Archive for the ‘Soap’ Category

Introduction to Liquid Soap Week Coming Up

Friday, November 12th, 2010
Making Natural Liquid Soaps Cover

Making Natural Liquid Soaps Cover

I recently found my test kitchen crock pot and I’ve been dying to use it. I thought about making liquid soap, but I haven’t had any experience making liquid soap. I decided that it would be fun to have an Introduction to Liquid Soap Week and you could learn right along with me! I will be following the directions from Making Natural Liquid Soaps by Catherine Failor. Read along with me and we will discuss each chapter as we make soap.

Today I’m going to start with a list of equipment and ingredients needed for making liquid soap. I will give you almost three weeks to collect the supplies for learning about liquid soap. On December 3rd we will begin our week dedicated to learning about liquid soap. If you have questions you would like answered during that week, feel free to e-mail me and I will try to answer every question during the Liquid Soap Week.

Equipment that we will need for the Introduction to Liquid Soap Week:
Making Natural Liquid Soap by Catherine Failor
Safety goggles, anti fog are helpful
Heavy duty gloves
A crock pot or double boiler system that will hold a minimum of 5 quarts.
Plastic Spoon
Immersion blender
Scale
Thermometer
Work clothes with long sleeves and closed shoes
Vinegar
Microwave for heating oils (If you are using the crock pot)
Containers for the finished soap
Plastic sheeting
Bungee Cords
pH meter (Fun if you have one, but it is optional)

Collect needed items:

Required Ingredients:
Potassium Hydroxide
Distilled, reverse osmosis or soft water
Hard fats: Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Tallow, Cocoa Butter
Liquid Oils: Olive Oil, Castor Oil, Almond Oil
Waxes: Lanolin, Jojoba
Alcohol: Ethanol or Isopropyl Alcohol
Liquid Glycerin
Sugar
Borax or Sodium Borate
Citric Acid
Optional Ingredients:
Potassium Carbonate
Antioxidant
Preservative
Phenolphthalein
Essential or Fragrance Oils of choice

Each day we will focus on a new batch of Liquid Soap as we progress through the book. Two weeks later, we evaluate our soaps after their two week sequestering period.

Where do I find Potassium Hydroxide?

I would recommend that you try calling a few companies listed in your phone book under Cleaning Supplies or Chemicals. If you can’t find anything there call the local high school or college and talk with a chemistry teacher. They are usually able to direct you to a chemical supply in your area that offers small quantities of Potassium Hydroxide. Potassium Hydroxide is also called Caustic Potash. It make take a few hours of phone work but you will save the Hazardous Materials shipping fees AND support your local economy. You don’t need a lab grade as a technical grade is just fine and less expensive.

A word about scales:

You must have a scale for making soap. You do NOT need an expensive scale or one that measures in 0.1 gram increments. You do need 1 gram readability for scales that have grams and ounces, or 0.1 ounce readability for scales that only offer ounces. My hope is you can get one that has 1 gram readability. If you intend to make lotions and lip balms, in quantities suitable for a family of four, not communities of 40,000, then I suggest you consider a scale that has 0.1 gram readability. The benefit of making your scale dual purpose is to cover the soap making AND personal care products like lip balm, lotions, creams and serums. If the scale is only for soap choose the 1 gram readability.

The price of a scale corresponds to the number of steps each scale offers. A step is readability times capacity. A scale that has a readability of 1 gram and a capacity of 100 grams has 100 steps. A scale that has readability of 0.1 gram and a capacity of 100 grams has 1000 steps. The second scale will cost more than the first. We hope this has helped you consider the scales available to you. If you have questions along the way give us a call or send an email.

Our homework for the next 10 days is to read the first chapter of the book and write down what you think about it. I’ll share my thoughts about the first chapter.

Have fun!

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Summer Rose Bouquet Soap

Thursday, November 11th, 2010
The weather is changing to winter and while I love the holiday season, I couldn’t stop myself from daydreaming about next summer and the fresh flowers. To help solve my desire to stop and smell the roses, I made this fun soap that smells just like a fresh summer bouquet. I think you will enjoy this soap as much as I do!

