Soaping lessons

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My second soap post was entitled “It’s Official, I’m Addicted!”  No truer words have been written.  Soap making is so addictive.

At first, I liked it because I could make something that was useful without getting fat.  But, as time goes on, that is not true any more.  Well, it is not making me fat but how useful can all this soap be??  Maus and I would be washing 24 hours a day to keep up with my production.

The situation has got so out of control, Maus has had to make me a separate shelf in the laundry on which to cure my soaps.  She offered me two shelves but I thought that was just too ridiculous.  We will see how long it is before I need that second shelf. 🙂

The soap in the top photo was my latest effort.  Maus made me a new tall mould which I used but, when I cut the soap, I decided that the bars were too big so I cut them in half.  They do look better.  I also decided that the top halves look better vertical so that is how I photographed them.

Every time I make soap, it is a huge learning experience.  Firstly, I will have to rethink my mould.  I don’t think people will want huge bars of soap.  Secondly, I used Bramble Berry’s Lily of the Valley fragrance oil which caused me heart ache.  I read as much as possible about it before I started – and it got fab reviews – but my soap overheated and the white section got glycerine rivers.  They are no big deal but ……grrrh.  I put the scrapings from my bowl into a small silicon mould and that did not get glycerine rivers. So… the lesson for the day was no more floral fragrances or, if I must use a floral fragrance, no titanium dioxide  or, if I can’t resist using floral fragrances and titanium dioxide, then don’t insulate the soap – keep it cool!!!

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This is my cappuccino effort.  There is no colour in the dark portion of the soap.  The colour in the bottom layer is discolouration from Bramble Berry Turkish mocha fragrance oil.  The second layer is, again, discolouration from the fragrance oil (I only put a little bit in that layer) and coffee beans.  The top layer has no fragrance, only titanium dioxide to enhance the whiteness.  I am amazed how dark the middle layer with the coffee grains is. There is also some morphing of the coffee colour into the white.  The top is sprinkled with cocoa powder.

I spoon-swirled the layers but I didn’t like it.  You can just see the swirl between the first and the second layer in this photo.  This bar is the end bar so it didn’t get much of a swirl and I like it the best.  Lesson here: Next time, no swirl and, I will only have two layers: the dark and the white so it looks more like a real coffee.  I think less white would look better and I may skip the coffee beans.  I will decide on that after we try the soap.

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Finally, my honey and oatmeal soap.  This one turned out exactly as I hoped.  It is very exciting when that happens.  This recipe actually includes honey and ground oatmeal.  The honey comb top is from lining the soap mould with bubble wrap.  It is a fabulous effect.  Again, no colour was used in this soap.  The colour (which is perfect for the theme of the soap) is discolouration from the fragrance oil (Bramble Berry Oatmeal Milk & Honey).  No lessons here because everything went to plan. Yippee!!!

31 thoughts on “Soaping lessons

  1. They really do look pretty! You are right about not wanting them too big. I’ve got dodgy hands and some of the larger ones I get at the market keep hitting the bottom of the shower cause I can’t hold on to them. I’d thought that second one looked like a cappuccino before I got to the script, so aptly named! I really like the natural oil sells of euc and tea tree. Think Maus might have to get that second shelf in pretty soon 🙂

    • I have just discovered a great trick with a lovely soap I am using currently. If you put it in a little organza bag you can lather it up through the bag and you are less likely to drop it. Also it can hang to dry in the bag also 😀

      • Hi Kay. That is very interesting as I have bought 100 organza bags to put my soap in when I give them away. I will tell people of your trick. Thanks for passing it on.

  2. I love the honeycomb pattern – yet another use for bubble wrap and such a simple idea. I don’t use fragrance in my soaps, because I like the clean fresh smell just as it is, but had been toying with buying a couple to try out. Now thinking that perhaps I won’t bother as they seem to cause complications.

  3. How did you think about using bubble wrap? When I hear things like this, I always wonder why I don’t think nifty thoughts like this. I love your soap! You have a real talent.

  4. I love reading these posts. You are making some amazing soap. I do use ground coffee in one soap I make, but it is a kitchen soap as I find the grounds a bit scratchy for general use. Will be interested to see what you think.

    There used to be a forum that had reviews of all the soap scents from different companies. I can’t remember the name at the moment, but will let you know if I do. It was by soapers so they also write any problems with a scent they would post it.

    Look forward to seeing what you make next.

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