Archive for the ‘how to make cold process soap’ Category

Brittle Soap

Monday, April 14th, 2014

soap that has too much sodium lactate
Warning, the following pictures may disturb some soapers!

Here was the scenario:  Using a Hot Process Recipe, we made a soap batch that we thought would work.  However, we got a little too sodium lactate happy.  As a result, our soap bars were not functional.  And, to be completely honest, some of our soap could not even be classified as a bar.

Can you feel the soaping life lesson coming on?

Our hot process soap was molded and ready to be removed and sliced.  The end was trimmed off, and we went in for our first cut… that was when the slice fell, and broke into two pieces.

brittle slice of soap

Again we tried, but to no avail…

crumbly soap

That was when we thought to slice the bars thicker.  Still the same result, a broken bar of soap.

high amount of sodium lactate

Heart broken, we came to the conclusion that there was too much sodium lactate in our recipe.

Yes, sad but true; we have brittle soap.  And, a 4 pound batch at that!  Even though the soap was brittle, we still wanted to find out how it performed.  So, we washed our hands with the bar pieces.  This action made the finished bars completely crumble as we rubbed them together under the running water.

testing the processed soap

The original recipe was a failure, but not a complete one.  We were able to see first hand what happens to soap when too much sodium lactate is added.

soap that needs a rebatch

In one of the earlier Natures Gardens blog posts, we wrote that using too much sodium lactate in your soap recipe will produce finished bars that crumble or are brittle.  This soap is the perfect example of exactly how this worked.

The recipe that we used contained 1 ounce of sodium lactate per pound of soaping oils in our recipe.  We thought that this would help harden the bar, especially since the soap was made from very soft oils.

Well, we were wrong.  This is why testing is highly suggested when dealing with soaping additives like sodium lactate.

Hot Soap

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

hot soap

Sweet Orange Chili Pepper CP Soap Recipe

This hot soap is just too good to pass up!

For this recipe, we wanted to really knock it out of the box.  And, in the end, the whole Hot Soap theme really tied together nicely with the scent and color.  We could not be happier with the total package of this awesome soap and recipe.  In fact, our testing and end results were so amazing, we couldn’t even wait to share the cold process soap recipe, so you to can recreateyour very own hot soap.  Since, this cold process soap recipe makes approximately 4.5 pounds of  beautiful, creamy and rich lathering bars; we used the Mold Market Square Loaf Mold and have enough soap batter to achieve a nice and full heaped top to the soap.  This made for very hearty sized slices.

To scent the soap, we selected Sweet Orange Chili Pepper.  This fragrance oil qualifies as a hot soap scent candidate because it is one of Natures Garden’s top selling cold process soap scents.  Not only does this fragrance oil have a kick, but it also behaves.  This means it is a Perfect Pour, and the scent retention is hands down amazing in the cured bar of soap.  If you have yet to try this scent in soap, you are really missing out!

Sticking with the hot soap theme, we went with the additions of a bold red and vibrant orange color.  This was accomplished using the FUN soap colorant tomato red, and neon orange.  However, for these colors to truly dazzle, we decided that the colors should be added as swirls to a white soap base.  Now, although Sweet Orange Chili Pepper fragrance oil does not discolor, we wanted a clean white.  We attained this by adding titanium dioxide.

The red and orange colored batter was introduced to the white soap batter using the in the pot swirl technique.  We personally love using this method to create beautiful and flowing swirls in our finished soap bars.  But, don’t get overwhelmed, this hot soap is really easy to make; and in this blog post we will go over each step with pictures of our process included.

Now, before we get started, if you have never made cold process soap before; please read these two classes to familiarize yourself with the soap making process.  They are Basic CP Soap Making Class and Soap Making Safety Class.

If you have already soaped before, lets move on to the recipe and ingredients!

For the Lye Solution
517 grams of water
189 grams of lye
For your soaping ingredients
340 grams of Shea Butter
408 grams of Coconut Oil 76
122 grams of Sunflower Oil
136 grams of Rice Bran Oil
272 grams of Olive Oil-pomace
82 grams of Castor Oil
85 grams of Sweet Orange Chili Pepper Fragrance Oil
50 grams of Sodium Lactate
7 grams of Titanium Dioxide
6 grams of FUN Soap Colorant- Tomato Red
4 grams of FUN Soap Colorant- Neon Orange

As for other supplies that you will need in addition to the standard soaping supplies:  2 mixing bowls (1 for the red soap colorant, and 1 for the orange soap colorant) and a spatula (for the in the pot swirl technique).

So, now that you have everything that you need lets get our safety gear on and get started.

soap making safety gear

Next, make your lye solution.

making your lye solution

Then, weigh out and combine your soaping ingredients and melt.

melted soaping ingredients
Now, back to the lye solution.  Once it has cooled, add the sodium lactate.  Use your spatula to carefully stir this in.

adding sodium lactate

When your lye solution and soaping ingredients are within 5-10 degrees of each other, it is time to combine them together.

adding the lye solution to the soap ingredients
Then, stick blend for emulsion.

stick blending until emulsion
Now, get your two mixing bowls for the colorants.  To the first bowl, weigh out the tomato red soap colorant.  Then, to the second bowl, weigh out the neon orange soap colorant.

hot soap colorant
Next, add the fragrance oil to the soap batter and stick blend to incorporate.

scenting your hot soap

Then, get your soap batter, and place 400 grams into each soap colorant bowl.  To incorporate the orange soap colorant, stir this with a spoon.  To incorporate the red soap colorant, stick blend.  Once both colors are incorporated in their bowls, set them aside.

separating out soap batter for color
Moving quickly, to the remaining soap batter, add titanium dioxide.  Then, stick blend well to incorporate.

adding titanium dioxide to the soap batter

Now, bring the white soap batter over to your color soap bowls.  Then, drop some of the orange soap batter throughout the white soap.  Continue doing this until all of the orange soap is gone.  Repeat the same action with the red soap batter.

pouring the hot soap colors into the soap batter
Now, for the in the pot swirl:  Start by placing the spatula alongside the inside bottom edge of the bowl.  Then, come straight up the center.  When you reach the top, pick the spatula up.  Now, starting on one side, begin your swirls in a “s” pattern (using the spatula).  Repeat on the other side.

hot soap in the pot swirl

Next, carefully pour the soap batter into the mold.

pouring the hot soap
Once the mold has been filled, use the remaining batter to add a nice heaped topping.  You may need to wait a few minutes for the soap batter to thicken slightly before attempting this.  Then once all of the remaining soap has been heaped, insulate.  Please note:  You may want to insulate your soap using something that will not touch the top of the heaped soap.

one hot soap

After 24 hours, remove the soap from the mold.  Then, using your knife, slice the hot soap into bars.  Allow them to further cure before using.

That is it!  Your hot soap performs and smells fantastic.  Plus, you will have created the most beautiful swirls.  Enjoy!