Collect needed items:

Ingredients
Sweet Almond Oil
Coconut Oil
Palm Oil
Shea Butter
Sunflower Oil
Rose Fragrance Oil
Cherry Blossom Fragrance Oil
Amethyst Pink Dry Color
Liquid Glycerin
Equipment
Scale
Soap Spoon
Gloves
Mold
Immersion Blender
Time spent:
Weighing time: 8 minutes
Adding lye to water: 15 seconds, followed by 60 seconds of stirring
Heating of oils time: 90 seconds
Pouring lye solution into the fat mixture: 15 seconds
Using immersion blender to mix soap solution: 90 seconds
Adding fragrance blend and color and mixing well: 30 seconds
Pour into mold: 10 seconds
Allow soap to rest: 24 hours
Recipe in ounces:
4 ounces Sweet Almond Oil
8 ounces Coconut Oil
8 ounces Palm Oil
4 ounces Shea Butter
8 ounces Sunflower Oil

4.53 ounces Sodium Hydroxide
12 fl oz water

0.2 ounces Rose Fragrance Oil
0.3 ounces Cherry Blossom Fragrance Oil
q.s. Liquid Amethyst Pink Color*

* To make these soaps, I did need to do some work just to prepare the colors I would use. I mixed the Amethyst Pink Dry color with Liquid Glycerin and then mixed well. From now on, I will refer to this as Liquid Amethyst Pink Color. I used the amount I desired to color my soap, but you can use more or less as you desire. This item has been marked as q.s. “Quantity Sufficient” for this purpose.

Measure fixed oils on your scale. Warm the fixed oils on the stove or in the microwave. I melted the oils in the microwave. Add sodium hydroxide to the water. Mix well. Combine the scent blend in a beaker and set aside.

Combine oils and lye solution. Mix until thin trace. Upon light trace, add the scent blend and Liquid Amethyst Pink Color. Stir well. Pour soap into the desired mold I used a different style of the Guerrilla Mold from Dirk’s post. Allow to sit until soap is firm.

The next morning 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:
This soap turned out to be a lovely shade of delicate pink and I love the coloring for this scent blend. This is a perfect scent to remind you that summer will be coming back. I could easily imagine this scent blend being used as the scent for wedding favors. Can you?

Thanks for joining me on my latest scenting adventure. The Summer Rose Bouquet soap samples have been sent to the Shipping Department to send out in orders. I really want to hear your comments about this or any of the other recent soaps. I hope that anyone wanting a sample soap will request one and if we have any samples we will send them to you.

What blends would you make to remind you that summer will come back? I’d love to hear what you would make!

Finished bars of soap.

Weighing the fixed oils.

Melted fixed oils.

Adding the lye solution to the oils.

Beginning to blend the lye solution and oils together.

Adding the color and fragrance to the raw soap.

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Aloe Soap

Friday, November 5th, 2010
Our front office has an aloe plant that is just about ready to bloom. When the aloe blooms, I’ll take a picture to share. I was sitting and admiring the plant when I decided that the aloe needed some of the leaves trimmed. As I was trimming, I thought that it would be very fun to make soap that used some of the pulp and juice from the leaves. I collected the trimmed leaves and headed off to the blog kitchen to make some soap.

Come join me on my new soaping adventure!

Collect needed items:

Ingredients
Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
Palm Kernel Oil
Sunflower Oil
Water
Sodium Hydroxide
Fresh Aloe Juice
Equipment
Scale
Soap Spoon
Gloves
Soap Bucket
Jars
Rubbermaid Drawer Organizer #2915
Immersion Blender
Sharp Knife
Spoon
Time spent:
Weighing time: 8 minutes
Adding lye to water: 15 seconds, followed by 60 seconds of stirring
Heating of oils time: 90 seconds
Pouring lye solution into the fat mixture: 15 seconds
Using immersion blender to mix soap solution: 90 seconds
Adding aloe juice and mixing well: 30 seconds
Pour into mold: 10 seconds
Allow soap to rest: 24 hours

The Aloe plant in the lobby.

A close-up of the flower head.

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Raspberry Vanilla Truffle Soap

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010
For me, Chocolate truffles are a rare treat, but they are some of my favorite candies. According to the dictionary, a chocolate truffle is a ball shaped candy made of soft chocolate and dusted with cocoa. One of my favorite chocolate truffles is a homemade Raspberry White Chocolate Truffle. Yum!

I had chunks left over after making the Raspberry Milk Soap and I didn’t know what I wanted to do with them other than use them! As I started thinking about what scents worked well with raspberries, I thought about the Raspberry White Chocolate Truffles we make occasionally at home. I decided that I wanted to make a batch of soap that used Cocoa Butter and was scented with Vanilla Cream.

