Saturday, February 25, 2023

Wine & Cider

 A couple of years ago, a local winery/cidery approached me to ask if soap could be made with wine or cider and, if so, would I be interested in working with them to create a line of soaps for them. I was all in!

I've been creating four different soaps for them since that time. This weekend and the next will be spent making another batch of each for them. The first one up is the red wine soap. This one is scented with Merlot fragrance oil. Unfortunately, this time it riced slightly, as you can see in this picture, probably due to a touch of over blending and perhaps the fragrance oil. I did get it into the mold before it became worse and I know it will end up fine; it's happened before and doesn't affect the final soap.

The three other soaps (white wine, rose, and a spiced cider) will be made over the next days.

Monday, February 20, 2023

Liquid Soap - Round How Many??

I've been making bar soap for quite a while, 10 years or so now. I've tried making liquid soap before but was never happy with the results and didn't like the process. It can take up to a week the way I used to make it.... when I made it. In addition, there was something about the scent of the raw soap that I just didn't like. 

When I found the Ultimate Guide to Liquid Soapmaking, it became a game changer! I'm not trying to advertise the book, I'm just so impressed with the book and the resulting soap. 

The photo shows three of the soaps I made within the past couple of weeks. All are made with animal fats (lard, tallow, and emu) and all are amazing.

And then, there's this one. Talk about dramatic!! This is Charcoal Tea Tree & Lavender liquid soap. It smells amazing and lathers beautifully. 

One thing I will need to remind customers is that hand crafted liquid soaps are quite concentrated. As little as 2-3 drops is enough to wash your hands. To get an idea of how liquid soaps can be used, check out this web page from Dr. Bronners liquid soap.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Transparent Soap - First Try

I've often looked at soapmakers who make transparent soap as nearly godlike. I mean, it's soap that's transparent! They speak of solvents and heat and it would leave me scratching my head, thinking there's no way I could ever do that.

Then, I came across a recipe on a Facebook group I'd joined (Ultimate Guide to Soapmaking) and a 10-minute Transparent soap recipe. I figured if it could be done in 10 minutes, it really couldn't be THAT difficult, could it? So I downloaded the recipe, realized I had all the ingredients and started reading.

It turns out, I was missing one ingredient but it had an easy substitution (sugar) and I was a little short of another ingredient.  I jumped in anyway and probably rushed things a little more than I needed to. However, look at what I made! 

It may not be perfectly transparent but it is soap and it's translucent. I can use it as a melt & pour soap with opens up all kinds of opportunities. Will I make it on a regular basis? I doubt it. But I will say that it's a nice recipe to have in my back pocket when I want to make something that incorporates melt & pour soap.

Will I try it again? You betcha! I really want to make a fully transparent soap. Stay tuned!

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Adventures in Liquid Soap - part 2

 Maybe I should call this post Part 2, 3, 4, 5.... I think you get the idea, right? Yep, I've been experimenting with liquid soap. Just today, I made this one:

It's so beautifully clear that I had to take a picture in the bit of sunshine we had today. It's made with a combination of beef tallow, olive, and canola oils and is a single lye (KOH) soap. I'm so thrilled with this one. The only thing that concerns me now is how will a fragrance oil affect it? Will it stay as clear as it is now, or will it go cloudy?

Then there's this one. It's a very nice soap but look at how cloudy it is. This one frustrates me but I have a feeling I know what it might be, leftover saponifiables. I made this one a few days ago; earlier today, I made a 25% KOH solution and added a few tablespoons of that solution. It seems to be helping with clarifying it. It's a Honey & Almond soap. The lather is beautiful but it looks rather disgusting as is. I hope I can get it cleared up because it really is a nice soap.

Right now, I have six batches of soap almost ready for bottling, or sampling. I have enough liquid soap to last me a lifetime! I need more friends willing to be testers.