Category Archives: soap ingredients

Sep
18

Bamboo Hemp Soap Recipe


This entry was posted in anise, body safe fragrance oils, cold process soap scents, Free Recipes, free soap recipes, handcrafted soap, handmade soap, make your own soap, soap ingredients, soap making recipes, soap recipes, soap scents, soapmaking and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

Bamboo Hemp Soap RecipeBamboo Hemp Soap Recipe

Check out a melt and pour soap recipe that is decorative and simple to create! There are so many reasons why this handmade soap recipe is a great choice. The first great part of this handmade soap recipe is that it uses Natures Garden’s melt and pour soap base. So, this layered soap is easy to create and you don’t have to deal with lye. Plus, the whole star anise provides a simple way to decorate your lovely soaps. Together you have a perfect method for creating adorable soaps. Furthermore, the soap smells fantastic! This recipe uses our Bamboo Hemp Fragrance, which is a well-balanced blend of bamboo stalks, vetiver, and patchouli, with undertones of hemp seed and oakmoss. The Bamboo Hemp Soap Recipe will also show you how to layer melt and pour soap and add herbal embeds. So, this is wonderful melt and pour soap recipe for homemade soap makers!

Bamboo Hemp Soap Recipe Star Anise and Potential Skin Benefits

Whole star anise is a great cosmetic herb for nourishing your skin. There are many that have found that star anise is great for keeping your skin healthy and glowing, as it is known to soften and nourish your skin. This makes this herb perfect for the addition of melt and pour soap. Plus, this cosmetic herb has been said to be wonderful for reducing wrinkles. Also, some have found that this wonderful herb is great for reducing acne or dry skin related issues. So, this ingredient may be as beneficial to your skin as it is pretty for the top layer of your soap!

Bamboo Hemp Soap Recipe Ingredients Available at Natures Garden

Bamboo Hemp Fragrance Oil
Diamond Clear Melt and Pour Soap
Hemp Oil Melt and Pour Soap
Star Anise Whole
Small Square Tray Mold
Cutter for Mitre Box
Natures Garden Soap Apron
1 oz. Black Bullet Bottles
Black Fine Mist Sprayer 20/410

Bamboo Hemp Soap Recipe Other Necessary Ingredients and Equipment You Will Need

Two Microwave Safe Mixing Bowls 
Mixing Spoons
Microwave
Scale 
Knife 
Rubbing Alcohol
Cutting Board

Bamboo Hemp Soap Recipe Weights and Amounts of Your Ingredients

400 grams Diamond Clear Melt and Pour Soap
590 grams Hemp Oil Melt and Pour Soap
29 grams Bamboo Hemp Fragrance Oil
16 Whole Star Anise

Bamboo Hemp Soap Recipe Necessary Preparations Prior to Starting

First of all, you are going to want to clean all of your equipment and your work station. This will make sure that your finished product is clean and free of contaminants. This process isn’t difficult and will absolutely benefit your homemade products. So, sanitize the counter top or the table that you are going to work on. In addition, clean and sanitize all of the equipment you will be using.

Also, you may want to get all of your supplies together and within reach of your work space. This way you will have all the equipment ready to use for creating the melt and pour soap. You will also want to fill your spray bottle with rubbing alcohol so that you can spray the freshly poured melt and pour soap quickly. This will release any air bubble that pop up when pouring your mp soap base.  In addition, rubbing alcohol will help the layers adhere to each other.

Bamboo Hemp Soap Recipe Getting the Whole Star Anise ReadyBamboo Hemp Soap Recipe Getting the Whole Star Anise Ready

First, you are going to get your whole star anise herb ready for later use in the homemade soap recipe. Since you are going to need this cosmetic herb for your clear layer of melt and pour, it will help to have the stars ready. Since it will save you time to get this herb ready, you should pick out your Star Anise before you begin the recipe. So, look through your bag of Whole Star Anise to find some whole pieces of the Star Anise that you would like to use in the soap. Although you can use broken pieces as long as you don’t mind that ascetic in your final bars of soap. Regardless of your preference, you will need to get together 16 individual whole star anise pieces for this melt and pour soap recipe.

