Tuesday, December 14, 2010

RAPESEED OIL IN SOAPMAKING


A few days ago I found from my stash this soap that I had made some months ago. It is a soap in which I had just dumped all the remaining oils I had that time so I did not expect very much of it. However, I was extremely amazed how good the soap was! So lovely for my winter dry skin. The thing different from my regular soap recipe was that this one had rapeseed oil in it. I had abandoned rapeseed oil earlier since it has been said to be prone to spoilage because of the high amount of linoleic and linolenic fatty acids. That has never happened to me, but I just wanted to be on the safe side.

After trying this soap I started to look more closely into the issue and found out that there are so many good things regarding rapeseed oil that I am now considering taking it back as one of my soaping oils.

Firstly, rapeseed is one of the rare plants that is grown in Finland for vegetable oil production and thus one of the rare oils that I am able to source locally. It is also very beneficial in crop rotation where it improves soil and effectively prevents plant diseases. In addition, usually in the oil production, the crop is pressed once a year and the oil is stored as ready-made until the next harvest. On the contrary, rapeseed oil is pressed from the seeds year round, so it is always available freshly pressed. The vitamin E content of the Finnish rapeseed oil is relatively high  (19 mg/100 g*). The coldpressed rapeseed oil would be the best choice since it is pressed from the seeds and then mechanically filtered many times before packing. The regular rapeseed oil is purified using chemicals and heating the oils which causes oxidization.


In soap, rapeseed oil is extremely moisturizing and contributes to creamy lather. It is slow to trace so it's a blessing when doing swirls, layers or other complicated patterns. And I just love the shiny and smooth texture it gives to a soap.

Recipe: 

36% Olive oil
32% Rapeseed oil
21% Coconut oil
11% Mango seed butter

7% superfat

Scented with essential oils of bergamot, geranium, mandarin and lavender.

PS. You might have noticed that I am not using Shea Butter any more. My new favorite is Mango Butter instead. The reason is that I have become allergic to Shea Butter. Even a small amount of it in soap gives me a horrendous itch!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

If you have any chemistry related questions...



I wrote some time ago that I've got a licence to sell soap, which required that I would need to found a company. The company is called Saponina and that's our logo. (It's designed by Antonio who you are more than welcome to contact if you need a logo etc.)

I was very lucky when my sister Suvi agreed to join me in the soaping business. She holds a PhD in synthetic chemistry and even though we are using my recipes, she is able to provide all the information we need to be sure that our products are safe and that we adhere to the good manufacturing practice.

Now that we have finally opened an online shop, I realised that I really wouldn't have been able to do all this without you, my fellow soaping bloggers. I have learnt so much from your experiments! So we - me and Suvi - thought that we would want to give something back. Therefore she has agreed to answer any chemistry related questions about soapmaking.

So if you want to ask something about the chemistry of soapmaking, please post a question to the discussion board on our Facebook page. Suvi will be happy to answer all the questions she can!

Monday, December 6, 2010

MUSINGS ABOUT CRAFTS FAIR

It's been amazing the last five days. I participated in a crafts fair that had about 380 female exhibitors who sold mainly handcrafted items. During those days I met some wonderful and extremely talented female crafters and entrepreneurs. In addition, I received lots of advice and tips from more experienced entrepreneurs for my soap business. The atmosphere was really warm between the exhibitors.

My table is the third on the left.


I just love the older ladies, about 70+ years. They just came up at my table, checked out the soap and picked a few to buy. It seemed that I did not have to give them my usual speech about the benefits of handmade soap, because they knew all that perfectly well already. Most of them told me that their mom or aunt had made soap when they were young. I think it is amazing how soap in a sense can bridge the gap between generations.

This is my table.

There were also some other soapers exhibiting their products. Seeing their soap made me even more asserted with the choices that I have made: to use only plant based natural ingredients. The other soapers had beautiful soaps with beautiful bright colours and scents of yummy foods. Still I found the rustic and natural looks of my soap more appealling. And I sold really well too ;-)

My first attempt of cake shaped soap.