Natures Garden is not responsible for the performance of any of the recipes provided on our website. Testing is your responsibility. If you plan to resell any recipes we provide, it is your responsibility to adhere to all FDA regulations. If there are ingredients listed in a recipe that Natures Garden does not sell, we cannot offer any advice on where to purchase those ingredients.

Finding the Perfect Soap Recipe

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Soaping with knowledge, experience, and confidence.

With such a variety of soaping bases, fats, and oils available in the market, one can easily see where the excitement can collide with frustration, especially if you are new to soaping.  We strive for a perfect recipe, but where to begin, the possibilities are endless.  From this soap making blog series, we have already gone over the different types of soaping processes, soap safety, and soaping terminology.  Now, we seek out creating the perfect soaping recipe.

Soap is made by the chemical reaction that occurs when mixing fatty acids, lye, and water.  The lye component actually works as an emulsifier, bonding the fatty oils and water together.  Without the lye, this bond would never form.  These 3 elements, fatty acids, lye, and water are all essential components to the saponification process.

Each soaping oil/butter has a fatty acid composition, and since every oil/butter is different, so is their fatty acid composition.  It is through the variance of each fatty acid composition that important soaping characteristics and qualities are found.   Let’s briefly look at some of the most common fatty acids, as well as, the qualities that are provided by them in a cured bar of soap.

Lauric Acid:  Provides hardness, cleansing, and bubbly lather.

Linoleic Acid:  Provides conditioning

Myristic Acid:  Provides hardness, cleansing, and bubbly lather.

Oleic Acid:  Provides conditioning

Palmitic Acid:  Provides hardness and a creamy lather

Ricinoleic Acid:  Provides conditioning, bubbly lather, and a creamy lather.

Stearic Acid:  Provides hardness and a creamy lather.

As you can see, each and every element that is put into your soaping recipe has distinct benefits or uses, and some ingredients can also inhibit certain soap bar qualities.  Please also notice, that none of the fatty acids allow for all five of the soaping qualities that you are looking for in a bar of soap.  This is why; in order to find a good symmetry among these qualities, a soaping recipe usually contains several different oils (fatty acids).

In order to create a quality bar of soap, it is necessary to find a balance between hardness, cleansing, conditioning, bubbly lather, and creamy lather. This usually involves using a combination of oils/butters in your soap recipe. A typical bar soap recipe calls for 38% water content, and a 5% superfat (the percentage of oils that do not saponifiy).

Here are the values for a typical bar of soap; they are presented in a range:

Hardness 29 to 54
Cleansing 12 to 22
Conditioning 44 to 69
Bubbly lather 14 to 46
Creamy lather 16 to 48

There is however, one example of a soap recipe that can be done with just one oil.  For people who are allergic to nuts, olive oil soap can be made with just that…olive oil.  No allergen worries.  Once this bar has cured though, you have a nice conditioning soap bar that will not leave your hands dry, but, that same soap bar also will not produce a nice lather, and will be very limited in cleansing ability.  This is why being aware of all of the capabilities of your oils, fats, butters, and additives will give you a distinct advantage over other soap bars in the market.

Remember, since all oils have their own fatty acid makeup, they also have specific saponification or SAP values.  This is why it is extremely important that once the ingredients of your soaping recipe are calculated, you MUST use those oils.  They cannot be exchanged out for other soaping oils without recalculating your recipe.

Feeling overwhelmed yet?  Don’t!  We know that this is a lot of information to grasp.  This is why if you are new to soaping, it is our suggestion that you try a recipe that has already been tried and tested.  Doing this will allow you to initiate yourself with the soaping instruction and procedure.  Performing the steps from beginning to end will also give you a firsthand experience of the soaping method and key properties of the saponification process like trace or gel phase.

Congratulations Newbies!  Now is the time where we are actually going to make our first batch together.

If you have not read our blog on soap making safety, please do so now

http://blog.naturesgardencandles.com/soap-making-safety/

Working with lye can be very dangerous!

We have already went slightly ahead, and provided you below a recipe for your 1st time soaping.

Here is what you will need for a 2 pound batch:

6 ounces of Coconut Oil, 76 degree

8.4 ounces of Olive Oil Pomace

8.4 ounces Palm Oil

1.2 ounces of Castor Oil

1.5 ounces of a body safe fragrance oil ie Oatmeal Milk & Honey

9.12 ounces of Distilled Water

3.393 ounces of lye (NaOH)

This recipe range for soap bar quality is:

Hardness 43
Cleansing 17
Conditioning 54
Bubbly lather 22
Creamy lather 31

As you will notice all of the qualities fall within the suggested range nicely.  This soap recipe will give you a balanced overall bar of soap.

When selecting your body safe fragrance oil, please take the time to review the CP soap results.  We have a link with all of our fragrance oils listed alphabetically with the CP results:

http://www.naturesgardencandles.com/mas_assets/pdf/fragrtest.pdf

Good Luck and remember, once you feel confident with your testing recipe, it is time to break the mold and explore the realm of crafting your own soap recipe.  Soap that is completely made by scratch, every ingredient controlled by you!

A very informative class has been created to help you find exactly which ingredients you may want to consider using in your recipe.  Here is the link:

http://www.naturesgardencandles.com/mas_assets/pdf/soapoils.pdf

As you looking at all of the various fats/oils/butters that are capable for soaping recipes, jot down or note any of interest.

In the next class, we will review how to use the soap calculator!

Soap Terminology

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Below is a list of some common terms used when soaping.  Although we tried our hardest to ensure that all important soaping terms are defined, this is by no means a complete soaping dictionary.

Absolute-

Derived from plants through a method of extraction involving solvent, this term refers to the highly aromatic, concentrated oil that is extracted.

Additives-

Ingredients that can be added to processed soap, which are not included in the original recipe which was used to calculate the SAP value for lye purposes.  This additive category would include all ingredients with the exceptions of: lye, water, soaping oils, butters, and fats.  This means that additives would describe the addition of fragrance oil, soap colorant, optiphen, vitamin E, herbs, clays, etc.  Note:  If you have a superfat recipe, any leftover or excess oils, butters, or fats, not saponified by the lye solution would also be considered an additive.

Alkali-

Any compound with a pH higher than 7.  Alkali is also referred to as a base.  Both sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide are alkalis (or bases).

Allergen-

An element that can cause an allergic reaction (irritation, redness, swelling, discomfort) in one person, but does not adversely affect another.

Anhydrous-

Not containing any water.

Anti-bacteria-

The ability to fight off bacteria successfully.

Anti-oxidant-

Natural or synthetic elements that have the ability to decrease oxidation, preventing breakdown or spoilage.

Anti-septic-

The ability to fight or decrease an infection topically (on the skin), by restricting the growth of microorganisms.

Aromatherapy-

The use of certain fragrance or essential oils that can reform a person’s mood or actions.

Aromatic-

Being odoriferous, having a strong odor; usually found as a pleasant scent.

Astringent-

An element with the capability to pull together or constrict skin tissues (or pores), concurrently restricting the flow of natural secretion from the skin.

