Category Archives: bath products

May
05

Romantic Scent

This entry was posted in bath and body, bath and body fragrances, bath products, body butter, candle fragrance oils, candle making supplies, candle scents, cold process soap scents, floral notes, Fragrance Oils, Natures Garden, Soap making supplies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

romantic scentLunar Eclipse Fragrance Oil- Fragrance Oil Spotlight

A lunar eclipse is one of natures most spectacular events to experience during a life time. If you get lucky enough to see one occur, it will be something you will not forget. Well, the same can be said about the romantic scent of Lunar Eclipse Fragrance oil. With enticing and alluring fruits, floral, and a pinch of sweetness; this romantic scent is loved by both men and women alike. The first time you smell this awesome fragrance, you will not want to stop. Our customers are pleasantly surprised at how popular this romantic scent is. So much so, that when this fragrance is in a product, the products sell themselves.

What does Lunar Eclipse Fragrance Oil smell like?

This fragrance oil by Natures Garden is an alluring fragrance filled with fruits of nectar and exotic florals blended with sweet vanilla and honey for an evening filled with romance.

How do our customers use Lunar Eclipse Fragrance Oil?

For candle makers and home scent crafters, this fragrance is divine. Performing well in various waxes such as soy, palm, pillar, Joy and WOW candles, this romantic scent is one big hit. Lunar Eclipses scent is wonderful in both the hot and cold throw. And, when it comes to making your house smell good, some of our customers use Lunar Eclipse Fragrance Oil for room sprays (using odor eliminator) and absolutely loved the outcome. They even report using this romantic scent in their oil burners, smelly jellies, and aroma beads.

On the bath and body end, this romantic scent is used to make an array of wonderful body products. The usage rate for this fragrance oil is 5%, and is used to make: body sprays, lotions sprays, melt and pour soaps, body butters, lotions, shampoos, conditions, and roll-on perfumes. Finally, for those of you that are cold process soapers, this fragrance is awesome. Here are the official results: No acceleration, no ricing, no separation, and no discoloration. Very nice scent.

draculas dentures soap
If you would like to use Lunar Eclipse Fragrance Oil in an amazing melt and pour soap recipe, please click here to view how to make Dracula’s Dentures.

May
03

Popular Fragrance

This entry was posted in air freshening scents, aroma beads, bath and body, bath products, candle fragrance oils, candle making supplies, candle scents, cold process soap scents, Fragrance Oils, Natures Garden, Soap making supplies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

Popular ScentYuzu Fragrance Oil- Fragrance Oil Spotlight

Traditionally, when you think of citrus fruit, you think lemons, limes, or oranges. But, one that should come to mind is the Yuzu fruit. This fruit is pretty hardy and can grow in even the coldest temperatures. Typically found in the Asian markets, Yuzu is quickly becoming more and more popular. As for aesthetics, they look similar to a small grapefruit with bumpy skin. And, as for the aroma, Yuzu has a floral scent very similar to an orange blossom. Yuzu scent is as hardy as the fruit; a bit tart with a sweet finish. This popular fragrance is clean, crisp, and refreshing, making it a frequent request by many. Yuzu scent is pleasing but not overpowering, and you will never get tired of the yummy Yuzu aroma.  And, as a bonus this popular fragrance works great in everything.

What does Yuzu Fragrance Oil smell like?

This fragrance oil by Natures Garden is most likely the most popular scent on the market. Also referred to as Japanese Grapefruit, Yuzu is not your ordinary grapefruit scent. Yuzu begins with top notes of mandarin, tangerine, lemon satsuma, and ruby red grapefruit, middle notes of bergamot, and base notes of oakmoss. Yuzu can also be mixed with other tropical notes to create a very complex scent of your own. Your line won’t be complete without it!

How do our customers use Yuzu Fragrance Oil?

For candles, tarts and air fresheners; Yuzu Fragrance Oil performs perfectly. This popular fragrance works extremely well in soy, Palm Pillar, Wow, and Joy waxes. As for throw, this fragrance has great scent throw both hot and cold, and is considered a crowd pleaser. Yuzu fragrance oil also performs extremely well in aroma beads, smelly jellies, incense, and room and linen sprays.