Collect needed items:

Ingredients
Sweet Almond Oil
Cocoa Butter
Coconut Oil
Palm Oil
Shea Butter
Water
Sodium Hydroxide
Raspberry Milk Soap Shreds
Vanilla Cream Fragrance
Titanium Dioxide
Equipment
Scale
Soap Spoon
Gloves
Mold
Immersion Blender
Time spent:
Weighing time: 8 minutes
Adding lye to water: 15 seconds, followed by 60 seconds of stirring
Heating of oils time: 90 seconds
Pouring lye solution into the fat mixture: 15 seconds
Using immersion blender to mix soap solution: 90 seconds
Adding fragrance and Titanium Dioxide and mixing well: 30 seconds
Adding soap shreds and stirring until mixed: 60 seconds
Pour into mold: 10 seconds
Allow soap to rest: 24 hours
Soap Recipe in ounces:
8 oz Sweet Almond Oil
4 oz Cocoa Butter
8 oz Coconut Oil
8 oz Palm Oil
4 oz Shea Butter

10 oz Water
4.48 oz Sodium Hydroxide

13.74 oz Raspberry Milk Soap Shreds*
0.56 oz Vanilla Cream Fragrance
1 teaspoon Titanium Dioxide mixed with 2 Tablespoons of water

*Precise weight of the soap shreds is not necessary.

Measure fixed oils on your scale. Warm the fixed oils on the stove or in the microwave. I melted the oils in the microwave. Add sodium hydroxide to the water. Mix well. Weigh the Vanilla Cream Fragrance Oil in a beaker and set aside. Mix Titanium Dioxide and water and set aside. Measure soap shreds into a small mixing container.

Combine oils and lye solution. Mix until thin trace. Upon light trace, add the Vanilla Cream Fragrance Oil and Titanium Dioxide Color Mix. Mix completely and then add the soap shreds. Stir well. Pour soap into the desired mold I used a different style of the Guerrilla Mold from Dirk’s post. Allow to sit until soap is firm.

The next morning 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:
These soaps are very adorable and fun to make. I might make this style of soap again for Christmas gifts since the coloring is very holiday spirited. This would be very fun to do with a mint scented soap or as a berries & cream soap.

I can’t stop my mind from plotting different soaps to make that look like this! What would you make?

Finished bar of soap.

Adding the lye solution to the melted oils.

Beginning to mix the oils and lye solution.

Mixing in the Titanium Dioxide.

Soap after it was poured into the mold.

A close up of the soap in the mold.

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Wicked Witch Soap

Friday, October 15th, 2010
I love the music from original Broadway cast of Wicked. At one time there were perfumes available for both Elphaba and Galinda. The description for the Defy perfume was quite intriguing and I had to see if I could blend something like it myself without ever smelling the perfume. I have listed the official description below for you to read.


This complex and luxurious fragrance embodies the rebellious spirit of Elphaba with a deep aroma of cedar, jasmine, plum, amber, cardamom, and patchouli leaves mixed with hints of vanilla and citrus.


After reading the official description, I sat down with the catalog and looked for fragrances that also contained similar scent elements. Hinoki Wood had several elements in common with Defy such as cedar, patchouly, vanilla, jasmine. Pluot had the plum, vanilla and citrus elements that were needed as well.

Now that I had some fragrances I wanted to start blending, I sat down with my collection of current fragrances. I put Hinoki Wood and Pluot together on a sachet card and then sniffed. Hmmm. While this smells interesting, I think there needs to be some more patchouly to balance this out. I added a few drops of Patchouly fragrance oil and sniffed again. Ahhh. This smells good and it seems to have a mysterious and mystical aroma to it, but this scent seems a little flat and one sided even with the fruity Pluot. After sniffing the card for several minutes, I thought that maybe if I increased the sweet vanilla and citrus notes, I would achieve a balanced scent blend. I grabbed the Tahitian Vanilla because it is a great combination of citrus and vanilla. Perfect! This was the scent I had been imagining.

I took the scent blend around the warehouse to share it with various people and asked for their opinions. The responses varied from “Yum, I like that,” “Interesting scent,” “I don’t care for it,” and “It smells like an incense or smoky perfume.” Overall, the response was that this blend was intriguing and smelled good. I felt that these responses meant that I was right on track.

Now it was time to apply this blend to an actual application to see if it turned out well.