Bamboo Hemp Soap Recipe Preparing the Clear Layer of SoapBamboo Hemp Soap Recipe Preparing the Clear Layer of Soap

Next, you are going to get the clear melt and pour soap ready to use for your first layer. So, grab your scale and weigh out 200 grams of your Natures Garden Diamond Clear Melt and Pour Soap into a microwave safe bowl. After, you will need to use your microwave to melt your clear soap base. Melting your soap base should be done in short bursts. You want to use thirty second busts in the microwave until all of the soap is completely melted. This method of melting your soap will prevent you from accidentally over heating your mp soap base.

Bamboo Hemp Soap Recipe After the Soap has Melted

Now, that your melt and pour soap has finished melting you are going to be ready to pour the soap into your mold. You don’t need to add any color to this layer because you will need to see the Star Anise Whole through the melt and pour soap. Further, we don’t need to add fragrance oil to this layer. But, don’t worry about your soap because the bottom layer will be scented. We just can’t scent this clear layer or the fragrance would add a yellow tint to the layer. This is because the soap doesn’t have a color and the Bamboo Hemp Fragrance Oil has a slight yellow tint. So, this layer of your soap should remain unscented and uncolored.

Bamboo Hemp Soap Recipe Pouring Your First Soap LayerBamboo Hemp Soap Recipe Pouring Your First Soap Layer

After your clear, unscented melt and pour soap has entirely melted, you are ready to pour your melted soap. Be sure to move quickly as you pour your soap as you are going to need to place in the herbs before your soap sets up. So, retrieve the soap mold and the star anise that you have chosen for the top layer of your melt and pour soap. Now, pour your melt and pour soap into your soap mold.

Next, take your whole star anise and place each individual star anise into the center of each cavity in the soap mold. After all of the star anise has been placed, spray the top of your soap layer with the rubbing alcohol. This will release bubbles in the melted soap and help your layers to stick together better. Now, make sure that your layer is completely set up before moving on to the next step.

Bamboo Hemp Soap Recipe After the Clear Soap Layer is Completely Set UpBamboo Hemp Soap Recipe Pouring the Second Clear Soap Layer

Now, you will see that your first clear layer has not completely covered the entire whole star anise. This amount of melt and pour soap was intentional, as it will help with the placement of the star anise. Next, we will be pouring the second half of the clear layer to completely cover the star anise whole. The thought process behind this method of embedding the herb was that this will help to hold the herb in place. So, this means that your stars will be less likely to be crooked or start to float. So, your star anise will be better at staying where you put it, in the center and top of your bars of soap.

Bamboo Hemp Soap Recipe Pouring the Second Clear LayerBamboo Hemp Soap Recipe Pouring the Second Clear Layer

Next, you are going to pour the second half of the clear melt and pour soap layer. So, melt another portion of 200 grams of clear melt and pour soap. You are going to want to melt this batch the same way that you did before to prevent burning the soap. So, use your microwave in 30 second increments. Before you pour this portion of clear melt and pour soap make sure to spray the previous layer with rubbing alcohol. After, pour the second clear layer onto your previously set up soap layer. Then, spray the top of the melt and pour soap layer with the rubbing alcohol.  Allow the final clear layer to completely setup before moving to the next step.

Bamboo Hemp Soap Recipe Preparing the Second Layer of Your SoapBamboo Hemp Soap Recipe Preparing the White Layer of Your Soap

Next, you are going to be preparing the white layer of your melt and pour soap bars. So, grab your scale and weigh out 590 grams of the Natures Garden’s Hemp Oil Melt and Pour Soap Base. Next, you will need to melt your soap base with a microwave. Again, we recommend that you use 30 second increments until the soap is entirely liquid. After your soap is entirely melted you are ready to add the fragrance oil. So, weigh out 29 grams of Natures Garden’s Bamboo Hemp Fragrance Oil. Then, you are going to add this refreshing fragrance oil to your melted soap base. Stir in the fragrance evenly to make sure that all of the scent has been incorporated. After, you are ready to move on to the next step.

Bamboo Hemp Soap Recipe Pouring the White Layer of Your SoapBamboo Hemp Soap Recipe Pouring the White Layer of Your Soap

Now, you are ready to pour your white layer of Hemp Oil Melt and Pour Soap Base into your soap mold. This white melt and pour soap will be the bottom layer for your finished soap bars. After this final layer is poured, you will want to spray the top with some of the rubbing alcohol. This will help to remove the air bubbles that may be trapped under the surface of this soap layer. Once you spray the soap, wait for this layer to entirely set up. After this white soap layer is entirely hardened, you will be ready for the next step in this process.

