I will be sending samples of these soaps to the shipping department. If you want to try one, let us know through the comment field of your next order.

Taylor

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Beeswax in Soap

Finished Beeswax Soap
Finished Beeswax Soap

Yesterday we made soap with honey in it. I had so much fun with it, I had to continue along the same train of thought. What happens when you add beeswax to soap? Why would you add beeswax to soap? What does it feel like? Let’s answer this question and more!

Beeswax is high in unsaponifiable material. This means it has a lot of material that can not be turned into soap. The unsaponifiable material makes for a very creamy feeling soap. It is very similar to a lanolin soap.

Weighing Oils
Weighing Oils

Beeswax also makes for a harder bar. The corners were quite firm when I tested a bar in the blog kitchen. I would highly recommend beveling the edges of any bar of soap containing beeswax. I think it would make for smoother edges that don’t feel like they can double as a razor blade.

 

Ready to Make Soap
Ready to Make Soap

I also noticed in the finished bar that the lather was not large and bubbly. It was more dense and luscious lather. This soap was different from what I am accustomed to but it was wonderful change. I can’t wait to get a bar home to use as a facial bar.

Ingredients
Coconut Oil
Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
Olive Oil
Beeswax
Water
Lye
Equipment
Scale
Microwave Safe Container
Spoons
Pipettes

Recipe:

Recipe in Grams
170 g Coconut Oil
156 g Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
113 g Olive Oil
14 g Beeswax
177 mL Water
64 g Lye
Recipe in Ounces
6 oz Coconut Oil
5.5 oz Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
4 oz Olive Oil
0.5 oz Beeswax
6 fl oz Water
2.28 oz Lye
Recipe in Percentages
37.5% Coconut Oil
34.38% Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
25% Olive Oil
3.12% Beeswax
Q.S. Water
Q.S. Lye

 

Adding Lye Solution to Oils
Adding Lye Solution to Oils

Weigh all of the oils into a microwave safe container. Heat gently until they become liquid. While your oils are heating, weigh out the sodium hydroxide. Add the lye to the 6 oz of water. Never add water to your lye container. It can cause a dangerous volcano. Your safety is of the utmost importance. When your oils are at about 160º F and lye solution are at about 110º F, add the lye solution to the oil mixture. Mix until you reach a light trace.

Mixing Soap
Mixing Soap

The reason why there is such a large temperature difference between the two mixtures is because we do not want to beeswax to solidify nor do we want the soap to overheat. The difference in temperatures allows for the soap to be mixed without volcanoing out of the mold. Once trace has be achieved, pour the soap into a mold. Allow to sit for at least 12 hours. Cut and allow the soap to cure.

Thickened Soap
Thickened Soap

If you are not sure if the soap is fully cured, check out this post. It helps makes sense of the mysterious cure time and dispels some popular and dangerous myths. If you need help keeping track of your curing soap, try our fabulous cure cards. We can even include them into qualifying orders for free! Enjoy your soap!

Soap in Mold
Soap in Mold

Notes: When I was mixing my soap, it did not stay as fluid as I am accustomed to. When I reached trace, it went from a fluid milk like consistency to pudding in about 30 seconds. For someone who is accustomed to a very fluid soap when they pour it into the mold, it felt very strange. I think the next time I make soap with Beeswax, I may decrease the amount of beeswax from 0.5 oz /lb of fats to 0.25oz /lb of fats.

 

Unmolding the Soap
Unmolding the Soap

If you will be making your own beeswax soaps, please keep in mind that we recommend you do not exceed 0.5 oz of beeswax per lb of fat. This is a luxury ingredient where a little goes a very long way. If you use a large amount of beeswax, the bar will become very soft and will feel waxy in texture. Small amounts are better for your soap and for your budget. Happy soap making!

Taylor

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Honey in Soap

Finished Honey Soap
Finished Honey Soap

Honey is a fantastic substance. It is great sweetener and a natural humectant. It is fabulous drizzled over baked goods or one’s morning oatmeal. It is also terrific in cosmetics and masks. So how do we incorporate a little more honey into our lives? How about in our soap? Curious?

