Starting with Soap – Day 3

Finished Soap
Finished Soap

Today we will be making our first batch of soap. For our first batch of soap, I wanted to use Shea Butter as our luxury oil.  Shea Butter makes for a very nice soap. It adds conditioning and emollient properties. What does this mean for your skin? It means this soap feels super creamy and rich. And the best part of it all? You made it!

Weighing Oils
Weighing Oils

Now that we have decided on our luxury oil, it is time to determine to rest of our oils. I am fond of using Coconut Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil and Olive Oil. These are all oils that are easy for me to get and I know they make a firm bar with lots of lather.

Making Lye Solution
Making Lye Solution

There is just one more thing we need to decide before we get started. The percentage of excess fat we will leave in this soap. Excess fat where we leave some extra fat that we don’t convert into soap. We do this to prevent the soap from having excess lye. Excess lye soaps can feel harsh to the skin. The excess fat contributes to the conditioning feeling.

Mixing Lye Solution and Oils
Mixing Lye Solution and Oils

The sweet spot is anywhere from 5% to 8% excess fat. Any more than that and we can struggle with our soap turning rancid or dreaded orange spots (DOS). Any less and the soap can be too harsh. I really like to use 6% excess fat. You can determine excess fat for yourself using our handy-dandy lye calculator! Let’s go make some soap!

 

Ingredients
Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
Coconut Oil
Olive Oil
Shea Butter
Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
Water
Equipment
Scale
Microwave Safe Container
Spoons
Pipettes
Thermometer
Immersion Blender

 

Recipe:

Recipe in Grams
170 grams Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
142 grams Coconut Oil
113 grams Olive Oil
29 grams Shea Butter
64 grams Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
177 mL Water
Recipe in Ounces
6 oz Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
5 oz Coconut Oil
4 oz Olive Oil
1 oz Shea Butter
2.26 oz Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
6 fl oz Water
Recipe in Percentages
37.5% Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
31.25% Coconut Oil
25% Olive Oil
6.25% Shea Butter
Q.S. Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
Q.S. Water

 

Ready to Blend
Ready to Blend

Weigh the oils into a microwave safe container. Place into the microwave and heat. While the oils are heating, weigh the lye. Slowly add the lye to your container of water. DO NOT add water to your container of lye. The two chemicals reacting can cause a dangerous volcano. It is best to create good safety habits now, before you make a batch of soap that is 20 lbs in size.

Mixing Soap
Mixing Soap

For most soaps, you will want to mix your oils and lye solution when both are somewhere between 110°F to 130°F. We recommend having your oils and lye solution within 10°F of each other. In the winter when your soaping area is cooler, you will want to soap at higher temperatures. In the summer when your soaping area is warmer, you will want to soap at cooler temperatures. With the current weather we are having in Utah, I am soaping closer to 110°F to 115°F.

Mixing Soap
Mixing Soap

When your lye solution and oils are within the ideal temperature range, slowly pour the lye solution into the oils. Using either an immersion blender or a soap spoon, mix until you reach trace. Trace is when the raw soap has been mixed enough that oil will no longer rise to the surface when mixing has stopped. If you aren’t sure if you have achieved trace then stop mixing, go get a glass, fill it with water, do not drink it. Come back to your soap. Is oil floating on the surface? This short distraction will allow unmixed oil to rise to the surface.

Pouring Soap into Mold
Pouring Soap into Mold

Once trace is reached you can pour the soap into a mold. Allow the soap to sit undisturbed for 12-24 hours. After the soap has been allowed to sit for up to 24 hours, you can unmold the soap and cut it. Arrange the cut bars of soap in an area where there is good air flow but where they will not be in the way. I like to put them on a sheet of cardboard. You are now ready for the curing process. The curing process is just allowing the soap to dry out, giving you a nice hard bar. You can use your soap immediately after cutting but it will not last as long as a fully cured bar.

Soap in the Mold
Soap in the Mold

A great way to determine if your bar has cured all the way is to use our Cure Cards! Did you know you can get them free in qualifying orders? How cool is that?!

Taylor

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Starting with Soap – Day 2

Today we should have our basic equipment. Ideally this means you

Welcome to the open road of soap making!
Welcome to the open road of soap making!

have your goggles, scale, mixing container, spoon, immersion blender, gloves and a mold. If you have selected a box, milk carton or drawer organizer for your mold, the first thing we need to do is calculate how much soap our mold can hold.

To do this you will need a few things. Your mold, a tape measure, a notebook and a calculator. Using your tape measure, measure the inside of the mold. We will need the length, width and depth.

