Sunday, August 31, 2008
6-8 drops Food Coloring (I prefer soap dye colorant)
up to 10 drops Essential oil or fragrance oil.
Chunky Salt pieces available from rock salt suppliers.
Bath salts of any type are very easy to make. For a modern alternative to standard bath salts you can use a chunky rock salt to make whats commonly known as Bath gems, Bath Chunks or Bath Rocks.
Just add all the ingredients together and mix well. Make sure the food color, blends in to the salt or it wont look very inviting. You can do this by tossing the salt over and over again. Add your chunky bath salts to a bag or bowl.
To use: drop 1-2 chunks into the bath.
For more creative bath and body recipes go to Craftbits website at http://www.craftbits.com/.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
Here are some links where you can purchase this preservative to add to your lotion recipes:
Thursday, August 28, 2008
You will need:
One ceramic or glass bowl
1/2 cup flour (do not use self-rising flour)
1/4 cup salt
1/2 tablespoon alum (available in drug stores)
1 tablespoon essential or fragrance oil
2/3 cup boiling water and food coloring (optional).
In ceramic or glass bowl, thoroughly mix dry ingredients.Add essential oil and boiling water.
NOTE: Scent will be strong, but will fade slightly when pastilles dry. For colored dough, blend in food coloring one drop at a time until desired shade is achieved.Blend ingredients to form a ball.Working with a small amount at a time, roll dough between palms of hands to form small balls.Note: cover unused dough to keep it from drying out. Allow pastilles to dry.
If you are looking for other recipes, check out some of the links in the side bar or check in my archive. There are alot of recipes in both places. I am always looking for new recipes to post on my blog, so please return in the future.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Mingling effects of aromatherapy massage cream
If one aromatherapy massage cream is mingled proportionately with another then they can produce the best results. Once the aromatherapy massage cream is mingled you should store them in a dark bottle to avoid any damage of the cream. You can undergo an aromatherapy cream massage in the spas or in the healing arts centers. However, if it is not possible for you to go to these massage centers, then practice self massage to heal your mind and body.
Different flavors of aromatherapy massage cream
The aromatherapy massage cream is often blended with natural botanical thickeners and skin-rejuvenating ingredients like coconut oil, vitamin-E and jojoba oil to provide you with an entirely new soothing massage experience.
Following are some important aromatherapy massage cream flavors to provide you with physical and mental well being:
§ Peppermint - Reduces digestive problems, relieves headache, muscle pain and uplifts the mind and body.
§ Oregano - Assists in providing mental clarity, reduces depression and relieves muscle aches and pains.
§ Pine - Possess a fresh aroma so it has a deodorant effect and often serves as an antiseptic.
Unlike the massage oil, the aromatherapy massage cream can be applied only through body massages. However, whether you visit the spas or perform self-massage, the cream provides an amazing moisturizing and soothing effect to your skin, body and mind.
Benefits of using aromatherapy massage cream
The aromatherapy massage cream is usually sensual and warm, evoking romantic feelings and healing the mind and body of all.
There are several benefits of the aromatherapy massage cream:
§ The aromatherapy massage cream helps reduce stress caused due to hypertensions, depressions, muscle pains and headaches.
§ The cream improves blood circulation, reduces fatigue and cures a sore back.
§ The nourishing quality of the aromatherapy massage cream melts upon skin contact into rich creamy oil, which provides a glowing lustre to the skin.
You can massage the aromatherapy massage cream on your baby’s body to ensure your baby has an excellent nervous system and proper growth. However, massage the cream on your own body to achieve a romantic feeling and provide a rejuvenating heal to your mind and body.
Aromatherapy Massage Oils Soothe Your Mind And Body
Experience an aromatherapy massage with aromatherapy massage oils to soothe your mind and body. This type of aromatherapy massage simply makes you feel splendid. While you experience a massage with aromatherapy massage oils, you will feel a unique sensation of fresh aromas
cooling your brain, refreshing your mind and relaxing your body muscles, specially after a tired day out.