 

Weighing Oils
Weighing Oils

So why add honey to soap?  Honey is a natural humectant, meaning that is draws moisture out of the air and retains it. It is also said to add lather to the soap. Let’s go test this out!

Ingredients
Coconut Oil
Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
Olive Oil
Water
Lye
Honey
Equipment
Scale
Microwave Safe Container
Spoons
Pipettes

Recipe:

Recipe in Grams
170 grams Coconut Oil
170 grams Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
113 grams Olive Oil
177 mL Water
65 grams Lye
7 grams Honey
Recipe in Ounces
6 oz Coconut Oil
6 oz Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
4 oz Olive Oil
6 fl oz Water
2.31 oz Lye
0.25 oz Honey
Recipe in Percentages
37.5% Coconut Oil
37.5% Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
25% Olive Oil
Q.S. Water
Q.S. Lye
Q.S. Honey

 

Melted Oils and Lye Solution Ready to Go
Melted Oils and Lye Solution Ready to Go

Note: If you want to measure your honey using a volume measure, we will be using 1 tsp of honey for this recipe today.

Weigh all of the oils into a microwave safe container. Heat gently until they become liquid. While your oils are heat weigh out the sodium hydroxide. Add the lye to the 6 oz of water. Never add water to your lye container. It can cause a dangerous volcano. Your safety is of the utmost importance. When your oils and lye solution are at about 110º F, add the lye solution to the oil mixture. Mix until you reach a light trace.

Measuring Honey
Measuring Honey

At this point, you can add your honey. I like to have my honey sitting in a warm water bath so it is easier and faster to get it into my batch of soap.  I also like to hand stir the honey into the soap. This prevents over mixing and pudding like consistencies. Pour the soap into a mold. Allow to sit for at least 12 hours. Cut and allow the soap to cure.

Ready to Mix Soap
Ready to Mix Soap

If you are not sure if the soap is fully cured, check out this post. It helps makes sense of the mysterious cure time and dispels some popular and dangerous myths. If you need help keeping track of your curing soap, try our fabulous cure cards. We can even include them into qualifying orders for free! Enjoy your soap!

Mixing Soap
Mixing Soap

Notes: When I added the honey to my raw soap and stirred it in, there was a rather intense color change. The soap went from more of an soft yellow color to a burnt orange. It was a somewhat startling color change. The next day when I went to cut the soap, the soap was a beige color.

 

Adding Honey to Raw Soap
Adding Honey to Raw Soap

If you will be making your own honey soaps, please keep in mind that we recommend you do not exceed 1 tsp of honey per lb of fat. This is a luxury ingredient where a little goes a very long way. Happy soap making!

Taylor

 

 

Mixing Honey into Soap What a color change!
Mixing Honey into Soap What a color change!

 

 

 

 

 

Soap in the mold
Soap in the mold
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Tea Tree, Rosemary and Clay Soap Bar

Finished Soap
Finished Soap

Today I wanted to make a bar of soap containing tea tree essential oil, rosemary oleoresin and clay. All of these things have been marketed for aiding in the prevention and cure of acne. But how does one approach a product that with one misplaced word can land you right in the middle of the OTC drug(over the counter drug) camp? Very carefully.

Weighing Oils
Weighing Oils

Consider what you would do in my shoes. What would you call a bar that has clay, tea tree and rosemary in it? A Blemish Bar? Zit Be Gone? While these are great names, those names also make them drugs, not cosmetics.

You also can’t make a label that calls it a cosmetic while verbally saying it will get rid of acne. This is making claims that puts it into drug status.This means you either have to have some fun names or let the reputation of a product make the sales for you. But when asked “Will this get rid of acne?” your best bet is to answer with “No, this is soap.”

Weighing Oils
Weighing Oils

So here is my question for you. If you have a product that could be labeled as a drug, how do you keep it a cosmetic and give the product name some creativity? Would you call this soap Dirt from Down Under? Australian Vacation? HELP! In the mean time, come join me for a fabulous soap!

