Category Archives: melt and pour soap

Jan
23

Heart Soap

This entry was posted in bath and body, bath products, creative, fragrance oil, Fragrance Oils, fun projects, homemade, melt and pour soap, Natures Garden, Soap making supplies, soap recipe, Valentines Day, Valentines Day Craft and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

heart melt and pour soapThis Valentines Day lets celebrate the ones we love by making them homemade heart soap.

This heart soap project uses almost 4 pounds of melt and pour soap.  Although for this recipe, we suggest using Shea butter soap, any white soap base will work.  To view the multiple melt and pour soap bases Natures Garden carries, please click on this link.  Please Note:  You will also need a very small amount of diamond clear soap base.  This will be used to help keep the heart soap in place once it is folded.

The fragrance that we selected for the heart soap was Lick Me All Over.  Really any one of your favorite body safe fragrance oils from Natures Garden will work to scent this homemade project; just keep the vanillin content in mind.  If you choose to use a scent that does contain vanillin, you may want to consider using Vanilla White Color Stabilizer to reduce discoloration in your finished heart soap.  For the heart soap you will need to have at least 4 ounces of fragrance.  To see a list of other Valentines Day themed scents, please click on this link.

When it comes to color for the heart soap, we selected Tomato Red Fun Soap Colorant.  In order to achieve a nice, bold red you will need to use about one ounce of colorant.

Other ingredients that you will need for the heart soap project are:  Vegetable Glycerin and Whipped Soap Base.

The following molds were also used:  Love Heart Embed Mold and Square Loaf- Mold Market Molds

Before starting this project you will also need the following items:  Scale, Cutting Board, Knife, 9 x 13 Cake Pan, Wax Paper, Ruler, Rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle, Microwave Safe Glass Containers, Spatula, Mixing Spoons, Mixing Bowl, a hand held mixer, and 2 disposable cups.

Now that you have everything that you need, let’s get project heart soap underway!

Step 1:  Measure out 8.5 inches in length on your cake pan.  You will want to mark this point by placing your loaf mold there.  Next, tear off a piece of wax paper long enough to cover this area.  Lay the wax paper down and tuck it loosely into the corners.

Step 2:  In your microwaveable container, weigh out  500 grams of Shea Butter Soap.  Place this in the microwave and start melting it in 30 seconds increments. Stir gently in between.  Stop melting once the soap is in a liquid state.

Step 3:  Next, add 20 grams FUN Tomato Red Soap colorant, 14 grams vegetable glycerin, and 26 grams fragrance oil to the melted soap.  Stir well.  Now, pour all of the soap into the wax paper. Spritz with alcohol and allow this to fully set up.

heart soap

Step 4:  Once the red soap has set up, weigh out 20 grams of Diamond Clear soap.  Melt this for 30 seconds in the microwave or until it is in a liquid state.  Then, set it aside.

Step 5: 
In a large microwaveable bowl, weigh out and melt  1200 grams of Shea Butter Soap. Stir gently in between each round of melting. Keep melting until all soap is in a liquid state.  This will take some time.

Step 6:  Now, get the red soap and carefully remove the wax paper.  With one of the shorter edges facing you, lay the soap onto a cutting board.

red soap

Step 7:  Next, grab the loaf mold and mark it’s length using a knife.  Cut off excess soap and place it in a separate bowl.

making heart soap

Step 8:  Now, fold your red soap in half (long ways).  Using your fingers, gently curl the edges to meet.

how to make heart soap

Step 9:  Once you have a heart shape, slide one edge firmly into a disposable cup.  Repeat for the other side.  Now, pour some of the melted diamond clear soap down the center of the fold.  Don’t forget to move the soap so that the melted soap is able to reach under the cup portion too.  Then, set aside.

folding heart soap

Step 10:  Now that all of the white soap is in a liquid state, add 60 grams of fragrance Oil.  Mix well and set aside.  Next, get the loaf mold.  Remove the cups from the heart soap and gently place the heart upside down in the loaf mold.  Spritz generously with alcohol.