Bamboo Hemp Soap Recipe Slice Your Finished SoapBamboo Hemp Soap Recipe Slice Your Finished Soap

Next, you are going to want to slice your finished slab of soap into individual bars. First, remove the melt and pour soap from your mold. Place the mold on the table or counter top, flip it over, and gently press to release the bamboo hemp soap from the mold. Then, turn the soap over so you can see the top clear layer. You will notice, the mold that you have used will provide you with a single slab of soap, but there are indented portions that are designed for easy cutting. Before you cut, you are going to want to set your slab of layered soap onto the cutting board. Now, you can cut your soap using a knife, or the soap cutter typically used with a mitre box for soap making. So, use your chosen cutting implement to slice along the lower sections of the melt and pour soap slab. Once you cut along each line you will end up with 16 individual soap bars that each soap embedded with a whole star anise. Now, you have completed your melt and pour soaps and are ready to use your finished soap!

Bamboo Hemp Soap Recipe Share Your CreationsBamboo Hemp Soap Recipe Share Your Creations

Finally, your melt and pour soap creation is ready for you to use. We hope that you enjoy your finished products! This finished soap is great for use as lovely decoration or a wonderful skin loving soap recipe. If you would love to share your experience, we would love to see your finished products! If you would like to share pictures, share stories of your experience, or even ask some questions, then you can find us on our Instagram and Twitter @ngscents or you can follow us on our Facebook page! Also, you can easily find our Facebook page by clicking here. We would love to hear from you and see your handmade candle, soap, and cosmetic creations!

 

Natures Garden is not responsible for the performance of any of the recipes that are provided on our website. Testing is your own responsibility. If you plan to resell any recipes that we provide, it is your responsibility to adhere to all FDA regulations if applicable. 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. We also do not offer any advice on formulating or altering recipes.

Feb
15

Shea Butter


This entry was posted in bath and body, bath products, natural skincare products, Natures Garden, shea butter, soap ingredients, Soap making supplies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

shea butter Shea Butter

Hey all you creative crafty people out there! Yes, I’m talking to you! Do you love making soaps? Have you ever used shea butter in your products before? Well, you should! This great butter has many amazing benefits and it is absolutely wonderful for your skin! Here at Nature’s Garden, we offer refined shea butter , unrefined shea butter, as well as shea butter melt and pour soap! We also offer many great free recipes made with shea butter!

Shea butter originally comes from Western Africa, from the nuts of the shea tree. The tree itself is considered sacred because of the amazing things it can do for your skin, beauty, health and hair. Legend says that even the Egyptian Queen Nefertiti was said to owe her magnificent beauty to shea butter. There are many fantastic skin and hair care benefits of shea butter, and it can be used in a wide variety of bath and body products. Some of these include soaps, lotions, lip gloss, scrubs, and even lip balms. Shea butter works to deeply moisturize your skin, is great for scarring, wrinkles and fine lines, and helps your skin to produce more collagen. Shea butter is rich in many constituents such as vitamin D and E, and provitamin A and helps to strengthen and protect your skin and also protects it from harmful UV rays. Shea butter is a great antioxidant and even helps to enhance your physical endurance! It has many anti-inflammatory properties, and works to heal small cuts and burns. When used for hair care, shea butter helps to protect the hair from ultraviolet rays, repairs any damage caused by the sun and harsh weather, and works to soften and revitalize brittle and damaged hair. This great butter works to promote new hair growth, moisturizes the hair, and even works to get rid of any excess oils on the scalp.

Our natural shea butter here at Nature’s Garden consists of the following fatty acids: stearic (40%), oleic (48%), linoleic (6%), and palmitic (5%). Here at Nature’s Garden we offer many amazing free recipes and classes, and many of our recipes are actually made with shea butter! IF you can, make sure to try them all out! Here are just a few of them:

Coffee Butter Scrub: This is the perfect recipe for all the coffee addicts out there!

coffee butter scrub

Cotton Candy Emulsified Sugar Scrub: This sugar scrub is just pure fun and will leave you smelling just like this yummy treat!

cotton candy sugar scrub

Gourmet Chocolate Bath Melts: These bath melts are the perfect way to spend a romantic evening with your special someone!

gourmet chocolate bath melts

Beer Soap: The perfect soap for all those manly men out there!

beer soap

Girly Girl Salve: This salve is sure to make you feel totally feminine!

girly girl salve

Shea Butter Hair Gel: This hair gel recipe is sure to make your hair feel completely revitalized!

shea butter hair gel

Sugar Cookie Whipped Body Butter: You’re sure to be left smelling absolutely delicious!

sugar cookie body butter

Cotton Candy Lip Balm: This recipe is sure to be irresistible!

cotton candy lip balm

You’re sure to adore each and every one of these fantastic recipes! Make sure to check out all the rest of our free recipes and classes as well! Enjoy these great products and keep watching for more Enlightened by Layla!