Base-

Also known as an alkali; any substance with a pH level higher than 7.  Both sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide are bases (or alkalis).

Botanical-

Directly from or related to plant or plant life.

Carrier Oil-

A substance that is used to dilute a fragrance or essential oil so that it is safe for use on the body.  Carrier oils can also refer to an oil that is used to carry the fragrance out in a product like roll on perfume.  Oils used in this way typically do not have a very strong scent, ie: sweet almond oil.

Castile Soap-

Originally denoting an olive oil soap bar; which was named for the region in Spain where it originated.  This term now is commonly given to any soap containing 100% olive oil (no other soaping oil used in the recipe).

Caustic-  

Usually a term to describe a very strong acid or base, this refers to a substance that by means of a chemical reaction will breakdown or destroy other elements under certain conditions.  Caustic material is very dangerous especially to elements containing water such as organic tissue.  An example of a caustic ingredient is sodium hydroxide (lye).

Cold Process Soap Making-

The term cold process is actually attributed to the fact that there is no outside heating source required for saponification; the lye mixture itself heats and saponifies the oils.  This process, abbreviated as CP, involves diluting lye into distilled water to form a lye solution.  This lye solution is then added to melted oils/fats/butters and stirred.  After trace is present, other additives such as fragrance and herbs may be added.  Batter is then poured into molds.  Insulation of molds is required.  Within 24 hours, the soap is solid enough to be removed from the mold and cut, exposing more soap area to oxidation.  For a time period of 4-6 weeks, the soap must complete the saponification process.  During this time, any excess lye and water is evaporated out, creating a milder and harder bar of soap.  Note:  Using a CP bar of soap that still has active lye will irritate and burn the skin.  A pH strip test is the best way to test if your soaps are safe to use.

Cold Process Oven Process Soap Making-

This soaping process; usually referred to as CPOP, involves diluting lye into distilled water to form a lye solution.  This lye solution is then added to melted oils/fats/butters and stirred.  After trace is present, other additives such as fragrance and herbs may be added.  Batter is then poured into molds.  The molds are then placed into a 170 degree oven for 1- 2 1/2 hr.  Within 24 hours, the soap is solid enough to be removed from the mold and cut, exposing more soap area to oxidation.  To ensure milder and harder bars of soap, the soap is then cured for 2-4 weeks.  Note:  Using a CP bar of soap that still has active lye will irritate and burn the skin.  A pH strip test is the best way to test if your soaps are safe to use.

Cosmetic Grade-

Available in different grades which are priced accordingly, this refers to ingredients that are safe for use on the body or in cosmetics.

Cure-

The time period that it takes to saponify soap so that there is no longer any active lye present.

D&C-

D & C is the abbreviation for drug and cosmetics.  If something is approved as D&C safe, then it can be used for cosmetics or in drugs.

Deodorize-

This term refers to the removal of a scent from something.  Within soaping reference, many soaping oils are deodorized to take away their natural scent.  Using deodorized soaping oils is one way to keep your fragrance true to their original aroma.

Detergent-

This agent has cleansing benefits and performs very similar to soap.  However, detergent is made from chemical compounds other than the fats/oil/butters and lye (like soap).  When a detergent is found in the ingredients list of a product, it must be labeled as a cosmetic product under the specific guidelines of the FDA.

Dreaded Orange Spots-

These spots occur in processed soaps that contain are large amount of soaping oils that have turned rancid.  These spots are orangish, brownish, beigeish in color.  It is believed that they are  caused by using soaping oils which are old.

Embeds-

Embeds refer to pieces of soap that are placed into the processing soap during the light trace stage.

Emollient-

Refers to having certain properties that are both soothing and softening to the skin.

Emulsifying Wax-

This is an emulsifier (a product that allows water based ingredients and oil based ingredients to bind together) used in hair and skin care. Emulsifying wax is used in skincare recipes to allow for thick creams.

Emulsion-

This is when two liquids which normally would not blend together, are blended together (oil/water).  Typically, the process involves an emulsifier (a product that allows water based ingredients and oil based ingredients to bind together).

Essential Oil-

Natural volatile oils that are extracted through various means from plant matter.  Extraction could take place by means of:  Distillation, expression, or the use of chemical solvents.

Exfoliate-

An additive that is added to processed soap that allows for the removal of dirt and debris from the skin, as well as, the removal of dead skin cells themselves, for healthier skin.

Exothermic- 

A term referring to the heat that is produced and released when a chemical reaction occurs. Examples of an exothermic reaction would be when lye is added to water or when the lye solution is added to the oils and butters.

Extract-

For essential oils, this is when the oil can be extracted from the plant without the use of any chemical solvents.  This is the most pure, concentrated form of an essential oil.

F,D&C-

F,D&C is the short abbreviation for Food, Drug, and Cosmetics.  If something is F,D&C approved, that means that it is a safe ingredient for use in food, drug, and cosmetics.

Fatty Acids-

Fatty acids are compounds either saturated or unsaturated, that are found in all fats and butters.  The fatty acids are what is responsible for giving your soap bars conditioning, creamy lather, bubbles, hardness, and cleansing ability.

Fixed Oils-

These are oils such as olive, palm, and coconut, that can be heated without evaporating.

Flash Point-

The possible lowest temperature that will inflame the vapors of a liquid when introduced to a source of ignition.  Flashpoints are available for every fragrance and essential oil that Natures Garden carries.  They are located in three places, on the website under the fragrance information,  on the specific MSDS sheets, as well as on the fragrance labels themselves.  Fixed oils also have a flashpoint.

Fragrance Oil-  

The blended combination of essential oils, synthetic aroma chemicals, and resins to produce a liquid that is extremely aromatic. Certain scents can only be derived synthetically such as Strawberry, Coconut, Banana, Mango (to name just a few) because these particular aromas cannot be made into essential oil form.

Gel Phase-

A possible phase of saponification, since not all soap batches will do this; occurring in the beginning of the process, this refers to the short period of time when the soap batter transforms to a warm clear gel.  This gel will then slowly return to being opaque, but it will also be a little bit more solid and cooler.

Glycerin-

A natural emollient and humectant, glycerin is a product of processed soap.  It is also often removed from commercial brands soaps and used to created creams and lotions.

Hot Process Soap Making-

This soaping process, generally referred to as HP, has steps very similar to the CP soap steps, but varies in that you are adding heat to the equation to speed up the saponification process. The heat sources are usually a crock pot or stovetop.  The HP process includes: making your lye water mixture, adding your oils to the heat source, blending the lye water and oils together, stir, cook, stir, stir, stir, add fragrance/ additives, stir some more. With this process, it is not until the soap batter is closer to a solid than a liquid that it is scooped and packed into a mold. Since the saponification process has already completed from the heat, there is no need to insulate your mold.  Although a cure time for these soaps is not required, to get a milder and harder bar of soap, a cure time of 1 week is advised.  The final soap bars will have a very rustic appeal.

Humectant-

An ingredient that not only attracts water from the environment, but also aids the skin in absorbing the water as well.