Step 11:  Using a spatula, carefully pour the white soap into the loaf.  Do not pour the soap onto the red heart directly.  Make sure to pour soap along the width edges to completely fill the inside opening of the heart.   Once the mold is filled, spritz with alcohol to reduce any bubbles.

homemade soap

Step 12:  Allow your soap to fully set up at room temperature, or to speed things up place your soap loaf in the refrigerator.  When the soap is completely set up, take it out of the mold and make sure you turn it back to right side up.  Set aside.

Step 13:   Now, take the bowl that has the scrap red soap.  Place it in the microwave, and remelt.  Next, pour the soap into the love hearts embed mold.  Allow this to fully set up, then pop them out.

heart soap embeds

Step 14:  Soap Frosting Steps:  Once the soap loaf is completely set up (which will take some time), weigh out 114 grams of Whipped Soap Base and 14 grams of vegetable glycerin.  Place both of these ingredients into a mixing bowl.  Set aside.

Step 15:  Now, weigh out 114 grams of Shea Butter soap.  Melt all of the soap down in the microwave, then pour it into the mixing bowl with the two other ingredients.

Step 16:  Using your hand held mixer, start to whip the ingredients together.  As you mix, watch for the ingredients to look like whipped frosting.  Stop mixing.

how to make soap frosting

Step 17:  Now working quickly, add 12 grams of fragrance oil and 2 drops Tomato Red Fun Soap Colorant to the mixing bowl.  Clean the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Then, start whipping the mixture. Make sure the mixture is well blended.  When the mixture begins to look like pink whipped frosting again, stop beating.

soap frosting

Step 18:  Using your spatula place the soap frosting evenly onto the loaf.  Now, place the love heart embeds into the soap frosting.  Allow this to set up.

embed heart soap

Your Bleeding Heart Soap Loaf is now ready to use.  Simply cut the loaf into bar size!  Now, depending on the size of the bars that you slice the loaf into; it will vary your total amount of bars made.  Enjoy!
heart soap loaflove heart soap

Oct
02

Titanium Dioxide

This entry was posted in candle making supplies, cold process soap, cosmetic ingredients, melt and pour soap, Natures Garden, Soap making supplies, titanium dioxide and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .
titanium

Whether you are a candle, soap, or personal care products crafter, chances are you have run across Titanium Dioxide in your field.

Sometimes, you just want your products to be so wonderful that they can sell themselves.  Usually, the look your product has is the turning point as to whether someone’s interest is peaked enough to further investigate.  Instantly, your first urge is to make a product that is beautifully fragranced and colored, therefore snatching the potential sale.  But, what if your end goal was a finished product that was white in color?  Ahhh, the elusive white product- clean, pure, brilliant.  This my friends is where Titanium Dioxide comes into play.

Titanium Dioxide is a naturally occurring mineral that appears with the oxidation of titanium.  Once these minerals are collected, they are then processed and refined to remove any impurities.  What this all results in is a whitening product that can be used in a wide array of mediums.  In fact, Titanium Dioxide is the most widely used whitening pigment for many industries.

The additive itself is without odor and has excellent absorbing properties.  Titanium Dioxide is not only noted for its whitening power in products, but also for its thickening capabilities as well.  Yet, another notable property of Titanium Dioxide is its light reflection potential.  It’s no secret that Titanium Dioxide is a well known ingredient in many sunscreen applications.  This is due to its light reflection properties of reflecting, scattering, and absorbing sunlight therefore protecting the skin underneath from any harmful rays.

When to add it:  Titanium Dioxide can be oil based or water based.  If using water based titanium dioxide in your bath and body recipes, you will want to incorporate this ingredient during the water phase of your recipe.  If using the oil based titanium dioxide, you will incorporate it during the oil phase of your recipe.  If using titanium dioxide for candles, it can only be used for the overdips of the candles.  Incorporating this additive to your melted candle wax, will clog your wick in a finished product.

How Much to Add:  When integrating titanium dioxide in your products, remember testing is key to finding your perfect recipe.  However, Natures Garden suggests the following usage rates for titanium dioxide.  In cosmetics, Titanium dioxide is used in mineral makeup as your matte base. It allows your product to flow nicely. For candle making, typical usage of titanium dioxide for dipped candles is 1% titanium dioxide to 3%-6% stearic acid.  In everything else bath and body, usage level is no more than 1 teaspoon per pound of soap/cosmetic product.