Collect needed items:

Ingredients
Coconut Oil
Macadamia Nut Butter
Olive Oil
Palm Oil
Sodium Hydroxide
Water
Patchouly Fragrance Oil
Hinoki Wood Fragrance Oil
Tahitian Vanilla Fragrance Oil
Pluot Fragrance Oil
Moss Green Dry Color
Liquid Glycerin
Equipment
Scale
Soap Spoon
Gloves
Mold
Immersion Blender
Time spent:
Weighing time: 8 minutes
Adding lye to water: 15 seconds, followed by 60 seconds of stirring
Heating of oils time: 90 seconds
Pouring lye solution into the fat mixture: 15 seconds
Using immersion blender to mix soap solution: 90 seconds
Adding fragrance blend and color and mixing well: 30 seconds
Pour into mold: 10 seconds
Allow soap to rest: 24 hours
Soap Recipe in ounces:
8 ounces Coconut Oil
4 ounces Macadamia Nut Butter
4 ounces Olive Oil
16 ounces Palm Oil

4.58 ounces Sodium Hydroxide
12 ounces Water

qs Liquid Moss Green Color*
0.56 ounces Wicked Scent Blend

  • 0.15 oz Patchouly FO
  • 0.15 oz Hinoki Wood FO
  • 0.15 oz Tahitian Vanilla FO
  • 0.09 oz Pluot FO
Scent Blend in Parts:
5 parts Patchouly Fragrance Oil
5 parts Hinoki Wood Fragrance
5 parts Tahitian Vanilla Fragrance
3 parts Pluot Fragrance Oil

* To make these soaps, I did need to do some work just to prepare the colors I would use. I mixed the Moss Green Dry color with Liquid Glycerin and then mixed well. From now on, I will refer to this as Liquid Moss Green Color. I used the amount I desired to color my soap, but you can use more or less as you desire. This item has been marked as q.s. “Quantity Sufficient” for this purpose.

Measure fixed oils on your scale. Warm the fixed oils on the stove or in the microwave. I melted the oils in the microwave. Add sodium hydroxide to the water. Mix well. Combine the scent blend in a beaker and set aside.

Combine oils and lye solution. Mix until thin trace. Upon light trace, add the scent blend and Liquid Moss Green Color. Stir well. Pour soap into the desired mold I used a different style of the Guerrilla Mold from Dirk’s post. Allow to sit until soap is firm.

The next morning 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:
When I cut this soap and showed it around for people to sniff I had several people who didn’t like it right out of the bottle tell me that they loved the smell of the soap and want to know what the fragrance was. This soap was particularly popular with the guys, but even the gals liked it. I’ll even say that those that are known the be the fruity bubblegum scent loving people liked this. Wicked Witch soap will be well liked in particular by those who like muskier or deeper aromas.

Thanks for joining me on my scenting adventure. The Wicked Witch soap samples have been sent to the Shipping Department to send out in orders. I really want to hear your comments about this or any of the other recent soaps. I hope that anyone wanting a sample soap will request one and if we have any samples we will send them to you.

Do you have any favorite characters from books or plays that you would like to see a scent blend created for that character? Let me know through the Contact Us page and maybe we can create a scent blend to define a book or character. I’m sure that all our readers had fun with the last scent blending we did.

Finished cut bars of soap.

Fixed oils before melting.

Adding the lye solution to the melted oils.

Beginning to mix the fixed oils and lye solution.

Adding the fragrance blend to the raw soap.

Adding the Liquid Moss Green color to the raw soap.

Mixing the raw soap well.

Pouring the soap into the mold.

The soap resting in the mold.

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Rebatching a Failed Milk Soap

Thursday, October 14th, 2010
Yesterday, I showed you the way I made a milk soap and I promised we would look at the soap that failed. Today will be the day that I show you how I re-batch a failed soap.

Collect needed items:

Ingredients
Failed Milk Soap from yesterday
Water
Raspberry Fragrance Oil
Concentrated Liquid Purple Raspberry
Equipment
Scale
Soap Spoon
Gloves
Glass or Steel Baking Pan
Dough Knife or Cheese Grater
Mold
Potato Masher
Immersion Blender with a whisk attachment (optional)
Time spent:
Cutting soap into small chunks: 5 minutes
Heating 6 oz of water: 60 seconds
Stirring soap and hot water: 45 seconds
Heating soap in oven at 200° Fahrenheit: 30 minutes
Mashing heated soap: 2 minutes
Heating soap in oven at 200° Fahrenheit: 30 minutes
Mashing heated soap: 2 minutes
Adding additional fragrance and color: 30 seconds
Stirring until completely smooth: 3 minutes

When I pulled the plastic bag holding this soap out of the mold, there was a brown gelatinous mass under the soap and then I knew that my soap had failed. After making faces and scowling at the soap, I grabbed a stainless steel steam table pan that I use for other projects. I unwrapped the soap and dumped the soap and gelatinous goop into the pan. Tossing the bag into the trash can, I walked over to the oven and turned the temperature to 200° Fahrenheit. I grabbed my soaping gloves and a dough knife that I use for cutting soap.