Ooops, I had one exception in my "all natural" policy. This soap cake had allergen free fragrance oil Dark Chocolate. I decided to make it so late that I had to use oven hot process. I mixed the scent only to the bottom and coloured it with cocoa powder. The top is unscented and uncoloured.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

PREPARING FOR A CHRISTMAS CRAFT FAIR

I am sorry that I've been a lousy blogger lately. The reason is a 5-day Christmas Craft Fair I am going to. Here are some of the little soap packages that I have prepared for the fair in addition to my regular bars of soap.
The bigger ones are 350g and smaller 240g. The soap is still soft enough to be cut into bars.
My regular shower soap & small salt soap bar. These adorable little salt soaps didn't sell at all on their own. I'm curious to see what happens now that they are in package.
Some of my wonderful but ugly soaps cut in pieces and stacked on top of each other. Not bad I think!
Little chocolate scented hearts. These have sold well before. The scent is allergen free Dark Chocolate. The next time I'm going to use a hint of cacao powder to get a darker color.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

THE COLOR WHITE

I have always loved beautiful white bars of soap. Unfortunately, with natural colorants pure white is not that easy to produce. So I decided that it was time to try titanium dioxide for the first time. I have been a bit puzzled about the titanium dioxide. Some say that it is a natural colorant but I doubt that those that are sold in stores are in fact synthetic. That's why I probably will not use it anymore, but it was interesting to try!

These are all oven hot process soaps made with the jojoba wax recipe. In the picture the first bar on the left is from a batch in which I mixed the titanium dioxide diluted in small amount of water after the cook.

Then I wanted to have a more even color and made another batch where I added it in the oils before mixing in the lye solution. I was a bit worried if it would speed up the trace, but that didn't happen.

I wanted to compare the result with some natural colorant. I had read from several sources that also Kaolin clay gives white color. The one on the right has Kaolin clay added before the cook. The color is not even close to white! It is tan or maybe even beige and after it cured it actually became even darker. I wonder if there are different qualities of Kaolin that would produce different tones. Also, the weirdest thing happened, the batch with Kaolin came out really soft. I have no idea why!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

ORANGE!


We agreed with Ambra and Jen to work on orange color. Check out their experiments, they're just great!

Here is my first experiment. I decided to try a new recipe that I plan to use for a shampoo bar. The soap traced fast, but it didn't seize so I had plenty of time to add the clays and betacarotene little by little to get the color right.


Recipe:

35% Castor oil
25% Mango butter
20% Avocado oil
15% Coconut oil
5% Jojoba wax (solid flakes)

Beta-carotene paste
1 tsp Pink Argiletz clay
1 tsp Red Argiletz clay

8% superfat

I diluted the clays in a small amount of avocado oil to ensure that it would disperse evenly into the soap batter.

At trace I added a couple of drops of betacarotene into the entire batch. Then I poured half of it into a mold. In the other half I wanted to see the difference of using Pink or Red Argiletz clay. So, I added the Pink Argiletz clay and poured most ot the soap into a mold. Into the remainings, I added the Red Argiletz clay.

In the picture the small yellow bar of soap is the one with only betacarotene. The upper part of the bigger bar is the one with pink clay and the bottom stripe is the one with the red clay added also.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

GREEN WITH CHLOROPHYLLIN



Here is my green soap that I've coloured with chlorophyllin that I got from The Soap Kitchen. I aimed at lighter color, but it seems that it is really difficult not to use it too much. This soap has been exposed to light for 8 weeks now and I can not yet identify any fading of the color. In the first picture the soap is dry and in the second one it's watered.



Monday, September 20, 2010

JOJOBA WAX EXPERIMENT


I have made some nice soaps with beeswax before so I have long wanted to also try some other kinds of waxes. I bought some Jojoba wax at Gracefruit a while ago but have not been able to find any recipes with Jojoba wax on the Internet.

So I contacted Gracefruit customer care and asked for instructions on how to use Jojoba wax since I was not sure if I should take the wax into the lye calculation or not. In addition, I was not able to find the SAP value for it anywhere. I was really happy when I got an almost instant reply telling that if the Jojoba wax is being used at more than five per cent, it should be taken into the lye calculation and the SAP value of 0.160 should be used.