But, What If:  If you are considering Titanium Dioxide in your recipe, but would still like to maintain some colored aspects to your finished product, this can be done as well.  Incorporating titanium dioxide to certain parts of your product offers a great contrast of white and color; making the colored aspects of your product even more vibrant, bold, and eye catching.

In closing, regardless of whether you are seeking out that perfect white bar of soap, mastering a body care product that effectively shields skin from harmful UV rays, or even giving the outside of your candle that clean white look, Titanium Dioxide is your solution.

Sep
13

Floating Noah’s Ark Soap Recipe

This entry was posted in bath and body, creative, Floating soap, Fragrance Oils, melt and pour soap, Natures Garden, Noah's Ark Soap, soap molds and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

We are having a staff challenge here at Natures Garden.  For this challenge, we have asked each staff member to choose one of their favorite Natures Garden’s fragrance oils and create a project pertaining to that fragrance.  Creativity is highly encouraged, using the knowledge they have learned while working at Natures Garden.  This week’s staff challenge was done by Marsha!  Marsha has only worked at Natures Garden for a few months, and her project this week was heaven sent.

If there is one thing that Marsha is extremely proud of, it is her family.  Marsha says she “has the greatest kids ever!”  But, besides being a mom, she especially loves being a Grammy.  Currently, Marsha is a Grammy to one special little guy, but is anxiously awaiting the arrival of the two little ones on the way.  Both babies are due before the end of this year.  Needless to say, she is bursting with excitement at their quickly approaching arrival dates.

One of the most interesting things about Marsha is the fact that she met her husband in prison.  She opens her interview with that line, and you look at her, eyes widened at that statement, and think what did she go to prison for?  But, don’t worry, she spent 30 years working for the prisons in administration.  She and her husband both are love birds, not jail birds.  noahs-ark-soap1

marsha1When it comes to free time, Marsha had more than she could handle after retiring from the prison scene.  Although she spends as much time with her family and grandchild as possible, she was seeking a fun company to work for.  That is how she came to be working for Natures Garden.  And, we at Natures Garden love having her as apart of our crew.

For her words of wisdom, Marsha says she has learned a lot over the years.  The one thing she would like to share is, “Let problems roll off your back.”  She advices that keeping things in, weighs your down, and you miss out of so much in life.”

When it came time for Marsha’s Spotlight Creation, Marsha wanted to make something for her grandson to use in the bath.  She also knew she wanted something to do with  Noah’s Ark.  She loved the concept of a Floating Noah’s Ark Soap and used her creativity to make it happen.  She can’t wait until he sees it.

Aug
17

Cold Fashioned Lemonade Soap Recipe

This entry was posted in bath and body, bath products, cold process soap, Fragrance Oils, lemonade soap recipe, melt and pour soap, Natures Garden, soap challenge, soap making recipes, Soap making supplies, soap recipe and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

lemonade-soap1

Cold Fashioned Lemonade Soap Recipe by Bailey…

The staff members at Natures Garden are having a challenge!  Each staff member has to come up with their own recipe using various Natures Garden supplies.  The project has to be made with one of their favorite Natures Garden fragrance oils, and they are encouraged to be as creative as possible.  Bailey was the first staff member to partake in the challenge, and her recipe is what she calls: Cold Fashioned Lemonade Soap.  girl-copy2

When asked why she chose to make lemonade soap, Bailey replied, “Lemonade reminds me of summertime; sitting on a porch and drinking an ice-cold glass of lemonade”.

Why did she decide to make soap as her project?  Bailey said that since she has experience working with both cold process and melt and pour soap, she wanted to create a recipe that involved the usage of both.  The base of her lemonade soap is made of cold process soap, while the top portion of her soap is made with melt and pour soap.  Bailey used the soap calculator to create her very own cold process soap recipe, checking the values to ensure she was within the range for a typical bar of soap.  She also incorporated beeswax in her soap to make the soap a little bit harder.  To give her soap more bubbles, she added castor oil to her recipe.  Bailey is a big fan of cocoa butter, so she added that to provide the skin with conditioning aspects.

How would Bailey describe herself?  Bailey says she is the type of person who loves to make people laugh. Bailey said, “Wherever Bailey goes, the fiesta follows her”.    What a FUN person to work with!