Benefits of using aromatherapy massage oils
The aromatherapy massage oils have a special therapeutic quality and are used in the spas, and physical/mental healing centers. The massage oils are used by aroma therapists and healing practitioners to provide the top quality massage effects to people. Apart from providing
soothing sensations, the aromatherapy massage oils have an added quality of healing various diseases like cold, flu, insomnia, severe muscle pain, headache and various other illnesses.
Types of aromatherapy massage oils
The various types of aromatherapy massage oils soothe, moisturize and activate calming sensations in your mind and body. Below are examples of some major aromatherapy massage oils that can provide you with the best feelings:
§ Chamomile - Reduces swelling, relieves stress, insomnia and depression.
§ Eucalyptus - Reduces fever, relieves sinus pains and coughs, reduces boils and pimples.
§ Lavender - Relieves depression, spasms, and menstrual cramps and controls blood pressure.
§ Rosemary - Reduces indigestion, fights infection, increases concentration.
§ Nutmeg - Relieves digestion problems and help you to sleep peacefully.
§ Peppermint - Stimulates mind and body, reduces motion sickness, muscle pains, neuralgia and decongests the chest.
Use these magic aromatherapy massage oils to cure yourself from all types of diseases and ensure perfect physical and mental well-being.
Ways to use the aromatherapy massage oils
When you massage with the aromatherapy massage oils, they provide you with a comfortable feeling that provides a calming effect to all your senses. The aromatherapy massage oils can be applied on you in the following two ways:
§ By inhalation - in this method the massage oil vapors are inhaled through lungs. This direct inhalation of aromatic oils always refreshes your brain.
§ By application to the skin - this method ensures direct massage of the oils in the body whereby the massage oils get absorbed by the blood stream and enhance one’s health, beauty and hygiene conditions.
The aromatherapy massage oils when properly applied help to overcome symptoms of depression and negativity, calm the anxious mind and heal life spirit of all.
About the Author
Author is marketer for sites such as :
Monday, August 25, 2008
One of the challenges with making soap this way, though is that after the soap is cooked, you have only minutes once it reaches a manageable temperature and a temperature below the flashpoint of the fragrance or essential oils used, to manipulate it into the mold and finish it off with whatever embellishments you choose.
The first step to making consistent batches of hot process soaps is to get a good basic recipe that works and vary this recipe with additives and luxurious oils or butters.
Here is a basic recipe that gives amounts for 2 pound, 3 pound and 4 pound batches. This recipe calls for a coconut/olive oil/butter blend that is both mild and very sudsy owing to its base of olive oil and coconut oil. Olive oil produces a bar that is low in bubbles yet very mild on the skin, while coconut oil produces a bar that has lots of bubbles, but maybe drying to the skin. Pairing these two together, one gets the best of both worlds – lots of suds and mildness.
Next to having a great recipe for consistent batches of soap, is having a lye calculator that calculates lye and fat ratios that ensures that excess fat, rather than lye is leftover in the soap after saponification. One of the best lye calculators on the web is the lye calculator from Majestic Sage.
With this calculator, I have formulated a soap that is 50% coconut oil and 50% olive oil with the addition of 2% shea butter super fatting to make this bar more luxurious and moisturizing. Die hard purist suggest that no more than 20-25% coconut oil should be used in soaps because the coconut oil, though lending large fluffy bubbles to the soap, tends to be drying. Thus, to counter that, I have added shea butter (or any other kind of nut butter or luxury oils may be used) at 2%.
Finished batch size: 2 pounds
16oz. coconut oil
16oz. olive oil
12oz.water (6oz. liquid per pound of fats)
4.80oz. lye (allows a buffer of 6% fat to be in soap)
0.64oz. shea butter(to superfat)
Finished batch size: 3 pounds
24oz. coconut oil
24oz. olive oil
0.96oz. shea butter(to superfat)
Finished batch size: 4 pounds
32oz. coconut oil
32oz. olive oil
1.28oz. shea butter(to superfat)
Follow instructions and precautions for making cold process soap. After lye and oil are cool, say to no higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, combine lye water and melted oils in a large pot with about 4-6 inches head room and stir. At this point, you may stir until soap traces, but this is optional. Soap does not have to come to trace. Instead, stir mixture with a wire whisk until opaque and place in a 225 degree preheated oven. Set timer for 60 minutes. After twenty minutes, take mixture out of the oven and stir with wire whisk. Mixture may not appear any different from when it was first put in the oven, except for a pool of clear liquid floating on the surface. Stir and place back in the oven and check again in twenty minutes.