I decided to try it with a very small amount at first. I also chose some affordable oils just in case something would go wrong.

Recipe: 
55% Rapeseed oil
30% Coconut oil
10% Castor oil
5% Mango butter

6% Superfat

I added 2.1% of Jojoba wax as a percentage of the oil weight. So this time I did not take it into the lye calculation because I only used such a small amount of it.  

Method:
Oven hot process

After the cook, I added a couple of tbsp of Titanium dioxide diluted in a small amount of water. I was not able to mix it evenly as you can see in the picture. The soap came out surprisingly soft but that might be due to the high amount of rapeseed oil. I'll have to try this recipe without the Jojoba wax to be able to compare. Anyway, this soap has a wonderful dense and creamy lather but leaves a bit sticky feeling. That might change when it cures.


Friday, September 3, 2010

FIRST TIME AT THE MARKET!

I have a secret. I have spent the summer making the paperwork so that I could sell my soap. In the EU it is not that simple because the production of cosmetics is under licence. I had to find a safety assessor and then the government officials needed to judge if she was qualified or not. Everything turned out ok and I now have a licence!



I had my first market sale last weekend and another on Thursday. They were little community markets that had small sections for crafts. At the first market there were only three of us at the crafts section. At the second market, there were about dozen or so. Yes, that is me in the picture wearing a down jacket in August!! Oh my, I really have the highest respect to people who do markets every weekend. It was really really cold.

During those two days I sold about 150 bars of soap. I don't have the experience to judge if that was a good or a poor result but it was nice to see so many people interested in my soaps. Anyhow it was fun to meet different people and other sellers who were really friendly and helpful.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

SUMMER'S BOUNTY

Some pictures of what I've been doing besides enjoying the extremely hot summer. These are all salt soaps! Some of them have coarse and some fine sea salt. In all of them I used full water and 75% sea salt as percentage of oils. Using low temperatures and pouring at very thin trace it was possible to get the soap even into the tiniest molds.

The lions have been coloured with betacarotene and the round ones have green clay although they look more greyish than green.

 






Sunday, May 30, 2010

LUCKY ACCIDENT - freshly cut!

It was supposed to be a three colour swirl so I divided the batter into three parts. One without colour, one light green & ground almonds and one dark green. After that I added the FO to the one without colour and the light green which resulted in complete seizure. The dark green did not have FO and was really liquid. So I just mashed the seized soap into a mold and once in a while poured the dark green in there to fill the holes. The result is not at all as bad as I anticipated. When it is watered, it looks like green marble!

I think that from now on whenever using fast moving FO I will take a small part of the batter aside so I can pour that in to fill the holes if something happens.

The recipe is formulated on the basis "toss in everything you have left". Even though it has an extremely small amount of hard oils, I was able to cut it after 24 hours in the mold because I used 35% lye concentration.

Recipe:
205 g Sesame oil
150g Canola (rapeseed) oil
110g Apricot Kernel oil
37g Coconut oil
15g Sweet Almond oil

French Green Clay
Ground almonds

7% Super Fat
35% Lye concentration

SoapCalc gives this recipe the following qualities:
Hardenss 15
Cleansing 5
Conditioning 82
Bubbly 5
Creamy 10

Monday, May 17, 2010

SUMMER FLOWERS

I have been soaping with my sister. Let me present her first handmade soaps!

The looks is not what we aimed for. We wanted to make layered soap, something like the "Dreaming of Provence" with flower embeds. Things were going just fine until we added the Lemon Verbena FO by Gracefruit which seized in couple of seconds. Oh well, at least she has now seen what a total seizure is...

The recipe proved to be really good. The lather of this soap is great. It is hard to have the kind of nice thick lather like soaps with palm oil, but I think this one comes really close.


Recipe:
52% Olive oil
34 % Coconut oil
14% Castor oil

40% lye concentration
Lemon Verbena FO
French Green Clay

Method:
Cold process

Saturday, May 8, 2010

SALT SOAP SUCCESS

Hooray! I finally managed to make decent looking salt soaps. Here they are!


