Tag Archives: cold process soap

Jul
28

Acorn Harvest Fragrance

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

acorn harvest fragranceAcorn Harvest Fragrance Oil – Fragrance Oil Spotlight

Feeling squirrely? Then you’ll go nuts for this fragrance oil! Imagine walking through the oak trees in the crisp fall air. You take a deep breath and suddenly something hits you on the head. Is the sky falling?! Don’t be ridiculous, loosey goosey, it’s just an acorn. But ouch, yeah, those lil things sure pack a wallop when they fall from a tall oak tree. You look up to see where it came from and you hear a squirrel chattering. Weird. Squirrels make the weirdest noises. Almost like chirping but also yelling? You decide to high tail it out of there before the squirrel gets anymore ideas. The squirrel can rest easy knowing that his acorns buried in the ground, stored for later, are safe, for now.

What Does Acorn Harvest Fragrance Smell Like?

Acorn Harvest is a very unique, Nature’s Garden Original Fragrance Oil. It is comprised of a warm, earthy, nutty aroma paired with rich buttery vanilla notes. It’s nuts. You’ll feel like you’re standing directly under an oak tree in autumn. What better place is there to be?

How Do Our Customers Use Acorn Harvest Fragrance Oil?

For candle makers, this is just what you’re looking for – Acorn Harvest performs perfectly in joy wax, wow wax, and is nice and strong in soy wax. It is not gel wax compatible. For coloring candles, we suggest using 3 drops of orange and 2 drops of yellow liquid candle dye per 4 pounds of wax. Another coloring suggestion is to shred a small amount of an orange and a yellow color block into your melted wax. Just remember not to try to color your candle with a crayon or you’ll clog the wick! Burn an Acorn Harvest scented candle near an open window and watch the squirrels come a-runnin’.

For incense and potpourri, the maximum usage rate is 50% and Acorn Harvest is nice and strong in aroma beads. We’ve got a fun Autumn Leaves Potpourri recipe you could use this fragrance in, just substitute Autumn Woods fragrance for Acorn Harvest. They have the same usage percentages in potpourri so you should be okay if you stick to the original recipe.

For soap, bath oils, bath gels, lotions, perfumes, and cleaning products, the recommended maximum usage is 5%. Our cold process soap testing results show that Acorn Harvest fragrance does not cause acceleration of your soap batter, there is no separation, no ricing, and the soap retains its gorgeous scent. The fragrance oil discolors CP soap to a dark chocolate brown – the color of acorns..! (Almost.) If you don’t want brown soap, be sure to get some Vanilla White Color Stabilizer to help with discoloration, or add colorful dyes. We recommend using orange soap colorant in the amount that satisfies you (this particular colorant works well in melt and pour and cold process soaps).

We’ve also got some cute little Oak Leaves & Acorns embed molds that you could use to make soap samples or potpourri tarts. Just don’t let the squirrels get their little claws on them!

Jul
08

What is Trace in Soap Making?

This entry was posted in bath and body, bath products, cold process soap, Fragrance Oils, Natures Garden, Natures Garden Fragrance Oils, Soap making supplies, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

What is trace in soap makingWhat is Trace in Soap Making?

What is trace? Baby, don’t blend me; don’t stir me, just pour. Trace is when you’ve reached emulsion- your oils are blended with your lye mixture and are no longer capable of separating. How can you tell when your mixture is at trace? The easiest way is to use your stirring utensil: hold it a few inches above your mixing container and move it back and forth. If the soap batter dripping off the stirring utensil leaves little lines that sit on top of the mixture in the bowl- that’s trace. It can be difficult to capture in photographs, but you’ll know it when you see it in motion.

heavy traceSo I reach trace and that’s it? Well, yes and no. There are different degrees of trace, but the important thing to remember is that once a mixture has reached trace- it’s only going to continue to solidify from there. Light trace is considered the bare minimum. Light trace is helpful when you’re looking to make swirls or other designs that require easily pourable, almost-liquid soap. Moderate trace is in the goopmiddle and means you’re ready to pour your soap into the mold. Heavy trace is when your soap gets thick. The picture above shows heavy trace. A soap batter at heavy trace is resistant to change shape and almost impossible to pour into a mold. Heavy trace may result in the need to scoop your soap into the mold, seen in the photo on the left. Not a pretty sight. Work quickly to ensure the soap does not set before you are ready.