What we are looking for is for the mixture to change and become translucent somewhat like applesauce. This may take a further twenty minutes or so. At the end of the 60 minutes, check mixture. If it is not looking like applesauce, place back in the oven and let it sit for another twenty minutes. At this stage it should have passed the applesauce stage and should look like curdled applesauce. Wisk vigorously and test for lye. Depending on various factors, including oven temperature and the oils used, some mixtures take longer to cook than others. At the end of the cook, which may last anywhere from 6o minutes to 90 minutes, all the lye should have cooked out. The only discernable liquids in the pot should be soap, which appears as separated applesauce and some liquid, which may be a mixture of water and excess fat. Use a whisk to whisk these into one homogenous mass.
I usually take a small piece of soap and soap my hands with it under running water. If it stings, then there is some lye in it. If that happens, put pot back in the oven and set timer for another 20 minutes, then test again. Lye should be completely cooked out of soap. Aternatively, litmus paper may be used to test for lye. Run soap under water and create a generous lather. Run PH paper through this. A good PH for soap is anything under ten. After taking soap out of the oven, it may appear that soap has some liquid at the bottom of the pot. This is excess water and oil. Use a whisk and stir the soap until smooth.
Fragrances and essential oils may be added at this stage. First check flashpoint of fragrance/essential oil and add to soap after it has cooled ten or twenty degrees below that flashpoint temperature. Try to handle soap as little as possible and work as fast as you can. The soap will be difficult to manipulate. Combine super fat oils or melted butter with fragrance/essential oil and stir vigorously into mixture. Pour soap into plastic lined mold. The soap will be thick and not easy to manipulate into mold. Shake the mold to get soap to level into the mold and fold back excess plastic to smooth out the top of soap. If decorating top of soap, spritz with water and sprinkle on herbs, seeds, etc. Leave in a secure place to cool and set. I usually leave my soap in the mold to cool and set for about 4-6 hours. At the end of which soap is ready to be turned out and cut into bars.
Magestic Sage Lye Calculator - Good Lye Calculator
Majestic Sage PH test strips - PH Testing Strips
Source: Permission to reprint by Winsome Tapper, Soapmaking Editor, http://www.bellaonline.com/soapmaking.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
woods & roots, each with its own benefits to the body & mind.
Essential body oils are used in aromatherapy, environmental fragrancing, and bath, body care & massage products. Because of the quickly evaporating, volatile nature of essential oils, they usually leave the body within 48 hours. For instance, a drop of Essential Oil placed on a cloth or napkin will completely disappear within a few minutes to a few days, leaving no trace or stains. One should use mixture of olive and almond oil to the hands before going to bed at night. One should this oil regularly to make hand soft and strength. Almond oil or vitamin E oil is very effective to reduce dark circles under the eyes. One should apply a few drops of almond oil or Vitamin E oil under the eye area. There are many essential oils such as coconut oil, almond oil, sesame oil, olive oils and tea tree oil for different parts of the body.
Essential body oils are generally extracted by distillation. Other processes include expression, or solvent extraction. They are used in perfumes and cosmetics, for flavoring food and drink, and for scenting incense and household cleaning products. People who have oily skin can use oils such as sage, camphor, peppermint, clove and cypress. One with sensitive skin can use olive oil for moisturizing. Aloe Vera oil is unbeatable for removing inflammation and irritation of the sensitive skin. If one has a cellulite disease, keep in mind take a steam or hot bath with a few drops of any essential oil as they tend to block pores in the skin. One can also use vegetable oil such as jojoba oil or olive oil for the body.