On the bath and body end, this fragrance is a true winner. The recommended usage rate for this popular fragrance is 5%. This fabulous fragrance is used to make: sugar scrubs, liquid hand soaps, lotions, body sprays, shampoo, conditioner, melt and pour soaps, and foaming body butters. Finally, for those of you that are cold process soapers, this sweet citrusy fragrance oil is fantastic. Here are the official results: Soaps very nicely. No acceleration, no discoloration. Scent is just amazing.

May
01

Ohio Soapers Gathering

This entry was posted in bath and body, bath products, cold process soap, cold process soap scents, cosmetic ingredients, cosmetic supplies, crafts as a hobby, fragrance oil, Fragrance Oils, Natures Garden, Soap making supplies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

cindy ohio soapers gatheringHello everyone!

Well I made it through my first ever Ohio Soapers Gathering! I have to say, it was great to meet the people who love soaping as much as we do. They are a fantastic group of individuals. I was however a bit nervous being my first gathering, but, upon my arrival the coordinator of the gathering, Jackie Harris greeted me with such warmth how could I not feel welcomed? She was just so thrilled we were able to attend, what a lovely lady she is. I set up my tables and waited for the event to begin. Every one of my booth visitors were just as excited as ever that we had attended the gathering for the day with some of our products. So much so that even those who preordered, bought more stuff while I was there. There was no stopping them!

Our Facebook followers told me how excited they were about the opening of our store and that the pictures were amazing! I told them the pictures don’t do it justice and that they will just have to come down in person. They fully and enthusiastically agreed, saying a road trip is definitely in the near future. Several of my customers that had already been there, raved to the others standing nearby.

Throughout the event there were informative demonstrators. Bobbie Eastman with hair shine, Kim Craig with handmade cream, Kristy Schemrich with laundry soap, and a few others. I am glad they held these demos in the same room, otherwise I would have missed out. Even though I could never get away from the table due to my fabulous customers, I could still hear and gather information from the demos. I even got a few samples!

They had a “garage sale” table which I thought was cute (I should have brought my stuff of odds and ends to sell). These were things the donators couldn’t use anymore but knew someone else could. Then there was a table called the “swap table.” You donate stuff you made, up to 5 things and you received as many in return. How fun is that? I can only imagine what kind of things were made by these amazing crafters. Everyone was so creative, I was in awe!

The door prizes were great too, there was everything from Tickets to Kalahari Water Park, gift certificates, several soaping products, and of course Natures Garden shopping bags and Tshirts! All of the winners were so happy to come away from the gathering with new knowledge, new products, winnings, and a full belly. All in all I believe it was a great success for everyone all around.

natures garden winners
I can’t wait for the next one because I will get to meet a whole new realm of awesome people. Their creativity inspires me and it’s good to know there are people out there using their knowledge for things that are good and can offer information that will help others. Whether it is to teach them, save them money, or inspire THEIR creative juices, soaping is a great artistic field to venture into. The avenues are endless…seriously!

So my friends, if you have never been to a gathering, go! If you know someone who makes soap, learn! If you don’t personally know somebody, come out to our website at naturesgardencandles.com and look at our blogs, show and tells, all of our free recipes, or, check out our starter kits. It may seem intimidating but know we are always here to help…always!

Although I had a blast in Sandusky at the Ohio Soapers Gathering, I was past exhausted! It was a good exhaustion and I came away from it with more then I went there with…I am glad I was a part of it.

Well kids until the adventure, have a fabulous day!