Hydrating-

Something that provides moisture or water to the skin.

Hydrogenated Oil-

An oil that has the addition of hydrogen added to it to make it a solid or semi solid at room temperature.  The process of hydrogenation helps to decrease the chance of oils turning rancid.

INCI Name-

Mandatory for labeling in the US and Canada, the INCI names were created to ensure that all ingredients would be listed the same on various cosmetic products.  This also allows for ease on consumers when comparing ingredient lists on cosmetics.  INCI stands for International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient.

Infusion-

Taking an additive such as a herb, and allowing it to steep in a liquid to extract the herb’s beneficial aspects.

Insoluble-

This means not able to be dissolved.  Oils/Butters/Fats will not dissolve in water.

Irritant-

Much like an allergen, irritants cause disturbing and painful reactions to skin.

Lye-   

Essential to the saponification process, lye is a caustic base.  Lye can also be referred to as either sodium hydroxide (used to make bar soaps) or potassium hydroxide (used to make liquid soaps).

Lye Discount-

The method of purposely decreasing the amount of lye that should be included in a soaping recipe.

Melt and Pour Soap Making-

This soaping process, usually referred to as M&P, involves using soap that has already gone through the saponification process.  The pre-fabricated soap base only needs a few steps before use.  First, the slabs are cut and melted down into a liquid form in order to add any fragrance, color, or additives.  Once this is complete, the liquid must be poured into a mold where it will harden.  The soap is finished and can be used once it has hardened and is popped out of the mold.  Since this process does not include the use of lye, no cure time is needed.

Melting Point-

The temperature at which a soaping oil will turn from a solid to a liquid, or starts melting.

MSDS-

The abbreviation of Material Safety Data Sheet.  These sheets contain all of the relevant information of a specific material.

Natural-

Anything that is of the earth, not containing any manmade or synthetic additions to its makeup.

Nutrient-

Within the realm of soap making, this refers to anything that is beneficial or has favorable advantages for the skin.

Organic-

Without the additions of anything man made or chemically altered, this term denotes anything that was once living.

pH scale-

A form of measurement for the acidity or alkalinity of a substance in ratio to water.  Ranging from 0-14, the lower the number, the more acid it is.  The higher the number, the more alkaline.  A pH of 7 will denote neutral (water has the pH of 7).  Processed soap will have a pH of 8.5-10.5 when cured completely.

pH strip-

Litmus paper containing water soluble dyes that when dipped into a liquid or set on a bar of soap will show a color.  The color is then compared to a chart to find the pH level.

Photosensitizers-

A substance that once used on the skin will make the skin super sensitive to the sun or to sunlight;  increasing the chance of a sunburn in some people.

Preservative-

An ingredient that is added to a substance that will prevent the breakdown and spoilage from microbial growth.

Potassium Hydroxide-

Symbolized as KOH, this is used for lye solution of gel or liquid soaps.  Also known as caustic potash.  This ingredient is a very strong base with a pH of 14.  Note:  The SAP values of your recipes fats/butters/oils will vary depending on whether you are using sodium hydroxide (NaOH) or potassium hydroxide (KOH).

Rancidity-

The breakdown or spoilage of oils/butters/fats used in soaping.  Often, there is a stale or off smell due to the decomposition of the oil/butter/fat.

Rebatch-

Considered a do- over in the soap making process, this process involves the use of soap that was already crafted through CP or HP.  The processed bars are grated down and melted with a heat source, usually a crock pot, but other sources are used as well.  A liquid, like water or milk, is added to help prevent scorching of the soap shavings.  If a rebatch is being done due to an error, the correcting elements are added too.  The rebatch heats for 1 hour.  Once it is in a thick liquid form, any additives such as color, fragrance, or herbs, are added.  The thick batter is scooped out and molded.  Once cooled completely, the soap is removed, cut, and cured as usual.  Rebatching is generally done for two main reasons.  The first is to correct a soaping error or seize.  The second is for the addition of additives that may not survive or react badly during the saponification with active lye.  An example of these temperamental additives would be natural exfoliates.

Refined oils-

These are oils that have been filtered, removing any impurities in the oils.

Safety Equipment-

A category for all of the equipment used to keep one safe during the soaping process.  This equipment includes but is not limited to:  Safety goggles and/or face shield, rubber gloves,  a face mask, aprons, etc.  This category would also include items like protective coverings for work areas, fire extinguishers, bottles of neutralizing substances (such as vinegar for lye spills), first aid kit, etc.

Saponification-  

This is the process of the chemical reaction that the lye solution and oils/fats/butters go through when making soap.  Saponification produces both soap and glycerin.  Glycerin naturally occurs as a byproduct of this chemical reaction.

SAP Value-

The abbreviation for Saponification Value.  This refers to the number of milligrams of lye that is needed to completely saponify one gram of a specific oil/fat/butter in a soap recipe.  Note:  The SAP values of your recipes fats/butters/oils will vary depending on whether you are using sodium hydroxide (NaOH) or potassium hydroxide (KOH).

Seize-

A term referencing the condition of the soap batter when saponification has occurred enough that the batter is no longer a liquid, and has started to solidify.  This occurs while mixing together the ingredients of a soap recipe when the batter becomes too thick to mix easily or pour into a mold.

Soap Measurements-

Soap Measurements are measured in weight, not volume.

Soda Ash-

Sometimes forming on processed soaps, this powdery substance has no direct negative effect on soap bars.  Soda ash can be cut or wiped off bars.  Insulating soaps while in the mold will help prevent soda ash.  Soap that has soda ash can be sprayed with rubbing alcohol to improve the appearance of your soap.

Sodium Hydroxide-

Symbolized as NaOH, this is used for lye solution of solid bar of soap.  Also known as caustic soda.  This ingredient is a very strong base with a pH of 14.  This is the component that is interchanged with KOH (Potassium hydroxide) for saponifying gel or liquid soap recipes.  Note:  The SAP values of your recipes fats/butters/oils will vary depending on whether you are using sodium hydroxide (NaOH) or potassium hydroxide (KOH).

Soluable-

A substance that can be dissolved in a liquid.

Superfat-

This term involves purposely adding an excess of soaping oils or fats to your batter that are not included in your calculated recipe for lye saponification.  This is done to intentionally make your soap bars richer in soaping categories such as creaminess, moisturizing, bubbles, etc.

Surfactant-

A substance that reduces the surface tension of a liquid when it is dissolved.  In soap, surfactants allow for the dirt and impurities to be rinsed off of the skin.

Synthetic-

Something that is created chemically.  Not natural.

Tallow-

Rendered from animals, this is the hard fatty substance used for soap making.

Trace-

This term references the stage in the soaping process where the batter begins to thicken because of the saponification process. You will know if your soap batter is at trace by drawing up some of the batter with your spoon to see if it leaves any trails on top.  If the lines in the batter disappear, the batter is not in full trace.  If the lines stay visible on the surface, then your batter has traced.

