Tag Archives: cold process soap testing videos

Sep
12

My First Attempt at Soapmaking


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Enji Natures GardenHi, I’m Katie from Nature’s Garden. (That’s me and Enji!) We’ve got a great team here, and my role largely involves writing fragrance blogs and rendering videos. I’ve been working here for a little over two months, and I’ve watched Bailey make a LOT of soap (you can, too, if you click that link)! Until I started working here, I had very little knowledge of soapmaking (and I still have a LOT to learn), but you bet your bippy I like crafts of all kinds, and I’ve been itching to get my hands on some soap. This past weekend, a friend asked me to house-sit and I had a rare opportunity: an entire kitchen at my disposal. (I live with my folks, two teenage siblings, and a large puppy [keep reading for pic], so the kitchen can be a little crowded.) On Friday, I frantically purchased soapmaking supplies from our store, and soon after started my first foray into melt-and-pour.

Katie’s Impulsive Orange Soap

Truthfully, I don’t trust myself with anything too potentially hazardous. While I’ve read all about lye safety and its proper handling, I still don’t trust my clumsy self. Melt and pour seemed to be the way to go. We use mango butter in our cold process soap-testing recipe because of its moisturizing properties, so I decided to buy some Mango Butter Melt and Pour Soap.

Natures Garden Reed Diffuser KitOn a separate note, I am absolutely obsessed with Blood Orange Essential Oil. Pictured to the right is the reed diffuser that sits in my office, filled with blood orange essential oil (and reed diffuser baseReed diffuser kits come plain- I just painted mine to match the workplace). It smells insanely amazing and its considered aromatherapy benefits are as a stimulant and an anti-depressant (an aphrodisiac, too, but that’s not important at work). IMPORTANT NOTE ON USING CITRUS ESSENTIAL OILS IN BATH AND BODY PRODUCTS: Citrus fruits contain compounds designed to help them absorb sunlight to ripen. Citrus essential oils are likely to increase the photosensitivity- or sensitivity to sunlight- of your skin. I’m already as white as ghost, so I need to be especially careful not to use this soap on body parts that will see a lot of sun. I already get sunburnt pretty easily, and overuse of citrus essential oil on sun-exposed skin can lead to a type of super-sunburn. No thank you.

My idea quickly became centered around making an energizing soap with mango butter melt and pour and blood orange essential oil- but what else? I looked up natural soap colorantsOrange Peel Powder, rich with vitamins and a citrus aroma, seemed like an obvious addition, and for extra orange color, I included skin-nourishing Carrot Powder and cleansing Red Moroccan Clay Powder. Let me remind you again that I pretty much have no idea what I’m doing. –Since I was a kid, I’ve loved making my own recipes. Even if they were terrible. I once put cinnamon squares cereal in a bowl with ripped up bread and orange soda pop. I have no idea why. I can’t imagine anyone ate it. (I’m not sure how those fragrances would smell together, either.)– But no one’s going to eat this soap, so I figured I couldn’t go too terribly wrong, right?

To recap, here’s my recipe (and a picture of me and my dog for fun):

Mango Butter Melt and Pour Soap – 1lb
Blood Orange Essential Oil – ~32 drops
Orange Peel Powder – 2 tbsp
Carrot Powder – 1 tbsp
Red Moroccan Clay Powder – 1 tbsp

Other Supplies:

Knife
Cutting board
Scale
Stove
Small sauce pan
Glass 2-cup Measuring Container with spout
Water
Tbsp measuring spoon
Small bowl
Whisk
Stainless steel spoon
Disposable pipettes
Bite-sized daisies mold

Making it:

First, gotta cut up those lil melt and pour squares. I cut my soap along the lines laid out and then I cut those pieces into halves or even quarters for faster melting. You can use a microwave, but I wanted more time to add my herbs and oil so I used the double boiler method to melt my mango butter base (or something very similar- I just googled “double boiler method” and that’s not exactly what I did. Oops.) In the little bowl I mixed 1 tbsp of each of my powders with the whisk, being sure to break up carrot powder clumps. Once my soap base was good and melt-y, I stirred in my powders and began mixing with a whisk. Shortly thereafter I used a pipette to add my blood orange essential oil. I didn’t measure this one out exactly, but a friend suggested I use no more than a few drops of essential oil per ounce of base, so initially I went with about 1 drop/oz. It didn’t smell orange-y enough to me,Impulsive-Orange-Two so I added an extra tbsp of orange peel powder and upped my essential oil to 2 drops/oz base. Once I got my batter thoroughly mixed, I poured it into that *cute little flower mold,* very messily, I might add, and very carefully laid the filled molds on paper towels on a flat shelf in the fridge. I waited a while for them to set up, at least a half hour, and then popped them out and put them in a zip-seal bag. THEY SMELL GREAT. I cannot get over how much I love this soap. I have never smelled anything like it before- it’s orange-y and herbal-y and the soap turned out to be a tan-orange color- and I LOVE IT.