Collect Needed Materials:

Ingredients
Coconut Oil
Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
Olive Oil
Rosemary Extract
French Green Clay
Water
Lye (Sodium Hydroxide)
Tea Tree Essential Oil
Equipment
Scale
Spoon
Soap Bucket
Pipettes
Mold

Recipe:

Recipe in Ounces
6 oz Coconut Oil
5 oz Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
5 oz Olive Oil
0.16 oz Rosemary Extract
1 tsp French Green Clay
6 fl oz Water
2.31 oz Lye
0.125 oz Tea Tree Essential Oil
Recipe in Grams
170 grams Coconut Oil
142 grams Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
142 grams Olive Oil
Rosemary Extract
1 tsp French Green Clay
178 mL Water
65.5 grams Lye
Tea Tree Essential Oil
Recipe in Percentages
37% Coconut Oil
31% Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
31% Olive Oil
1% Rosemary Extract
Q.S. French Green Clay
Q.S. Water
Q.S. Lye
Q.S. Tea Tree Essential Oil

 

Weighing Oils
Weighing Oils

Weigh all of the oils into a microwave safe container. Heat gently until liquid. While the oils are heating, measure and add the lye to the water to for a lye solution. Never add your water to your lye. This can cause a dangerous volcano. Safety first! Allow the oil and lye solutions to cool to about 115ºF. This recipe has some materials that can accelerate trace. Lower temperatures help prevent this batch from running away on you.

Melted Oils
Melted Oils

Mix the oils and lye solution and blend until a light trace is achieved. Add the clay and essential oil and mix well. Pour into a molds and allow to sit for 24 hours. Cut the soap. Allow the soap to cure. If you need help keeping track of your cure times, try our fabulous cure cards. We can even include them into qualifying orders for free! Enjoy your soap!
Taylor

 

Measured out Clay and Essential Oil
Measured out Clay and Essential Oil

 

 

 

 

 

Adding Lye Solution to Oils
Adding Lye Solution to Oils

 

 

 

 

 

Mixing Soap
Mixing Soap

 

 

 

 

 

Adding Clay
Adding Clay

 

 

 

 

 

Adding Essential Oil
Adding Essential Oil

 

 

 

 

 

Pouring Soap into Mold
Pouring Soap into Mold

 

 

 

 

 

Soap in the mold
Soap in the mold
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Ginger and Silk Soap

Finished Soap
Finished Soap

When I came back from China, I brought back a wealth of knowledge and experiences really have changed my perspective on life, lifestyles, culture and food. People ask about my adventures abroad but there is so much to tell, I hardly know where to begin!

I often start with the food. Grocery shopping in China is a very different experience. Certainly there are markets similar to ours however those are only large chains like Walmart. Your small local markets are an entirely different undertaking.

Weighing Oils
Weighing Oils

Eggs, spices and fruit are piled in high, precarious mounds for close inspection. The butcher processes your meat right in front of you so as to prove or guarantee freshness. Down the way is a stall for all types of soy and tofu products. It is common to have warm tofu right out of the press.

As you choose your groceries for the day, you can hear the rhythmic slap, slap of fresh noodles being stretched. Steamers hiss as lids are lifted to reveal dumplings and filled buns. Shopping for groceries is a mouth-watering adventure.

Lye Solution
Lye Solution

I was particularly fond of shopping for spices. Vendors will scoop up Sichuan peppercorns, Chinese star anise, peppers, cumin and more for you to smell or even taste. For me the chore of shopping for spices was like I had died and gone to heaven. One thing that did surprise me was ginger. It was fresh, firm and fragrant. It also seemed to be in almost every dish. The bold flavor has stuck with me. Today I wanted to make a soap using two items that very important to the Chinese. Silk and ginger.  Come join me as we visit China by way of our soap pots!