Cindy

May
01

Surprising Scent

This entry was posted in air freshening scents, bath and body, bath bombs, bath products, body safe fragrance oils, candle fragrance oils, candle making supplies, candle scents, citrus notes, Fragrance Oils, gel wax scents, Natures Garden, Pillar of Bliss, Soap making supplies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

Surprising ScentSand Castles Fragrance Oil- Fragrance Oil Spotlight

Sand creations have been in existence for a long time.  Rumor has it the Egyptians recreated the pyramids and other shapes in the sand.  In the 14th century a poet named Balaram Das made the first know sand castle that was of a devotional theme.  In 1897 a man by the name Philip McCord created an amazing replica of a woman and her baby.  A creation so stunning  that it sparked the fascination known as sand sculptures.  Today, there are contests all over the country for the best, most creative sand sculptures.  And, just like the creativity and wonder that sand sculptors provide, sand castles fragrance oil will leave you breathless.  This surprising scent is full of wonder and is truly a work of art.  In fact, with Sand castles scent, people will awe in the beauty of your homemade masterpiece.  This surprising scent is the peacefulness of the beach amazingly captured with unique notes.  According to our customers, this fragrance is wonderfully stunning and amazing in products too.

What does Sand Castles Fragrance Oil smell like?

This fragrance oil by Natures Garden is a secret unique combination of rich fruity aromas with herbal base tones and a slight touch of citrus. An NG Original Fragrance!

How do our customers use Sand Castles Fragrance Oil?

For candle crafters and home scenters; this surprising scent is used in Joy wax, WOW wax, Gel wax, Pillar of Bliss wax, and Soy wax.  Sand Castles Fragrance Oil has a very strong scent throw that seems to last forever!  As for other home scenting ideas; this fragrance oil has been used to make sachet beads, smelly jellies, air fresheners, and also works fabulously well in electric oil burners.

On the bath and body end of products, the usage rate for this surprising scent is 5%. And, when it comes to homemade bath and body products, Sand Castles Fragrance Oil is highly recommended.  This unique scent is used to make: lotions, bath bombs, body sprays, body butters, body creams, sugar scrubs, and M&P soaps. Unfortunately, for those of you that are cold process soapers, this scent is not suggested for cold process soaping.

Apr
30

Color Dispersion

This entry was posted in bath and body, bath products, cold process soap, cold process soap colorant, cold process soap scents, Fragrance Oils, homemade soap, Natures Garden, soap colorants, Soap making supplies, soap oil properties, soaping terms and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

color dispersionColor Dispersion in Soap

This picture shows the same exact recipe using two different methods of color dispersion in soap. Once the soap was poured, we noticed that some of the colorant was still on the sides of the bowls instead of actually incorporated into the soap (as shown in the soap on the right).  In addition, we noticed concentrated pockets of colorant in this cut soap.   Mainly, it is the difference between hand stirring the colorants in verses stick blending the colorants in, and failure to scrape the sides of the bowls to incorporate all of the coloring.  Regardless of the method that you choose, there are distinct advantages and disadvantages. The key to knowing which method works best for you is knowing your soap recipe and the time that it allows you.

Color Dispersion in cold process soap making can be a tricky aspect. After you figure out your color scheme for your recipe and the technique as to how you are adding your color, it then comes down to the actual challenge.

Really there are three options to color dispersion in your soap. They are hand stirring the colorant into the batter with a spoon, stick blending the colorant in, or the combination of both. The correct decision relies on a few factors though. These factors are: your recipe, time, and the number of colorants you want to add.

Hand Stirring
The best advantage of hand stirring colorants into soap is that it does not speed up trace. This allows you the perfect fluid soap batter for accomplishing a multi color swirl in your soap. But, hand stirring the colorant into your soap batter is slightly more time consuming because you really have to stir for some time to get the colorant dispersed. So, this is where knowing your recipe and window of time, especially if you are using multiple colorants, comes into play.

You will also have to be ready to move. When hand stirring, you have to stir, and stir quickly to get the full color dispersion of the soap colorant. And, do not forget to have your spatula ready to clean the sides and rotate the soap from the bottom of the bowl to make sure all of the colorant is evenly dispersed.

However, not all colorants can be hand stirred. Some of the colorants do not disperse as well as others with this method. The examples of these types of colorants would be titanium dioxide and the ultramarines. Colorants like these often need to be stick blended in order to get the full color dispersion among all of the soap.