Measuring Drawer Organiser
Measuring Drawer Organizer

Now we just need to calculate the volume. My mold (drawer organizer) is 3″x8.5″x1.75″. To calculate for the volume, multiply all of the numbers together. Or if you want to keep things simple, use our volume calculator! This results for my mold is a volume of 44.63 cubic inches. Divide the total cubic inches by 44. For me, this is almost one. This means that my mold can only hold a batch of soap from 1 lb of oils.

Measuring Kleenex Box
Measuring Kleenex Box

If I used a Kleenex box where my measurements are 4.25″x4.25″x5″ my volume is 90.31 cubic inches. 90.31/44 is 2.05. This means my Kleenex box could hold a 2 lb fat batch. How cool is that? You can choose almost anything to be a mold. And now you know how much your mold can hold! No guessing required.

The other thing that needs to be discussed is safety. When I first started making soap, I was astonished to discover that sodium hydroxide are like micro bouncy balls on steroids. They bounce like crazy. They are also sensitive to static electricity. So what does this mean for you?

This means you should make soap in a clean working space with no distractions. Prevent children and pets from coming into your soaping area while you are working. Wearing gloves, goggles and even an apron are helpful when making soap. Even shirts with long sleeves are helpful. When you are done, make sure you wipe down the surfaces well. You want to clean up any spills or drips as soon as possible.

Now that the hard work is out of the way, we can start to plan the fun stuff. For your first several batches of soap, we recommend that you try several simple formulas that suit your budget and what is available to you. Some of us have easy access to tallow and lard. Others have easy access to sunflower oil. So how do you create a formulation? Well it is as easy as 6-5-4-1.

What do I mean by 6-5-4-1? Well, this is the break down of our recipe. We are using 16 oz or 1 lb of fat to create our recipe. Let’s start with our smallest number.

1 stands for 1 oz. This is the luxury oil that we use in our soap. This can be a variety of oils. These oils can be things like Shea Butter, Lanolin, Argan Oil, Jojoba Oil, Neem Oil or even Rosehip Oil. I recommend you choose your luxury oil first, the luxury oil will determine what oils you choose for the rest of your formulation.

The reason these are luxury oils is because a little goes a long way. Additionally some of these oils can be expensive. So how do we keep our pocket book happy and the practice of making handmade soap sustainable? We use specialty/luxury oils appropriately. Many people are surprised at how a little can go a long way. In the case of soap making, more is not always better. Often it is detrimental to the sustainability of soap making and the health of your pocket book.

Our next three amounts are interchangeable; within reason. I will explain why I rearrange these numbers during my next several posts. Typically I use Hydrogenated Soybean Oil (6 oz), Coconut Oil (5oz) and OIive Oil (4 oz) in my soap. My Hydrogenated Soybean Oil is used because it makes a light colored bar that is firm. It also helps keeps my costs reasonable. You can use things like Lard, Tallow, or even Palm Oil in place of Hydrogenated Soybean Oil. You are looking for inexpensive oils that create a firm bar.

Coconut Oil give that big fluffy lather that we all associate with getting clean. Have a bar of soap that bubbles a lot? It probably contains Coconut Oil. Not wanting to use Coconut Oil? Try Palm Kernel Oil!

Last is the Olive Oil. This gives that dense creamy lather that we all know and love.  Other oils that contain high oleic fatty acids will be good alternatives to Olive Oil. Some of those alternatives can Rice Bran Oil, Sunflower Oil, Peanut Oil and even Safflower Oil.

Alright, I know you are on brain overload. So take a breath. When you are ready, go look in your cupboard for some oils you might want to use. We will meet back tomorrow and make our first batch of soap together!

Taylor

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Starting with Soap – Day 1

Welcome to Your Soapmaking Journey!
Welcome to Your Soapmaking Journey!

Summer is coming and our Technical Support Team is getting some fabulous questions regarding how to get into soap making and how to make great soap. I am always thrilled when I hear another person is wanting to learn how to make soap. If you are just starting on this journey, welcome. I am glad to have you with us. Over the next two weeks we will discuss how to make superb soap without breaking the bank and keep the hobby sustainable. Are you ready? Let’s get started!

Learning to make soap is thrilling, overwhelming and just a little scary. While there does need to be respect of the materials and the process, don’t let it scare you. If you can make a cake with Betty Crocker™, you can make soap. Here are some things I consider really important/helpful to making soap.