Note: Natures Garden sells our butters for external use only. We do not sell them as food items. (The information we provide is for educational purposes only. This information is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration). Natures Garden accepts no responsibility (written or implied) for any products you make with our butters. All testing is the responsibility of the customer. 

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Oct
07

Citric Acid


This entry was posted in bath and body, bath products, citric acid, Natures Garden, soap, soap ingredients, Soap making supplies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

citric acidCitric Acid

Hey everyone! Do you love all citrusy kinds of foods? Or maybe you just like the smells of them? Well here at Nature’s Garden we actually offer citrus acid for you to add to your products. Citrus acid is a weak, natural, and organic acid generally found in fruits, such as lemons, oranges, limes, tangerines, and grapefruit. It can be used for soaps, cosmetics and for awesome bath bombs. (Come on, we all know how much fun bath bombs are!) However, it can also be used in food production and has many other uses as well.

Citric acid is in most fruits and vegetables and is found in the metabolisms of most living things. When being used in cosmetic products it helps to lower the ph formulation. When being used to make soaps, it generally provides better foam for the soap and helps it to soften in water. It is also an active ingredient in cleaning solutions for kitchens and bathrooms. When making bath bombs, combine the citric acid with baking soda. Did you know that every year around the world, about one million tons of citric acid are produced commercially? Can you even picture that much? Neither can I! Another fun fact, citric acid can be used in shampoos to wash waxes and coloring out of your hair!

This acid is found in many different fruits and some vegetables. It can be used in food production as well. Citric acid is a natural preservative and can be used to add a sour taste to food and drinks. However it is also used in ice cream! Do you know what it is used for? It is used to keep the “fat globules” separated! A weird thought, but still cool! However, here at Nature’s Garden, we sell our citric acid for uses in cosmetics, soaps, and bath bombs.

I hope that you all have figured out everything on our new site! Well if you haven’t figured it all out yet, and still need a little help navigating everything, don’t worry! We’re here to help you! The easiest way for you to get to our citric acids on our website is to type “citric acid” into our search bar at the top of the site. That will take you directly to a page titled “Search Results for “Citric Acid.”” We have two different options there. You can either purchase just regular citric acid, or you can purchase it in bulk.

citric acid page

Citric acid is definitely a neat and fun product! If you are looking for something new for your next project, or even future ones, try something with citric acid! Maybe some of our awesome bath bomb recipes? Or you can add it in for the next time you’re making soap! Have fun! Please let us know if you have any thoughts, questions or concerns! Are you in the mood for even more fun? Check out all of our free recipes and classes! If you want to try something new but aren’t sure how, don’t be afraid! Try one of our classes! And make sure to watch out for more Enlightened by Layla!

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Sep
25

Essential Oils


This entry was posted in bath and body, cosmetic ingredients, cosmetic supplies, Enlightened by Layla, essential oils, Natures Garden, soap ingredients, Soap making supplies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

essential oils Essential Oils

Hello everyone! Have you figured out all of our features on our new site yet? We think it’s awesome and amazing and we hope you feel the same way! For all you crafters out there, do you like to make products that include essential oils? Here at Nature’s Garden we offer many different products including many pure grade essential oils! Being pure grade, they are not diluted with any solvents or carrier oils. We have over 20+ essential oils available to our customers. If you haven’t worked with them before, maybe they could be a cool new project for you to try? They are great for soap making and cosmetics!