What Causes Different Levels of Trace?

Trace can be affected both by your ingredients and your blending method.

Ingredients:

  • ‘Hard’ oils, including palm oil and coconut oil, and butters will reach trace much faster. Using softer oils such as olive oil or canola will decrease the speed of trace, but your end product soap will be much softer. Increasing the amount of oil to superfat your recipe will also slow down trace. (Be careful not to add too much or you’ll have an excess of unreacted oils.)
  • In addition, fragrance oils can accelerate trace. (Check out our CP Soap Testing results to see how our fragrance oils perform in the CP soaping process.)
  • Inversely, the more water you use, the slower your soap will reach trace. A water discount (using less water than the recipe called for) will accelerate trace and is recommended for only advanced soapers when they see fit.

Blending:

  • The speed at which you blend can accelerate trace. Using a stick blender as opposed to stirring manually with a spatula will increase the speed of the reaction and trace will be reached faster. If you suspect that the mixture will accelerate, stir it manually to slow the rate of trace.
  • Furthermore, the temperature at which you blend your ingredients will affect trace. Higher temperatures accelerate trace. If you wish to slow down trace, let your lye mixture cool down to about 100 degrees Fahrenheit before you add it to your oils.
  • The order also matters. If the fragrance oil you’re using is known to have a tendency to accelerate trace, be sure to add it last, after you’ve made your soap mixture and added any colorant, and be ready to move.

False Trace

All this talk about trace and the need to rush your soap process may have you running around like a chicken with its head cut off- but BEWARE FALSE TRACE. False trace usually occurs when oils in your mixture begin to cool down and solidify without going through emulsion or saponification. So, much like Goldilocks, you don’t want your mixture to be too hot or too cold, but juuuuust right.

Ahhh!

I know it seems like a lot- but if you pay attention to the factors listed here- you should be alright. Remember to have all of your ingredients ready before you start soaping (always, but especially) in case of any unexpected trace acceleration. You can do this, I promise. And if something goes wrong, you can always melt down your soap and try again. Thanks for reading and happy soaping!

Jul
02

Coconut Oil 76 in CP Soap

This entry was posted in bath and body, bath products, cold process soap, Natures Garden, Natures Garden Fragrance Oils, Soap making supplies, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

Coconut-Oil-76-in-CP-SoapCoconut Oil 76 in CP Soap

You’ll go coco-nuts for coconut oil 76 in CP soap. What does the ’76’ mean? It simply denotes that this type of coconut oil has a melting point of 76 degrees Fahrenheit. Coconut oil has many beneficial properties for use in all sorts of products–it’s even edible!!–but for our purposes, we’re going to discuss coconut oil 76 in CP soap. (Please do NOT attempt to eat the soap.)

Coco Clean

Our cold process soap testing recipe features coconut oil as the second most abundant ingredient (by weight) after water. Rightfully so, for you see, coconut oil is comprised primarily of lauric and myristic fatty acids which are characterized in soap-making by providing cleansing properties, a bubbly lather, and hardness. Coco-o is a surfactant, meaning it reduces the surface tension of a liquid when it is dissolved, allowing the dirt and impurities to be rinsed off of the skin.

Coco Cream

In addition, the high content of saturated fat serves to give coconut oil a higher SAP value (the number of milligrams of lye that is needed to completely saponify, or turn into soap, one gram of a specific oil, butter, or fat. — Lye, while generally thought of as a bad guy, is a necessary evil for the saponification process. Always remember to follow safety procedures when handling lye. [Add lye to water, the mixture will get hotter; add water to lye, you’ll probably die]). Remember that rhyme to ensure safety.  While you will likely NOT actually DIE, you can certainly get hurt from the lye volcano you will create if you add water to lye.  SO… Don’t ever do that!  Always add your lye to your water.  The high SAP value of coco-o helps to superfat the soap (the amount of lye used is less than the given SAP value), giving it a nice, creamy texture and more lather ability. You can thank coconut oil for making your homemade CP soap clean and bubbly.