I used 50% liquids as percent of oils and thus had no trouble with pouring the soap into the mold. They are really smooth, especially hearts, even though I used coarse sea salt.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

SUMMER SPA

This is salt soap! I read at NAKIN blog about making salt soap with only 30% coconut oil. I didn't dare to go that low so I used 50% coconut oil.  I wanted to try non-scented and non-coloured soap so I used 20% beeswax and French clay. The scent is very delicate. I think it smells like summer.

I made a little miscalculation and accidentally used 50% liquid as percent of oil weight, oops... Thanks to my mistake, I had no trouble with cutting the soap this time! I cut about 40 minutes after the soap had gelled. I used for the first time my new silicone log mold that I bought on eBay and I am quite happy with it.


I made this yesterday so I can't yet say if it's good or not. I tried it a little, just enough to know that at least it is sudsy.


Recipe:
200g Coconut oil
120g Canola oil
80g Beeswax
200g fine sea salt
100ml water
100ml coconut cream
49g NaOH (= 15% super fat)
2 tsp French Clay

Method:
Cold process

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

TOASTED SESAME

WOW! What a sudsy soap. I think I have found my new favourite oil, sesame!

Some time ago in Finland we had stevedores' strike and as the result the stores ran out of olive oil (except the really expensive ones of course). I had a compelling urge to make some soap so I had to choose from a very limited selection of oils. I picked up a sesame oil made of roasted sesame seeds. The oil was deep dark brown and I was intrigued how it would behave in soaping.

Well, it was not easy. While I was stickblending it happened several times that I had trace which soon dissolved. I stickblended more, had a trace and again it dissolved. After some pretty serious stickblending I had a trace which I considered not to be false. I put the pot in the oven and everything seemed to go on just fine. I kept checking it about every 5 minutes. Suddenly after 30 minutes the soap appeared to be completely separated! I took it out of the oven and stirred slowly by hand and after a while managed to get it together again. Still, the soap was worth all the trouble.

Recipe:
40 % Sesame oil
26% Coconut oil
17% Canola oil
17% Cocoa Butter

10% Super Fat
30% water as percent of oil weight
8% coconut milk as percent of oil weight (added after the cook)

Method:
Oven hot process

Thursday, April 15, 2010

YET ANOTHER SALT BAR

I wanted to explore what coconut milk would be like in salt soap. This is the same recipe as The Pink Vanilla Salt Bar except that I substituted half of the water with coconut milk. I also wanted to see how the coconut milk would affect the color of the soap so I didn't use any clay in this.

I've had trouble cutting my salt bars so I planned to pour the soap into silicone molds. But again, I was too slow. The soap got really thick so I didn't get the molds completely filled even though I tried to force the soap into the mold. You can see it in the picture.

The color came out really nice pure white. However, the lather is really weird. It is really really dense and sort of chunky. However, it has not cured enough yet. I think I'll wait a month or so and then decide if I'm going to use coconut milk in my salt bars or not.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

CANDY SHERBET

This is my first experiment with embedded soap. I cut thin sticks of the True Princess Shower Bar and embedded them into a cold process soap. The pink color is from rose clay. I didn't have tweezers or anything to pick up the sticks so I ended up having raw soap inside my gloves which made me swear that I'd never make another soap again. But I think the result was worth all the trouble!

The recipe for this soap has cocoa butter, olive oil, canola and shea butter. The texture is really nice but it produced an unbelievable amount of ash! So I don't give any percentages because there is no point for anyone to replicate this recipe.

