Category Archives: soapmaking

Sandalwood Soap/ Tropical Jasmine Soap

This is my basic cold process coconut milk recipe. Coconut oil, olive oil, palm oil, avocado oil, castor oil. Then mix the sodium hydroxide with coconut milk.

 I split the batch and used some round molds and a new half loaf mold. My sandalwood colorants we’re gold mica and cocoa powder and used the half loaf for that.

 The Tropical Jasmine I left plain.. because I have soaped with it before and I knew it was going to rice and need extra blending.. then would harden as soon as it stopped being stired. I love this scent in soap but it’s solid before I can get to tapping out air bubbles. I quickly glopped this stuff into round molds.


Project List

My hobbies have grown so my project list needs categories now, here’s what I’ve got in the works, who knows what I will get to, I should have some free time in a few weeks.

 

Cold Process Soap Making

Idea: I made a lot of soap last year, I have  isolated my favorites and will be recreating some variation of them. All of my soap sold or was given away last year so I only have the newer two that I made in November that were curing at the time I ran out.

  1. Charcoal soap split (Lavender/Rosemary Soap, Cedar/Bergamot)
  2. Breton Sea Salt Bar
  3. Coconut Milk split scent ( hawaiian jasmine, sandalwood)
  4. Beer Soap (new soap type)

Other Soap

  1. Shaving Cream (will run out soon)
  2. Laundry and Dish Soap ( will run out soon)

Lip Balm

This is meant to be as a set for holiday presents but it didn’t happen. I will be infusing the black tea into the oils.

  1. Black Tea & Lavender
  2. Black Tea & Peppermint
  3. Black Tea & Bergamot

Lotion/Conditioner

I might make these with Black Tea Infused Oil as well.

  1. Apple/Sage Conditioner
  2. Apple/Sage Lotion

Sewing

I’m an extreme beginner, I still cant sew a straight line or understand some terms and instructions. The seam ripper is my best friend and I keep stabbing myself with pins and burning myself on the iron… but I have determination.

  1. Skirt
  2. Purse
  3. Backpack
  4. Jean Quilt
  5. Tri-Fold Wallet

Paper Projects

  1. Handmade Paper with Botanical Imbeds
  2. Hardcover hand made blank journal

Cooking

  1. El Pollo Loco Chicken ( pineapple and lime glaze)
  2. Teriyaki Tofu ( I can’t get it right!! Eventually…)
  3. Corn Tortillas

 


Vanilla Espresso Coconut Milk Soap

I am using the other half of my frozen coconut milk cubes for this recipe. so half coconut milk half distilled water. Because of the sugars it should reach a higher temperature, hence the freezing of the coconut milk. The soap wont be insulated at the end because I don’t want a mess, I find that my soap mold fits perfectly into the door part of my freezer so I will place it there until it cools off.

This soap will have two layers that are both going to discolor so I am not particularly worried about scorching. I expect it to darken considerably from the fragrance oils. I will be using pearly white mica to bring it down to a lighter brown vanilla layer and tan espresso layer with flecks of finely ground coffee. Because the fragrances will discolor differently I will have twice as much Mica in the Vanilla portion. I am also hoping to get a nice jagged look between the layers. For my extra leftover soap I made individual Vanilla and Espresso soaps without mixing them(much).


Ingredients:

10.25 oz Coconut Oil

10.75 oz Palm Oil

10.25 oz Olive Oil

2 oz Castor Oil

1.75 oz Cocoa Butter

4.99 oz Sodium Hydroxide

5.77 oz Distilled Water

5.77 oz Coconut Milk

2-3 tablespoons Bentonite Clay

Pearly White Mica

1.2 oz Espresso Fragrance

1.2 oz Vanilla Fragrance

one pinch of Espresso, fine ground


Notes:

I added the clay to the oils before the lye and I added the frozen coconut milk cubes to slushy, near frozen distilled water just before incorporating the lye into  the water.

At light trace I separated the batter and added the mica then added the fragrance oil to the bottom layer, and brought it to a fairly thick trace in an attempt to make jagged edges that wont squash as soon as I layer on top of it. Once the bottom layer is poured and ready to go I added the fragrance to the second batch then layered it gently on top. In reality my technique evolved into using a spatula to create channels to pour soap into. I’ll have to regroup and try that technique again some time.


Cut  Bars & Discolor Progression

 

 

 

 


Bamboo Coconut Milk Cold Process Soap

I  always expect the worst with new techniques and scents. I am using a bamboo scent for this one. I expect it to rice so I will take an extra step to blend the fragrance into a small portion of batter before fully incorporating it. It’s my first coconut milk soap and I expect heating. I am also a little worried to put the soap in the fridge/freezer with my food. So I’ve sort of created a quarantine area of the fridge where the soap mold will be held prisoner in it’s own little soap containment unit until it cools off. I generally am making a soap that I would apply heat to so cooling is a bit of a difference for me. Also I would recommend being careful with strong scents because your leftover takeout rice could absorb some scent and for example become ‘bambooed rice’.. or you’ll have ‘bambooed-butter’ or something awful so take this into consideration scent by scent, this one didn’t cause any trouble.