Coco – What the heck does that mean?

Furthermore, coconut oil serves as an emulsion stabilizer. What the heck does that mean? You may already know, but I just learned about this today, so I’m going to recap for myself and the benefit of anyone out there who’s not entirely sure. An emulsion is a mixture of two things that don’t really want to go together– for instance, oil and water. Water is the number one ingredient (by weight) in our CP soaps, and just about everything else is some type of oil (apricot kernel oil, castor oil, sunflower oil, palm oil, fragrance oil, and- of course- coconut oil 76). An emulsion stabilizer helps to keep this mixture from separating. This means, not only will it help hold your soap together, it will also help hold the fragrance. (Don’t worry, the coconut oil itself has been refined so it is odorless. Unless you ARE looking for a coconut fragrance in your soap. If so, we’ve got ten coconutrelated scents you may enjoy using!)

Coco No-no

Oh, wow, you’re thinking. Coconut oil 76 in CP soap is so great, I want to use as much of it as possible! And of course you do, but how much is too much?  A typical soap recipe calls for 20-30% coconut oil. It’s important not to use more than 30% coconut oil. Why? Is it possible to be TOO clean? The excess coconut oil 76 in CP soap will interact with the natural oils on your skin and dry it right out. But if you use the appropriate amount of coconut oil, it works in the soap to help clean skin and even reduce inflammation.

Cococonclusion

Coconut oil 76 in CP soap is awesome as long as you’re careful not to use too much in your recipe. So go ahead– what are you waiting for? Follow the links above to purchase coconut oil 76 and other ingredients for our CP soap testing recipe or one of our other fun CP soap recipes. Browse our wide array of fragrance oils to find a scent that you love. Thanks for reading and happy soaping!

Jun
18

Bubble Luscious Scent

This entry was posted in bath and body, candle making supplies, Fragrance Oils, Natures Garden, Soap making supplies, wholesale fragrance oils and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

bubble luscious scentBubble Luscious Fragrance Oil– Fragrance Oil Spotlight

Our Bubble Luscious scent is one fragrance that will transport you right back to your childhood memories. It is the aroma of a piece of yummy bubblegum,and will remind you of all of the fun times you had in the past just blowing bubbles with your friends. This is sure to be a scent that everyone you know will love, it will flow through your home and fill it with happiness. Our Bubble Luscious scent perfectly captures the aroma of a piece of newly-opened bubblegum just waiting to be devoured.

What Does Bubble Luscious Smell Like?

Bubble Luscious scent by Nature’s Garden will immediately bring you right back to childhood. You won’t be able to resist blowing bubbles with some fluffy, pink, luscious bubblegum! This wonderful fragrance begins with top notes citrus, strawberry and aldehydic effervescent notes that are followed by middle notes of clove and coconut. These are all sitting on a base of crisp vanilla. Bubble Luscious is a Nature’s Garden original fragrance!

How Do Our Customers Use Bubble Luscious Fragrance Oil?

If you’re looking for a fragrance that will make you just like a kid again, then you have definitely found it. This fragrance is the perfect representation of everything you loved as a child all wrapped up into one! For all the candle makers out there, our Bubble Luscious scent is absolutely perfect for you. It performs nice and strong in soy wax, as well as working perfectly in wow wax and joy wax. For all of the incense and potpourri makers out there, this fragrance is just what you’ve always needed. It has a maximum usage rate of 50%. You can easily fill your home with this amazing scent by using this fragrance to create some nice and strong homemade aroma beads.

