Sunday, March 8, 2020


So, now that I have these lovely new tools, I should be making soap so I can use them, right? Last weekend, I got on that. I decided that the first soap I made should be a marble soap, a soap that is first cut horizontally to show the marbling, then cut vertically into bars.

This recipe uses shea butter and I like to buy the raw shea, not the processed. It's quite yellow and it does colour the soap somewhat; I know that and I don't mind at all. I chose to try a new to me method of making the soap batter, the heat transfer method. That's when you measure out the solid oils, then mix the lye solution and add it to the hard oils. The heat created by mixing the lye and liquid is usually enough to melt the solid oils. Then the liquid oils are added and you proceed as you normally would. In theory, I liked the idea of this; it is a little faster as you're not waiting for the lye solution and the oils to cool to the same temperature, which can take up to an hour. In this case, though, the recipe is mainly hard oils and the lye solution was unable to completely melt the oils so I had to add some heat until all was melted; then I added the liquid oils and fragrance (Black Tie from Candora). Pouring is done in blobs and layers, with mica sprinkled on between pourings.

Normally, this recipe can be unmolded and cut within 18-24 hours; this time, it took a full 48 hours before I was unable to take it out of the mold to cut. It was very difficult waiting as I really wanted to try the new loaf cutter. Oh my! I am so happy; it was a joy cutting this batch. I've had to tweak the height a little (2 popsicle sticks worth) so I don't end up with too large a left over slab but it's so nice to have even bars of soap. And the bar cutter? Why did I wait so long?? No more wonky, different sized bars!

Using the planer gives the bars a lovely finished look that I'm really liking and it's so easy to use!

Black Tie Marble Soap, scented with Black Tie from Candora (Sophisticated notes of black peppercorn and leather are carefully crafted with warm woods, patchouli, musk and citrus.) Made Feb. 29, 2020
Black Tie Marble - the left overs, swirled with silver mica
This weekend, I restocked a soap that sold better than I had anticipated. I've noticed that my customers usually look for nice smelling and fairly colourful bars of soap. This one is neither. It is unscented and uncoloured, as pure a soap as I can make. It's the No Slime Castile soap, made with a recipe shared by one of the Soapmaking Forum members. Her recipe calls for faux sea water, made with salt and baking soda. However, I asked my daughter's SO to bring me some sea water from the coast and he brought me about a gallon of it.

With the addition of the sea water and a bit of coconut oil and castor oil, this is a lovely mild soap, one of the purest soaps I make. Castile soap, a true 100% olive oil soap, can have somewhat slimy later; this one doesn't. It really is a lovely soap and there's just something about plain white soap that is pleasing, don't you think?

Castile Soap, made March 7, 2020

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