Category Archives: soap mold

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
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.

Apr
14

Brittle Soap

This entry was posted in bath and body, bath products, cold process soap, handmade soap, homemade soap, how to make cold process soap, make your own soap, natural colorants, soap ingredients, Soap making supplies, soap mold, soap recipe, soap supplies, sodium lactate and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

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.

Mar
19

Hot Process Soap

This entry was posted in bath and body, bath products, fragrance oil, Fragrance Oils, handmade soap, hot process soap, Natures Garden, Soap making supplies, soap mold, sodium lactate and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

hot process soap Hello everyone!

I just finished my second round of training in…..wait for it…..HOT PROCESS SOAP MAKING….(insert scream)….dunt, dunt, duuunnnn!!!

Yep, that was my initial thought as the word Lye came into the conversation.  However, going through the checklist and noting that safety glasses, gloves, and a mask are extremely necessary for any recipe containing this soaping ingredient, I felt safer.  Although, the well written instructions helped as well.

This hot process soap recipe is pretty lengthy and I almost felt like I was engaged in a major project.  So I decided to take each step slowly and precisely.

After reviewing the process, something I thought was interesting was that I would be using a crockpot to slowly cook the ingredients.  Now, I will certainly never look at my crockpot the same way again!  Please remember that you CAN NOT use this or any other household item you use for these types of recipes (containing Lye) for everyday cooking.  They MUST be kept separate!

Now, another key factor for soaping is that all of the measurements must be exact in order for your recipe to work properly.  Hot process is similar to cold process but you are “cooking” your ingredients in the crockpot.  This heat speeds up the “saponification” process.  Yea that IS a big word!  What does it mean?  It means “the process of the chemical reaction that the lye solution and the oils/fats/butters go through when making soap.”  Another interesting thing I learned during my adventure was a little thing called a soap calculator.  Yea, it’s a calculator used to determine if all of the ingredients you want to use are going to work together and figures out how much of everything you will need.  This is a definite must in the world of soap making.

I knew I was gonna like this recipe when I was told to watch for when my creation looked like mashed potatoes and when it does…it’s done!  I mean, who doesn’t like mashed potatoes?  Keep in mind you must be patient when making this type of soap because the process is slow going.  The stirring and cooking and watching is the longest part, aside from the setting up of the soap.  This soap doesn’t look as pretty as some of the other recipes while in the molds, but the results are ones you will be happy with.  If you don’t make your own soap, but you buy other peoples; I hope after reading this, you look at it a bit differently.  Just knowing what all is involved in the homemade soap making process, gives you a whole new understanding.

However, I hope you all try this recipe if you have never made soap before.  

Please Note: With the exemption of the lye and water, all other soaping ingredients can be purchased at Natures Garden.  Also, if this is the first time you are attempting the process of making soap (like me), please review these classes to familiarize yourself with the processes.

Soap Making Safety
Making Your Own Soap Recipe
Soap Making Terminology
Finding the Perfect Recipe
Soaping Oils Properties

Here are the steps that I took to make my very first batch of Hot Process Soap.  I also included pictures to show you the process.  In the end, I ended up with (4) beautiful 1 pound loaves of soap.

Step 1:  Prior to making this hot process soap recipe, clean and sanitize your work area.  Then, put on your safety gear.  You will want to wear gloves, a face mask, and safety glasses while preparing this recipe.

safety gear for soap making

Step 2:  Now, turn your crockpot on a low heat setting.  Then, place one of your mixing bowls on your scale.  Next, weigh out the 503 grams of Olive Oil, 408 grams of Coconut Oil 76, 109 grams of Castor Oil, and 340 grams of Palm Oil.

hot process soaping ingredients

Step 3:   Once you have all your oils weighed out, place them into the crockpot.  Heat this on low until the palm oil and coconut oil 76 are in a liquid state.  Stir occasionally.

soaping oils in the crockpot
Step 4:  Now, get your two mixing bowls.  In one bowl, weigh out your 188 grams of lye.  In the second bowl, weigh out your 517 grams of water.

weigh out your lye and water
Step 5:  Next, take your lye and water bowls to a well ventilated area.  NEVER add the water to the lye!  Slowly add small amounts of the lye to the water.  Stir in between each addition of the lye to the water.  DO NOT breath in the fumes.  Continue doing this until all of the lye has been mixed into the water.

stirring the lye water

Step 6:  Now, weigh out and add the 50 grams of sodium lactate to the lye water.  Using your spatula, stir this slowly to incorporate.