Measuring Silk Powder
Measuring Silk Powder

Difficulty Rating: Intermediate

Start to finish: Less than 45 minutes*

Ingredients
Coconut Oil
Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
Olive Oil
Water
Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
Ginger Powder, Dry
Silk Powder
Equipment
Scale
Microwave Safe Container
Spoons
Pipettes

Recipe:

Recipe in Grams
170 grams Coconut Oil
170 grams Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
113 grams Olive Oil
177 mL Water
65 grams Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
1 tsp Ginger Powder, Dry
1 tsp Silk Powder
Recipe in Ounces
6 oz Coconut Oil
6 oz Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
4 oz Olive Oil
6 fl oz Water
2.31 oz Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
1 tsp Ginger Powder, Dry
1 tsp Silk Powder
Recipe in Percentages
37.5% Coconut Oil
37.5% Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
25% Olive Oil
Q.S. Water
Q.S. Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
Q.S. Ginger Powder, Dry
Q.S. Silk Powder

 

Adding Silk Powder to Lye Solution
Adding Silk Powder to Lye Solution

Weigh all of the oils into a microwave safe container. Heat gently until liquid. While the oils are heating, measure and add the lye to the water to for a lye solution. Never add your water to your lye. This can cause a dangerous volcano. Safety first! Allow the oil and lye solutions to cool to about 115ºF. This recipe has some materials that can accelerate trace. Lower temperatures help prevent this batch from running away on you.

Oil and Lye Solution
Oil and Lye Solution

Mix the oils and lye solution and blend until a light trace is achieved. Add the clay and essential oil and mix well. Pour into a molds and allow to sit for 24 hours. Cut the soap. Allow the soap to cure. If you need help keeping track of your cure times, try our fabulous cure cards. We can even include them into qualifying orders for free! Enjoy your soap!
Taylor

 

Adding Lye Solution to Oils
Adding Lye Solution to Oils

 

 

 

 

 

Mixing Soap
Mixing Soap

 

 

 

 

 

Adding Ginger Powder to Soap
Adding Ginger Powder to Soap

 

 

 

 

 

Pouring Soap into Mold
Pouring Soap into Mold

 

 

 

 

 

Soap in Mold
Soap in Mold
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Megan’s Pumpkin Soap

Finished Soap
Finished Soap

Yesterday I gave a small preview for today’s soap. I talked about how I had a hard time getting my soap out of the mold. I still can’t get it out of the mold and it is annoying me to no end! So much for greasing it with mineral oil. This soap was inspired by Megan, who was such a help in the blog kitchen. Megan, here is to you.

Mixing the soap
Mixing the soap

It isn’t very often when I am blessed by a helper in the kitchen. Megan came to the blog kitchen last Friday to help me organize the kitchen and my thoughts. She was a fantastic help. Once we had finished my unfinished projects and cleaning the kitchen, we sat down and talked about all the different things we did. Megan asked if we could make a pumpkin soap in the round PVC mold that had been discovered on a neglected shelf earlier that day. Well, after all of that cleaning, I couldn’t resist having some fun! Come join us for a fabulous soap just in time for Halloween!

Adding Fragrance Oil and Annatto Seed Powder
Adding Fragrance Oil and Annatto Seed Powder

We chose to use Annatto Seed Powder, Gingerbread & Spice Fragrance Oil and a simple homemade round PVC mold. If you want to learn more on how to make a mold like this for yourself, check out this post. They are simple to make and a lot of fun! (Hint: my mold can hold a 4 lbs batch of soap. For removal sake, it really should hold no more than 3 lbs of soap.)

Ingredients
Coconut Oil
Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
Olive Oil
Lye (Sodium Hydroxide)
Water
Gingerbread and Spice Fragrance Oil
Annatto Seed Powder
Equipment
Scale
Microwave Safe Container
Spoons
Pipettes

 

Recipe:

Recipe in Grams
680 grams Coconut Oil
567 grams Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
567 grams Olive Oil
262 grams Lye (Sodium Hydroxide)
828 mL Water
31.75 grams Gingerbread and Spice Fragrance Oil
1 Tbl Annatto Seed Powder
Recipe in Ounces
24 oz Coconut Oil
20 oz Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
20 oz Olive Oil
9.24 oz Lye (Sodium Hydroxide)
28 oz Water
1.12 oz Gingerbread and Spice Fragrance Oil
1 Tbl Annatto Seed Powder
Recipe in Percentages
37.50% Coconut Oil
31.25% Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
31.25% Olive Oil
Q.S. Lye (Sodium Hydroxide)
Q.S. Water
Q.S. Gingerbread and Spice Fragrance Oil
Q.S. Annatto Seed Powder

 

This is how the soap should look.
This is how the soap should look.

