Posts Tagged ‘soap making ingredients’

Brittle Soap

Monday, April 14th, 2014

soap that has too much sodium lactate
Warning, the following pictures may disturb some soapers!

Here was the scenario:  Using a Hot Process Recipe, we made a soap batch that we thought would work.  However, we got a little too sodium lactate happy.  As a result, our soap bars were not functional.  And, to be completely honest, some of our soap could not even be classified as a bar.

Can you feel the soaping life lesson coming on?

Our hot process soap was molded and ready to be removed and sliced.  The end was trimmed off, and we went in for our first cut… that was when the slice fell, and broke into two pieces.

brittle slice of soap

Again we tried, but to no avail…

crumbly soap

That was when we thought to slice the bars thicker.  Still the same result, a broken bar of soap.

high amount of sodium lactate

Heart broken, we came to the conclusion that there was too much sodium lactate in our recipe.

Yes, sad but true; we have brittle soap.  And, a 4 pound batch at that!  Even though the soap was brittle, we still wanted to find out how it performed.  So, we washed our hands with the bar pieces.  This action made the finished bars completely crumble as we rubbed them together under the running water.

testing the processed soap

The original recipe was a failure, but not a complete one.  We were able to see first hand what happens to soap when too much sodium lactate is added.

soap that needs a rebatch

In one of the earlier Natures Gardens blog posts, we wrote that using too much sodium lactate in your soap recipe will produce finished bars that crumble or are brittle.  This soap is the perfect example of exactly how this worked.

The recipe that we used contained 1 ounce of sodium lactate per pound of soaping oils in our recipe.  We thought that this would help harden the bar, especially since the soap was made from very soft oils.

Well, we were wrong.  This is why testing is highly suggested when dealing with soaping additives like sodium lactate.

Top 50 Soap Making Blogs

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

soap making blogs

Soap making has grown from a hobby, to a seriously competitive trade that attracts new talent all the time. The trick is finding the right soap making blogs to get the best recipes, ingredient list, tutorials, and expert advice to learn the pro’s tips on soap making. What I have created is the ultimate online resource that compiles the best of the best soap making blogs into one post.

I wanted to create a quality resource for people seeking information about soap making so I’ve collected what I believe to be some of the top soap making blogs out there. I endorse them so much that I’ve created a badge for them to display and be endorsed as one of the top soap making blogs on the Internet. The order below is not in any particular order. They are all #1 in my eyes.

Best Soap Making Blogs

1. Evik – The Curious Soapmaker – Evik has been making soap since she accidentally discovered a natural soap making book while browsing her favorite book store. Suddenly, she became more interested in a natural lifestyle and became a vegetarian and started learning more about the products and ingredients she was using in her every day life. Learn from her passion for soapmaking, the importance of selecting the proper ingredients, and basic recipes tutorials and principles.

2. Jennifer Young – Jennifer has a successful business of soaps, lip balms, salves and more. What makes her, and her blog, stand out are the four principles she runs her business by: she enjoys what she does, only uses natural ingredients in her products, supports the local community and economy, and treats the environment well. Kuddos to you Jennifer!

3. Amanda Griffin – Amanda shares her passion for soap making, and her gratitude for being a part of the “soaping” community. She loves all things soap, including talking, sharing, and teaching soap making. Follow her site for handmade soap, bath and body products, reviews, interviews, how-to’s and more.

4. Ruth Esteves – Ruth was trained as a laboratory assistant, and found herself craving more creativity in her life. She fused her passion for soapmaking with a career, and has successfully combined her talents for a business that “feeds her soul,” since 2006. Now she sells, teaches, and speaks about soapmaking and has even recently published her first eBook.

5. Rebecca Dillon – Soap Delicatessen is a one woman operation that has been running since 2001. She started out making soap as an alternative to commercial brands that often irritated her very sensitive skin. Over a decade later, now she creates her own unique recipes for various skin and bath products and sells them on her site.

6. Rene Whitlock – Rene started with aromatherapy and essential oils before she discovered her love for soap making. Now she passionately shares her discovery for better ingredients, natural products, and converting commercial product consumers to products more beneficial for their skin and the planet.