Vegan-

Products that are produced without the use of any animal ingredients or animal parts.  If a product contains tallow/lard/beeswax, it cannot be vegan.

Volcano Effect-

This term describes when water is added to lye, WHICH SHOULD NEVER BE DONE!  The top layer of the lye starts to dissolve from the chemical reaction with the water.  Immediately, the water starts dissolving and releasing heat.  The heat causes a hard crust to form, and the water starts evaporating.  The lye that is below the crust remains dry, and untouched by the water.  As more water is added, pressure starts to build from the dissolving and heat release.  The crust ruptures from this pressure and force, causing the dry lye, partially dissolved lye, steam, and boiling water to spew out the top resembling and active volcano eruption.  ALWAYS ADD LYE TO WATER!

Volatile-

Oils that will evaporate quickly under normal temperatures.

Water Discount-

The method of purposely decreasing the amount of water that should be included in a soaping recipe.  Doing so will accelerate trace and the saponification process.  Not recommended for newbie soapers.

Soaping Abbreviations:

-KOH: Potassium hydroxide

-NaOH: Sodium hydroxide

-H20: water

-TD: Titanium Dioxide

-DHHP: Direct Heat Hot Process

-HP: Hot Process

-CP: Cold Process

-MP: Melt & Pour

-B&B: bath and body

-SB: Stick Blender (or shea butter)

-FO: Fragrance Oil

-EO: Essential Oil

-ISO : In Search Of (or in reference to isopropyl alcohol)

-SS : Skin Safe

-OOB: out of the bottle

-CPHP: Crock Pot Hot Process

-CPOP: Cold Process Oven Process

-DWCP, DW: Discounted Water Cold Process

-OHP: Oven Hot process

-DBHP : double boiler hot process

-DHHP : direct heat hot process

-MWHP : microwave hot process

-RT: Room temp

-AVG:  Aloe Vera Gel

-SAP:  Saponification values

-DOS:  Dreaded Orange Spots

-AO:   Animal Oil

-PKO: Palm Kernal Oil

-OMH: Oatmeal Milk & Honey

-OM: Oatmeal

-GM: Goats’ Milk

-CM: Coconut Milk

-PKF: palm kernel flakes

-EVOO: Extra virgin olive oil

-OO: olive oil

-SAO: Sweet Almond Oil

Soap Making: Where Do I Start?

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

M&P soap, CP soap, CPOP soap, HP soap, which method is right for you?

For the next few weeks, we at Natures Garden will be writing a series devoted to soap making.  We hope that you find this series informative and that it may help to answer any unresolved questions in your mind when it comes to making soap.

The first decision you need to make before you start making soap is what soap you want to make.

Just so that everyone is starting off on the same base, a general definition for soap is:  an emulsified product of an alkali treated fat yielding a cleansing agent.

There are 4 different types of soap making.  They are M&P (melt and pour), CP (cold process), HP (hot process), and CPOP (cold process oven process).  Each group has its own pros and cons.   Each process differs in varying ways, but there are two similarities that all of the groups share:  Each group’s process has already gone through, or must go through the chemical reaction of saponification.  And, each process results in finished soap.

MP soap

One of the greatest advantages of melt and pour soaps is that the actual soap making chemical process (lye process) has already be completed; technically making this a ready-made product.  When working with M&P, you are dealing with soap that essentially only needs melted, fragranced, colored, and molded.

For precautionary reasons, this is a perfect soap making process for anyone with small children or pets, since the process does not require working with lye.  Melt and pour soap is also a great place to start if you have never made soap before.  The steps are very simple.  Melt the soap, add color, add fragrance, and, place in mold to harden.  That is it!  There is no cure time.  Soap bars are able to be used once they are popped out of the mold.  Coloring M&P soap is also very predictable.  Unlike the other soap making processes, the color that your liquid soap is before you pour it in the mold, will be the same color of your finished bars.  There is no color morphing since that soap has already been saponified.

Melt and Pour soap is also known as glycerin soap.  Glycerin is a natural by-product of the chemical reaction of lye and water.  Having glycerin as a component in your M&P soap is very beneficial because glycerin is not only an emollient keeping the moisture in your skin, but it is also considered a humectant- absorbing the moisture from the air so that the skin does not dry out.  Additives such as herbs and exfoliates can also be added to M&P soap, resulting in bars that can do various things for your skin.

This is a very forgiving soap for error.  If soap hardens too quickly, it can always be re-melted in the microwave or by using a double boiler.  Since M&P is very pliable you can safely handle the soap without the worry of being burned by lye; forming swirls and other shapes.  This process is very cost effective, and allows for you to have a healthier bar of soap for your skin than any store bought brand that has had the glycerin stripped from it.

The cons of M&P soaps are that you do not have direct control of all of the ingredients in your soap.  Melt and Pour soap can also easily burn during the heating process so you will want to watch it closely.  Because glycerin is the most prominent ingredient, your M&P bars are softer and tend to not last as long as the other processed bars of soaps.  This is because glycerin is quick dissolving in water.  Aesthetically speaking, due to its humectant tendencies, this soap is very prone to sweating (or beading).

CP soap

Cold process soap is generally accepted as the most commonly used process by soap crafters.  The term cold process is actually attributed to the fact that there is no outside heating source required for saponification; the lye mixture itself heats and saponifies the oils.

The CP process includes making a lye water mixture, melting your oils, blending the lye water and oils together- bringing it to a very light trace, adding fragrance and/or color, and molding.  For the first 24 hours, your soap molds need to be insulated with towels or blankets.  After 24 hrs, the soap can be cut and laid out to cure.

If you are not a patient person, then one downfall of CP soaping is the cure time.  This averages 4-6 weeks before the soap is safe to use.  During the cure time a lot occurs.  Any residual lye is counteracted by saponification. This cure time is needed to make soap milder on your skin.  Any excess water is evaporated out, allowing for a nice hard bar of soap.  The soap bars have to be manually rotated and flipped so that air touches all of the sides.  It is also during this time that soda ashing occurs.  This ash is not harmful, but it can be unsightly, especially if you have decorated the tops of your bars.

The biggest and most rewarding benefit of cold process soap is that you make it completely from scratch.  You control each and every aspect of the soap from beginning to end.  Because cold process soap directly relies on a chemical reaction to occur, ingredients and measurements have to be exact.  Each component of your cold process soap has a specific SAP value.  This value is the amount of lye needed to saponify each oil in your recipe.  Therefore, it is impossible to swap out anything or add anything once your lye water ratio has been figured out.  Adding a little too much lye can result in soap that is lye heavy.  This means that the ph level will be very high, and it could result in burns or irritation to your skin.  On the opposite end, adding too much oil can result in bars that are soft and greasy due to the unreacted oils.   CP recipes usually contain either palm oil or coconut oil, or both.  Their values in any recipe are generally 20-30%.  This is because these oils provide for a bar of soap that is gentle, lathers, and cleans.