Weigh all of the oils into a microwave safe container. Heat gently until they are completely melted. While your oils are melting, weigh out your lye and add it to your water. Never add water to your lye. You are more likely to have splashing or even a volcano to occur. Safety first! When your lye solution and oils are around 120ºF, add the lye solution to your oils. Mix until you reach a light trace. Your soap should be very fluid. Add the Anatto Seed Powder and Gingerbread and Spice Fragrance Oil.

Guess what I won't using anytime this decade?
Guess what I still can’t get out of the mold?

Mix so they are well distributed. (I prefer to hand stir at this point.) Pour your soap into your mold. If you are using a PVC pipe, I recommend coating the inside with a non-saponifiable oil. Things like Vaseline or mineral oil work well here. Allow the soap to sit for 24 hours. Remove the soap from the mold and cut. Allow the soap to cure. Once cured, package, label and enjoy!
Taylor

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A Learning Lesson with Molds

Guess what I won't using anytime this decade?
Guess what I won’t using anytime this decade?

Halloween in bearing down upon us and I thought I would have a great blog this morning of a cute pumpkin inspired soap done in my PVC mold. After having the plunger pounded on, pushed on and almost pulverized, I discovered something I wish I had known earlier. It generally isn’t a good idea to pour more that 10 – 12 inches of soap into PVC tubes. In molds, soap can act like an octopus. It can glom on so tight to the mold that you think it is never going to come out! Cylinder molds are the worst because there is so much surface area of the soap in contact with the mold.

I was told by our experts in technical support that I could be waiting so long for it dehydrate enough for it to release it might as well be 30 YEARS! Let’s just say I am a little distraught. I don’t want to wait 30 years. I don’t want to wait another week! I want my soap now! The unfortunate part is that the only thing I can do is wait. I will have to wait for the soap to dehydrate enough for me to be able to push the soap out. Grr. This really sucks!

So, today I learned two really important things. First, do not pour more than 10-12 inches of soap into a PVC tube mold. Particularly a cylindrical one. Second, do not put projects so close to the due date that if something goes wrong you are left without the finished product. Planning ahead is important. Soap is one item that can only be rushed so much. If you are this close to a holiday, choose a smaller project. There are scrubs, bath salts, bath fizzies, lip balms and lotions galore!

Darn. Talk about a rough morning. It has left me frustrated and disappointed. Tomorrow, I will be sharing the recipe for this fabulous soap but I think I will try it in a different mold. At least until I can reclaim my PVC one. I promise to announce when I finally get this soap out. Then we can determine if it really takes 30 years. ;-)
Taylor

 

P.S. I will also be making a label to put on my mold so I don’t forget! If you have molds like this, make labels that remind you how much they should hold. Remember what your mold can hold and what it should hold are sometimes very different numbers.

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Soap in Sheep’s clothing – Making Felted Soaps

Finished Felted Soaps
Finished Felted Soaps

There is nothing more amazing or spectacular than using a bar of homemade soap. So how do we make the experience of using handmade soap all that much more fun? We put it in sheep’s clothing of course! Today I will be sharing with you how to make felted soaps.

 

Fanning out the roving
Fanning out the roving

To begin we will need some bars of soap, wool roving and a bucket of hot water. This is a great place to use bars that may be a test batch or are even cosmetically challenged. If you need a place to find roving, check at your local yarn store.

Take about 2 feet of roving and fan it out so it appears lacy. Wrap your soap firmly until

Wrapping the soap in roving
Wrapping the soap in roving

you can no longer see the bar. Dunk the bar into your bucket of hot water and agitate the roving. Use small motions so the roving stays in place. Continue to agitate until the roving is a firm dense mass around the soap. The roving should not be able to move freely. If you are having a hard time, replace your water for something hotter and just keep agitating. Also the cooler your water, the longer it will take to felt. Keep it as hot as you can stand and it will work beautifully.

Wrapping the soap in roving
Wrapping the soap in roving

Once your roving has felted around your soap, pat them dry with a paper towel then set them out to dry. I really like to put them on a cookie rack or a wire shelf where they can dry out more completely. Repeat with your remaining soaps.