For bath and body products, our Bubble Luscious scent has a maximum usage rate of 5%. Some common bath and body products that can include this fragrance are perfumes, lotions, bath oils, bath gels, and soaps. This fragrance does not have any vanillin content contained within it, meaning that it will not tend to discolor your soaps and other homemade bath and body products. For all of the cold process soap makers out there, this fragrance is exactly what you never knew you always needed. Our cold process results are: there is no discoloration problems, as well as no acceleration or ricing. This fragrance has a perfect pour, as well as a wonderful scent and is a very delicious aroma in cured soap.

Are you overjoyed at the thought of getting your hands on this amazing childhood fragrance? Well hold on just a second, because this fragrance just keeps getting better and better! We offer many awesome free classes and recipes here at Nature’s Garden, and our free MP Embed CP Soap recipe is actually made with our Bubble Luscious Fragrance Oil. This is one unique recipe that you don’t want to miss out on. Please don’t hesitate to contact us here at Nature’s Garden with any thoughts, questions, or concerns and keep watching for even more fun fragrance ideas.

 

May
30

Shadowing Natures Garden

This entry was posted in bath products, candle making supplies, Fragrance Oils, Natures Garden, Soap making supplies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

IMG_0194Shadowing Natures Garden

The past couple of weeks we have had two high school seniors shadowing Natures Garden.  These two wonderful ladies, Kacie and Caitlyn, have been an absolute blast! We’re very sad to see them go but their time here was definitely well spent. Not only did they get the opportunity to see how we operate at Natures Garden, but they made some pretty cool projects along the way. Now, I’d like to share some of what these lovely girls have been working on during the past couple weeks.

Prior to starting any projects we needed to know what types of fragrance oils the girls liked most. This way we could have them making all sorts of projects with their favorite scents! Therefore, we had them go to the fragrance bar, which is located in the Natures Garden store, to smell all sorts of our delightful fragrance oils. After smelling everything that they could, Kacie and Caitlyn each picked out ten of their favorite scents. They also picked out some of their favorite recipes from our recipe box. Finally we could begin on the real fun, turning these fragrances into your very own soaps, candles, or anything else you can imagine.IMG_0153fragrance-barIMG_0154

 

 

 

 

The first project the girls tried out was the Hydrangea Candle Recipe. They used one of their shared favorite scents, Blue Raspberry Slushie Fragrance Oil, and they both turned out great. Not only was their first project a complete success, but we were all pretty impressed with these candles and their colors choices.

Another beautiful creation was done using the Easter Confetti Soap Recipe. This fairly simple melt and pour recipe turned out to be a very lovely loaf. Not only did their soap loaves look fantastic but the Pink Orchid and Amber Fragrance Oil had their bars smelling amazing as well.confetti-soap1confetti-soap

 

 

 

 

One recipe that the girls were especially excited for was bath bombs. These bath time delights were made using, one of Kacie’s favorite fragrances, County Apple Fragrance Oil. Although the girls used the Orange Dreamsickle Bath Bomb Recipe, they gave it a slight twist by adding pink!bath-bombs2bath-bombbath-bombs-3

 

 

 

 

Next, the girls even learned how to make their own soap from scratch! They did an awesome in the pot swirl using the World Peace Cold Process Soap Recipe. The colors were vibrant and amazing just like the scent that was used, Fruity Rings Fragrance Oil.

world-peace-soap

world-peace-soap2

world-peace-soap3

 

 

 

 

Another method they learned in soap making was how to do hot process soap. The Purrs and Paws HP Soap Recipe was used to create these loaves and NG Aqua Di Gio Type Fragrance Oil was added as well. The loaves had glitter added and turned out to be quite pretty.

Also, the girls helped create a couple new recipes that will be coming soon! The first recipe is a melt and pour soap recipe that we really hope you’ll enjoy. The second recipe is new a lotion recipe that we are very excited to share with you.

It was great to have Kacie and Caitlyn working with us on all of these fun projects. It seems that these ladies got everything that they needed out of shadowing Natures Garden and have a better understanding of Nature’s Garden and what goes on here. They are both very funny and wonderful girls and we hope that they come back to visit us in the future! We would like to wish them the best of luck as they graduate from high school and prepare for college.  It truly was a pleasure to work with the two of you!