Now that I was armed to deal with my soap, I started slicing the soap with the dough knife. As I made my third slice about 3/4 inch into the soap, the soap started leaking. Ack! This white-ish fluid mixture flowed out a hole right in the center of the soap. While I think this was very cool, I’m glad I was cutting the soap in the pan. According to our Technical Support Team, this fluid is a mixture of sugars, glycerin and water.

I chopped my failed soap until all of the soap was in small chunks, but you can also use a cheese grater. I poured boiling water over the soap and placed it in the oven. Now, this is where you do not mimic my actions since I made a mistake. I used 1 – 1/2 cups of water when I really only needed maybe 1/2 cup at most! This was too much water and made my soaps shrink quite a bit as they dried.

The soap was placed in the oven for 30 minutes to cook. After the 30 minutes, I stirred the soap and tried to break down the larger soap clumps. After stirring for about 60 seconds, I grabbed the whisk attachment for my immersion blender and mixed for another 60 seconds. This time the soap looked much smoother but it still had lots of soap clumps that I didn’t want. The soap went back into the oven for another 30 minutes.

This time, the soap had a puffy appearance and after stirring it was determined to not have anymore soap clumps. I poured the soap into a 1 gallon bucket so I had an easy place that I could add fragrance and color. I added more fragrance because after the process of rebatching, the soap did not smell like raspberries anymore. I added more of the Concentrated Purple Raspberry color because I wanted to have a pinkish color.

I used the whisk to mix the additions into the soap completely. Unfortunately, I forgot that to use a whisk means that I added air to my soap. Whoops! Once everything was completely mixed, I poured my soap into the mold and let it rest for 24 hours.

The next morning I cut the soap into bars. The soap was still very soft and I was worried that I had messed up the re-batch. I grabbed my soap and took it to our Technical Support Team and when I showed them my soap, they promptly burst out into giggles. After the giggles had abated I learned that while my soap was fine, I had made a floating soap by whipping my soap and adding too much water. So I headed back to the kitchen and stacked the soap to allow good air circulation. I allowed the soap to cure for several days before slicing up the soap for samples.

Now you have a great example of how to re-batch your soap and things you really shouldn’t do when re-batching.

I hope my educational experience has been helpful to you, because I learned a lot!

Finished soap as it air dries.

The brown gelatinous mass at the bottom of my soap.

Cutting the soap in the pan.

A close up of the fluid flowing from my soap.

Using the dough knife to cut the soap.

This soap is almost ready to go into the oven.

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Raspberry Milk Soap

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010
A while ago, our blog team was asked to make a milk soap that was scented with Raspberry Fragrance Oil. This blog post covers my adventure while making this soap.

Collect needed items:

Ingredients
Sweet Almond Oil
Coconut Oil
Palm Oil
Shea Butter
Sunflower Oil
Sodium Hydroxide
Water
Milk
Raspberry Fragrance Oil
Concentrated Liquid Purple Raspberry (From the Halloween Soap Series)
Amethyst Pink Dry Color mixed with Liquid Glycerin (Liquid Amethyst Pink Color)
Equipment
Scale
Soap Spoon
Gloves
Mold
Immersion Blender
Time spent:
Weighing time: 8 minutes
Adding lye to water: 15 seconds, followed by 60 seconds of stirring
Heating of oils time: 90 seconds
Pouring lye solution into the fat mixture: 15 seconds
Using immersion blender to mix soap solution: 90 seconds
Adding Raspberry Fragrance and mixing well: 30 seconds
Pour into mold: 10 seconds
Allow soap to rest: 24 hours
Recipe in ounces:
4 oz Sweet Almond Oil
8 oz Coconut Oil
8 oz Palm Oil
4 oz Shea Butter
8 oz Sunflower Oil

4.48 oz Sodium Hydroxide
6 oz Water
6 oz Milk

0.56 oz Raspberry Fragrance Oil
qs Concentrated Liquid Purple Raspberry OR qs Liquid Amethyst Pink Color

Measure fixed oils on your scale. Warm the fixed oils on the stove or in the microwave. I melted the oils in the microwave. Add sodium hydroxide to the water. Mix well. Weigh the Raspberry Fragrance Oil and set aside. Measure the milk and set aside.