With CP soaping it is very important to know how a fragrance oil will affect the mixture.  Some fragrance oils cause soap batter to accelerate trace, rice, discolor, or will seize the batch (become soap-on-a-stick).  Vice versa, there are also fragrance oils that do not adversely affect the soap batter, and allow for plenty of time to decorate.  Swirling is one decoration technique that requires soap batter that is slow to trace.  Trace can be affected by the actual soaping oils used in your recipe, the temperature of your lye solution, the temperature of your soaping oils, and by the fragrance oil you select.  This type of artistry provides an exclusive look that is almost impossible to duplicate again.  Columning and funneling can also be used with cp soap batter for a very unique look.

Since CP soap must undergo the saponification process, color morphing can become an issue.  FD&C or D&C dyes tend to morph (change color) in the presence of lye.  Oxides and ultramarines can withstand the high ph environment of the saponification process, and are much less likely to morph in CP soap.  Depending on the ingredients found in mica pigments, you will find some micas that do not morph in CP soap, and some that do.  To easily test to see if your color choice will morph in CP soap, you can always add a small amount of your color to a small amount of lye mixture and observe any changes.  This will save you the frustration of ruining an entire batch of soap that is colored a color you do not desire.

HP Soap

HP soaping is the second most popular process of crafting soap.  With this process you now have the control of what goes into the soap like CP provides with the ready-to-use-now element of M&P soaps.

Hot Process soap has steps very similar to the CP soap steps, but varies in that you are adding heat to the equation to speed up the saponification process.  The HP process includes: making your lye water mixture, adding your oils to the heat source, blending the lye water and oils together, stir, cook, stir, stir, stir, add fragrance/ additives, stir some more.  With this process, it is not until the soap batter is closer to a solid than a liquid that it is scooped and packed into a mold.  Since the saponification process has already completed from the heat, there is no need to insulate your mold.

This process is done in a crock pot or on a stove top.  Crock pots are recommended over stove tops because a crock pot allows for slow, even heating of the batter and it is less likely to scorch.  The most important key to remember when doing this method is to stir and stir often.  One of the biggest benefits of this heat addition is that it does not require a curing period.  Although, for harder, milder bars that will last longer, Natures Garden suggests that you allow these bars to cure for at least a week before using.

The finished soap bars of the hot process have a very rustic appeal.   The soap bars individually are not completely uniform in shape nor are they completely smooth.  This is due to the scoop and pack method of filling the molds.  Color morphing, like experienced in the CP method, can also be a problem.  Therefore, choosing colorants that can withstand high ph environments is a must when making HP soap. Getting uniform coloring throughout your bars of soap will be more challenging with HP than with CP.

CPOP Soap

Often dubbed as the best of both worlds, CPOP, or cold processed oven processed soap allows for cold processed soap to saponify quicker with the extra step of heat and therefore directly shortens the cure time.   This is a very good method for soap crafters who love to do CP without the long wait of cure time.

The CPOP method includes:  preheating your oven to 170 degrees F, making a lye water mixture, mixing your oils, blending the lye water and oils together- bringing it to a very light trace, adding fragrance and/or color, molding, baking for 1- 2 1/2 hrs, turn off the oven, and let it sit for 24 hours in oven.  Finally, remove, cut, and start the cure time of 4 weeks.  This cure time allows for milder, harder bars of soap that will last longer.

Visually, CPOP soap bars are very close to that of CP bars.  The only slight difference is that the tops of CPOP bars are not as smooth as CP ones.  CPOP soap can appear dry on top, but this can easily be remedied by spraying the tops of the soap with rubbing alcohol.

In summary, the first step to soap making is deciding which type of soap making process is right for you.  Natures Garden will have two different soap making kits that will further help you.  We currently carry a melt and pour soap kit, and very soon a CP soap making kit.  Each of these kits will allow you to experience soap making first hand.  How fun is that!

Creative Bath Company Interview

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Bubble Babez Bath Company Interview

  • Whats your name & Your Company Name (Why Did you choose that name?):

My name is Nicole Davis, My fiance Tristan Jackson and I created Bubble Babez Bath Company LLC. We selected this name because with a two part answer lol, We chose Bubble first because of course we are dealing with soap and I firmly believe that if you dont see bubbles then its not clean. Babez was selected because that is what Tristan and I call each other all the time. So we birthed Bubble Babez Bath Company LLC

  • How did you get into this business?

We got into this business because I (Nicole) was looking for an inexpensive way to fill swag bags for Tristan’s Birthday party but still be chic. I didnt want to use cheap items people would never use again, I loved baking so making cupcakes was an option but I wanted to have bath and body products something people could use for a while. I decided to combine the two options to make bath and body products that smelled like cakes, I spent endless hours on the computer and reading trying to figure out how to go about making soaps and lotions. When everyone was down to their last corner of lotion and slither of soap they asked me for more. I had no idea that it would be such a hit with my friends!

I wasn’t too far off of the beaten path because I was am a licensed cosmetologist/makeup artist and was working with cosmetics already. I studied about esthetics, skin, nail and hair care. Tristan joined me because I told her we can do this as a business and she had so much faith in this dream that she left her job working at ESPN to get on board full time and make Bubble Babez grow.

I started off with melt and pour soap and was content for a while, but I really wanted to know what was going into my soap. I researched a whole more because it never stops lol, spent many hours on YouTube looking at soap making videos, to venture into making lye soap. I was a little intimidated in working with the lye because for some reason it has always seemed like a scary thing. But I asked a longtime soapmaker (Kim of Nature’s Art) if she would help me out, I let her know I was going to finally try my hand at it. Such a great teacher she simplified it for me and made me fearless about working with lye and making soap that I just leaped! I made my first batch and that was it I caught the bug! After my 1st batch was made my wonderful teacher said ok let me teach you how to discount the water so you can cut your cure time in half, since I am impatient and I like immediate results. I was successful yet again I was so excited like I really did this. I still look at my soaps in awe that I created this from scratch. From then on I couldn’t stop.

  • What is your favorite part of this business? (PLEASE, take the time to really tell us your story! A Short couple of sentences will not be acceptable, our readers want to know you!)

My favorite part of this business is creating. I am a creative person by nature and I am always thinking of ideas or how to improve on the ideas that I have. My mind is so busy at times I cant sleep wake up in the morning and tell Tristan what I dreamt or was thinking of creating and boom I make it happen. Tristan is usually the one reeling me back in because sometimes one thing has nothing to do with the other lol. She always say focus lol but I am like I have to be different LOL. Tristan’s favorite part of the business is going to the markets and interacting with our customers. She also loves testing the products.

  • Whats the most difficult part?

The most difficult part of the business is funding and finances. Trying to maintain the business and home after a while it starts to get hectic and things just have a snowball effect and it just grows. But, with help, careful budgeting and planning it makes it a bit easier. We started out doing the business and we had 2 incomes plus the business, then we decided to do this full time and then we only had the income of the business and that was uncomfortable. Also sometimes its difficult for on my relationship because my business partner is also my fiance and we tend to get on each others nerves after a while lol. All of our time, energy and soul is poured into the business and it always seems like we are working that we find it rather difficult to spend time with each other and NOT discuss work.