Never used essential oils before? Are you worried that you may not know how to use them correctly but really want to try them? Have no fear! We offer a free class! On our homepage, on the left in the Free Recipes and Classes Box, if you click on Soap Making Classes that will take you to our Soap Classes page which offers every soap making class we have. Our Essentials Oils Class is right in the top row! You can also get to the class by clicking on our Free Recipes and Classes box right on the top of our page. Once that takes you to our Free Recipes and Classes page, click on Herb Classes and our Essential Oils Class is available there also.

free classes and recipes

Soap Classes

free recipes and classes box

free classes and recipes page

essential oils class

 

Are you an experienced essential oils user? Haven’t used ours before? You should definitely try them out! We offer 20+ of them! To get to our essential oils, go to our Fragrance Oils option at the top of our site. A drop box will appear and Essential Oils is right on top in the second column. If you click on that, it will take you right to our Essential Oils page with all of our options available right there. We have everything from a Cassia Essential Oil to Sweet Fennel! Many many different and great options! We have also included a Natural Vanilla Infusion with our essential oils section. We even have our top sellers listed at the bottom of the page.

fragrance oils drop box

essential oils page

We have also included the IFRA Certificate (International Fragrance Association) for each and every essential oil we have. Once you’ve chosen a specific oil, underneath the picture click on the little link that says IFRA Certificate. The certificates also show a little chart that states the maximum use for that oil in different categories. Each category is listed underneath the chart. For example, Category 2 is deoderants and antiperspirants, Category 8 is make up removers, hair dyes, and nail care, etc etc. Be sure to check the certificate for the maximum usage amounts for each essential oil before using them in your products!

IFRA certificate link

IFRA certificate

Essential oils are wonderful to use in your soaps and cosmetics. Don’t hesitate to try ours! We offer 20+ pure grade oils here at Nature’s Garden so I’m positive you will find some that you’ll love! Have fun! Please contact us with any questions or concerns you have! We are here to help you succeed! Be sure to keep watching for more Enlightened by Layla postings!

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May
06

Jersey Soap Recipe


This entry was posted in cold process soap, cold process soap colorant, cold process soap scents, homemade soap, how to make cold process soap, make your own soap, soap ingredients, soap making recipes, Soap making supplies, soap recipes and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

jersey soap recipe

 

This manly themed Jersey Soap Recipe is easy and fun to make if you have soaped before.  Perfect for a Fathers Day gift or a gift for your favorite sports fan; using a combination of both cold processed and hot processed soap, you will be able to create a manly scented soap that looks very similar to a sports jersey.  In creating this masterpiece, feel free to swap out the colors to select ones that batter fit the theme of the end product you are looking for.

Please Note:  To complete this homemade project, it will take two days to create.  Day one will be the cold process soap steps.  Then, you will have to wait 24 hours before unmolding this soap.  Once that time has elapsed, the second day will involve the hot process soap steps.  Then, of course there is cure time involved due to the fact that there is cold process soap in your end product.  But, you will have nice and firm bars when finished.

The majority of the ingredients and some of the supplies used in this recipe can be purchased at Natures Garden.

Here are the ingredients that you will need to make the cold process portion of this recipe:
For the lye solution:
65 grams Water
24 grams Lye
For your soaping ingredients:
60 grams Shea Butter
50 grams Coconut Oil 76
33 grams Apricot Kernel Oil
21 grams Grapeseed Oil
9 grams Castor Oil
6 grams Sodium Lactate
11 grams Game On Fragrance Oil
2 grams Titanium Dioxide

As for the mold, you will need to have the Mold Market Square Loaf mold.  This mold is also available at Natures Garden.

Once you have everything and you are ready to start soaping, here are the steps, complete with pictures to show you how it is done:

make your lye solution

Put on your safety gear, and prep your area. Then, make your lye solution.

melting down your soaping ingredients

Now, melt and combine your Apricot Kernel Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Shea Butter, Coconut Oil 76, and Castor Oil.

adding sodium lactate

Once the lye solution has cooled add the sodium lactate and stir.

titanium dioxide paste

Next, remove 8 grams of the melted soaping ingredients, and place it into a separate mixing bowl.  Then, add your titanium dioxide to this and stir in to make a paste.   Set aside.

emulsify soap batter

When ready, combine the lye solution and soaping ingredients together. Stick blend to emulsify.

scenting and coloring the batter

Next, add titanium dioxide paste and stick blend to make the whole batter white in color.  Then, add the fragrance and stick blend.

pouring your soap

Once you have reached trace, pour the white soap batter into the 4 pound mold.  Please Note:  The batter will NOT fill the mold.  This is done intentionally.  Insulate.

measuring out your embed

After 24 hours:  Carefully remove the white soap from the mold.   Place it down flat and horizontally in front of you. Then, using a ruler, measure out 2 inches in height and mark it.

the number in your jersey soap
Now, using a knife, cut the soap so that you have one long bar.  This will be the number one in your jersey soap.  Then, set aside.

