Posts Tagged ‘crafts as a hobby’

Sunflower Oil on Polyvore

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013
Untitled #788

Each day Deborah will choose her favorite Polyvore Design and post it to our blog.  All of the products used in this polyvore are listed below; in case you would like to do some shopping!  Natures Garden Soap Making Supplies are frequently used by designers on Polyvore to create their “sets”.  Come join us on Polyvore and design your own!

Natures Garden Sunflower Oil is shown in this polyvore.

 

Unique Bath and Body Treats

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

fragrance oilsWhat’s your name & Your Company Name:  Misty Baker  ~ Bath Sweets and Body Treats

Why did you decide to go into business?  What was your motivation?  How long have you been in business?  I have been in business for 5 years now.  It started as a hobby, making things for family then expanded to family and friends and their friends and finally I just took the jump and decided to make a go of it and never looked back!  It is so nice to have control what goes on your skin, I use the best ingredients available and keep things as natural as possible.

What products do you make and sell?  I make all kinds of unique bath and body treats as well as candles and other gift items.  I thrive on special orders and personalizing gifts to make it a one of a kind item people will treasure.  I love a good challenge and it really keeps things interesting doing unique and very different products.

What are your business goals?  Someday I hope to be financially stable and expand the business with all my family involved.   And a beach house would be really nice also!!

What are some products you use from Natures Garden; what are your favorite products from Natures Garden?  I have used everything from Natures Garden…They actually have EVERYTHING!   I love the waxes, cosmetic bases, soap base, the packaging is wonderful but what caught my eye to Natures Garden years ago was the selection of fragrance oils not to mention the quality and prices, which helps a small business, survive in these times.

Your Website:    http://www.bathsweetsandbodytreats.com/shop/

Facebook page:   https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Bath-Sweets-Body-Treats/317166493200

 

 

Wine Scented Soy Candles

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

candle scents
1.  What’s your name & Your Company Name:  Aaron and Sonny Asbury; Babycakes Candles

2.      Why did you decide to go into business?  What was your motivation?  How long have you been in business?  We home school our two younger children and this is a great way for us to make extra money. We love to create new things by recycling or upcycling products. We started in May 2012.

3.      What products do you make and sell?  We make wine scented soy candles in repurposed wine bottles.

4.      What are your business goals?  We hope to share our products in stores all over the Country and to bring the awareness of recycling.

5.  What are some products you use from Natures Garden; what are your favorite products from Natures Garden?  We use Golden 464 soy wax, wicks and 16 different fragrance oils.

Your Website: babycakescandles.com

Facebook page:  babycakescandles

Candles by Alice

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

alice

1.  What’s your name & Your Company:  My name is:  Alice George. My Business is “Candles by Alice.”

2.  Why did you decide to go into business?  What was your motivation?  How long have you been in business?  I decided to start making candles 4 years ago, when I received one as a gift from my son that he had bought from a friend that made candles and I noticed the scent lasted and that it burned so much better than the ones I had bought. I did the research and started making my own candles.

3.  What products do you make and sell?  I make container candles, Pillars, votives, wax tarts, melt & pour soaps, aroma bead air fresheners and scented rice bags that you use as a heating pad. I have also made lotions and body sprays. Am thinking about trying some sugar scrubs.

4.  What are your business goals?  I work  a full time job, so my candle business is really just a hobby. I sell to my co-workers and friends  and do a few craft shows at Christmas. I really would like to do more, but am from a small town in ‘Southern Tn. and the business is just not here.

5.  What are some products you use from Natures Garden?   I use fragrance oils, melt & pour soap base, wicks, and pillar of bliss wax from Natures garden.  I love the bliss wax for the pillar candles as well as the fragrance oils.

Your Website:     www.candlesbyalice.weebly.com

Facebook page : www.facebook.com/candlesbyalice

What is an Emulsifier?

Friday, January 25th, 2013

emulsifier natures gardenIf you have ever seen an unshaken bottle of Italian Salad Dressing, then you have witnessed a product that could definitely use the help of an emulsifier!

In Elementary School, we all learned that oil and water just simply will not combine on their own accord.  They are just not compatible.  It is all about polarity.  Let’s magnify down to the molecular level of things and really get down to the nitty gritty.

Simply put polarity is the nature of a molecule or a compound to either be attracted to or repelled from another molecule.  The attraction or opposition is based on the charge of the nucleus, and the formation of the atoms that have bonded.  Based on this makeup, compounds are either polar or non-polar.

Polar molecules are not balanced in their chemical makeup.  Usually it is because one of the elements is pulling all of the electrons to one side of the atom.  Therefore, polar elements are constantly looking to bond with other polar elements in order to be a balanced compound.  On the flip side, if an atom is completely balanced, and has an equal charge on both sides, then it is classified as non-polar.