I am making this soap with palm, coconut, olive, castor and avocado oils. about 60% of the water was substituted with coconut oil and I added bentonite clay.  I ended up using an in the mold swirl: which is two colors divided and then poured into the mold half the batter at a time, swirling the colors in together.

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I added a portion of the batter to the fragrance oil and it didn’t know if it wanted to become solid or rice or both and I mixed like crazy, divided it into the separated portions and I had to blend it until it was at a thick trace before it smoothed out so I ran a chopstick through it since it was very gloppy when poured and I wanted to ensure it mixed enough. I hope I pounded the majority of the bubbles out after that.

This particular green mica goes through some interesting shades of vibrant green to grey color transformations.

 

 

I did have a few blemishes, the top of the soap had two small cracks, I got almost a complete gel so the two end pieces aren’t as pretty, the bubbles were about what I was expecting for how thick it was. Here we are unmolded and cut. The white still may yellow a bit from the fragrance oil. We shall see. At this point the green color change is nearly complete and the grey is almost gone.


Moisturizing Shaving Cream

 

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To keep skin moisturized for the winter I have adapted my usual recipe slightly.

Tools:

Large Mixing bowl

Whisk

spoons/butter knives

spray bottle of isopropyl alcohol

digital kitchen scale

measuring cup

double boiler (makeshift with a pan of water on the stove works just fine)

microwave

pippettes

paper towels

latex gloves

containers for your final product

 

Ingredients:

2 oz Stearic Acid

1 oz Avocado Oil

.5 oz Shea Butter

.5 oz Emulsifying Wax

8 oz Distilled Water, heated

1 oz Melt & Pour Shaving Soap, grated

10 ml Aloe Vera Extract (It can be used up to roughly 15% of the total weight if you want more.)

Fragrance, optional. I only used 6 drops for this entire batch, you don’t want to over scent something that will be used on someones face. (mine is Lavender and Cedar scented this time.)

Preservative of your choice, not optional

Instructions:

Use the Isopropyl Alcohol to disinfect all of your equipment. It is important to take note that even though a measuring cup is part of the tools it will not be used for measuring anything, all measurements will be done by weight. A measuring cup is just easier to hold and pour with.

In a double boiler melt the Stearic Acid, Avocado Oil, Shea Butter and Emulsifying Wax.

Meanwhile, In a large mixing bowl add 8 oz of distilled water and microwave until steaming hot.

When the oils in the double boiler have completely melted whisk it slowly into the hot water, followed by the grated soap. Mix until creamy and smooth.

Using pippets add the Fragrance, Aloe Vera Extract and Preservative.

Spoon into container, leave without lid for a few hours to prevent condensation on the inside of the lid as it cools.

 


Cold Process Salt Bars

 

I have my Salt Bar recipe built and I’ve taken a few days to watch all of the YouTube video’s on it I can find. I need the volume of my silicone molds calculated and I think I will have enough for my sheet of round molds and a bit of overflow to my plastic molds.

A few lessons I have learned from observing other soapers are as follows.

  • Most soapers are using a near equal amount of salt to the amount of oil used. Salt kills most bubbles and coconut oil is an exception so you need to use a high amount of it in your recipe. 60-80% seems most common.
  • That much coconut oil will be very drying so the superfat must be somewhere between 10-20%
  • Add your fragrance to your salt and add your salt at thin trace, it will thicken quickly so work fast.
  • Use silicone molds if you have them, the soap will be hard and brittle from all the salt so cut your soap as soon as 2 hours after pouring. almost everyone I observed waiting 24 hours to mold had broken loaf soaps.

 

So.. with these guidelines in mind I begin.

I am using 80% Coconut oil, then Palm, Avocado and Castor Oil’s for the rest. For the salt I am using Breton Sea Salt at 75% to the weight of the oils. I will be superfatting at 15%.

I will be splitting the batch in two and making 2 separate scents. Peppermint(2X) Essential Oil, and Apple Sage fragrance oil a sample I got from Brambleberry.

I will in the pot swirl each with one of my new micas. I selected Caribbean Blue for the Peppermint, and Kelly Green for the Apple Sage.

I added the fragrance to the salt before hand. The peppermint was pretty intense in my tiny kitchen for a while.

I let everything cool to about 100 degrees and then tried to work reasonably fast.

Here was the result. (Half of my kitchen light is burnt out so it’s a little dim)

 

After a few hours it was still pretty soft so I let it go longer. I tried to unmold the next morning, they were crumbly but firm, so I added them to the freezer before unmolding the rest.

Not perfect but it was about what I expected for my first try.

For fun I used my new Dash Cam to record the making of this soap so I may post that as soon as I figure out what software to use and get it edited.

 

 

 

 

 


Last Day of Vacation/Valencia Soap

After a walk with Drew yesterday I made a valencia orange loaf of soap with a spoon swirl design.  This soap is primarily palm, coconut and olive oil with the addition of castor oil, sweet almond oil, shea butter and nettle extract, it has a superfat of 7%. I added bentonite clay to help hold the scent since I am using a citrus essential oil, it is said that citrus oils fade in cold process but this one has good reviews from soapers. I was also careful of the flash point.

I cut them this morning. The round soaps have pieces of loofah in them. Their scent is quite strong.

I am now at 20 bars made this last week, I think I am good until those are cured at least.