This project is a lot of fun because there is so much you can do. You can use colored

Wrapping my soap
Wrapping my soap

roving, you can hide cosmetically challenged bars and simplify using soap because it has a built in foam builder that shrinks with your bar! This is even a great project for those who will be traveling but don’t want to carry around a wash cloth with them!

What other great reasons can you think of for using and making felted soaps? I want to hear!

Ready to dunk my soap
Ready to dunk my soap

Taylor

 

 

 

 

 

Felting the wool
Felting the wool

 

 

 

 

 

Felting the wool
Felting the wool

 

 

 

 

 

Bubbles!
Bubbles!

 

 

 

 

 

Finished felted soap
Finished felted soap
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Cluck, cluck! Egg Soap Anyone?

I haven’t even sent samples of this soap down to the shipping department and I can already hear the cries of intrigue, revulsion and curiosity about today’s project. Eggs? In soap? Why would ANYONE be so crazy as to want to add an egg to the soap?!

 

Well, adding eggs to soap may or may not be crazy but allow me to explain the reasoning behind this. Eggs are a combination of water, fat and protein. This means egg soaps are a bit like a lanolin soap. Very luxurious and gentle feeling. One thing I hear frequently about lanolin soaps it that people feel like there is no need to add lotion to their skin afterward! I heard this about egg soaps too! Don’t believe me? Request a sample of this soap in your next order!

Ingredients
Coconut Oil
Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
Olive Oil
Large Chicken Egg
Water
Lye (Sodium Hydroxide)
Equipment
Scale
Microwave Safe Container
Spoons
Pipettes

Recipe:

Recipe in Grams
170 grams Coconut Oil
142 grams Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
142 grams Olive Oil
1 large Chicken Egg
178 mL Water
65.5 grams Lye
Recipe in Ounces
6 oz Coconut Oil
5 oz Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
5 oz Olive Oil
1 large Chicken Egg
6 oz Water
2.31 oz Lye
Recipe in Percentages
37.5% Coconut Oil
31.25% Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
31.25% Olive Oil
Q.S. Chicken Egg(s)
Q.S. Water
Q.S. Lye

 

Weigh all of your oils save for 1 oz of Olive Oil to be held in reserve. Heat those oil gently until liquid. Mix your lye and water together creating your lye solution. Allow both mixtures to cool. It is imperative that you soap at a lower temperature when using eggs. They are a temperature sensitive ingredient. (We don’t want partially cooked egg strands in our soap!) In the mean time, mix the egg with the 1 oz of reserved Olive Oil. Mix well until they are cohesive.

Once your lye solution and oils are to about 110º to 120ºF in temperature, mix the two together. When a light trace has been achieved, add your egg mixture. Mix well. Pour your soap into a mold and allow to sit for at least 24 hours. Cut your soap into bars and allow to cure. (Not sure if your soap is fully cured? Get these cool cure cards in your next order for free!)

Notes: I cut my egg soap two days after making. Let’s just say that as excited as I was about this soap, I got a little distracted by my job. Hmn… I wonder how that happened? ;-) Once I finally cut my soap, I was surprised at the soft green of the center of my soap. There also was faint odor. It smelled… well… slightly eggy. 15 minutes after cutting the soap, I went back to smell it so as to better describe it to you. I was surprised at how much the odor had dissipated. So if you are worried about that smell sticking around, it won’t. I will be sending 20 samples to the shipping department so if you want one, tell us in the comments field on your next order! I am reserving the two bars shown in the photos so we can talk about color changes when the soap is fully cured.

 
Taylor

Finished Soap
Finished Soap
Weighing Oils
Weighing Oils
Weighing Oils
Weighing Oils
Weighing 1 oz Olive Oil
Weighing 1 oz Olive Oil
Adding 1 egg
Adding 1 egg
Ready to make soap
Ready to make soap
Mixing Egg and Olive Oil
Mixing Egg and Olive Oil
Adding Lye Solution to Oils
Adding Lye Solution to Oils
Mixing Soap
Mixing Soap
Soap at light trace
Soap at light trace
Adding egg mixture
Adding egg mixture
Pouring soap into mold
Pouring soap into mold

Finished soap in mold
Finished soap in mold
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