If you are interested in making this recipe, please click Here To see Bailey’s Cold Fashioned Lemonade Soap Recipe.

 

Aug
07

Lemon Meringue Pie Soap

This entry was posted in melt and pour soap, soap fragrances, soap making recipes, Soap making supplies and tagged , , , , , , , , on by .

lemon meringue pie soapIt is simply AMAZING what you can create using melt and pour soap bases!  In this project, we desired to make a soap that looked so realistic to lemon meringue pie that it would be difficult to tell the difference.  Nicole accomplished just that!  Achieving just the right color for the graham cracker crust took several attempts, but we finally got it right.  This is great news for YOU because you won’t have to waste your precious soap base figuring out the color, and you can use this graham cracker colored soap to make an array of different types of soap pies!  Just imagine:  Strawberry pie soap, coconut cream pie soap, chocolate cream pie soap, key lime pie soap…and the list goes on and on!  Aren’t you EXCITED!?!

Our FREE recipe also teaches you how to make FABULOUS whipped meringue soap for the tops of your pie soaps as well!  This meringue soap looks just like real meringue, it firms up nicely, and clings to the layer of soap underneath it nicely!  lemon-pie-whole1

So, are you ready to try your hand at making your own Pie Soap?  If you are, here is our FREE RECIPE for Lemon Meringue Pie Soap.  Be sure to post pics of what you make on our facebook page during show and tell (every Thursday night at 9:30 pm est)!  We would love to see what you create!

Deborah Ward

Natures Garden

Aug
05

How to Get Honeycomb Look on Soap

This entry was posted in bath and body, bath and body fragrances, creative, Fragrance Oils, handmade soap, melt and pour soap, Natures Garden and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , on by .
honeycomb-soap

Natures Garden’s Honeycomb Patterned Soap with accompanying bumble bee embed.

 

Some of the neatest concepts in crafting is when you can take some element of the ingredients that you are using and incorporate them in to the aesthetic look of a finished product.  One great example of this is the honeycomb.

The honeycomb pattern can really be related to anything honey or bumble bee.  And, the best part about this little tip, you do not need to purchase a mold to achieve this look in your soaps.  All that this pattern requires is bubble wrap.

Through testing, we have found that the best way to accomplish the honeycomb look right up to the edge of your soaps is to cut the bubble wrap one row of bubbles past the opening of your soap mold.

To Make:  Simply follow the steps that you would normally do when making soap.

Then, when it comes time to pour your soap into your mold, just simply lay the cut and fit bubble wrap (bubble side down) on top of the soap opening.

Carefully and lightly, ensure that the bubble wrap is lying flat across your mold opening.  Caution:  Do not push down too hard, you do not want any liquid soap above the bubble wrap.

Next, let soap set until it has cooled and hardened completely.  Then, gently pull the bubble wrap from the soap.

That is it.  Your finished product will have the honeycomb pattern.

If, you love the honeycomb pattern so much you want to incorporate it to both ends of your soap, this can be done also.

By measuring the bottom portion of your mold, simply cut the bubble wrap to fit and lay flat exactly (bubble side up).  You do not want to have overage of bubble wrap on the bottom because the pattern will also show on the sides of the bar.

Then, pour your melted soap over the bubble wrap (bubble side up), and repeat with laying the bubble wrap (bubble side down) on the top of the soap.

bubblewrap

To produce a finished product with honeycomb appeal, a piece of bubble wrap is all you need.

When the soap has cooled and completely hardened, pop the soap out of the mold, and remove both layers of bubble wrap.

Viola, double sided honeycomb soap.

If you are inspired and want to try this honeycomb pattern, here is a list of Natures Garden’s Honeycomb inspired scents.  Don’t forget those cute little bumble bee embeds too!

Buttered Maple Oats Honey Fragrance Oil
Honey Almond Fragrance Oil
Honey Bunny Fragrance Oil
Honey Fragrance Oil
Honey Vanilla Love Dust Fragrance Oil
Honeycomb Fragrance Oil
Nectarine & Honey Fragrance Oil
Oatmeal Milk-n-Honey Fragrance Oil

 

Jul
24

Why Does M&P Soap Sweat

This entry was posted in bath and body, bath products, cleansing, Fragrance Oils, handcrafted soap, melt and pour soap, Natures Garden, soap mold and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

melt and pour soap

Why Does M&P Soap Sweat?