7. TheSoapBar.com – The Soap Bar is a fun spot for the soap makers out there. This site is loaded with contests, challenges, creative new tips and ideas, and wonderful tutorials to keep your soap making fresh and inspired. Follow along for wonderful recipes and a fun community of soap makers.

8. TheSoapMagician - Sharon has done her homework and has plenty of certificates to prove it. She has been making soap for well over a decade, and has no plans on stopping. Share her fountain of knowledge from aromatherapy to holistic uses of herbs, and how she incorporates all that into soap making.

9. TheSoapSister.com – This country gal loves her handmade soap and she can’t deny it! Her soap, Heirloom, is featured in local shops and on etsy. She shares the joys of soapmaking, making a messing, learning the tricks, and more on her oh-so-passionate blog.

10. TierraVerdeSoaps.com – A true self-proclaimed soap nerd, this mom has an entrepenurial spirit and a true talent at that. Follow her exploration of soap making where art meets science. Beautiful pictures are always the end result that you’ll find yourself wishing you could smell through your computer screen.

11. Stacie – Another successful business created as the result of a suffering tale of overly sensitive skin. Stacie’s first line of products resulted in her true love for sharing her results with others and the benefits she discovered in natural soaps. Share her recipes and learn about her new products, and cute crafts, on this charming site.

12. Angela – Angela, and her husband Brian, are the savvy creators of this blog that will educate and inspire you to spend more time together creating healthier, more natural products for you and your family. Browse their recipes and tutorials; it’s a great place to get started at making your own soaps.

13. SoaphisticatedLady.com – Beginner soap makers rejoice; here is the perfect spot for you to try your talent at soap making. Learn the basic process of melt-and-pour (MAP) soap making, and new tips and tricks “not available anywhere else.” A wonderful place to learn recipes, colors, and fragrance tips for your first, or twentieth batch of soaps.

14. Gavin Webber – Gavin’s site is delightfully personal, refreshingly real, and absolutely inspiring. He deems himself an ordinary man that had a sudden epiphony while watching a documentary and seriously overhauled his life. Follow his progressively shrinking carbon footprint, and marvel at his conversion to a green life.

15. TheNerdyFarmWife.com – A true self-proclaimed soap nerd, this mom has an entrepenurial spirit and a true talent at that. Follow her exploration of soap making where art meets science. Beautiful pictures are always the end result that you’ll find yourself wishing you could smell.

16. Tiggy – Future Primitive Soap Co.’ is Tiggy’s blog to share, and sell, her fine bath goods and aromatic oils. With names as catchy as the ingredients list, you will likely be as intrigued as you are curious. Inspire the soapmaker in you, or buy from the creator of soaps like, “Mama Didn’t Listen So I Told The Bees soap.”

17. Annie – Follow Annie’s adventures through soap making and “other things.” Shop her homemade lip balms, custom cupcake soaps, and body butters. She posts her creations on her blog, often swaying reading over to her “shop,” section linking to her good-enough-to-eat etsy store where she sells all of her fabulous creations.

18. Jenny – From melt-and-pour soap making to cold process soap, Jenny shares her hobbyist adventures in all things soapy. Follow her recipes through candle making, soaps of all colors and styles, and even men’s shaving cream.

19. BurntMill.com – This busy crafter may slack on the updates, but certainly not on the content. Follow some amazing recipes for colorful soaps. Learn how to make soap for a baby or bridal shower from start to finish, or give soap to friends and family and save some money this holiday.

20. SoapAndRestless.com – Did you know pictures of soap could literally make your mouth water? If you don’t believe me, check out ‘Soap and Restless,’ and just scroll through the photos. Those soaps are so beautifully made they honestly look good enough to eat. What’s not to love that the recipes, and plenty of tips and tricks, are shared for readers to delightfully attempt to recreate.

21. Erin Nute – Erin has learned the in’s and out’s of soap making and is happy to share her successes, and failures, so that you can create your own natural products. She’ll teach you layering techniques, color tips, and even how to make a long-lasting bar of soap. If you like what you read, you can pick up her new book, “Soap Making Made Easy.”