As liquids, I used 67% coconut milk and 33% water. First, I combined the liquids and then added 1tsp of sugar per pound of oil. Then I put the bucket into ice and kept the temperature at 20 C degrees or below while adding the lye. It took 75 minutes to mix all the lye into the liquids without the temperature raising too much! At least, I didn't scorch the sugar and milk. The soap is really sudsy and lathers like crazy!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

BEE HAPPY


Recipe:
Coconut oil 40%
Canola oil (rapeseed) 30%
Beeswax 20%
Cocoa Butter 10%

38% water as percentage of oil weight
20% Super Fat

Method:
Oven hot process

Beeswax soap is one of my favourites. Among other beneficial qualities it is healing, soothing and moisturizing. Beeswax gives soap a nice colour and a delightful honey scent. When my skin gets really irritated, this soap soothens it very quickly. Note that this recipe contains a larger quantity of beeswax than most of the beeswax soap recipes you can find online. This soap does feel sticky at first, but if you give it enough time to cure it will be lovely.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

LEMON VERBENA SALT SOAP

Recipe:
320g Coconut Oi
80g  Shea Butter
Water as 38% of oils
55g NaOH (=20% superfat)

300g Sea salt

Lemon Verbena FO

Methdod:
Cold process

This is a variation of the Pink vanilla salt soap which had 100% coconut oil, sea salt as equal amount as oils and 20% superfat. This has only 80% coconut oil and sea salt as 75% of oils. It is hard to say which one is better. This one is clearly not as sudsy as the 100% coconut oil. On the other hand this has more creamy and stable lather which I really like.

I used finer salt this time and cut when it was still hot, but the bars still came out crumbly. I think the only way to make decent salt bars is to use individual molds.

Monday, March 22, 2010

FELTED SOAP

The idea of felted soap is to have both washcloth and soap in one. All you need is a bar of soap, some roving wool, warm water and a ribbed mat.

Making felted soap is fun and really easy! We did the felted soaps in the picture with the kids this weekend. It seemed that little hands were better at felting than bigger hands as my 4-year old proved to be a real felting master ;-) His soap felted a lot quicker than the rest of us. And while waiting for our projects to finish, he also had time to test his bar in action...

There are a lot of tutorials online on how to make felted soap. I followed the instructions by David Fisher.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

PINK VANILLA SALT SOAP



I'm in love!

I never knew that my skin could feel so good. Salt soap is awesome! There are several recipes available online for salt soap. I tried the one with 100% coconut oil and used an equal amount of salt and oil.


Recipe:
500g Coconut oil
190g water
74g NaOH (=20% superfat)

500g sea salt
1tsp rose clay
10g Vanilla Bean FO

Method:
Cold process

I mixed the lye water and oils when both were 30C. At medium trace I first added the FO and then salt. I stirred with hand until thick trace and poured into a 1.5 litre milk carton. I left it at room temperature for about 10 hours. I cut it too late as you see in the picture. It got so hard that it was impossible to cut it into smaller pieces anymore. I also think that the salt I used was too coarse. I'm going to try more finely ground salt the next time.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

ENCHANTED HEARTS


Recipe:
25% Apricot Kernel Oil
25% Cocoa Butter
25% Coconut Oil
25% Wheat Germ Oil

10% superfat
Oatmeal, milk & honeay FO
Rose clay


Method:
Cold process

The story of this soap started when I watched Billie & Wayne's excellent tutorial  on how to make a two color swirl using a PVC pipe and a divider. I didn't have a PVC pipe so I decided to improvise a little... I used a 1.5 liter milk carton and cut a divider from another milk carton.

Everything was going just fine until just before reaching trace I noticed a crack in my old faithful stick blender. The crack was in the stickpart and something dark brown was coming out of it into my soap!  I really really regretted putting the expensive oils into this one recipe. Although the batch was already ruined, I continued anyway just to try how the swirls would turn out.

I divided the batch and mixed the FO into the first one and clay into the other. I wasn't quick enough and the soap was already quite thick when I started pouring. By the way, the milk carton divider worked fine! Because the soap was really thick at this point, it was impossible to get decent swirls anymore. Still I tried to make some to see how they would came out. Since the swirl wasn't successful, I cut the batch into little hearts with a gingerbread mold (and of course the mold broke while I was doing it). 