adding sodium lactate to the recipe

Step 7:  Carefully, add the mixture of the lye water and sodium lactate to the crockpot.  Then, give this a quick stir with your spatula.

adding the lye water to the crockpots

Step 8:  Now, get your stick blender.  Place the stick blender into the crockpot and start to blend.  You will want to do this for about 10 minutes off and on.  Keep your blend periods short.  In between blending, use your spatula to clean the sides of the crockpot.

stick blending the soap batter

Step 9:  Once the batter has been well blended, add 8 grams Teal Fun Soap Colorant.  Now, stick blend to incorporate the color.

adding the colorant to hp soap

Step 10:  As you blend in the color, you will notice the soap batter will resemble pudding.  Now, take your spatula with a little bit of soap batter on it and carefully in a spatter like motion, let the batter fall back into the crockpot.  You are looking for trace.  You will know trace when you can see “lines” of batter from your spatula.  A full trace is reached when the line stays on top of the rest of the soap batter.

soap batter at trace

Step 11:  After trace has been reached in your soap batter, place your lid on your crockpot.

Step 12:  Stirring periodically with your spatula, allow your soap mixture to cook.  You will want to check it every 15 minutes or so.  This is done to ensure that the soap cooks evenly, and does not scorch on the bottom.  As the soap cooks, you will notice along the sides of the crockpot that the soap looks dry.  The soap batter will even take on a waxy look.

soap batter with a waxy look
Step 13:  After about an hour has elapsed, your soap batter will have the consistency of mashed potatoes.  Now, place your mold on a flat surface near your crockpot.  Please Note:  This hour time can vary based on your soaping oils.

the look of hot process soap batter before adding fragrance oil

Step 14:  You will want to move quickly for this step.  If you are using herbs or other additives, you will want to add them now.  If not, add 85 grams Purrs & Paws Fragrance Oil.  Then, stick blend to fully incorporate.

adding fragrance oil to hot process soap

Step 15:  Now, in a scooping manner; begin filling your pound loaf molds individually.

filling your mold with hot process soap

Step 16:  When the mold cavities are all filled, carefully hit the mold against the counter top.  This motion will release any bubbles of air that may be trapped in your soap batter.

filled soap mold with hp
Step 17:  Now, insulate your soap.  Once the soap has been covered, let it cool and harden overnight (for about 12 hours).

insulate your hot process soap
Step 18:  The next day, when your soap has completely cooled and hardened, you can remove it from the mold.  Then, cut the soap into bar size.  Your soap is now ready to use.  Please Note:  If you are seeking a harder bar, allow the soap to cure longer.

finished hot process soap

Overall, making this soap really was a lot of fun and I felt really creative, like a mad scientist….mmmwwaahahaha…(clearing throat)…

Well kids, until my next adventure, have a FABULOUS day!
Cindy

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.

Mar
05

In the Pot Swirl Soap

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

in the pot swirl soap Soaping with the cold process method allows you to create some really beautiful bars.  Not only are these bars creamy, bubbly, and cleansing, but they are also conditioning.  Plus, with the right recipe, bars can contain skin loving ingredients that nourish your skin too.

There are various ways to achieve beautiful designs in your cold process bars.  Some of the more popular designs include:  the peacock swirl, the mantra swirl, and the mica swirl. You can even try your hand at marbling your soap if you like.

When it comes to swirling, this is where you really get to let your creativity soar.  Through colors and varying design techniques, you can take your wonderful soap recipe and make the visual aspect just as appealing as the skin nourishing one!

The ideal scent when making cold process soap is one that is a Perfect Pour.  What this means is that the fragrance oil does not accelerate trace, rice, or discolor.  However, many times with floral scents, acceleration is a part of the package.  Although swirling is not impossible to achieve with an accelerator, it can be difficult if you do not move fast enough.  There is however, a swirling method that can be done when a fragrance oil accelerates trace.  This is known as the in the pot swirl.

Here is how to make an in the pot swirl soap.  The recipe, steps, and photos are included to help.  With the exemption of the lye and water, all of the ingredients for this soaping venture can be purchased at Natures Garden.  Although for this recipe, the Peace Sign Mold was used, any mold that is cold process soap safe will work.  To see the full list of soap molds available, please click on this link.

If you have never made cold process soap before, please click here for a  Basic CP Soap Making Class. Also, before attempting to make any cold process soap, please become familiar with Soap Making Safety Class first.