May
08

Pittsburgh Soapmakers Gathering

This entry was posted in candle making, Fragrance Oils, Natures Garden, Pittsburgh Soapmakers Gathering and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

Pittsburgh Soapmakers GatheringPittsburgh Soapmakers Gathering

The 2015 Pittsburgh Soapmakers Gathering was the soaping conference held on Saturday May 2 at the Shaler Library in Pennsylvania.  There were about 25 participants at this event.  Nature’s Garden was one of the lucky vendors that donated to this soaper’s gathering.  It was an opportunity for the participants to get new soaping ideas, learn new techniques, and hopefully make some new soapmaking friends. The one day event included soap making and candle making presentations and workshops.  Each of the guests were given an opportunity to learn a variety of soap making styles.  During the conference some of the events included demos and sessions involving specialty oils like cocoa butter and almond oil, how to creatively use embeds, and how make your products SPARKLE!!!  The participants were also shown techniques for adding various soap colorants including micas and oxides, all natural colorants, and liquid colorants.  Of course, they didn’t leave out candle making!  There was even an informative demo on how to make a coconut and beeswax candle.

Pittsburgh Soapmakers GatheringNature’s Garden was honored to donate door prizes for this fabulous soaping conference.  These door prizes were raffled off at the gathering.  Our door prizes included soaping fragrance oils, a Natures Garden t-shirts, sodium hydroxide, and Nature’s Garden Shopping Bags.  These goody bags were given away at the one day event.  Who wouldn’t love that!?!

Pittsburgh Soapmakers GatheringEach lucky participant was also able to take home a 4 ounce bottle of one of Natures Garden’s 828 fragrance oils.  Some of the scents included Champagne Pear, Coconut Lime Verbana, NG Aqua di Gio Type, and Capri Olivo.  Each of these fragrances have been tested thoroughly and perform amazingly well in soap.   We are hoping that they enjoy soaping with them and are able to find some new soaping favorites!

Pittsburgh Soapmakers GatheringThe conference also included a vendor review time.  During this time, all those who attended, were given the opportunity to learn more about our company and our variety of soaping products.  As you can see, it seems everyone involved had a great time.  To see even more photos and information about the Pittsburgh gathering, check out their Facebook page.

This event was coordinated by the lovely Lori Chandler of Ashgrove Soaps.  I just have to say, what an amazing woman!  I had the pleasure of meeting Lori at the 2015 HCSG Conference which took place in April in Indiana.  She is an absolute doll!  It was a pleasure to meet her.  Clearly, she has done a wonderful job coordinating the 2015 Pittsburgh Soapmakers Gathering and worked very hard preparing.  It looks like everyone had a blast.  Thank you so much for letting us donate to this event.  Also, a big thanks to all those involved in making this gathering possible.  Nature’s Garden is very grateful to all those who participated.  We would also like to thank Stu Chandler for the amazing photos.  He is a very gifted photographer and he did a great job.  It is truly appreciated.  If you attended the Pittsburgh Soapmakers Gathering, we would love to hear about your experience.

 

Apr
23

HSCG 2015 Conference

This entry was posted in Fragrance Oils, HSCG 2015 Conference, Natures Garden, Soap Conference, Soap making supplies, soapmaking and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

HSGC 2015 Conference

HSCG 2015 ConferenceLast week both Shannon and I attended the HSCG 2015 Conference.  The event was held at The Westin in Indianapolis, Indiana April 17-20.  While it was Natures Garden’s second year attending the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild Conference, this was the first time Shannon and I were lucky enough to be there.  I just have to say…WHAT A BLAST!  We truly had the most amazing time and will remember it always.