The cold process steps are now complete.  You are now half way there.  The next step is the Hot Process and here is the recipe (using the same ingredients with the addition soap colorant).
For the Lye solution:
420 grams Water
153 grams Lye
For your soaping ingredients:
387 grams Shea Butter
321 grams Coconut Oil 76
210 grams Apricot Kernel Oil
133 grams Grapeseed Oil
55 grams Castor Oil
35 grams Sodium Lactate
69 grams Game On Fragrance Oil
15 grams Ultramarine Blue Fun Soap Colorant

meling your ingredients for hp recipe

Set your crock pot to a low heat setting. Next, place all of your oils and butter into the crock pot. Heat and occasionally stir them until melted.

adding the sodium lactate to hp

While you are melting the soaping ingredients, make your lye solution.  Also, add the sodium lactate. Stir in to incorporate.

combining the soap ingredients

Once all of the soaping ingredients are melted, slowly pour the lye mixture into the crock pot.

coloring the hp soap

Next, in short bursts, stick blend directly in the crock pot. Once you have the batter at light trace, add the ultramarine blue soap colorant. Then, stick blend to incorporate throughout the whole batter.

hp soap pudding like state
Now, keep blending in short bursts with your stick blender until the batter reaches a pudding like state.  Remember to periodically stir the soap in between with your spatula.  Once the batter has reached this state, lid the crock pot.

hp soap with waxy appearance
Allow the soap mixture to cook, and periodically stir it. Doing this will prevent the soap from scorching.  As the soap cooks, the soap will start to dry out and take on a waxy appearance.

hp soap that has consistency of mashed potatoes
Remember to stir occasionally, but allow the soap to cook for about 2 hours.  You will know that your soap has cooked long enough once it has the consistency of mashed potatoes.

adding the scent and stirring it in
Next, quickly add the Game On scent to the soap.  Then, stir well throughout the whole batter.

about one inch of soap in the mold
Now, get your mold and place about one inch worth of the soap into it.  Gently tap the soap in the mold to remove any air bubbles.

placing the number 1 in the soap
Once the mold has been tapped, vertically place the white soap into the mold.  Using your fingers, gently wedge the soap into place.  Try to keep the white soap centered.  This will be the number 1 on the jersey soap.

filling in the rest of the mold

Once the number 1 has been set into the soap, begin to carefully fill in the open sides with soap.  As you are doing this, remember to gently tap the soap mold to remove any trapped air.  Please Note:  Due to the tapping  of the mold, you may have to recenter the number 1 in the soap if it becomes askew.

heap the top of the soap
Once the mold is filled, heap the top lip portion with the remaining soap.

how to get the jersey shape

Now, using your ladle, carefully run it down the center of the mold and remove the excess soap.  Place the excess soap along the sides.  This scooping manner will give your jersey soap its neck line.  Allow the soap to mold overnight.

removing the soap from the mold
The next morning, remove the soap from the mold.

cut your jersey soap

Finally, cut the soap into bar sized slices. Allow the soap to cure further (because of the cold process soap) before use.

That is it!  You have just accomplished the jersey soap recipe.  Enjoy your new soap!

 

Apr
29

Insulating Soap


This entry was posted in bath and body, bath and body fragrances, cold process soap, cold process soap scents, homemade soap, Natures Garden, soap ingredients, Soap making supplies, soap mold and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

insulating soap In an earlier blog post, we discussed how insulating soap to promote gel phase was a matter of personal choice. Whether you insulate or choose not to, your soap will still be soap.

When it comes to whether you choose to insulate or not, really there are only two factors that will change. The first is the amount of cure time. Due to the fact that the saponification process is slowed down by the prevention of gel phase, your soap may need extra cure time before use. On the other hand, promoting a full gel phase for your soap means an accelerated saponification process with a normal cure time. And, the second difference is an aesthetic one.

The finished look of your soap will differ slightly based upon whether you choose to prevent gel phase or encourage it. By preventing gel phase (sticking your molded soap in the fridge or freezer), your finished soap will have a matte look to it. By promoting gel phase, your finished soap will have a slight translucent, shiny look to it. Again, however, please remember regardless of which method you choose either method results with finished soap.