Even though about all that can go wrong did, the soap feels really good. Too bad there is stick blender engine oil in it so I can't give it to anyone for testing.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

SUPERHERO

Recipe:
270g (30%) Olive oil
270g (30%) Apricot Kernal oil
243g (27%) Coconut oil
117g (13%) Shea butter

280ml water
120g NaOH (=10% superfat)
10g Sarsaparilla FO
Green Clay (Illite)

Method:
Oven hot process

This soap has a masculine Sarsaparilla scent . The recipe is the one I planned for my DH and that's why I named the soap "superhero"... I know, it doesn't look like a superheros soap. It said in the FO that it would discolour to tan. So I pictured tan to be much darker than this. I already have plans how I'm going to fix the looks to be more dramatic on the next batch. It's going to involve some activated charcoal and annatto powder...

Friday, February 26, 2010

MARIGOLD


This soap doesn't have any fragrance or colourants! I am starting to believe that it's all the synthetic additives in the soap that usually make my skin dry and itchy. This recipe has a very high amount of coconut and the Soap Calc gives 18 for cleansing. Still, this soap doesn't make my hands dry at all. Another thing I like about this recipe is that the soap rinses off very well. I originally made this for my DH who doesn't want anything sticky or creamy on his skin.

Recipe:
270g (30%) Olive oil
270g (30%) Apricot Kernal oil
243g (27%) Coconut oil
117g (13%) Shea butter

280ml water
120g NaOH (=10% superfat)

Calendula (Marigold) petals

Method:
Oven hot process

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

HAPPY GARDENER




This is my version of a gardener's soap. They are usually soaps that are effectively cleansing, scrubby and yet moisturizing. This one has only natural ingredients (except for the NaOH of course). The greenish colour comes from french clay and the scent comes from beeswax and marigold petals. This is the soap that an organic gardener washes her hands with after a day of planting, pruning and weeding.

Recipe:
300g Coconut oil
240g Olive oil
176g Canola (rapeseed) oil
120g Shea butter
64g Beeswax

320 ml water
112g NaOH

3tsps Green Argiletz clay
3 tsps ground almonds
3 tsps pulverized calendula petals

Method:
Oven hot process
100 C for 60 minutes

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A THIN LINE



Recipe:

34% Evening primrose oil

26% Coconut oil
20% Shea butter
13% Cocoa butter
7% Aloe butter

Cacao powder
28% water as percentage of oils
10% super fat


Method:
Cold process

To make the thin line I followed the instructions shown by Tiggy Fiander from FuturePrimitive Soap. If you haven't seen the video, check it out on YouTube. 

As I have very dry skin, I have been hesitant to use much coconut oil in my recipes because it is said to have drying effect. To my surprise, this soap doesn't dry your skin at all! It must be the 10% super fat that makes this feel just wonderful. 


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

DREAMING OF PROVENCE



Recipe:
75% Olive Oil
20% Cocoa Butter
5% Castor Oil

28% water as percent of oil weight
7% super fat

In 1200g oils:
3tblsp Green Argiletz Clay
5g Lavender Woods FO

Method: 
Cold process

I  wanted to try how to make layered soap. To make things even more exciting, I didn't use any of the recipes I had already tried before... This one should be extremely gentle and mild: Soap Calc gives cleansing 0, conditioning 74, bubbly 5 and creamy 25. Instead of using 100% Olive oil, I added some Castor oil to make the soap more bubbly. However, I can't remember anymore what was behind the idea to add some Cocoa Butter into this and now I am a bit worried that the soap might become too slimy. Now it's going to be a long six weeks' wait until I'll be able to try out how the soap feels.

To the actual process then. When I had a light trace, I divided the batch into three separate bowls. To the first bowl I added 2 tblsp of green argiletz clay and mixed it up with a stick blender until I had a thick trace and poured it into the mold. Next, I added 1 tblsp of green clay into the second bowl and mixed that with a stick blender until thick trace. As soon as I got the second one into the mold, the remaining bowl with no color had become quite thick already, so I just mixed it up a bit by hand and poured it into the mold.

When all the soap was in the mold, it was already thick enough to play with the top. To get nice swirls I used a 2 mm bamboo dp knitting needle. The next day it was still very soft, so I threw it into the freezer for a couple of hours and cut it while frozen. After that the bars hardened quite quickly. All in all, making layered soap wasn't all that easy, but the result seems to be definitely worth the try though.