  • Whats your favorite product or aspect of Natures Garden?

My favorite product from Natures Garden used to be the french milled soap omg I loved it! I am a HUGE fan of the fragrance oils! I love that they are swift with shipping and their customer service is great. I also love the interaction with the show and tell it gives the crafters a chance to show off what they are making with the products and let potential customers know how people really feel about the items. Because I know I look at show and tell and see the possibilities of products that I would never have tried before. So I love that!

  • What are your goals for the coming year for your business?

Our goals for the coming year is to get to be organized! I can not stress enough how important it is. We would like to grow and have Oprah, Ellen (cuz I love her!), Whoppi and everyone talking about our products. I don’t like comparing myself to any other company but I would really love to have a cult following and be a household name!

Follow us on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/BubbleBabez
*Guys please spread the word! And share this flyer with all your family and friends!*

Any Info You Have Below-

http://www.bubblebabez.com/

Soap Oil Properties

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Properties of Oils In Cold Process Soap

Many of Natures Garden’s customers make homemade cold process soap, and we are the wholesale supplier of fragrance oil for many of these soap companies.  Although we do not yet sell the soap oils mentioned in this article, we asked Kimberly Sanchez of Natures Art if she could explain the properties of soap oils to customers who desire to expand their line into cold process soap.  Some of these soap oils can be found at your local grocery store.  We hope that this information is as enlightening to you as it was to us.

This is not a complete list, Just the most commonly used oils

Apricot Kernel Oil: Apricot kernel oil is a light oil. It absorbs nicely into the skin and is a good luxury conditioning oil in soap – at about 5% -10%.

 

Almond Oil, Sweet:  A moisturizing oil that is very light and absorbs well. In soap it produces a low, stable lather, but is recommended to not use it more than about 5% – 10% in soap – as it’s not a hard oil.

 

Avocado Oil: Avocado oil is a heavy, green, rich, moisturizing oil that has a high percentage of unsaponifiables. It’s often used in soap recipes for people with sensitive skin. It’s high in vitamins A, D & E. You can use it in your recipes from 5% – 30%.

 

Babassu Oil:  Babassu oil comes from the kernels of the babassu palm. Its fatty acid makeup is very similar to palm kernel and to coconut oil. It’s high in lauric and myristic acid, which contribute to a nice, fluffy lather.

 

Canola Oil: Canola, a kind of rapeseed, is a good economical oil for soap making – you can substitute a portion of your olive for canola, or use it as part of your batch at 10-15%. It gives a nice, low, creamy lather and is moisturizing. It will slow down the rate at which your soap will get to trace, so it’s a good oil to add if you’re doing complicated swirls or colors.

 

Castor Oil:  Castor oil is a thick, clear oil that helps increase the lather in soap – a rich, creamy lather. It’s also a humectant (attracts moisture to your skin) oil. Just a little will do…5% – 8% in your recipe will work great.

 

Cocoa Butter: As it is very hard saturated fat, use with other more unsaturated oils like olive or castor. Use in conjunction with more sticky ingredients such as shea butter or lanolin. Using too much cocoa butter will result in a dry, exceptionally hard bar of soap.

 

Coconut Oil:  Coconut oil is one of the primary oils soapmakers use in their soap. Most of the coconut oil sold and used has a melt point of 76°, but there is a hydrogenated type that melts at 92°. Some soapmakers prefer this one because it’s easier to scoop – but either version works the same to give tremendous, bubbly lather to your soap. It also makes for a very hard, white bar of soap. The collective opinion is that using more than 20% coconut oil in your recipe will be drying to the skin.

 

Corn Oil: It acts like most of the other vegetable liquid oils like soybean or canola. It can be used as part of your recipe (10-15%) and will help give a moisturizing, stable lather.

 

Grape seed Oil: Grape seed oil is a lightweight, moisturizing oil that is a good additive to soap in small quantities. It doesn’t have a long shelf life, so unless you treat it with rosemary oleoresin extract, or have a very low superfat percentage, don’t use it more than about 5% in your recipe.

 

Hazelnut Oil: Hazelnut oil has a short shelf life (3-4 months). If you want to add it to soap, I wouldn’t recommend using more than about 5-10% in your recipe because of the short shelf life. A  lovely oil, but very fragile.

 

Hemp Seed Oil: Hemp seed oil is a deep, green color with a light, nutty smell. It gives a light, creamy/silky lather. Because of its fatty acid makeup, it has a very short shelf life…less than six months…so it should be refrigerated or even kept in the freezer. It can be used as a luxury healing/moisturizing oil in soap up to 10%-15%.

 

Jojoba Oil: Jojoba is actually a liquid wax. It contributes a nice stable lather, has remarkable absorption and moisturizing qualities and unlike some of the other luxury moisturizing oils, has a very long shelf life – 1-2 years. Use it at 5-10% maximum.

 

Lard: Lard makes a super-hard, very white bar of soap with a low, creamy, stable lather that is, believe it or not, nicely moisturizing. Before vegetable oils were commonly available, it was one of the main fats (along with beef tallow) that folks used to make soap. If you use animal oils in your soap, then combining lard with some of the other liquid oils like coconut and olive makes a wonderful, well balanced bar of soap – and is really economical. Make sure your lard is fresh and of high quality. Use it at any
percentage in your recipe, but I recommend not much more than 30-40% or so. Cold process laundry soap can be made with 100% lard with a 0% superfat percentage.

 

 

Olive Oil: Extra virgin and virgin olive oils come from the very first gentle pressing of the olives. The refined, or Grade A oil comes from the second pressing, and is lightly refined/filtered.  100% olive oil makes the famous “Castille soap” and “Marseille soap” must contain at least 72% olive oil. Olive oil is generally the #1 oil in most soap makers’ recipes. Olive oil soaps are very moisturizing, make hard, white bars of soap and are exceptionally mild. But the lather from Castille soap is low and a bit slimy. Most soap makers combine olive oil with other oils to improve the lather. Pomace grade olive oil is a thick, rich, green grade of olive oil that is obtained by solvent extraction of the fruit and pits of the olives – what’s left over after the first several pressings that give the
virgin and Grade A oils. It has a very high level of unsaponifiables (the portions of the oil that don’t react with the lye to form soap.) This will make your trace time quicker.

 

Macadamia Nut Oil: Macadamia nut oil is a light oil with a mild nutty odor. It is unique in its fatty acid makeup in that it contains palmitoleic acid – which makes it really easily absorbed into the skin – and is reported to be really great for older skin.

 

 

Palm Oil: Palm oil, along with olive and coconut, is one of the top oils used by soap makers today. Because of the qualities it gives soap – a hard bar with a rich creamy lather.