Melt and Pour Soap Bases contain high levels of vegetable glycerin.  Glycerin is a natural byproduct of the saponification process.   The ingredient glycerin is a humectant.  A humectant is a substance that can retain and preserve moisture, therefore also preventing loss of moisture as well.  Humectants are very important in bath and body products.  Having a moisturizing aspect to your products is especially crucial for the dry skin type products.

Sometimes, during the manufacturing process of melt and pour soaps, extra glycerin is added.  Glycerin is a key ingredient for making clear soaps.  Some types of melt and pour soaps even have up to 20% of pure glycerin in them (this would be why glycerin is listed so highly on the ingredients label).  But remember this glycerin is what gives melt and pour soap some of its highly sought after qualities, easy to color and mold, skin loving nature, mild and gentle soap (good for children and sensitive skinned), and very highly moisturizing naturally.

In fact, it is believed that in theory when you wash your hands with glycerin soap, there will be a thin layer of glycerin that is left behind after you rinse off the lather.  This layer of glycerin then does its humectant job and pulls moisture from the air, keeping your hand moisturized until the next wash.  But, it is also this same ingredient which is causing your melt and pour soap to “sweat”.  Some people believe that m&p sweat is inevitable, but there are some steps you can take to help avoid and reduce sweat.

Because glycerin is a humectant, the sweat that is produced after m&p soap in unmolded is actually condensation from the air that the glycerin drew out unto itself.  This is a very important element to remember if you live in an area with high heat and high humidity, or if you are soaping while it is raining outside.  Humidity is the number one cause for sweat.

How to Reduce M&P Soap Sweat

One of the best suggestions that we have for reducing the amount of sweat on your soaps is to have a dehumidifier in your soaping area.  You also want to keep the temperature of the room where you are soaping constant.  Drastic changes in temperature will also enhance soap sweat.

The first option in reducing sweat on m&p soap, especially if you live in a very humid area, is to store unmolded soaps in an airtight container.  By doing this, you are eliminating any extra moisture to be retained by the glycerin.  One tip we have learned from our customers is to spread a thin layer of aroma beads into the bottom of the air tight container.  Since aroma beads absorb liquid, this will also better your chances of having an air tight moisture free environment for your soaps to dry and harden.

In addition to the aroma beads, you will want to use drying racks in your containers if possible.  Setting your soap directly on top of the aroma beads for long periods of time will also dry out your soaps.  The time limit that the soaps can be in the air tight container is 2 hrs.  The soaps should also be checked and rotated every 30 minutes.

Some soap crafters use muslin bags to lay their soap out to dry, rotating them once a day.  This however will only work if you live in an area that does not have high humidity.

Although there is some debate as to when you can wrap your soap to avoid sweat, the general consensus is to wrap your soaps immediately after unmolding, if you are not storing them in an airtight container.   Regardless of whether you are using, plastic wrap or saran wrap (sealed with a heat gun), or shrink wrap, the sooner you get the soaps covered, the less chance glycerin has to draw moisture to the outside of the soap.

Another way to reduce sweat forming on the soap is to allow the soap to cool and harden naturally.  You want your soaps to harden at room temperature (70-72 degrees).  Even though you can speed up the hardening process by placing your molds in the fridge/freezer, it should NEVER be any longer than 15-20 minutes depending on the size of your mold.  Also, this step should never occur right after you poured the hot melted soap in the mold.  Wait until your soap has already started to harden.  The drastic temperature change from piping hot to freezing cold will lead to soap sweat.  And, you never want to completely freeze soap.  When the frozen soap thaws, you can almost guarantee soap sweat.

On a closing note, soap sweat does not affect any of the soap’s abilities.  Soap sweat happens naturally in humid environments that the soap is in.  Although using the preventative measures listed above will help to reduce the amount of soap sweat that occurs on your bars of soap, soap sweat may still appear.  The humectant agents in your soap are just doing their job, collecting moisture from the air, just as it will to moisturize your skin.