Stick Blending
Stick blending your colorants in soap batter is ideal for true color dispersion. But, with stick blending time is a major factor. Stick blending will speed up trace (or the saponification process) in your soap. If too much time elapses while stick blending your colorants into the batter; certain swirling techniques cannot be accomplished. This is because the soap batter will be too thick, especially if you are using more than two colors in your soap recipe.

Besides speeding up trace, there is another factor to consider. When using multiple soap colorants and stick blending you will have to quickly clean your stick blender in between colors. But, you do have a few options when it comes to this. Some soapers keep a small bowl of water by their coloring station to quickly clean their stick blender in between colors. And, some just stick blend their colors in the correct order, but gently tap the stick blender to remove as much colored batter as possible before moving on to the next color. For example if you are coloring your soap green and yellow; you would start by stick blending the yellow first. This is because the yellow color is the lightest, and then move to the green.

The Combo
For the situations where you want to use ultramarines which almost require a stick blend to get the best color dispersion, but you still want several other colors in your soap; you can combo the blend. You would start by stick blending the colorants that need it, and then move on to the hand stirred colorants. If the stick blended colorants become too thick, simply stir them by hand and the soap batter will thin out slightly (or enough to pour). Just remember, you must move quickly.

What this really all comes down to is testing. Through making various batches of soap, you will be able to find exactly which method of color dispersion is best for you and your soaping recipe. There really is no right or wrong answer as to which method to use. Each soap recipe will vary.

Natures Garden offers FUN Soap colorants for soap making.  We even carry multiple neon colors to really make your soap “come alive”.

Apr
28

Too Much Castor

This entry was posted in bath and body, bath products, castor oil, cold process soap, cold process soap scents, Fragrance Oils, handmade soap, homemade soap, how to make cold process soap, Natures Garden, soap challenge, soap ingredients, Soap making supplies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

too much castor

The following blog was written by a new employee of Natures Garden who is doing her best to learn the science and art of soap making.  Please take that into consideration before commenting on her experiences, successes, and yes…failures.

Hello everyone!

The other day I wrote a blog about how I figured out my own recipe and all the details of my soap. I was so very excited about this project. I did really well throughout the whole process and was happy with the outcome of my soap. My soap bars were gorgeous and I was  officially a successful soap maker!

Well, the following day, I was assigned a new project: to write another recipe from start to finish. This would include everything from ingredients, to scent, to color, whether or not to add sodium lactate or color stabilizer, the swirl technique (aka design), and the mold. We are talking about EVERYTHING! I said, OK, I can do that!

The only difference between this assignment and my last project was this time there was not going to be a double check. Yes, the last few times I embarked on this journey, my work was double checked. I am in training, and there are a lot of things you need to know about the soap making process and everything that comes along with it. With all of that being said, I felt confident I could do this…really! So off I went.

I figured out my recipe, gathered all of my ingredients, put on my safety gear, and prepped.

Once I melted all of my oils, put together my lye solution, emulsified and scented, I was ready to design. I placed my colors in their bowls, and I was ready for the in the pot swirl. If you have not noticed, I am fond of this technique! Everything was going smoothly!

I took the colored batter that I was using and plopped it into my main soap batter and began the swirling technique. And, let me just tell you, my soap looked beautiful. I couldn’t even get over how nicely it poured into the silicone loaf mold. I was excited!

Now this was on Friday so I had to play the waiting game all weekend. By Sunday night, I couldn’t wait to see my masterpiece. When Monday morning finally arrived, I was ready to unveil my homemade soap. I picked it up and started to the chopping block. Hmmm, this soap seemed a bit squishy. I thought this can’t be good.

Starting to work the soap out of the mold, I realized that now it seemed sticky. This was not at all what I was hoping for. Finally, I got the soap out of the mold, and proceeded to cut it. That was when the soap stuck to my knife…just great! Despite the fact that the colors were awesome and it smelled great, I had messed up somewhere.  My soap bars were tacky and very soft.