Now, when polar and non-polar elements are present in the same mixture what you get is separation.  Whether the mixture is stirred, heated, or shaken; eventually the polar and non-polar elements will isolate themselves from one another.  This is a physical trait, which you can literally see.  What is missing from the equation is an emulsifier.

Emulsifiers are most commonly used in the food industry.  They have a great impact on the texture and composition of food.  Another benefit of using emulsifiers in food is the extension of freshness.  Some common foods that use emulsifiers are:  salad dressings, candy, frozen desserts like ice cream and yogurts, cake mixes, and icings.  There are even foods that are natural emulsifiers such as milk, mustard, and eggs.

In the department of bath and body, or any product that is made to be put on the skin, emulsifiers will become your new best friend.  Since, in our industry, most of our scenting is accomplished with oils, it poses a problem when the product that we are creating is water based.  The reasoning- just like the Italian dressing, water and oil will not mix.  The chemistry concept to remember is like dissolves like.  This means that polar will always bind and dissolve in polar, and vice versa with non-polar.

When a mixture is water based; it is termed Aqueous.  This means that in order to mix other elements to this recipe, the additional ingredients need to be hydrophilic, or water loving (polar).  Fragrance and Essential oils are not water loving, therefore they are termed lipophilic (non-polar).

No matter how much you shake, mix, blend, or beat a mixture, if it contains both water and oils, there will be separation that occurs.  The only way to solve this is by adding an emulsifier to your recipe.  An emulsifier is quite an amazing little thing.  Let’s look at the molecular level again.  An emulsifier consists of a hydrophilic (water-loving) head, and a lipophilic (oil-loving) tail.  This is the perfect peace maker between water and oil.  This is because the emulsion allows for the lesser mass element to be “insulated” by the emulsifier to prevent it from joining the other elements with the same polarity.  What this allows for a dispersion of water and oil together and this referred to as a stable emulsion.

When an emulsifier is added to a recipe, it is drawn to the layer where binding is needed.  It is then able to position itself, by lessening the surface tension, between the oil and water.  Emulsifiers, besides being wonderful binders between polar and non-polar elements, also act as aerating agents, starch complexing agents, and even crystallization inhibitors.

Emulsifiers create emulsions.  There are two types of emulsions.  The first is an oil in water emulsion.  This is where the greater mass is water, and there are oil droplets which are dispersed into the water.  This is created by the emulsifier covering the oil particles and allowing the hydrophilic end to bind with the hydrophilic water.  Now, since both are water-loving elements, they will bind together.  The second emulsion is a water in oil emulsion.  This is where the greater mass is oil, and there are water droplets which are dispersed into the oil by the emulsifier covering the water particles.  This then allows for the lipophoic end to bind with the lipophilic oil.  With the addition of an emulsifier, both emulsions are now stable and evenly dispersed without separation.

These two different emulsions are important to know if for example you are trying to make a specific kind of cream or lotion.

In the case of water dispersed in oil, oil will encase the water so therefore the oils in the recipe will touch the skin first.  There will of course be some greasiness in the feel of the lotion when it is applied to the skin.  This is because of the oils, and will be absorbed into the skin.  These recipes are great for adding beneficial aspects of the oils directly to the skin.

In the case of oil dispersed in water, water will encase the oil so therefore the water in this recipe will touch the skin first.  These recipes have a less greasy feel to them.  These are also great emulsion recipes in situations where you are looking for moisture to be one of the benefits of the lotion or cream.

For bath and body crafters, common emulsifiers that are used are:  Borax with Beeswax, Beeswax, BTMS 25%, Carbomer, Cetaryl Alcohol, Emulsifying Wax-NF, Lecithin, PEG-20 Stearate, Propylene Glycol, Silky Emulsifying Wax, Stearyl Alcohol NF, and Polysorbate 80.

Natures Garden Fragrance Oils

How to Make Your Own Scented Christmas Cards

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

 

Sending holiday cards to family and loved ones is a seasonal tradition for many people this time of year.  Whether the holiday cards are store purchased or handmade, receiving one in the mail certainly brings a smile to anyone’s face.   So, when you are sending out your own holiday cards this year, why not include an extra special element; that of fragrance!  At Natures Garden, we figure with scents this good, you can’t go wrong!

Scrapbooking cards and memory albums are great ways to really make a project your own.  With a clean canvas and an ingenious mind, the world can be your oyster.  The whole essence of scrapbooking could be summed up in just one word: preservation.  Usually, there are three fundamentals that contrive a great scrapbooking design.  They are photos (of course), memorabilia, and the stories behind the memory that is being encapsulated.  But, did you know that one of the most powerful keys to recall memories is through the sense of smell.  So, we figured this is right up our alley.