22. Patrice – Even those that don’t make soaps will fall in love with Patrice’s blog. She shares her passion for soap making, candle making, bath goods, and oil, but her personality is what keeps you coming back for more. Patrice has been at it for years, so share what she’s learned and have fun!

23. Bianca – This Brooklyn-based beauty is a full-time designer and hobbyist soap maker. Her blog is a meeting place for the best of both of her talents; where soap making meets design. Eye candy for the masses here, but definitely visual inspiration for the soap makers and designer readers.

24. Claudia Mold – Follow a busy mom of six through crafting projects, soap making, cooking, of raising her kids. Learn the recipe behind her “happy,” rainbow soap, or her mouth-watering handmade cheeseburger.

25. Erica Pence – Erica’s blog is more inspiration than the secrets of soap making, and if I were you, I’d listen. This business woman is savvy, successful, and passionate about what she does. She shares all of her interests from bath and body, to candles and business advice. Need more? Check out her tutorials and contests.

26. HorseOPeaceRanch.com – What a fun story behind this successful soap making business. After deciding to use some leftover goat’s milk to make some soap, an event 10 days later led to the first selling and teaching of soap making. Business officially began just months later, and has been a success ever since.

27. Magdoline – Addicted to Soap,’ started out of a mom’s need to help her eczema diagnosed children heal their sensitive skin. An encouraging husband pushed her to start selling her beautiful creations, and alas, a business was born. Browse the site, take a class, discover the joy of soap making.

28. LionAndRoseSoap.com – Handmade soap is an art, a hobby, but most importantly a passion. ‘Lion and Rose Handmade Soap,’ has them all. Share in the day-to-day family life behind this soap-making mom, and enjoy her honest opinion, recipes, and delightful creations on her site.

29. Aunt Nancy – Aunt Nancy’s blog is chock-full of homemade soap recipes. From pumpkin soap, to oatmeal & honey goat milk soap, you’ll have enough recipes here to keep you busy for an entire year (and more!)

30. Amy Warden – Amy’s soap is a work of art. If you have a few minutes and want some inspiration, I highly recommend going to her website and reviewing the amazing concoctions she has created. Absolutely stunning!

31. Tatania – Tatania’s soap is so beautiful it looks more like artisan fudge. I’d caution you against making her banofee pie soap as you really might confuse it for fudge!

32. Cee – Cee’s soap recipes are so unique! Pumpkin maple soap… Doesn’t get any better than that for fall, does it? How about a gift for mom of cocoa butter soap with lavender and lemon infused oil? My goodness! A must bookmark blog.

33. Jennifer – Add Jennifer to your list of soap blogs you must follow. From peppermint bark soap to polka dot themed apple, peach & cinammon, her soap recipes will inspire you for hours.

34. HomeMadeBathProducts.com – HomeMadeBathProducts is a site I know you will love! The writers feature great recipes and products from around the web.

35. Angela – Jamaican vanilla café, Hummingbird, Hula Hula… Angela’s soap names are as unique as the soap itself. Great photos and great blog… Just wish she provided more of her recipes.

36. Sabons Carmeta – This Spanish soap blog features beautiful soap recipes… From lavender and shea to Marigold… You won’t be disapointed by Sabons Carmeta.

37. Celine – Celine’s soap looks like it could be decoration in a pop movie. Full of sparkles, ridges & beauty, you’ll be hard-pressed to find more bubbilicious soap photos than hers.

38. Sue – Although the content has rarely been updated over the last few years, this blog features beautiful soap that you just must look into.

39. T.A. Helton – I Just love what T.A. Helton does with her blog. Occasionally you’ll see her featuring ‘soap porn’ so you can admire the greatest soaps she makes on her site, from apples & oak to bay rum spice… we love it all!

40. Elizabeth – Elizabeth shares her soap making adventures on this blog and we love it! She even shares how she uses her Vitamix for soap making (And for smoothies!).

41. Julia – Julia’s Spanish soap making blog is amazing. Beautiful designs, photos, packaging… You get the entire package here.

42. Milla – Milla not only shares photos of her end results, but even creates videos of how she prepares her soap. Definitely worth a read!

