Sunday, February 17, 2008

Yuzu Grapefruit

Well it didn't come out as I planned. I was going for a yellow base and orange swirls. I guess I have to try again but it smells so damn good. At this point I am way more interested in the quality of the soap because it's a first for me using sweet almond oil and some tussah silk from scentworks.

I was tempted to hot process this soap so I could use it at least in a week but at the last moment decided hot process was just too much work for me and I was too lazy to mess with it on Friday.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Dishers Unite!

Mary from Soap dish was nice enough to add me to her display over at Etsy- A Valentine For Your Nose. Thanks for the support. I am dying to see what you are going to unveil over at Etsy with your swirls that are out of this world. Clearly works of cold process soap art.

The Garden Bath Treasury

I must say very grateful thank you to The Garden Bath who decided to include me in her display, of her favorite swirled soaps among dishers of the Way to go dishers. You ladies rock! I look up to each and every one of you and continue to be inspired by your great soap works of art.

Now only if my replacement scale will get here so I can make more soap. It died a painful death a week ago.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Cold Process Soap Making- Part 1

Are you up to the challenge to try to make your own soaps? Here is my tutorial that I wrote for a long hair care forum last year. I had many folks on that board quite interested in soapmaking from all the pictures I used to display in my signature over there.

Please I can’t emphasize this enough please be sure you understand the basics of soap making first before you try to do this in the comforts of your own home. Your safety while learning this craft is my utmost concern! Please adhere strictly to the safety guidelines I will present to you throughout my tutorial. I refuse to be held responsible for someone not taking the safety guidelines I will present.

First making homemade soaps is the best thing you could ever do for your skin. Most of you will probably debate with me why making your own soap is better than simply going to target or Wal-Mart and buy bar soap. The difference between commercially produced soap and store bought soap is that store bought soap is NOT really soap. It’s really a detergent bar. It strips the oils in your skin and you skin is prone to becoming dried out, scratchy, itchy etc. That is why you load up on all the lotions and creams etc. When commercially produced soap is made natural glycerin that is formed while the soap is being made. Glycerin on its own is a skin softener and natural humectants. In other words it draws moisture to the skin. Bar soap made commercially has its natural glycerin extracted. Lots of detergents are added to the bar. You would be better off tossing your bar soap in your washer to wash your clothes rather than using it on your skin. It’s just a ploy by the same companies to get your to buy there lotions creams etc. because the bar soap makes your skin so dry.

On the other hand homemade soap does not dry your skin and makes it very soft. Therefore you will find you don’t have to load lots of greasy lotions and creams on your skin. Soap can never be truly moisturizing because it’s a true rinse off product. However you will find it will help you retain lots of moisture in your skin by not stripping your skin of its natural oils. You will still be clean it just won’t make your skin dry. Natural soap is made up of these ingredients. Oils and or fats, lye, and water. When all these ingredients are combined together and at the right temps soap will be made. I won’t bore you with all chemistry of it all because there are many sites, books etc that will be educate you on the chemical process. As far as the lye it’s impossible to make soap with out it. No Lye, NO soap. No lie. Anyone who tells you can make soap without lye is not telling you the truth. When you make soap there is a chemical reaction that occurs between the oils, and or fats, lye and water. It’s called saponification. What it means is the mixture is turning to soap. The molecules realign themselves and the mixture turns into soap. There will be no lye left in your finished product of soap if all your measurements of lye, water, and fats and oils were precise.

Here is what you will need to get started. This is by no means an all inclusive list. These are just the basics to get you started.

Safety equipment:

Nose mask
Vinyl or rubber gloves
Apron(old clothes will suffice)
Access to running water- This is very important in case you somehow spill your lye mixture or the soap batter comes in contact with your skin.

Soap making equipment:

Once you have used the below materials for soap making be sure you don’t use them again for food Preparation. These should be your dedicated soap making materials

Stainless steel stockpot( Do not use aluminum your lye will react with it violently) You can get cheap stockpots at places like Garden Ridge or Wal-Mart etc. Don’t spend too much on it.

Stick Blender ( Do not buy an expensive one. You can get a cheap one at Walmart for about 10 bucks)

Postal scale or Food scale( This is where you want to buy a decent and precise scale, You will need to measure out all your ingredients including the lye- You can not use volume measurements) I feel digital scales work the best.

Plasic container with a lid( Go to the dollar store) You will need this for you lye/water mixture

Small glass or plastic bowls( for measuring out colorants, additives, fagrance, oils, lye etc)

Candy thermometer( you will require this for ensuring you water/lye mixture and fats and oils are at the right temp for mixing)

Heavy duty plastic spoons (go to the dollar store)

Measuring spoons/cups – I use these soley for measuring out my additives

Freezer paper

Soap molds of your choice. I like wooden log and wooden slab molds. For a reasonable and cheap alternative you can use silicone molds, and or small plasic containers. Even a shoe box works. The choices are literally endless for a mold. Whatever you choice of mold is it has to be ligned first with freezer paper otherwise you will not be able to release your soap from it’s mold.