In the true spirit of scrapbooking, we wanted to add our own special touch to our design.  Hence, the scented scrapbook card was created.  Although, you can replicate our recipe verbatim, also feel free to make it your own as well.  You can of course use any of Natures Garden’s fragrance oils to scent what ever theme your scrapbooking project may be.  However, if you are looking for a great holiday fragrance oil for your Season’s Greetings cards, please check out Natures Garden Holiday selection.  You will have no problems finding the perfect scent to truly embrace the feel that you are looking for.

One of the reasons why this holiday recipe is so amazing is because it truly allows for your imagination to thrive.  So, let’s get put our crafty caps on, and get the creative juices flowing.

Here is what you will need:

Hansel & Gretel’s House Fragrance Oil
Elmer’s Glue
Unscented Hairspray
Colored Paper
Candy Balls
Various Soap Paints
Paint Brushes
Glitter or Mica Pigment

 

Instructions:

1.  Scent 2 oz. of Elmer’s Glue with 30 drops of Hansel & Gretel’s House Fragrance Oil.

2.  Scent 2 oz. of unscented hairspray with 30 drops of Hansel & Gretel’s House fragrance oil.

3.  Add a few drops of Hansel & Gretel’s House fragrance oil to your desired soap paints.

4.  Apply scented glue to the areas of the card that you plan to adhere glitter, candy balls, and other décor.

5.  Paint the portions of your Christmas card with your scented soap paints.

6.  Spray your Christmas card with your scented hairspray.

7.  For an extra bonus, make recipe cards with some of your favorite family recipes and place inside card.

But remember, the fun does not have to stop there.  By scenting the Elmer’s glue and hairspray, you can fragrance any of your scrapbooking projects.  Just simply replace any adhesive steps out with your scented glue and you are good to go.  This project idea brings a whole new meaning to scrapbooking memories!

Fragrance & Fun for Everyone

Inspire, Create, and Dominate!

Sparkles!!! Nicole

(Corporate Manager of Natures Garden Candle Supplies)

www.naturesgardencandles.com

How to Make Sparkling Scented Shoes

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Here at Natures Garden we strive to constantly think outside of the box.  We believe this inspires creativity and originality.  Melissa, this time you knocked it out of the box for sure!  You Go GLITTER Girl!  This project adds new meaning to trick or treat, smell my feet!

Are you looking to add that perfect bling to an already rocking outfit?  Maybe you do not want to follow suit in accessorizing your ensemble with the same old jewelry and whatnot’s that you always use.  Well, we can understand that.  So, without further adieu; we would like to present to you an exclusive Natures Garden Too Hot Not to Share Project:

Project Bling It On!

You Will Need:

Instructions:

1.  Prepare your work area.  Lay down newspaper or wax paper.

2.  Prepare your glue.  Mix approximately 2 ounces of glue to 2-4  ml of fragrance oil and stir thoroughly.

3.  Using your craft brush spread a thin layer of scented glue on a small section of the shoe.

4.  While keeping the shoe over the wax paper sprinkle the glitter over the shoe and shake off any excess.

5.  Repeat steps two and three until the entire shoe is covered.  I recommend applying glitter to the heel last; this way you can hold the heel while covering the rest of the shoe.

6.  Repeat the process for the second shoe.

7.  Allow the pair of shoes to dry overnight.

8.  Prepare your hairspray.  Mix approximately 2 ounces of hairspray to 1 ml of fragrance oil in a 2 ounce bullet bottle.  Attach a fine mist sprayer.

9.  Hold the bottle at least 6 inches from the shoe and spray the entire shoe with the hairspray mixture.  This will help keep the glitter in place.

10.  Allow your shoe to dry.

11.  Finally, put the shoes on and start showing them off.  These sparkling, scented, shoes are sure to turn some heads!

Project Tips:  Since you are covering the shoes with glue and glitter, it will not matter what the design or color of the original shoe is.  Before going to a store to purchase a pair of shoes, check your closet first.  You may already have a pair that is perfect to transform.  If you have to buy a pair of shoes; don’t forget to browse the clearance aisle, there are always diamonds in the rough.  Finally, do not be afraid to really get creative and mix it up.  Any Natures Garden fragrance oil will work, as will any color glitter.  The key thing to remember is to use extra fine glitter.  We have found that using the larger grade glitter poses some problems when trying to adhere the glitter to the glue on the shoe.

A little background on this project:

Melissa, our creative genius behind this magnificent project, has a passion for shoes.  She loves them.  But, then again, what girl doesn’t have a secret (sometimes small, but still there) obsession for shoes?  She wanted to share this project with everyone because she knows that at times the perfect pair of shoes is so hard to find.  So, as it is in any crafter’s nature, “Why not just do it yourself and scent it up a notch!”