43. Super Soapers – Super Soapers is amazing: They feature soap artists every month to help inspire and educate you. This is one you must bookmark.

44. Ana Maria – Ana Maria shares her soap making adventures in this Spanish soap making blog. Just wish there were more recipes to accompany her beautiful photos

Our Favorite Soap Recipes

45. Nina Nelson – Nina shares her recipe for a homemade herbal bar soap here. She uses marshmallow root and calendula petals to make this bar soap very soothing and healing.

46. Allyson – Allyson shares 3 homemade dish soap recipes. They are all natural and quick and easy to make. She leaves out essential oils, but you can easily toss some lavender, cinnamon, peppermint or anything your heart desires in and it will work perfectly.

47. Stephanie – Pink grapefruit soap! Love it! Stephanie shares this unique soap recipe idea here. We definitely encourage you to try it.

48. Liz Marie – Liz has been using a DIY laundry soap recipe for over a year. After a year of refining her recipe, she finally has made it perfect and shares her secrets with you.

49. Clare – Another goat milk recipe! This time with orange and calendula. Thanks, Clare, for the great inspiration!

50. Brandy – Brandy shares her homemade poppy seed soap recipe here… I can’t wait to give this a go. Her photos are beautiful and the end result is even more gorgeous.

Titanium Dioxide

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013
titanium

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sodium Lactate in Soap & Lotions

Thursday, September 26th, 2013
sodium lactate

Sodium Lactate: Most commonly derived by the fermentation of corn or beets, this natural body product additive has a smooth, clear appearance with almost no odor.

 

Sodium Lactate is quickly gaining the spotlight as an additive in the creation of bath and body products.  Although it is not a mandatory ingredient, sodium lactate can hold its own when it comes to functionality in a recipe.  

Sodium lactate, a water soluble ingredient, is added during the water phase of the creation.  It is used in bath products and has many beneficial aspects to its use.  It is a natural moisturizer, humectant (bringing moisture to itself), and pH regulator.  Sodium Lactate is used in a variety of bath products such as soaps, lotions, and shampoos.   In fact, when it comes to lotion formulations, sodium lactate can be used to replace vegetable glycerin.  Why is this a benefit?  Using sodium lactate instead of vegetable glycerin will give you a final product that lacks the stickiness that usually occurs when using vegetable glycerin in a lotion recipe.  Sodium lactate also helps reduce the “greasiness” of the oils in your emulsions, while improving the absorption capability of emulsions.   In emulsions like lotions, sodium lactate is used at the rate of 1-3% of the weight of your recipe.

Sodium lactate is used in cold process soap recipes to harden the soap, making for a harder, longer lasting bar of soap in the tub.  One of the great bonuses of using sodium lactate in your soap recipe is the easier releasing of the soap from the mold, especially if you are using more of a complex shaped mold.  Besides adding moisture and conditioning aspects to your soap, sodium lactate helps to increase lather and can even add mildness to the soap.

For cold process soap makers, the sodium lactate is added to your cooled lye water solution.  What results is a harder bar of soap that will release from the mold easier, and can be cut earlier than the traditional cold process soap.  Also, the physical appearance of a soap that has the addition of sodium lactate will improve.  The bars will have a creamier look to them, and the soap will provide a more luxurious lather. Sodium Lactate aids in keeping your soap batter in a liquid state longer.  This makes coloring/swirling and pouring easier.  But once the soap is molded, sodium lactate will harden your soap faster, allowing for the soap to unmold easily.

For hot process soap makers, sodium lactate is added to your lye water solution, and other ingredients are mixed in.

Testing is key for finding the right percentage of use for sodium lactate in your recipe.  For a great starting point is 1/2 oz.  sodium lactate per pound of soap oils. But, test, test, test!  Be cautious not to add too much sodium lactate, this will cause your soap to be brittle and/or crumbly.

Natures Garden is not responsible for the performance of any of the recipes provided on our website. Testing is your responsibility. If you plan to resell any recipes we provide, it is your responsibility to adhere to all FDA regulations. If there are ingredients listed in a recipe that Natures Garden does not sell, we cannot offer any advice on where to purchase those ingredients.