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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Clearing things up about natural, organic, sustainable and what some ingredients are used for in hand made soap. Part 1

I wanted to clear a few things up about natural, organic, and sustainable in soap making.  Also, I want to explain what some of the ingredients in soap are used for. It tends to look all Greek and can be confusing.  I am explaining simply and hopefully understandable.  If you have questions, please contact me or leave a comment. 

All natural doesn't have a set of standards for the definition or meaning when it comes to products, so it can mean whatever you want it to mean.  This is why I see so many soaps using "all natural," but they may actually be full of artificial color and fragrance. 

Mica is a soft, flexible, silicate mineral.  Silicate refers to it being developed in layers.  It is mined from the ground and much of the flake mica mining is done in South Carolina.  It has a pearl-like reflection.  Soap makers love to use this pearl-like shine in and on our soaps.  Minerals are the building blocks of rocks and they are mined from the ground.  Mica comes in colors, but much of the color in mica is artificial.  Soap makers purchase mica in powdered form.  Many soaps makers use mica for coloring soaps.  Mica is a mineral, so it is a natural substance.  Since color is added to a powdered mica form, is it still a natural substance?  Some claim it to be while others do not.  Since natural can mean whatever you want it to mean, we can claim it to be all natural.

Titanium Dioxide is pigment powder also found in the ground, or mined.  It is used in makeup, sunscreen, and even foods.  Titanium dioxide is is used in some mica mixes to help with lightening or whitening a color.  So what is a pigment powder?  It is a powder often used for coloring paint.

Cosmetic Grade Glitter is used as decoration on hand made soaps.  It is composed of very small reflective pieces and it does not scratch you.  It usually washes off in one or two washes.  Glitter is usually made from plastic.

ROE (Rosemary Oleorsin Extract) extract derived from the plant and used to keep oils from going rancid or extend the shelf life of oils.  It is an antioxidant.  


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Pretty soap leaves you pretty clean!




Sunday, July 19, 2015

Tall/Skinny Soap Molds

I like the look of the tall/skinny soap.  It is the new popular soap size among the soap making community.  I purchased 4 tall/skinny molds this year.  2 from one vendor and 2 from another.  I love the size of the first one, but it is a fairly short mold (approx.10 long).  With this mold, it is hard to remove the soap because it is less flexible.  The other mold is about 1/2 shorter in height and it is about 2 inches longer.  This mold is so much easier to remove the soap from.  All of these molds are silicone and all soap should be easily removed.  Yesterday I tried to make a soap using these molds again.  I thought it may be the recipe of the soap, so I used a different recipe.  I had the same results this time, except none of the soap stuck to the bottom of the mold like last time.  This soap was a harder soap.  With the new soap, I also wanted to see how dark rose leaf powder will make my soap.  I used bubblegum pink and a yellow/green mica for an in-the-pot swirl to give the soap some color.  I also used titanium dioxide to whiten the soap.  A little white mica was also in the main color of the soap.  The mica was so beautiful!  The shimmer of the colors just takes my breath away.  The fragrance was fresh cut roses.  It is not one of the better smelling roses I have smelled.  The last one I purchased was several years ago from Ellen's Essentials.  It was a true rose and kept the fragrance for a long, long time.
The texture was from the paper towel.  I wiped the soap off after I tested the bubble factor and smell.



I will re-visit this picture in a few months to see the color of the soap and if the rose powder made it darken.  When I used the rose powder before, I used it with a fragrance that caused soap to darken, so I am not sure what will happen.

What size of soap do you like to use?  I like the unique look of round soap, but so many of it has too  many air bubbles.  When it is made in a long tube, it tends to be difficult to remove all of the air bubbles.

When I made this soap, I sprinkled the top with dried rose petals and mica.  When I cut the soap, the rose petals left drag marks.  To avoid the drag marks, I could have cut the soap loaf upside down.   I didn't like the look of the top after I cut the soap, so I cut the tops off.  I think it looks much better with a plain top.

Did you do anything interesting this weekend?

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Monday, July 13, 2015

Child Preferred Toys


Her bedroom is full of toys, but she would prefer to play with the dog toys or the plunger.  Yesterday she put a 2 liter of coke in the bathroom and exchanged it for the plunger.  Does this hint of a future in plumbing for her?





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Monday, June 29, 2015

Enjoy Life

Joy has a new dress.

The trumpet vines are in full bloom.

Vines are taking over the rocking chair on the porch.




I hope you all had an enjoyable weekend.  Sometimes you just have to relax and let the stress go.  This was one of those weekends.  


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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Princess






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Re-batch Soap




Once and a while I make a re-batched soap.   I use bits and pieces of previously made soaps and melt them down into a new soap.  The bits and pieces come from ugly soaps, end pieces, pieces trimmed off of bars, and from batches of failed soaps.   When I re-batch soap, I chop or shred the pieces of soap and place them into a crock pot.  I then add raw milk and a bit of water to aid in melting the bits and pieces.  I intentionally add some larger pieces which do not melt all of the way down.  If the larger pieces are able to be bright pretty colors it adds to the beauty of the re-batch bars.  Most of the soap pieces melt down to a brown color, so the bright pieces really are desired.  Once the soap is mostly melted down I usually add a fragrance, but it may be fragrant enough since the pieces of soap all have varied fragrances melted into one.   Re-batch soap can be made with one batch of ugly or failed soap.  Due to the additional amount of liquid used in the melting process, the bars may shrink and leave a concave look where the sides are slightly higher than the center.  I usually cut the top of each bar off because it does not set up smoothly and this step usually eliminates that concave look.  It is best to place the soap into a log mold where the bars are cut leaving some of the larger bits and pieces exposed.  If I place the soap into molds that pop out an individual bar of soap, the colored pieces will not show up until you start using the soap.


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