Combine oils and lye solution. Mix until thin trace. Upon light trace, add the Raspberry Fragrance Oil, milk and color and mix well after each addition. Pour soap into the desired mold I used a different style of the Guerrilla Mold from Dirk’s post. Allow to sit until soap is firm.

The next morning 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:
This particular batch of soap was a complete educational experience for me. I had forgotten that milk soaps do better when poured shallowly, so I poured my milk soaps into a wooden mold that is deep. Whoops! I swear I know better!

Other than my mold choice, this soap proceeded as expected. I knew that I was trying to obtain a raspberry colored soap, so I decided to use the Concentrated Liquid Purple Raspberry to color my soap. When I added my Raspberry Fragrance Oil to the raw soap, the raw soap turned a vibrant yellow color and I knew that coloring with a dye would not be possible. Sure as shootin’, the soap turned a pretty orange color and stayed that way all the way to the mold.

I made the batch again so I could try to color the soap a raspberry color and I used the Liquid Amethyst Pink Color instead. This time the soap turned an orange-ish pink in color.

After I poured both soaps into the mold, I set them aside and proceeded to make another batch of soap and then clean the kitchen. After I was finished cleaning the kitchen, I noticed that my second batch of Raspberry milk soap had separated. I grabbed my immersion blender and the whisk attachment for it. I blended it using the whisk until the soap was completely mixed. As the other soap looked fine, I left it alone.

After the soaps had set for 24 hours, I pulled them out of the molds and that was when I learned my first batch had separated as well. Grrrr! Oh well, at least this means that tomorrow I can show you how to re-batch a soap.

Finished soap.

Lye solution, milk, and fragrance.

Adding the lye solution to the melted oils.

Mixing lye solution and oils together.

Adding milk to the raw soap.

Mixing the milk into the raw soap.

Raw soap after adding the fragrance.

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Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Castile Soap

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010
According to the dictionary, Castile is a former kingdom comprising most of current day Spain. There is a special soap variety that originated in the Castile region called … (any guesses) Castile soap. This soap only uses olive oil and sodium hydroxide. This soap was originally made because there was a greater supply of olive oil rather than tallow.

The most commonly used method to make castile soap started with burning plants in the salsola genus (like saltwort or tumbleweeds) and then combining the ashes with water to create the alkaline solution that would convert fats to soap. Olive oil was added to the pot and was boiled. The soap was then forced to float to the surface of the pot by adding a brine to the pot. As the soap was floating, the soap was easily skimmed off and left excess unwanted materials like lye, coloring and other impurities to settle to the bottom of the pot. This created a white colored, hard bar of olive oil soap.

Whoa! Wait just one minute! White soap? I thought last time I looked an all olive oil soap was a dirty green in appearance. The coloring of the soap can depend on the the olive oil you use. Did you know the color of olive oil can vary due to the content of chlorophyll and other similar materials. The color of the olive oil depends on factors such as the fruit ripeness, the olive variety, the soil and climate conditions, as well as the extraction and processing procedures.

Today, I’ll be sharing my experiences with making Castile soap. Not just my good experience, but my not so great experience too!

My first attempt at making Castile soap was about 8 weeks ago during mid-August. I heated my olive oil to about body temperature. (It was probably around 95deg; Fahrenheit.) My lye was about 120° Fahrenheit. I mixed the soap for about 3 or 4 minutes and then decided it was done. I left the batch of soap in the mold overnight. When I came back, I was expecting to have a hard log of soap that was ready to cut. To my surprise, that was not what I encountered. My soap was very soft and cold.

When I asked our Technical Support Team what had happened, I received the explanation along with some chuckles. According to their response, my soap stalled during the saponification process. It did not help that I had only made a one pound batch which does not have enough thermal mass alone to prevent the stalling of the soap. Combining this new information with my low soaping temperatures, I now knew that I hadn’t made my soap well. I asked what I would have to do with my soap. I was told to hide it somewhere and then promptly forget about it for 6 to 8 weeks. I did so by placing the soap (in the mold) in the cupboard above my blog kitchen sink. I programmed an alarm into my phone to check it during the first week of October.