Goggles
Immersion Blender
Scale
Gloves
Spoon
Mixing Bucket
Mold
Thermometer
A notebook

All of these items make it much easier to make soap. However if you are on a limited budget and can only choose a few things from this list, my top three items will be goggles, a notebook and a good scale. I consider goggles a must because your vision is so important. A notebook is very important because when things go right, it allows you to duplicate what you did and when they go wrong, we can figure out how and fix it. The scale is also important. Soap is just one of those things you can’t make using volume measurements. Getting a good scale means you can make consistent batches of soap. The rest of the items do make life a lot easier but are rather flexible. You can always use recycled items. Your mixing bucket could be an old ice cream bucket or other container. If you reuse a food container make it large, don’t use drinking cup and remove food markings. Write SOAP ONLY on your containers.

You also don’t need a fancy soap mold. I use a drawer organizer lined with plastic wrap as my mold. (It is my most used mold.) Look around. There are lots of things that can be used. I have used milk cartons lined with bags, shipping boxes, PVC pipe, shoe boxes and even pencil organizers. Have some fun searching for your mold!

Another thing that I consider a must is keeping your soaping equipment and your cooking tools separate. When you get to using fragrance and essential oils you will find that they “stick” to all things plastic, silicone, wood and rubber. You do not want your spaghetti sauce tasting like lavender or patchouli, no matter how much you love how it smells. Check out this blog on how to protect your dishwasher from contamination as well.

Tomorrow we will talk about creating our formulations, calculating the capacity of our found molds and safety. This will allow you to collect the items you need and from there we can get started!

Taylor

 

 

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Local City Emergency! MMS Closed!

EmergencyMajestic Mountain Sage is closed today due to a local emergency in Nibley, Utah.

Diesel fuel was found yesterday afternoon in the city spring and all residents and businesses have been directed to not drink the municipal water. This do-not-drink order extends to avoiding use of the water for drinking, cooking, hand washing, bathing or watering animals.

To ensure safety of our employees and our products, we are closed today, April 23rd. We plan to be open tomorrow to ensure all orders are processed and shipped. If you have any questions or concerns, please use the Contact Us form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Thank you for your understanding!

Andee

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Juicy Pear Room Spray with Spray Clear Emulsifier

Finished Room Spray
Finished Room Spray

I have a secret. I love to read. I love to read all kinds of books but that isn’t my secret. My secret is that I adore children’s romance/ fairy tales. There is a certain predictability in that the hero or heroine will win and I close the book with a happy sigh. The book I am currently reading is called Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede. It is a delightful book about an unconventional princess who runs away from home to become a dragon’s princess. I have enjoyed this book so much that as soon as I have rushed through the house starting laundry, dishes and doing a quick pick up, I sit down in my over-sized arm chair and read.

Weighing Spray Clear Emulsifier
Weighing Spray Clear Emulsifier

I have found that there are some nights where you just need to do something deeply satisfying, something that feeds your soul. For me that means reading a book or making a bracelet or taking a bubble bath. One thing that I find is a powerful contributor to an evening of calm is scent. Today I wanted to share making a room spray using one of my favorite fragrance oils and our Spray Clear Emulsifier!

The spray we are making today in intend to be lightly scented. It is intended to create an aura of calm. You can always make a perfume or cologne but these products have higher usage rates of fragrance. These are wonderful products but I personally don’t think they are suitable to creating a zen area.  This room spray is soft and not in your face. I would be comfortable spraying this just before bedtime.

Ingredients
Juicy Pear Fragrance Oil
Spray Clear Emulsifier
Water
Equipment
Scale
Mixing Container
Spoons
Pipettes
2 oz Bottles
Spray Heads

Recipe:

Recipe in Grams
3.4 g Juicy Pear Fragrance Oil
6.8 g Spray Clear Emulsifier
340.0 g Water
Recipe in Ounces
0.12 oz Juicy Pear Fragrance Oil
0.24 oz Spray Clear Emulsifier
12 oz Water
Recipe in Percentages
1% Juicy Pear Fragrance Oil
2% Spray Clear Emulsifier
97% Water

 

Adding Juicy Pear Fragrance Oil
Adding Juicy Pear Fragrance Oil

Weigh the fragrance oil and Spray Clear Emulsifier into a container. Mix well and allow to sit for 5-15 minutes. Add room temperature water. (Hot water is more likely to create a cloudy spray.) Mix well. The product will be cloudy for a minute or two but it will clear out momentarily. If it does not clear out quickly, allow the mixture to sit for several days. The cloudy material will either sink to the bottom or rise to the surface. Decant the clear material and put into your spray bottle. Label and spritz!