So, I checked my weights and percentages. Everything was good. Then, I had my recipe double checked by someone else. They pointed out their opinion of what the problem could be.  I had too much castor oil in my recipe. Oopsy! I had totally overlooked the frequently-held opinion that when making soap that contains  Castor Oil , you may want to stay at 8% or less castor oil in your formulation.   My addition was 20%.

In the end, I felt defeated, and was totally bummed! I did however, make a note to self: while Castor oil is good for the “bubbly” in your soap, my experience showed me that using too much castor oil may produce soap that is tacky and hard to remove from the mold.  In the future, if I want to produce a harder bar of soap, I may want to increase my percentages of oils that are known to produce harder bars of soap such as coconut oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil.

I predicted I was going to fail…and when I do, I do it right…lol.

So my epic failure is a lesson learned. And, even though I am hard on my little feelings, don’t be too hard on yourself for your mistakes. My advice to any new soapers: Turn setbacks into future achievements, and lessons to be taught to others so they don’t make the same boo boos.

Until next time, have a fabulous day!

Cindy

 

 

Apr
26

Angel Scent

This entry was posted in air freshening scents, bath and body, bath bombs, bath products, candle fragrance oils, candle making supplies, candle scents, cold process soap scents, Fragrance Oils, homemade candles, homemade soap, make candles, make your own soap, Natures Garden, Soap making supplies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

angel scentAngel Wings Fragrance Oil- Fragrance Oil Spotlight

It is said that an angel is believed to be a guardian and protector for those of us here on Earth. They are what seems to be a mediator between Heaven and Earth with beautiful feathery wings, a golden halo, a gracious flowing robe, and a soft glow that surrounds them. Angelic and spiritually calming, Angel Wings Fragrance Oil is a scent that is sweet and heavenly. With notes of vanilla and the aroma of new born baby, this angel scent is simply otherworldly. This highly requested fragrance is a great addition to your product line.

What does Angel Wings Fragrance Oil smell like?
This fragrance oil by Natures Garden is a wonderful aroma embracing the softness of a new born baby and the creaminess of vanilla custard.

How do our customers use Angel Wings Fragrance Oil?

For candle makers and home scent crafters, this angel scent is divine. Angel Wings fragrance performed well in soy, palm, pillar, Joy, and WOW wax candles. This fragrance oils scent throw is wonderful in both the hot and cold throw. Some of our customers even use Angel Wings Fragrance Oil to scent their odor eliminator for the making of room sprays; absolutely loving the outcome. And, in additional many home scenters use this angel scent in their oil burners, reed diffusers, and aroma beads.

On the bath and body end, this graceful angel scent is used to make an array of body products. The usage rate for this scent oil is 5%, with a 3.4% vanillin content. So, therefore we highly recommend Vanilla White Color Stabilizer to help prevent soap discoloration in your finished products. This angel scent is used to make: body sprays, lotion sprays, melt and pour soaps, body butters, creamy lotions, shampoos, conditions, bath bombs, and roll-on perfumes. Finally, for those of you that are cold process soapers, this fragrance is AMAZING. Here are the official results: OMG! This fragrance is the most gorgeous baby powder scent. CP Phenomenal. Perfect Pour. No ricing, no acceleration. Discolors to a brown.

Apr
26

Gel Phase

This entry was posted in all natural, bath and body, bath products, cold process soap, cold process soap colorant, cold process soap scents, essential oil, fragrance and color, Fragrance Oils, homemade soap, Natures Garden, soap fragrances, soap ingredients, Soap making supplies, soap mold, soaping terms and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

inhibited gel phase soap In an earlier blog post, we briefly discussed insulation of cold process soap. Through insulating your soap, you are encouraging the best environment for the gel phase to occur during saponification. Keeping the soap evenly heated using insulation will prevent a partial gel from occurring. But, still there are no guarantees. Even with the best insulation, you may still end up with bars of soap that have partial gel evident.

So, what if you prevented the gel phase in your soap?