Jul
24

Strawberry Patch Type Fragrance Oil

This entry was posted in Air Fresheners, bath bombs, body butter, body spray, candle fragrance oils, Fragrance Oils, melt and pour soap, Natures Garden and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .
Strawberry Patch Type Fragrance Oil

Among all of the strawberry scents on the market, Natures Gardens Strawberry Patch Type Fragrance Oil is amazingly strong, and smells just like fresh, juicy strawberries.

 

Strawberry Patch Type Fragrance Oil- Fragrance Oil Spotlight

Tis the season for strawberry aromas to be everywhere, both edible and inedible.  Those big, ripe, juicy, heavenly fruits are making their way to grocery stores, farmers markets, side stands, and gardens all over the nation.  These sweet additions are being used in fruit salads, desserts, and snacks at a rapid rate.  The list for home scenting and bath and body products for strawberries is endless.  It is summer, and summer means strawberries.   And, when it comes to Strawberry Fragrance Oils, Natures Garden’s Strawberry Patch Type Fragrance Oil is a front runner for our fruity inspired scents.

What does Strawberry Patch Type Smell Like?

A juicy, effervescent, thirst-quenching aroma containing just the right amount of juicy, fresh strawberries, tropical white peaches, succulent mango fruit, and rich vanilla beans.

How Do Our Customers Use Strawberry Patch Type Fragrance Oil?

In the candle crafting world; our customers use this fragrance oil in their Pillar of Bliss, Wow Wax, Joy Wax, Gel Wax, and Soy Wax.  This fragrance oil performs perfectly, and has a strong scent throw both hot and cold.  Strawberry Patch Type Fragrance Oil has also been reviewed to have a great scent for car fresheners using aroma beads, and has even been used to make a great odor eliminator for rooms.

For the realm of bath and body, the possibilities for this fragrance oil are limitless.  The usage percent for this fragrance oil is 5%, and is used to make: Foaming Bath Whip, Melt and pour soaps, body sprays,  body butters, homemade lotions, shower gels, perfume oils, lotions bars, and bath melts.  Finally, for those of you that are cold process soapers, this one is a keeper.  Here are the official results:  Perfect Pour, no ricing, no acceleration.  No discoloration.  Other Cold Process reviews stated: “Scent sticks very well,” “Great berry scent!”, “This smelled heavenly OOB and after soaping it did not disappoint.”

Jul
10

Where Can I Buy Soap Making Supplies

This entry was posted in cold process soap, Fragrance Oils, melt and pour soap, Natures Garden, soap, soap making recipes, Soap making supplies, soap supplies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .
ckit-8

If you are looking for high quality soap making supplies, Natures Garden is your solution. We offer everything you need whether you are just starting your soap making craft or if you are a veteran soap crafter!

Where Can I Buy Soap Making Supplies

Deciding to venture into soap making can sometimes leave you with more questions than answers.  Where do I begin?  Where can I find informative classes and recipes?  Where is the best place to purchase soap making supplies?  We can understand that there are probably tons of these questions whirling around in your head.

Well, at Natures Garden Candle and Soap Supply; we have your answers.  Our staff has put in countless hours testing, researching, and writing informative soap making classes, tried and true soap recipes, and in the case of Cold Process Soaping; even tested every fragrance oil that we carry so that you have some insight as to how the fragrance oil behaves.

Providing soap making supplies to everyone- hobbyist and small business owners alike, if you are in the market for soap making supplies, Natures Garden is your answer.  We carry many soap making supplies like fragrance oilssoap colorants, molds, waxes/ butters/oils, additives, equipment, and even herbs and spices.

In fact, Natures Garden also carries several varieties of melt and pour soaps where the saponification process has already been done for you.  With melt and pour soap, it can be as simple as using the soap as is, or scenting and molding the soap to give it your true unique touch.

If you are still are seeking a place to start your soap making skills, a great place to start looking is at Natures Garden’s Soap Classes.  Not only are they super informative, they are FREE, and free reputable information is never a bad thing.