Taylor

Starting to mix fragrance and emulsifier
Starting to mix fragrance and emulsifier

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mixture after sitting for 15 minutes
Mixture after sitting for 15 minutes

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adding Water
Adding Water

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mixing in water
Mixing in water

 

 

 

 

 

 

Room Spray clearing out
Room Spray clearing out

 

 

 

 

 

Filling Bottles
Filling Bottles

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Icy Water Roll-On Perfume

Finished Icy Water Perfume
Finished Icy Water Perfume

I love perfumes. I think they are my favorite thing to make and use. I mean you should see my vanity. I have a huge collection of perfumes, colognes and body splashes. I love it because I can choose what what I want to wear and it can change on a daily basis. I love that I can change what I wear on a daily basis.

Making your own perfumes is so easy and a delight. I love sitting down with a group of friends, smelling fragrances, creating blends then diluting into the chosen carrier oil and bottling. Today I wanted to share making a perfume using two fixed oils. Today I will be using a blend of Sunflower Oil and Castor Oil.

Weighing Castor Oil
Weighing Castor Oil

Castor Oil is a thick, viscous oil that helps slow the rate of how quickly the fragrance oil evaporates. This means that the fragrance “sticks” to your skin longer. The downside to use just straight Castor Oil is that is heavy and sticky feeling. Not exactly the most appealing feeling in the world. To combat that feeling, I mixed in some Sunflower Oil. I love the feeling of Sunflower Oil. It is light and smooth in texture. It is a favorite among massage therapists.

 

Ingredients
Castor Oil
Sunflower Oil
Icy Water Fragrance Oil
Equipment
Scale
Mixing Container
Spoons
Pipettes

Recipe:

Recipe in Grams
240 grams Castor Oil
240 grams Sunflower Oil
20 grams Icy Water Fragrance Oil
Recipe in Ounces
8.46 oz Castor Oil
8.46 oz Sunflower Oil
0.71 oz Icy Water Fragrance Oil
Recipe in Percentages
48% Castor Oil
48% Sunflower Oil
4% Icy Water Fragrance Oil

 

Weighing Sunflower Oil
Weighing Sunflower Oil

Weigh the Castor Oil and Sunflower Oil into a container. Add the fragrance oil. Mix well. Using a transfer pipette fill the roller bottles. Place the roller ball insert into the opening of the bottle and push until it is fully in place. Screw on the cap, label and enjoy!

Taylor

Adding Icy Water Fragrance Oil
Adding Icy Water Fragrance Oil

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stirring Perfume
Stirring Perfume

 

 

 

 

 

 

Filling Roller Bottles
Filling Roller Bottles
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Coming Up: Fragrance Blending and Perfumery 101

fragranceI had so much fun at the Central Soapers Workshop a few weeks ago and in the time that I’ve been back I’ve been asked lots of questions about fragrance blending. Since I gave a presentation on the subject I just have to share how easy fragrance blending and perfumery can be!

I’m giving you a heads up about this series so you can do some homework. Some of this may not seem very fun, but I promise it will be worthwhile!

Homework:

  • Create a master list: You will want to make a list of all fragrances and essential oils you have on hand right now. You don’t have to add anything to your stash, – yet! You probably already have some fantastic oils to blend and you may not have thought about blending yet.
  • Find a picture: You will want a picture (or several) that inspire you. Look for pictures that depict luxurious places, unique views, fascinating plants, delightful foods, and/or captivating towns. I find inspiration in magazines like Architectural Digest, National Geographic, Travel + Leisure, and more. Try to avoid pictures that have people as I don’t want you to feel overwhelmed by people yet. If you find a picture that does have people in it, go ahead and cut them out.
  • Look elsewhere: If you have inspiration in the form of descriptions in books, music lyrics or movie references, you can use those too!

Recommended Equipment (aka) tools:

  • Notebook: I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve blended something and found that I forgot to take notes! For the sake of your sanity, and mine, use a notebook of any type to keep your blending notes. I like using a 3 ring binder because I will also store sample vials with my notes for future reference. This will cause pages to become bulky quickly!
  • Pipettes: I love using transfer pipettes for fragrance blending. Since we now carry the Micro Pipettes, I love using these for creating blends because it like I’m using “special” equipment for blending and helps set my brain on the right path.
  • Sachet Cards: These cards are invaluable for fragrance blending. This paper is not simply card stock, but a specialty paper designed for holding fragrances. My favorite size is the small 4.75 by 3 inch cards. The 100 pack of these cards will get you started and keep you busy for a little while!
  • Perfume Vials: I like using the Perfume Vials or the Glass Dram Vials for blending small amounts to see if I like a scent after it ages. These vials often are bagged and then taped to my notes in my notebook for reference at a later time.