In the picture, that yellow area is not DOS. It is a shadow, there is no yellow in the soap. 


Sunday, February 7, 2010

THE TRUE PRINCESS' SHOWER BAR


What would be more wonderful than a handcrafted  pink clay soap? The oils used in this recipe are beneficial for sensitive, dry and prematurely aged skin. The bar contains rejuvenating moisturizing oils and the pink argiletz clay leaves a silky feeling on the skin.

Recipe:

350g Apricot Kernel Oil
250g Shea Butter
150g Cocoa Butter
150g Coconut Oil
100g Castor Oil

2tblsp Rose Argiletz Clay
10g Paradise FO by Gracefruit

130g NaOH
275ml water

Method:
Oven hot process
temp. 110C for 90 minutes

You might want to increase the amount of water up to 375ml. I am not sure why, but the soap almost came out of the pot a couple of times in the oven. I usually check the soap every 15 minutes when it is the oven. This time I really didn't see the soap gel and it was hard to say if it was ready or not. Adding a little more water in the recipe might solve this problem. Anyway, that's why I ended up keeping it in the oven for 90 minutes. The next day the pH of this batch was 9, so the saponification must have happened even though I did not clearly see it.

Friday, February 5, 2010

A HINT OF CHOCOLATE


This soap recipe has a very large amount of coconut oil, which makes it effectively cleansing but also a bit drying. Together with Castor oil, the Coconut oil contributes to generous bubbly and creamy lather. I use this soap for hands only.

Recipe:

300g Coconut Oil
250g Castor Oil
200g Canola Oil (rapeseed)
170g Olive Oil

250g water
129g NaOH (= 5% super fat)
~ 5g Chocolate Truffle FO by Gracefruit

Method:
Oven hot process
temp. 110C for 60 minutes

The Chocolate Truffle FO has an adorable scent and it discolours very dark brown. I only had some remainings of the FO left, maybe about 5g. Even though the batch was quite large, the colour came out very dark. The marble like texture of oven hot process soap and unevenly swirled FO created quite a nice look.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

DOUBLE LUXE

This one has all my favorite moisturizing, regenerating and anti-inflammatory oils and butters. For gentle exfoliation, it has ground almonds. The oils, butters and ground almonds I ordered from The Soap Kitchen. I think they have a very good selection of soap making supplies and their international shipping rates are quite easy on the pocket.

Recipe:
250g Cocoa Butter
250g Shea Butter
200g Aloe Butter
200g Evening Primrose Oil
200g Wheat Germ Oil

300ml water
141g NaOH (= 10% super fat)

7 tblsp ground almonds
30g FO Double Cream by Gracefruit

Method: Oven hot process

I added the almonds at trace, because I suspected that it might have been difficult to mix them evenly in the gelled soap. The FO I naturally added after the soap came out of the oven. Even though I added more FO than I usually do, the scent did not came out very strong. That may still change while the soap cures.

Friday, January 22, 2010

MAI TAI




Recipe:
400g canola oil (rapeseed)
242g cocoa butter
227g coconut oil
50g castor oil

300ml water
128g Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH)

10g Mai Tai FO
1/4 red crayon

Method: Oven hot process

I usually measure the oils first and then calculate the lye to meet the actual measurements. So if the measurements don't exactly meet my original idea I just adjust the amount of lye. If you prefer nice round numbers like 240g cocoa butter and 230g coconut oil, use 129g lye to reach the same 5% lye discount as I did with this recipe.

I used only 10g of FO, but the scent came out extremely strong and lasting. I had never before tried to color soap with crayons, so I shaved about 1/4 of a red crayon into my melted oils. Just to see how it would turn out. The color came out as delicate peach. Now after 6 weeks, the bars are not too hard with really nice texture, lather is creamy and generous. The pH is 9. For delicate and dry skin, the soap cleanses maybe too effectively. I use it myself in the kitchen or bathroom. I am now sending out a few bars for my friends to test. Can't wait to hear how they like it!

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