Fast forward to October 4th. I removed the Castile soap from the cupboard and I was very excited to see that it had hardened enough for me to cut the soap easily. I cut the soap log and set it out on a sheet of cardboard to have some more airflow to allow the remaining water to evaporate. By October 6th, the soap was hard enough that I could package it for shipping samples. I promptly packaged the soap for samples and then moved on to analyze my successful batch of Castile soap.

Collect needed items:

Ingredients
Olive Oil
Sodium Hydroxide
Water
Equipment
Scale
Soap Spoon
Gloves
Rubbermaid Drawer Organizer #2915
Immersion Blender
Time spent:
Weighing time: 3 minutes
Adding lye to water: 15 seconds, followed by 60 seconds of stirring
Heating of Olive Oil time: 90 seconds
Pouring lye solution into the Olive Oil: 10 seconds
Using immersion blender to mix soap solution: 10 minutes (Using blender every other minute)
Pour into mold: 30 seconds
Allow soap to rest: 24 hours
Recipe in ounces:
32 ounces Olive Oil

4.12 ounces Sodium Hydroxide
12 fl oz water

Finished soap after bagging for samples.

Olive oil after being weighed.

Adding the lye solution to the olive oil.

Blending the raw soap to reach trace.

Continuing to mix the raw soap.

Pouring the raw soap into the mold.

I was determined to make sure my second batch of Castile soap succeeded. This time, I increased the temperature of the Olive Oil to about 130° Fahrenheit and my lye solution was about the same temperature. I used my immersion blender and mixed until everything appeared to be mixed completely. Once I reached this state, I let the raw soap sit for a moment and spent 1-2 minutes cleaning the kitchen, packaging samples or formatting other recipes. I did this several times until the temperature of the raw soap increased and seemed to be holding at a steady temperature. At this time, I poured the raw soap into a wooden mold lined with a plastic bag. I thought that the wood mold was going to be my best friend for its insulating properties. I used a different style of the Guerrilla Mold from Dirk’s post. Allow to sit until soap is firm.

The next morning I was able to cut my soap 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:
Lots of various information has led me to think that Castile soap is like good wine or cheese. Most of the time it needs aging before it is a fantastic product. I have been told that Castile soaps can be slimy and snot-like in their first year, but the texture and lather improves after a year of dry storage. A year? I don’t know about you, but anticipating soap sales a year in advance seems impossible. I think a 100% Olive Oil soap is nice, but Coconut or Palm Kernel are great additions to making a good soap better.

Remember, if your Castile soap is soft after 24 hours, you will have to leave it in the mold and wait 6 to 8 weeks! This thought alone is enough for me to increase my soap temperatures and use a wood mold. Then again, sometimes I want to poke things when I’m supposed to leave them alone!

The Castile soap samples have been sent to the Shipping Department to send out in orders. I really want to hear your comments about this or any of the other recent soaps. I hope that anyone wanting a sample soap will request one and if we have any samples we will send them to you.

This has been a very interesting process and I think I’ll probably try it again. I hope this was as educational for you as it has been for me. This is one soap that I wonder if a Hot Process Castile soap would be any easier. Have you tried this before? I’d love to hear what you have to say!

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Coffee Soap

Monday, October 11th, 2010
Since the mornings have been a little chilly lately, I’ve been drinking a fair amount of coffee to help jump start my mornings. As I was making my morning cup of coffee, I couldn’t help but wish that I could start my mornings just a little earlier. I’ll bet you can just imagine the light bulb above my head flashing as I realized I could make a coffee soap to start my mornings instead of a drink!

Collect needed items:

Ingredients
Coconut Oil
Macadamia Nut Butter
Olive Oil
Palm Oil
Sodium Hydroxide
Water
Mokalata Fragrance Oil
Finely Ground Coffee Beans
Equipment
Scale
Soap Spoon
Gloves
Rubbermaid Drawer Organizer #2915
Immersion Blender
Time spent:
Weighing time: 8 minutes
Adding lye to water: 15 seconds, followed by 60 seconds of stirring
Heating of oils time: 90 seconds
Pouring lye solution into the fat mixture: 15 seconds
Using immersion blender to mix soap solution: 90 seconds
Adding Finely Ground Coffee Beans and mixing well: 30 seconds
Pour into mold: 10 seconds
Allow soap to rest: 24 hours
Recipe in ounces:
8 ounces Coconut Oil
4 ounces Macadamia Nut Butter
4 ounces Olive Oil
16 ounces Palm Oil

4.58 ounces Sodium Hydroxide
12 ounces Water

0.56 ounces Mokalata Fragrance Oil
2 teaspoons Finely Ground Coffee Beans

Measure fixed oils on your scale. Warm the fixed oils on the stove or in the microwave. I melted the oils in the microwave. Add sodium hydroxide to the water. Mix well. Combine the Finely Ground Coffee Beans and Mokalata Fragrance Oil in a beaker and set aside. This will allow the beans and fragrance to combine scents.