But melt and pour comes in two pound slabs.. so what did I do with the other pound?

Bacon-SoapBACON SOAP

This one was more simple and scientific. One pound = 16 oz.  and (16 x 0.05 = 0.8). I measured out 0.8 oz Bacon Fragrance Oil and.. I’m not sure sure how much Red Moroccan Clay Powder I used.. maybe 3 or 4 tbsp? But I used the same melt and pour method described above and ended up with a pound of bacon soap! Woohoo! Be sure to keep this soap away from your puppy- he might mistake them for treats- they are bite-sized and they smell like bacon. Though honestly, my goofy dog will try to eat anything.

I can’t wait to create another soap recipe with herbs and essential oils!

Jun
17

Cold Process Soap Testing Videos


This entry was posted in cold process soap, Cold Process Soap Testing, Fragrance Oils, Natures Garden, Natures Garden Videos, Soap making supplies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

Cold-Process-Soap-Testing-VideosCold Process Soap Testing Videos

Here at Natures Garden we realize that choosing the most perfect fragrance oil for cold process soap can be quite challenging.  Well, we have the solution.  We recently decided to begin retesting each of our more than 800 fragrance oils!  Over the years we have had multiple people testing the fragrances which might mean multiple result interpretations.   In addition, we have masterbatched to test the soap scents.  This time around, we have decided to test each of our fragrance oils individually, giving each scent its very own batch.  We also have Bailey testing each scent and guess what….we’re taking videos the entire time!  This means not only will you be able to read the results, but you can actually see it with your own eyes.  There will be no more guessing how much time you will have to work.  Have you ever wondered what exactly is a light tan or dark beige?  Well, no more guessing on our interpretation of the final discoloration.  We show you all of this right in a cold process soap testing video.  How cool is that?!?

Now, let me explain the process and recipe we are using to create these wonderful cold process soap testing videos.  Let’s start with our recipe.

Lye Solution

Water 144 grams

Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) 53 grams

Sodium Lactate 8 grams (added to cooled lye solution)

Oil and Butters

Apricot Kernel Oil 26 grams

Mango Butter 53 grams

Shea Butter 49 grams

Castor Oil 14 grams

Sunflower Oil 63 grams

Palm Oil 57 grams

Coconut Oil 76 113 grams

Fragrance Oil 29 grams (Amount reduced if mandated by IFRA)

Here is our process.  We are allowing our lye solution to cool to about 100 degrees.  Then, we incorporate our sodium lactate.  Once that is done, we go ahead and combine our lye solution and oils.  We use a stick blender to emulsify the batter.  The fragrance is incorporated and we observe any ricing or acceleration.  The soap batter is then poured into one of our Silicone 6 Cavity Flower Mold at trace.  After about 24 hours we remove the soaps from the molds and allow them to cure.  Once the soap has cured, we note any discoloration.

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Next, comes the fun part…putting the video together!  You will see in these videos Bailey has tested the fragrance especially for you, our customers.  We felt it was important so you could see exactly what the fragrance did in cp soap from beginning right to the end.  This will give you a better idea of how much time you will have to work….or how much FUN can you have with the scent!  We will also show you what the final soap looks like after cure.  You can see just how the soap discolored.

Are you wondering just where you can find these videos???  Well, once a video is completed for a fragrance, it is added right to the website, on the page for that scent.  This way you will be able to see the fragrance oil’s performance as you are shopping.  We already have a video added for our Almond Fragrance Oil.  We will use this scent for an example.

You will not only see a picture on this page of the finished CP soap discoloration, but notice the blue tab right above the picture that says “Video”?  Click on that tab.

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Clicking on the tab will bring up videos related to our Almond Fragrance Oil.  You will notice two videos on this particular scent.  One is our video describing the fragrance oil (you should totally watch that one as well…it’s awesome too!).

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The other video is the one we are  will be focusing on today.  It show you how the fragrance performs in soap.  Click on the second video.  You will then see the video pop up and be able to watch it.

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We already have many videos posted and many more to come.  If you don’t see a video for the fragrance you are looking for, make sure you check back often as we are adding new videos each day.  Bailey is working very hard to get each Nature’s Garden scent tested again in CP soap just for you.  Our hope is that these cold process soap testing videos will make your shopping experience much easier.  We hope that you enjoy these cp soap testing videos.  Make sure you stay tuned for more fragrance fun!

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