Jun
25

How To Make Soap

This entry was posted in bath and body, bath products, cold process soap, Fragrance Oils, herbs, make your own soap, melt and pour soap, soap and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

Soap Making Supplies

How to Make Soap from Scratch 

The earliest recorded proof of soap making, saponification, was found around 2800 BC in ancient Babylon.  The recipe for this soap-like substance consisted of water, alkali, and cassia oil.  Years later, in ancient Rome, soap was made using tallow, tree ash, and water.  Fast forward to today, soap is made using vegetable or animal fats/oils, and an alkaline mixture of lye and water.  One thing is for certain:  soap cannot be made without lye.  Even when soap was made with tree ash, water, and tallow, the tree ash contained lye.  You see, fats and water do not mix together, therefore, lye works as an emulsifier that allows these polar opposite ingredients to combine to make soap.

Before you make soap, make sure that you become familiar with the safety precautions to follow when handling lye.  Natures Garden provides a Soap Making Safety Class that will explain the hazards of soap making, and the necessary safety gear that you should wear when making soap.

Now that you understand how important safety is when making soap, you will need to buy the equipment and soap making supplies you need to make homemade soap.

Equipment you will need for soap making- By the way, once your equipment comes into contact with lye, you can NEVER use this equipment for food contact again!  Ingestion of lye can kill you.

1.  Heavy duty plastic bowls
2.  Plastic spoons or Silicone spatulas
3.  Whisk or Stick Blender
4.  Thermometer
5.  Soap Safe Molds- such as plastic or silicone (never allow lye to come into contact with aluminum)
6.  Scales to weigh out your ingredients
7.  Plastic wrap to insulate your soap while it cures
8.  Safety goggles, safety gloves, safety mask, and wear long sleeve clothing to protect skin from being burned.
9.  Spray bottle containing vinegar.  Keep a bottle of vinegar with you when mixing your lye just in case; it will neutralize the lye and stop the burning process immediately.

Soap Making Recipe and Exact Amounts that you will need to make soap:

The recipe we use at Natures Garden to test our fragrance oils is listed below.  We use this recipe because it allows you to make colorful swirled soap once you have more experience.  We also love this recipe because it is very moisturizing to the skin, yet still provides a creamy lather.  This recipe makes 3 pounds of soap.

12.16 oz Water (345 grams)
4.4 oz Lye (125 grams)

9.6 oz Olive Oil (272 grams)
9.6oz Shea Butter (272 grams)
6.4 oz Coconut Oil 76 (181.5 grams)
6.4 oz Palm Oil (181.5 grams)
2 oz. Copperhue Suntan Lotion Fragrance Oil
FUN Soap Colorant (optional- but if you use color, we suggest using orange color)

Instructions for making soap:

  1. It’s important to prep your area with the equipment and items you will need before you start. You don`t want to have to stop half way through and run to go get something!
  2. You should be mixing your lye solution in a well-ventilated area. No kids or pets anywhere nearby! Lye is very caustic and will create fumes that should not be inhaled as they can burn the tissue of your lungs. Also if it gets splashed on you, it can cause a nasty burn on the skin.
  3. Make sure that you have your bottle of vinegar handy if you get lye solution on your skin.
  4. Weigh out your lye
  5. Weigh out your distilled water
  6. Slowly add lye to your distilled water and stir until lye is dissolved.  NEVER EVER add your water to the lye!  It will produce a hazardous volcano scenario.
  7. Set you water/lye solution somewhere safe where kids and pets cannot get to it or knock it over.  Allow this solution to cool to around 90-100F.
  8. Weigh out your oils and butters.
  9. Melt your oils and butters until they are completely melted, but be careful not to get them too hot or they may burn.
  10. Allow your oils/butters to cool to around 100F.
  11. Add your lye/water solution to your oil/butter solution and mix with a whisk or a hand blender until the batter is emulsified.
  12. Add color to your soap mixture
  13. Add fragrance oil to your soap mixture and bring to trace.  (Trace is a pudding like soap consistency).
  14. Pour soap mixture into soap molds (my favorite molds are silicone loaf molds).
  15. Cover molds with plastic wrap, and place molds somewhere that they will not be disturbed.
  16. Allow soap to remain in covered molds for 24-48 hours.
  17. Remove soap from the molds.  Slice.
  18. Allow soap to cure in a cool, ventilated area for 2-6 weeks.
  19. After soap has fully cured, you can use it.

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