Once we arrived, we anxiously prepared our booth….and yes, we brought a sniffy sample of each of our 828 fragrance oils!  We even debuted 13 HSCG 2015 Conferencebrand new fragrances including Yummy Gummy, Apple Happy Camper Candy, and Sugary Lollipop; along with many others.  Our booth even had a candy theme to go right along with the new fragrances. Our display was complete with bubblegum, rock candy, lollipops, and M&Ms!

The HSCG 2015 Conference was packed full of good times and memories.  Natures Garden hosted a Caribbean themed welcoming party on the very first night.  We excitedly wore our sparkly scented shoes and beautiful Caribbean style dresses and made our way to the party!  This was our first opportunity to meet many of our amazingly talented customers and new friends!  It truly meant the world to us to see not only guests from across the country, but the world.  It was a great feeling to finally be able to put faces to the names of so many of the wonderful people we have talked to.

HSCG-2015-ConferenceAs the weekend continued, we had many visitors at our booth.  We even had a chance to see some of the projects they have created using our products!  Our customers have made some fabulous soaps!  We had a chance to receive feedback on favorite scents and products, as well as suggestions for new ones.  Some of their favorites soap scents are fragrance oils like Blue Hawaiian, Bite Me, The Perfect Man, and NG Aqua Di Gio Type.

The HSCG 2015 Conference offered crafters and business owners a chance to attend a variety of classes and listen to several speakers.  In addition, we were able to attend meet and greets, luncheons, and super fun parties each night.  It was an absolutely fabulous experience.

On the final night we attended an awards banquet.  This banquet recognized many soapmakers HSCG 2015 Conferencewho had entered their creations in a contest.  Each HSCG 2015 Conference attendee was given the opportunity to vote on each category throughout the weekend.  Some of the categories included Something Different, Best Packaging, Best MP Scent, and Best CP/HP Scent;  just to name a few.  At the awards banquet, they also announced the location for the HSCG 2017 Conference…..VEGAS BABY!!!  Yes, it’s two years away, however the 2016 HSCG Conference will be held in Tampa, Florida and its location was announced at last year’s soap conference.  For those who are interested, the 2016 HSCG conference in Tampa will be May 19-21.

HSCG 2015 ConferenceWe would like to thank everyone who attended the conference, as well as the staff members and volunteers from the Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetic Guild for all of your support.  It was so very nice to meet each and every one of you.  If you didn’t attend this year, we highly recommend coming to  next year’s event.  You will not regret it!   We had the time of our lives and enjoyed the laughs and have made some amazing memories.

 

 

 

Apr
09

Fragrance Testing in CP Soap

This entry was posted in bath and body, bath products, Fragrance Oils, Natures Garden, soap, Soap making supplies, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

fragrance testing in CP soapFragrance Testing in CP Soap

Hello everyone! Do you have any questions about what happens when we test our fragrances? Specifically with fragrance testing in CP soap? Well, we actually go through this process with all of our fragrances and there are quite a few specific things we look for throughout.

To start off, when making a normal soap recipe, we recommend soaping at room temperature (72 degrees Fahrenheit). However, for fragrance testing, we soap at 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Using this temperature will give you less time to “play” with the soap, and will basically force the fragrance to show any problems it may have more quickly.

For fragrance testing, we use our free recipe for our Shea Butter Soap; a recipe that includes Olive Oil, Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, and Palm Oil.

Step 1:  Determining if a fragrance sample designed by our perfumist smells good enough for us to soap test.  We call this stage “Test Stripping”.  We start by putting a little bit of each fragrance onto a test strip (blotter paper) and smell them.  The initial smell of scent on a test strip allows us to see how strong the “top notes” of a fragrance is.  Then we let the test strips sit for about half an hour, then check to see if the scent has stayed, lessened, or gotten stronger. During this stage of smelling, we are able to notice more of the middle notes and base notes of the scent.  You see, at Natures Garden, we typically reject hundreds of scents each year during the test stripping alone.  For scents that do make the cut, we move on to step number 2.