When making soap, it is important to remember that the gel phase occurs during the saponification process. While your soap is in the mold, the various soaping ingredients react with the lye mixture, and heat is used to help the acceleration of the whole saponification process. When choosing to promote gel phase during saponification, it can be accomplished through means of insulation.

Insulating your soap means wrapping the soap with various layers in an attempt to keep the heat within the soap. Because the saponification process is endothermic (meaning the process pulls heat from its surroundings), keeping the soap insulated is the best means to successfully promoting gel phase throughout your whole soap. It will also help to prevent a partial gel. If you remember, a partial gel is where the center of your soap achieves gel phase, but the outside areas do not. This typically occurs because the outside of the soap looses heat in a quicker fashion therefore inhibiting the ideal environment for a full gel phase to occur.

Through the means of insulation, you can provide your soap with its ideal environment (heat wise).  And, when it comes to insulation for your soap, there are many different items you can use.  These items would include: newspaper, cardboard, blankets, towels, etc.  Practically, you can use any layer type material that will keep the heat in the soap (but never aluminum foil).

Many soapers will use various items in combination such as: wrapping the soap with saran wrap (especially if the soap has a decorated top), then covering it with newspaper, surrounded by towels, and finally placed under a box. There really is no limit for insulation. And, many believe that over insulating can never be done. Remember the key to insulating, if you are choosing to promote the gel phase; is to keep as much heat in the soap as possible.

However, please note: If you are soaping a recipe that does contain sugar or dairy products, you may want to go a little on the lighter side of insulating due to the fact that these items in your recipe will increase heat during the saponification process. Extreme insulating in these examples may cause the ingredients to “burn”, possibly resulting in discoloration and an off smell in your finished soaps.  It can also cause your soap batter to begin to bubble out of your mold.  You do however have the choice of preventing the gel phase for these types of recipes, and sticking your molded soap in the fridge or freezer.

Apr
28

Too Much Castor


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

too much castor

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

Hello everyone!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time, have a fabulous day!

Cindy

 

 

Apr
26

Gel Phase


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Apr
24

Insulate Soap


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

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

To insulate or not to insulate that is the question.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Apr
22

Rebatching Soap


This entry was posted in bath and body, bath and body fragrances, bath products, cold process soap, cold process soap colorant, cold process soap scents, Fragrance Oils, handmade soap, homemade, Natures Garden, soap ingredients, soap making recipes, Soap making supplies, soap mold and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

rebatching soap Whether you view rebatching as an art, a doorway for the addition of gentle ingredients, or a second chance for your soap, this method of soap making offers opportunity.

The term rebatching for soap simply means remaking soap.  This method would be very similar to melt and pour soap in that you are melting down soap that has already gone through the saponification process.  Rebatching is more intricate than melt and pour soap though.  Rebatching involves cold processed or hot processed soap bars that are melted down for specific reasons.

A common technique used in soap making, rebatching allows many soap making handcrafters the chance to rework their soap recipes, introduce delicate scents and herbs, as well as add ingredients or colors they may have missed the opportunity to add the first time.

Since rebatched soap has already gone through the saponification process, the rebatching steps do not involve lye.  This is why rebatching allows the opportunity to add those delicate soaping ingredients; without fear.  With the rebatching method, these ingredients; which normally would not survive the saponification process, now have the chance to add wonderful benefits to your finished bars of soap.

Although time consuming, the rebatch process is fairly easy to do.  To put it briefly, the rebatching process is finely grating the soap, then heating (sometimes with the addition of a liquid like water to help prevent burning).  There are a few different ways to introduce heat to the shredded soap.  These ways would include:  double boiler, microwave, and crock pot.  But, please advise: you must monitor the soap while it is heating because you never want to scorch the soap.  This may be slightly more difficult using the microwave approach.

Now, as the soap is heated and starts to liquefy; it will have a very thick gel like density.  Once the soap hits this consistency, any additives or scents are added and stirred in.  Once the soap is stirred well, it is then scooped into a mold, left to harden, and finally cut into slices.

So, now that you have an understanding as to what the method of rebatching is, we will shortly post a blog as to the various reasons to rebatch.  This post will also cover the benefits as well as the drawbacks of rebatching your soap.