Now that I’ve given you homework and the recommended tools list, I’ll be back next week with everything you ever wanted to know about fragrance blending and more!

If you have any questions about fragrance blending that you would like to have me address, just leave a comment or send us a message here.

Andee

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Global Shortages – What do you do?

PrintWe get to work with some of the world’s most amazing natural products. Think things like Shea Butter, Argan Oil, Lavender Essential Oil and even Cranberry Seed Oil. I find it just amazing. However, as all of these are natural products, there are some years when the supply is leaner than others. So I want to know, what do you do when an item that is part of your line is having a global shortage?

Consider this, if you have a product line that is reliant on Lavender Essential Oil, what would you do if there is a global shortage? How do you cope? How does it effect what you do and what you sell/market?

Every year we see a few things on the market that are having global shortages due to bad weather, disease, poor crop yields and even politics. This year we have seen a decrease in the availability of citrus oils due to a disease attacking the citrus trees. We have seen a global shortage of Seabuckthorn Oil due to frost and we have also seen a shortage of Organic Rosehip Oil. It is always a disappointment to see these items struggle because they are such wonderful products and we always want to have it available. Alas, that is not the nature of natural products.

We want to hear from you. Tell us how you deal with global shortages! We want to hear. Just comment on the blog and get a chance to win some goodies from my private stash.

Taylor

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April Special!

AprilFlyerI know everyone loves specials! Who wouldn’t? I’ve got an awesome special for you this month.

Ready for the details?

If you buy a 100 pack of the Slim Stick Lip Balm Tubes OR a 100 pack of Oval Lip Balm Tubes and get a FREE Lip Balm Filling Tray! This awesome offer is only valid for the month of April, so get your order in now!

Here is another plus for the Slim Stick tubes. Did you know one jar of Lip Solutions will fill about 110 Slim Stick tubes? Talk about easy! Create your own kit with a jar of Lip Solutions, 100 of the Slim Stick tubes and a flavor of your choice, we will include the tray this month. Hurry before this fabulous offer ends!

Andee

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Paradise Roll-On Perfume

Finished Paradise Perfume
Finished Paradise Perfume

In recent posts we have talked about making roll-on perfumes. There are huge number of carrier oils that you can choose from and many reasons to choose one that best suits you and your needs. Today I wanted to talk about one of my personal favorites, Fractionated Coconut Oil.

Weighing Fractionated Coconut Oil
Weighing Fractionated Coconut Oil

If you are wanting to make roll-on perfumes, fractionated coconut oil is an excellent choice. It is a light weight oil that is easily applied and rubbed in without feeling heavy or greasy. It is also clear. For some people, color is important and clear is desirable. However, if you choose Fractionated Coconut Oil due to its color, remember that there are some fragrances and essential oils that will contribute their own colors to the finished perfume. Depending on the fragrance, your finished product may not always be clear.

Adding Paradise Fragrance Oil
Adding Paradise Fragrance Oil

The fragrance I used today does have some color but it is pretty minimal. When the perfume is transferred into the roller bottles, the material appears more clear than when in the mixing container.

 

Ingredients
Fractionated Coconut Oil
Paradise Fragrance Oil
Equipment
Scale
Mixing Container
Spoons
Pipettes

Recipe:

Recipe in Grams
480 grams Fractionated Coconut Oil
20 grams Paradise Fragrance Oil
Recipe in Ounces
16.93 oz Fractionated Coconut Oil
0.71 oz Paradise Fragrance Oil
Recipe in Percentages
96% Fractionated Coconut Oil
4% Paradise Fragrance Oil

 

Inserting Roller Ball Closure
Inserting Roller Ball Closure

Weigh the Fractionated Coconut Oil into a container. Add the fragrance oil. Mix well. Using a transfer pipette fill the roller bottles. Place the roller ball insert into the opening of the bottle and push until it is fully in place. Screw on the cap, label and enjoy!

Taylor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Filling Bottles with Perfume
Filling Bottles with Perfume
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Thoughts and ideas from the world of Majestic Mountain Sage.