Step 2:  Testing the fragrance in soap.  Once we have made our recipe and have added the correct amount of fragrance (typically 5% fragrance per batch unless IFRA is less), there are quite a few things we look for. We look for and record if there is any acceleration.  Acceleration is when a fragrance oil causes the soap to trace at a faster rate than soap without fragrance would.  When a fragrance oil causes accelerated trace, a soap maker must move faster when working with the soap.  This can also make it more difficult to create colored swirls in your soap.

We also look for ricing, (soap batter that looks like rice pellets).  Typically soap that rices can be beat into submission with a stick blender.  We look for separation (fragrance will not mix with the soap, oils keep separating from the soap).

Sometimes fragrance oil will separate out of the soap batter.  Usually fragrance oil will absorb back into the soap during cure, but if the oil separation is full-blown, it may cause even cured soap to be oily.

We also look for seizing (fragrance causes the soap to set up as soon as it as added).  Soapers refer to this as “Soap on a stick”.  Sometimes soapers are able to beat the batter back into submission with a stick blender, and other times it is impossible.  Seized soap is not ruined soap, it is just soap that is no longer pliable.  If allowed to cure, seized soap can be used just like soap that you had no problems making.

While cold process soap normally should cure for about 6 weeks, we oven-process soap for our fragrance testing. Oven-processing the soap in molds for about 2 1/2 hours on a temperature of about 170 degrees Fahrenheit will help the soap to cure faster, and you will only need to let it cure for about 4 weeks. When oven-processing the soap, you may see some separation. The fragrance may rise to the top of the soap and separate, but most of the time, the soap will reabsorb the oil.  Oven processing also allows us to see some discoloration (if the soap is going to discolor).  Typically, if a soap shows discoloration after oven processing, it will continue to discolor more during the cure phase.

After the soaps have finished their oven-process time, they can be unmolded 24 hours later. If any of the fragrances have separated during this process, wait until they reabsorb to unmold the soap. If they never reabsorb, you will know that that fragrance has a separation problem.

There are a few other things that we look for once we have taken them from the oven. We check for if the scent of each fragrance has changed or morphed throughout the saponification process. However, always remember not to judge the scent right away. Even if it has changed throughout the saponification process, wait to judge until after it has had enough time to fully cure, as it may change back.

We also look to see if there is any fragrance burn off that occurs during saponification, meaning that the fragrance may not smell as strong anymore or the notes you noticed in the beginning no longer exist. Usually, fragrance oils will not have a  major burn off problem as they contain fixatives that help to anchor the scent. However, lower flash point scents have a higher chance of some burn-off than higher flash point scents.  Some soapers add clay to their soap batter to help anchor their scents.  Essential oils do not contain fixatives, so if you are testing essential oils, you will have more of a chance of burn-off than you would with fragrance oils.

Another thing we check for after unmolding is for discoloration. Fragrances that contain vanillin can cause discoloration, but it is mainly with fragrances that have a content of above .5%.

092

 

 

 

Oven Processing

 

 

 

Soaps for fragrance testing should sit and cure for about 4 weeks. Throughout that time period, we check to see if the scent of each fragrance sticks and stays strong throughout the whole time. Once in a while, a fragrance may come along that will not work in cold process soap and never will. Make sure to remember that if you come across a fragrance like this, it will work in hot process soaps! Once the 4 weeks has passed, we check again to see if any final discoloration or separation has happened and how well the fragrance has stuck. Make sure to check out our free class for our Fragrances Tested in Cold Process Soap. This class gives a full list of all of our fragrances that we have tested, as well as the recipe for our Shea Butter Soap that we use for testing.

Make sure to check out all the rest of our free classes and recipes as well! Keep watching for more Enlightened by Layla!

enlightened-by-layla

Apr
06

Taiwan Soap Problems

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

taiwan soap problemsTaiwan Soap Problems

Hello everyone! As I’m sure you all know, lately I’ve been experimenting with making many different soap recipes. One of the recipes I made this week was actually a Taiwan Swirl Soap. It seemed like such a gorgeous idea and I figured I could handle that! Well, I actually ended up making this soap twice, because the first time I tried out this recipe, I ended up having quite a few problems! However, being a beginner, these problems were actually a great learning experience.

