As it is that time of year again, I thought that I would combine a couple of my favourite things. I have wanted to try my hand at using alcohol in soap and what better than a bottle of Mulled Wine (or Glühwein as we call it here in Austria) and a nice Christmas Spice fragrance oil? Combined with a little bit of a nice deep red colour, we should have a very interesting and seasoal soap.
Just a quick post about exfoliation in soaps, I’ll be posting another soon about how important exfoliation is.
As with so much in life, a little can go a long way! Not only that, but the type of material that you use can have a big impact on how the soap feels when being used.
My favourite so far has to be ground Poppy Seeds. Continue reading
A short time before I started making soap, I got in to traditional wet shaving – using a double-edge razor with blades, as well as a brush with shaving soap to make the lather. I hadn’t really given any thought to making shaving soaps until there was a discussion about it on The Soap Making Forum. It didn’t take much reading for me to decide that I was going to have to give it a try for myself.
Having really enjoyed the first salt bars and was getting low on stock – this gave me a great chance to experiment with a couple of changes to the previous recipe.
A member on the Soap Making Forum had posted some interesting ideas on changes to the oils. The previous recipe had 15% Olive oil, but this time I changed that to 10% Avocado oil, upping the Coconut oil amount to 85%.
In my previous posts I have often spoken about various processes involved in making soap. In this post I will describe how to make soap using Cold Process.
Cold Process seems to be the way most people make soap and is certainly a straight forward method. Many people use it because it is not only arguably the easiest method and therefore ideal for starting out, it also allows a lot of freedom in how the soap looks which makes it a mainstay for the majority of artisan soapers the world over.
When it comes to soaping the odds are stacked so that mean, eventually, every soaper will have a fairly major issue to contend with. It might be a batch overheating or separating in the mould, or some issue with fragrance oils reacting badly and causing the soap to seize solid in the pot before it is even poured. This happens most often when trying out a new recipe or technique and not so often with something tried and tested. As it happens, I had a pretty major issue with a batch of soap that I was making. While it was a slightly different recipe, the problem came from something that can strike at any time – soaper error. Continue reading
For my ninth soap I decided to revist one of my first soaps again. It is something I think is worthwhile as I would rather have made a few recipes that I am happy with rather than a lot of recipes that I don’t feel are really quite there yet. Continue reading
This batch of soap was planned from the beginning with The Admirable Lady in mind. That might seem a little sexist, of course, but there is something about it that I feel is just very lady-like – I think it could be the associations of bathing in milk and Cleopatra, or the inclusion of honey which lends it a more softer, feminine appeal. Continue reading
My very first soap was one that I had hoped would be a soap that could be used for the face, body and hands for people with normal skin – hence the name “General Purpose Soap”. It will come as no surprise that while the idea was sound, the recipe itself was not! Making soap is fairly easy. Making a soap that does exactly what we are looking for is much harder to do. The General Purpose Soap # 1 was perfectly usable – in fact it was very popular – but I thought that I could do better and wanted to come back and revisit it.
In Austria, a lot of people use Pumpkin Seed oil on their salads or in other ways when cooking. It has a rich, nutty flavour and the colour is a deep green. As is the case since I started soap making, I now look at all oils and wonder if it can be used in a soap! I was pleased to see that it is one of the options in the online soap calculator that I used (soapcalc.com) and so I set about coming up with a recipe using Pumpkin See oil, but still have a useable soap.