Combine oils and lye solution. Mix until thin trace. Upon light trace, add the Finely Ground Coffee Beans and Mokalata Fragrance Oil mixture. Stir well. Pour soap into the desired mold I used a different style of the Guerrilla Mold from Dirk’s post. Allow to sit until soap is firm.

The next morning 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:
This soap does have a faint decomposition odor for the first day or so after cutting, but the odor does go away eventually as the coffee grounds dry out. The scent of this soap now is reminiscent of a Chocolate-Caramel Macchiato I will get occasionally at my favorite local coffee shop. The coffee is perfectly accented by cocoa, caramel and a titch of vanilla sugar. Yummy! My morning coffee without all the calories or expense!

Finished coffee soap.

Adding the lye solution to the melted oils.

Beginning to mix the oils and lye solution.

Fragrance and coffee mixture.

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Dreaming in Purple Soap

Friday, October 8th, 2010
I’ve been playing around with a different swirling method to see if I could do something different. I struggled with putting this idea to work, but I had a very strong hunch that I was on the right track and I just needed to adjust some things. After three batches of soap, I finally figured it out! A swirl was possible with a plastic bag, I just needed a tiny hole in the corner and multiple layers in the mold I was using.

Collect needed items:

Ingredients
Sweet Almond Oil
Coconut Oil
Palm Oil
Shea Butter
Sunflower Oil
Dream Fragrance Oil
Lavender Fields Dry Color
Liquid Glycerin
Equipment
Scale
Soap Spoon
Gloves
Mold
Immersion Blender
Plastic Bag
Sissors
Time spent:
Weighing time: 8 minutes
Adding lye to water: 15 seconds, followed by 60 seconds of stirring
Heating of oils time: 90 seconds
Pouring lye solution into the fat mixture: 10 seconds
Using immersion blender to mix soap solution: 90 seconds
Adding 1/2 pound of raw soap to the plastic bag: 45 seconds
Adding Liquid Lavender Fields Color to raw soap bag and mixing well: 45 seconds
Pour into mold: 90 seconds
Allow soap to rest: 24 hours
Recipe in ounces:
4 ounces Sweet Almond Oil
8 ounces Coconut Oil
8 ounces Palm Oil
4 ounces Shea Butter
8 ounces Sunflower Oil

4.53 ounces Sodium Hydroxide
12 fl oz water

0.7 ounces Dream Fragrance Oil
q.s. Liquid Lavender Fields Color*

* To make these soaps, I did need to do some work just to prepare the colors I would use. I mixed the Lavender Fields Dry color with Liquid Glycerin and then mixed well. From now on, I will refer to this as Liquid Lavender Fields Color. I used the amount I desired to color my soap, but you can use more or less as you desire. This item has been marked as q.s. “Quantity Sufficient” for this purpose.

Measure fixed oils on your scale. Warm the fixed oils on the stove or in the microwave. I melted the oils in the microwave. Add sodium hydroxide to the water. Mix well.

Combine oils and lye solution. Stir until thin trace. Upon light trace, add the fragrance and mix well. Once the fragrance has been added, remove 1/2 pound of raw soap and place into the plastic bag. Added the desired amount of Liquid Lavender Fields Color to the soap in the bag and mix well. Pour half of the uncolored soap into the mold. Cut a small portion of the corner off the bag and gently squeeze the bag, forcing the colored soap down into the uncolored soap. After you have used about 1/4 pound of the colored soap, add another layer of the uncolored soap and empty your soap bucket. Repeat the swirling by using the bag and force to swirl the soap. I used a different style of the Guerrilla Mold from Dirk’s post. (Maybe we can get a blog post about making this one!) Allow to sit until soap is firm.

The next morning 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:
This soap requires two layers of pouring otherwise you will end up with a half colored bar of soap. The pressure from squeezing the bag can only force the colored soap shallowly into the uncolored soap.

Finished soap.

Adding the lye solution to the melted oils.

Beginning to mix the oils and lye solution.

The scented raw soap is ready to divide.

Colored soap in a bag.

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