Although this is possible, it is still not guaranteed. It can be very tough to prevent the gel phase. But, there are some factors that need to be noted to help you in your quest to stop the gel phase. These factors are: the size of your mold, and the various ingredients in your recipe. The saponification process involves heat; it is the nature of the soaping beast. Choosing to eliminate the gel phase will change some elements to your soap and soaping process.

But, before we get to that information, let’s look at some specific reasons to prohibit the gel phase.

First, since you are decreasing the amount of heat that is in your soap, this will allow you to introduce certain soaping ingredients that normally would be finicky. Examples of these heat sensitive ingredients would be: dairy products, heat sensitive colorants; prone to morphing, and fragrances or essential oils with a low flashpoint.

Dairy Products
Soaping with ingredients such as creams, milks, and butters for example will provide your finished bars with rich, extra moisturizing elements. However, soaping with dairy products can be tricky. With the heat that is involved with the saponification process, there is a chance that dairy products will burn. This results in both discoloration and an off smell in your soap. By preventing the gel phase from occurring, you allow these ingredients a fighting chance in soap. And, you can even produce a creamier bar of finished soap.

Colorants
Whether you are deciding to go the natural route with herbs, or using colorants that you worry may morph; preventing gel phase allows the window of opportunity to stay open. Certain herbs discolor or darker from the saponification process. The same is true for some colorants that completely alter like deep purple to brown.

Now, for the colorants in the finished soap when the gel phase is eliminated: the bar colors are bolder and more vivid. Even if you choose not to color your soap batter, the elimination of the gel phase stops the darkening of the fats and oils in your recipe, allowing for a “whiter” finished bar.

Scenting Options
If you do not want to rebatch your soap recipe, preventing the gel phase in your cold process soap may allow you to scent your soap with low flashpoint oils without worrying that the saponification process will eliminate the scent. It is also possible for fragrance or essential oil scents to come through stronger in the soap because of the reduction of heat.

As for what preventing the gel phase means for your soaps, there are key points you should know. First, you must keep your molded soap chilled for the full 24 hours. Depending on your recipe, you may have to keep the soap chilled for an additional 24 hours as well.

Now, when you are ready to unmold your soap, it is crucial to let your molded soap reach room temperature before trying to slice it. Not allowing your soap to be at room temperature before cutting may result with your bars being brittle, and breaking apart as you slice them.

As for the saponification process, since you inhibit the gel phase, it will take your soaps longer to complete the saponification process. What this means is that the soap will need additional cure time before it will be ready to use.

So, whether you choose to insulate or prevent the gel phase, it is really up to personal discretion. Regardless of the method, the result is the same; a finished bar of soap. The only variables that change are the molding environment and the cure time.

Apr
25

Rose Fragrance

This entry was posted in air freshening scents, aroma beads, bath and body, bath and body fragrances, bath products, candle fragrance oils, candle making supplies, candle scents, cold process soap scents, Fragrance Oils, gel wax scents, homemade, melt and pour soap, Natures Garden, scent throw, Soap making supplies, Valentines Day and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

Rose FragranceFresh Cut Roses Fragrance Oil- Fragrance Oil Spotlight

Roses come in a variety of beautiful colors and sizes, but the rose scent always stays true.  Roses have always been a very popular gift to both give and receive too.  In fact, the top two holidays for roses are Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day.  So, why not use this scent in your products. If you are looking for the perfect rose fragrance to scent in your homemade items, you have got to try Fresh Cut Roses. This true to life rose fragrance is incredible in bath products and candles.

What does Fresh Cut Roses Fragrance Oil smell like?

After searching many years for a true, fresh-cut rose scent, we have accomplished it!  Natures Garden’s Fresh cut roses fragrance oil is the truest fresh cut rose on the market! NG Original Fragrance and a Best Seller!

How do our customers use Fresh Cut Roses Fragrance Oil?