The Recipe:
108 grams of water
40 grams of lye
20 grams of Apricot Kernel Oil
11 grams of Castor Oil
85 grams of Coconut Oil 76
40 grams of Mango Butter
43 grams of Palm Oil
37 grams of Shea Butter
48 grams of Sunflower Oil
17 grams of Sodium Lactate
18 grams of Peace Fragrance Oil
18 grams of Vanilla White Color Stabilizer
FUN Soap Colorants: Neon Red, Neon Yellow, Neon Orange, Neon Blue, Ultramarine Violet

The Process:
Step 1: 
Put on your  safety gloves,  apron, safety mask, and safety glasses.

safety gear for soap making

Step 2:  Weigh out your lye and water.  In a well ventilated area, slowly pour the lye into the water.  Use a spatula to stir slowly.  Keep stirring until no lye granules are left in the water.  Do not breathe in any of the lye water fumes.  Allow this to cool to around 90-100 degrees F.

stirring the lye water

Step 3:  According to the recipe, in a pot weigh out the coconut oil 76, mango butter, palm oil, and shea butter.  Melt all of these ingredients down on low heat until each one is in a liquid state.  Stir.  Then add the apricot kernel oil, castor oil, and sunflower oil.  Stir again.  Remove from heat.  Transfer all of this into your mixing bowl.

melting your oils and butters

Step 4:  Now, get your 5 mixing bowls.  Assign each bowl a color.  Then, weigh out 2 grams of each neon colorant in its specific bowl.  The ultramarine violet bowl needs 4 grams weighed out.  A great tip:  Reuse the containers from the 1lb Whipped Soap Base.  They make perfect mixing bowls for colorant in cold process soaping!

weighing out the colorant for soap

Step 5:  Check the temperature of the lye water.  When it is cooled to around 90-100 degrees F, add your 17 grams of Sodium Lactate.  Stir carefully.  Now, once the temperatures of the lye water and the soaping oils and butters are within 5-10 degrees of one another, it is time to move on to the next step.

adding sodium lactate

Step 6:  Slowly pour the lye water/sodium lactate into your oils and butters bowl.  Use a spatula to get all of this out and into the other bowl.

mixing the oils, butters, and lye water

Step 7:  Using your stick blender, begin to mix everything together.  You will notice your batter will begin to look creamy and thicken slightly.  Now, stop blending.

stick blending cold process soap

Step 8:  Add your fragrance oil.

adding scent to in the pot swirl

Step 9:  Now add your Vanilla White Color Stabilizer.  Once added, stick blend to incorporate.  Do not forget to scrap the sides with a spatula.

preventing discoloration in soap

 

Step 10:  Now, place 90 grams of the soap batter into each bowl.  Stir well with a spoon.  This will help slow down trace.  Then, starting with the yellow soap, pour it back into the mixing bowl.  Try your best to keep it in one area.

multiple color in the pot swirl

 

Step 11:  Repeat with the orange.

second color in the pot swirl

Step 12:  Now, the red.

adding red in the pot swirl

Step 13:  Then the purple.

adding the purple batter
Step 14:  Finally, get your blue soap batter into the bowl.

all five colors in the pot swirl

Step 15:  Get your spatula, start by placing it alongside the inside bottom edge of the bowl.  Then, come straight up the center of the bowl.  When you reach the top, pick the spatula up.  Now, starring on one side, begin your swirls (using the spatula).  Repeat on the other side.  Do not over swirl.

step by step in the pot swirl
Step 16:
  Grab your mold.  Then begin to pour the soap batter into each mold opening.

molding the in the pot swirl

Step 17:  Once the mold is filled, cover it with plastic wrap.  When the soap has hardened enough to move, place the mold somewhere it will not be disturbed.

insulating your soap
Step 18: 
After your soap has set for 24 hours, place it in the freezer for about 10 minutes.  This step will help to release the soap from the mold.  Then, carefully remove the soaps from the mold.

unmolded soap

Step 19:  Now, allow your soap to finish curing before use.

Congratulations, you just completed an in the pot swirl technique!  Note:  You will notice as your soap cures that the neon colors will become more vivid.

After the cure, your in the pot swirl soap is now finished.  The ending bar will be nice and firm.  The lather will be creamy and filled with lots of bubbles.  These bars will cleanse, yet still provide your skin conditioning elements.  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.

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.

Jun
24

Soap Molds Featured in Polyvore

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Blue beauty

Natures Garden Soap Molds found in a polyvore set.  This Polyvore set really stands out with its beautiful circular, blue and teal design.      We have listed all of the products used in this design below.   Natures Garden Soap Molds are frequently used by designers on Polyvore to create their “sets”.  Come join us on Polyvore and design your own!

Natures Garden Angel Wings Soap Mold is shown in this polyvore.

 

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