What will you scent next?

Fragrance & Fun for Everyone

Inspire, Create, and Dominate!

Sparkles!!! Nicole

(Corporate Manager of Natures Garden Candle Supplies)

www.naturesgardencandles.com

 

Finding the Perfect Soap Recipe

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Soaping with knowledge, experience, and confidence.

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

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

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

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

Linoleic Acid:  Provides conditioning

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

Oleic Acid:  Provides conditioning

Palmitic Acid:  Provides hardness and a creamy lather

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

Stearic Acid:  Provides hardness and a creamy lather.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Working with lye can be very dangerous!

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

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

6 ounces of Coconut Oil, 76 degree

8.4 ounces of Olive Oil Pomace

8.4 ounces Palm Oil

1.2 ounces of Castor Oil

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

9.12 ounces of Distilled Water

3.393 ounces of lye (NaOH)

This recipe range for soap bar quality is:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Soap Terminology

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

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

Absolute-

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

Additives-

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

Alkali-

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

Allergen-

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

Anhydrous-

Not containing any water.

Anti-bacteria-

The ability to fight off bacteria successfully.

Anti-oxidant-

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

Anti-septic-

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

Aromatherapy-

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

Aromatic-

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

Astringent-

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

Base-

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

Botanical-

Directly from or related to plant or plant life.

Carrier Oil-

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

Castile Soap-

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

Caustic-  

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

Cold Process Soap Making-

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

Cold Process Oven Process Soap Making-

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

Cosmetic Grade-

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

Cure-

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

D&C-

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

Deodorize-

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

Detergent-

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

Dreaded Orange Spots-

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

Embeds-

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

Emollient-

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

Emulsifying Wax-

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

Emulsion-

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

Essential Oil-

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

Exfoliate-

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

Exothermic- 

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

Extract-

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

F,D&C-

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

Fatty Acids-

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

Fixed Oils-

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

Flash Point-

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

Fragrance Oil-  

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

Gel Phase-

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

Glycerin-

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

Hot Process Soap Making-

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

Humectant-

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

Hydrating-

Something that provides moisture or water to the skin.

Hydrogenated Oil-

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

INCI Name-

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

Infusion-

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

Insoluble-

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

Irritant-

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

Lye-   

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

Lye Discount-

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

Melt and Pour Soap Making-

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

Melting Point-

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

MSDS-

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

Natural-

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

Nutrient-

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

Organic-

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

pH scale-

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

pH strip-

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

Photosensitizers-

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

Preservative-

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

Potassium Hydroxide-

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

Rancidity-

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

Rebatch-

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

Refined oils-

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

Safety Equipment-

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

Saponification-  

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

SAP Value-

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

Seize-

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

Soap Measurements-

Soap Measurements are measured in weight, not volume.

Soda Ash-

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

Sodium Hydroxide-

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

Soluable-

A substance that can be dissolved in a liquid.

Superfat-

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

Surfactant-

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

Synthetic-

Something that is created chemically.  Not natural.

Tallow-

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

Trace-

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

Vegan-

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

Volcano Effect-

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

Volatile-

Oils that will evaporate quickly under normal temperatures.

Water Discount-

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

Soaping Abbreviations:

-KOH: Potassium hydroxide

-NaOH: Sodium hydroxide

-H20: water

-TD: Titanium Dioxide

-DHHP: Direct Heat Hot Process

-HP: Hot Process

-CP: Cold Process

-MP: Melt & Pour

-B&B: bath and body

-SB: Stick Blender (or shea butter)

-FO: Fragrance Oil

-EO: Essential Oil

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

-SS : Skin Safe

-OOB: out of the bottle

-CPHP: Crock Pot Hot Process

-CPOP: Cold Process Oven Process

-DWCP, DW: Discounted Water Cold Process

-OHP: Oven Hot process

-DBHP : double boiler hot process

-DHHP : direct heat hot process

-MWHP : microwave hot process

-RT: Room temp

-AVG:  Aloe Vera Gel

-SAP:  Saponification values

-DOS:  Dreaded Orange Spots

-AO:   Animal Oil

-PKO: Palm Kernal Oil

-OMH: Oatmeal Milk & Honey

-OM: Oatmeal

-GM: Goats’ Milk

-CM: Coconut Milk

-PKF: palm kernel flakes

-EVOO: Extra virgin olive oil

-OO: olive oil

-SAO: Sweet Almond Oil

Soap Making: Where Do I Start?

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

MP soap

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

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

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

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

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

CP soap

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

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

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

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

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

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

HP Soap

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

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

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

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

CPOP Soap

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

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

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

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