One of my first problems was temperature. In cold process soap making, you have to wait for your lye water and oils to cool down to the right temperature before creating your soap. The most common temperature used is around 100 degrees Fahrenheit. However, for cold process soaping, if you wait until your lye and oils have gone down to room temperature (72 degrees Fahrenheit) and are within ten degrees of each other, the lower temperature will actually give you more time to work and create your soap. On my first batch of this soap, I did not wait to soap at 72 degrees. Instead, I began the soap making process at 100 degrees. The higher temperatures gave me less time to work and my soap ended up setting up much faster than I wanted!

Because my soap set up faster than I wanted, I had problems creating my swirls in this batch of soap. By the time that I was pouring the top of the soap, it had already begun to harden and clump. As you can see in the picture below, by the time I was able to begin swirling the top of the soap, the blue topping was already setting up. This caused the swirling effect not to turn out.

taiwan soap problems

 

I also colored the base the exact same blue as the blue on top. In theory, we thought a blue base with blue, pink, purple, and white on top would be beautiful! In reality, because they were the exact shade of blue, it was not an appealing look. For the second batch, I added all four colors throughout the entire soap and swirled them. This gave a gorgeous effect instead of just having random colors on only parts of the top of the soap.

Always remember, soaping at a lower temperature will give you so much more time to work to create your soap! If you soap at higher temperatures, you will have to work faster to create it all. While my Taiwan Soap problems were minor, I thought you would all like to know what happened! For all the experienced soap makers out there, I would love to hear about any problems you’ve encountered making a soap like this! Please contact us here at Nature’s Garden! You can always contact us if you have any thoughts, questions, or concerns as well! Make sure to go and check out all of our amazing free recipes and classes! Remember to keep watching for even more Enlightened by Layla!

enlightened-by-layla

 

Apr
01

Spearmint Soap Problems

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

spearmint soap problemsSpearmint Soap Problems

Hello everyone! As you know, I’ve recently been making many different soap recipes and learning more and more about the soap making process. We posted a blog about the wonderful Spearmint Soap I made using our Spearmint Fragrance Oil, and now I’m back to tell you all about some of the problems I had making that gorgeous gray and green soap. That beautiful soap was actually my second time making this recipe, and as I’m sure you’ve figured out, the first time didn’t go so well! In the first recipe, instead of doing green and gray swirls, I instead tried out just an all-over green base.

One of my first problems was with my white topping for the soap. I had researched so many different pictures and had seen so many lovely whipped soap toppings that I thought this was one soap I could easily whip up and create myself! However, once I had prepared and poured my green soap base, I was waiting for my white topping to set up to a frosting consistency so that I would be able to fluff it all over the top of the soap. However, while I was waiting, I panicked and poured the white on top way too soon. This caused my top to not be able to peak as well as not being fluff-like. Because I poured too soon and my topping was still not fully set up, this also caused part of the white to sink into the green soap since the green soap was not fully set up either. You can definitely see the sinking after the soap was cut, there were no straight lines and you can see the spots where the topping sank right in! So for all of you other soap makers out there, always make sure to give your topping enough time to set up, or else you will end up with your topping sinking into your base! You also won’t be able to peak the top like you want!

Another big problem I had was using way too much green colorant for the base of my soap. Instead of coming out with a beautiful mint green color like the remake, the green of my first Spearmint Soap was a dark hunter-like green. While there is nothing wrong with a hunter green, this color did not go with the Spearmint theme. Once I completed the remake, this soap turned out absolutely beautiful! Have any of you experienced soap makers out there had any mistakes like these? I would love to hear about them! Please contact me here at Nature’s Garden, or you can always contact us here with any thoughts, concerns, or questions that you may have! Make sure to check out all of our wonderful free recipes and classes! You’re sure to adore each and every one of our recipes! Make sure to check out all of our Soap Classes as well to help you along! Make sure to keep watching for even more Enlightened by Layla!

enlightened-by-layla