 

Palm Kernel Oil: Though it comes from the same plant/nut as palm oil does, palm kernel oil is almost identical in its soap making properties to coconut oil – giving a nice hard white bar of soap…with lots of luscious lather. Palm kernel oil is often available partially hydrogenated, in easy to handle/measure flakes…or just as a standard liquid oil. You can use it up to about 30% or 35% in your recipes. However, like palm oil, palm kernel oil is surrounded by the same environmental and human concerns.

 

Rice Bran Oil: Expressed from the husks of rice, most soap makers found that rice bran oil imparted nearly the same creamy, moisturizing qualities that olive oil did to their soaps. It does have a lot of the same antioxidants and vitamins that olive has, and a similar fatty acid make up. The only disadvantage of rice bran oil is its short shelf life – (6 months or so.)

 

Safflower Oil: Its fairly short shelf life. You can certainly use it in your recipes like you would soybean, canola or sunflower – at 5-15% or so. In soap, it is mild and moisturizing.

 

Shea Butter: Moisturizing and nourishing. Fairly inexpensive and easy to find. Shea butter for soap making will add a wonderful creamy lather, great conditioning properties and some hardness to your soap.

 

Soybean Oil: Soybean oil, like canola, safflower and sunflower, is often used as a portion of a soap making recipe in combination with other “core” oils like coconut, olive and palm. Use it 5-15% of your soap recipe. It is mild, moisturizing and gives a low, creamy lather.

 

Shortening: Soybean oil, in its hydrogenated form is generally called vegetable shortening & sold under generic names, or the brand Crisco. Shortening is usually a blend of soybean & cottonseed oil, and makes nice soap. Like all soap making oils, except olive, it’s not a great oil to use alone, but combining it with olive & coconut makes a good, stable, bubbly, moisturizing bar of soap. I recommend not using over 15% as it can go rancid in higher amounts.

 

Sunflower Oil: It works well with palm and olive oils to give a nice, rich, creamy lather that’s very moisturizing. Depending on the type you get, it may have a short shelf life due to its fatty acid makeup. In soap, it does well up to about 25% .

 

Tallow, Beef: Like lard, beef tallow gives you a super-hard, white bar of soap with low, creamy, stable lather that is very moisturizing. Before vegetable oils were commonly available, it was one of the main fats that folks used to make soap – and remains one of the most common oils in soap. (Check your label for sodium tallowate. That’s beef tallow.) If you are o.k. using animal oils in your soap, then combining beef tallow with some of the other liquid oils like coconut & olive makes a wonderful, well balanced bar of soap. While you can use it at any percentage in your recipe, I wouldn’t recommend much more than 40% before it starts creating a brittle bar of soap.

 

Written by:
Kimberly Sanchez of Natures Art.

www.naturesgardencandles.com

 

Soap Making Customer Interview

Monday, October 24th, 2011

 

Meet Donna With Valhalla Soap Company 


What made me start my business?

Well, I had an over-abundance of goat milk and a curiosity about soap making. I was visiting with a friend one day and discussing the need for a use for all the goat`s milk I had. She suggested that I start making goat’s milk soap. After several months of pestering my local small town librarian for inter-library loans for any and all books in the Northwest on the subject of soap making, I took the plunge. I was so fascinated by the process that I never looked back. That was almost 20 years ago.

I get asked a lot about what our company philosophy is. Well, basically it’s pretty simple. We believe that everyone should be able to afford to take care of their skin. It is the largest organ that you and your body own. Meaning that is absorbs more of everything than any other organ in your body. If you think hard enough about that, it’s a pretty scary thought. When we are healthy in Body, we are healthy in Mind and Spirit. So, we want to provide a good quality (affordable), hard (long lasting, money is tight for everyone), moisturizing (dual purpose face & body), food for the skin and pleasing to the eye, bar of soap. If our soap makes someone smile when they climb into the tub or shower, if it gives them a peaceful moment of pause, then we feel that we’ve accomplished our goal.

We celebrated 15 years in business this month. And we are still somewhat in shock over it all. Where did the time go? We’ve come a long way over the years. Had many failures but many more successes. And boy have we learned A LOT!!!

One of the things we learned is that it’s worth it to pay a little extra for quality fragrance oils. That’s one of the reasons we buy a very good portion of our fragrance oils from Natures Garden. Another reason is that we use the CPOP method of soap making. This method can sometime be a bit abusive towards citrus or flighty fragrances. Yet Natures Garden fragrance oils are highly concentrated and they hold up fantastically in our soaps! The third and best reason is that Natures Garden’s fragrance oils are affordable! Of all their products, we order their fragrance oils more than anything else. We love their fragrance oils! It would be hard to say which is our favorite. Bite Me fragrance oil is our overall consistent best seller. With Baby Bee Buttermilk type coming as the third best seller. Of the two, I’d have to say that I prefer the Baby Bee Buttermilk. I like that it’s sort of an Almond & Honey without the cherry that is usually present in these types.

 

Valhalla Soap Company  

http://www.valhallasoap.com

http://www.facebook.com/valhallasoapco

http://www.twitter.com/valhallasoapco

http://www.youtube.com/user/valhallasoapco

 

Interview given by Kimberly Sanchez of Natures Art Soap

Everything Skin with NG and Kim

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Hi everyone!  My name is Kimberly Sanchez.

I am the CEO & creative artist of Natures Art Apothecary & Soap Company,  in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I began soaping when I was very young doing simple old fashioned lard and lye soap on the fire. I occasionally played at it as an adult and made it for friends and family. Most of my career I was a chef and herbalist. After a serious injury where I broke my back, I had to find something else to do. I rambled through retail jobs, made my way up through management, but it just wasn’t what I needed! I went back to making soap for a fundraising project for a group I belong to and my passion was born! I had discovered so much had changed in the soaping world! there were amazing fragrances and colors and molds and online communities! So I dove in with abandon. And that was it for me. I continued to test and experiment with all the new technology and items now available in the industry until I felt I had something worth sharing with the world. And so our little business began! My husband, Art, also caught the bug. I spent many days working as a retail manager and many late nights teaching him to soap and making our new business shine. After a few years we were selling in local shops as well as online. We had an opportunity to move here to Santa Fe, where my husband was born. We jumped on it!  He agreed to go to work for Whole Foods and let me work at our business full time. I have come to love all the science and creativity there is in the bath and body industry and continue to learn and grow everyday. I love teaching about it and sharing ideas with others. I had come to know Deb, from Natures Garden Candle & Soap Supplies a few years back. We hit it off right away!  Over time we both contributed inspiration and feedback on each others ideas. And recently, on one of our phone chats, she mentioned they were behind on their soap testing for fragrances. So I offered to help. Being as I had already been doing videos on YouTube and had established viewers, I decided to do some of the testing on camera, so other Soapers could actually SEE what they did. This was received so enthusiastically, we have now expanded this to video product testing, an online presence on Face Book, Q&A night and now a blog! We are very excited to be collaborating on this new adventure together. I look forward to all your positive feedback and know you will be patient with me as I adapt to this new experience and get better with my camera!  LOL

Everything Skin with NG and Kim Facebook Page

Hugs to all~

Kimberly

www.MyNaturesArt.Net