For candle crafters and home scenters; it is time to think and scent spring with this fragrance. Many of our customers use Rose fragrance oil in their soy, Palm, parasoy blends, Joy, Gel and Pillar of Bliss waxes. But, not only is this scent fresh and clean, customers attest that Fresh Cut Rose fragrance has phenomenal hot and cold scent throw! As for the home scenting realm, this aroma is just terrific, making your house smell so good. The performance is remarkable in aroma beads, diffusers, oil burners, and incense.

On the bath and body end of products, celebrate because this beautiful scent is one great seller! With a recommended usage rate of 5%, this fabulous fragrance is used to make: lotions, perfume oils, foaming body butters, melt and pour soaps, body scrubs, and body sprays. In fact, many of our customers state that their customers simply adore this fresh cut rose fragrance in the finished products. Finally, for those of you that are cold process soapers, this fragrance is very lovely. Here are the official results: Perfect Pour, no ricing, no acceleration, no discoloration, very strong scent retention. Soaped well.

Apr
24

Insulate Soap

This entry was posted in bath and body, bath products, cold process soap, homemade soap, make your own soap, Natures Garden, soap, soap ingredients, Soap making supplies, soap mold, wholesale supplies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

insulate soap As soap crafters, there are hundreds of variances allotted to us that allow our soaps to be special. Maybe it is the combination of oils in your recipe, the process to which you soap, your unique scents, your particular decorating method, or really any number of things that makes your soap exclusive. Well, in this blog post, we are going to throw a new option into the mix.

To insulate or not to insulate that is the question.

As with many aspects of soap making; when it comes to insulation, it is really a personal preference.

Being new to soap making, a lot of research is involved. You read, read, and read some more in order to learn everything you can about soap making. Well, as many of us found, insulating is always advised.

The insulating step involves taking your freshly poured, molded soap, and surrounding it with layers. These layers help to keep the soap at an even heat while the batter goes through the saponification process. During the saponification process, as the lye reacts with the various soap making ingredients, soap (and glycerin) is produced. The process itself is an endothermic reaction, meaning that it absorbs heat from the surroundings.

This “heat stage” of soap making is commonly called the gel phase. During the gel phase, saponification works at an accelerated rate, hardening the fats of your recipe. This phase will also be the time where any discoloration of ingredients or colorants will occur from the heat.

Keeping the soap uniformly heated will prevent a partial gel from occurring. Not keeping the soap uniformly heated allows for the soap that is in the center of the mold to stay hot, while the soap on the outside loses heat rapidly. And, since the saponification process is endothermic, it needs to be able to draw heat from its surroundings. What this results in is an off colored look in the center of your soap, usually in an oval like shape. This shows that the center of the soap gelled, and the outside of the soap never reached gel phase.

Speaking in terms of soap, gel phase or not reaching gel phase does not harm the soap itself. The soap will still function after cure; it is only an aesthetic issue. So, it is for this reason that it is often believed that insulation is vital to an amazing looking bar of cold process soap. But, there is an alternative.

Lets look at the flip side.  If you do not want to insulate the heat in the soap, what would happen if you chilled the soap instead?

Chilling your molded soap would prevent the gel phase from occurring. This would be a handy trick of the trade for a few reasons. It should however, be noted though that in order for the gel phase prevention to occur, you need to be able to control the area. Operating out of a loaf mold for example, still allows enough soap in the middle for a partial gel to occur. You want to keep the size of the soap easily manageable for temperature reasons. Remember, because saponification deals with heat, while the lye and fats are reacting, heat will be present. To completely increase your chances of preventing the gel phase, you must minimize the area that needs chilled, aka use smaller molds.

Not insulating your soap, and instead placing your freshly molded soap into the fridge or freezer for 24 hours will help to prevent the gel phase from occurring. But, please note the size of your soap will directly determine whether the gel phase will occur or not.   This also rings true for the soaping ingredients that are in your recipe. Chilling your soap is not a guarantee, partial gelling can still transpire.

In closing, there is another option if you choose not to insulate your soap. There are benefits and drawbacks to chilling your soap. Stay tuned for a future blog posts discussing preventing gel phase and what the outcome will be.