Essential body oils may be defined as odorous pure plantessences, they are complex chemical compounds produced by photosynthesis andobtained from the plant by one of the following extraction methods:
1. Steam distillation.
2. Solvent extraction.
3. Hand expression/cold pressing.
About the Author
Juliet Cohen writes articles on homemade beauty recipes and beauty tips.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
If you are interested in making your own soap by the cold process method and are looking for a new recipe to add to your collection, I found this recipe on a blog that is dedicated to cold process soap making:
If you try this recipe out, please let us know how it came out! Thanks.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Basic Rebatch Base
20 oz grated soap flakes
2 oz water
1 Vitamin E Capsule (optional)
The basic rebatch base recipe is what you'll use for all the recipes included with this booklet.
Melt your basic recipe in your crock-pot then add the ingredients for your desired recipe once your base has melted completely. The recipes make 5 bars of soap, measuring approximately 4 ounces per bar. If you'd like to make more than five bars, you can double up the recipes just ensure that your crock-pot or double boiler is large enough to hold all your ingredients.
Some of the recipes call for other liquids instead of water. Just substitute these liquids when you start melting your basic base.
This recipe calls for 2 oz milk instead of water.
1 tbsp honey
Fresh Herbal Soap
1/4 tsp basil (calming)
Pinch of ginger (toner)
Pinch of sage (clarifying)
Few drops of your favorite herbal scent (optional)
2 oz goat milk (Can mix powdered form with distilled water)
4 tbsp plain oatmeal
Few drops of your favorite scent (optional)
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
But the best thing to use is a synethic perservative in your waterbased products such as lotions and creams, because it will definately keep your lotion fresh beyond the 1 to 2 weeks with out it.To me it seems that adding a small amount of a synthetic preservative in a lotion or cream recipe is well worth the shelf life. Some of the most common preservatives are Germall® (comes in powder or liquid form) , Germaben II, Optiphen™, and Phenonip which can be found through Lotion Crafter (http://www.lotioncrafter.com/store/Preservatives-c-257.html).
A big concern in perservatives is parabens. There are some preservatives you can purchase that are paraban free. Just check with the manufacturer. If you would like to learn more about parabens, here is a link that that I found that may explain things - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parabens. On the internet there are many more articles that you can read on this topic.
There are alot of different recipes out there using different preservatives. And I do not know what the author of the recipe chose that particular preservative or if you can subsitute one preservative over another. And if certain preservatives interact with certain carrier oils. But, I did find this link that may help clarify that information- http://home.earthlink.net/~skinesscentuals/Preserve.htm. In addition to that information, here are some more links on perservatives- http://www.craftserver.com/forums/showthread.php?p=199218.
I have also seen some books on making organic body products and the author claims that their lotions creations last a long time (up to 30 days). I would say be very skeptical on these claims. One of the best pieces of advice that was given to me was to test the recipe with the preservative. And then test them with a home test kit. You can purchase a kit from Snowdrift Farms (http://www.snowdriftfarms.com/). But to be certain your products should be challenged tested by a reputable company.
Hope this information clarifies the myths about preservatives. I know the subject can get overwhelming.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
2 drops essential oil of sweet orange
2 drops essential oil of vanilla oleoresin
Add essential oils to a tub full of warm water and mix well.
Children are always destined for a warm bath. They are also very much in tune to the sense of smell, so combinations of pure essential oils are an effective and fun way of enticing them into the tub.
These recipes are great evening bath blends that help an active child unwind. A follow-up massage can be a great opportunity to spend quality time with a child and a wonderful way to show you care and are there to listen. A parent's caring touch is an oasis in an often challenging world.
Always exercise caution when using essential oils with children. Stick to mild oils and remember, less is best. Make sure the oils are well diluted in the water and that the water is the proper temperature. Improper dilution can result in skin irritation, especially with the citrus oils, so resist the urge to use just a little more.
Children must always be supervised when using pure essential oils, and never allowed to make their own bath without guidance.
Monday, August 18, 2008
See how I turned into Ok, so even a seasoned soap maker makes a mistake or two every once in a while.
I made this GREAT soap, scented with Brambleberry’s Rise and Shine Fragrance Oil, colored it with Yellow and Green Oxides, and added Lemongrass to it. It was wonderful, beautiful soap, but totally unusable. See, the part I forgot was to crush the Lemongrass before adding it to my soap. t was so scrubby that it hurt my skin to use, so I put it on a shelf, crying to myself, thinking I was going to lose my beautiful swirl to rebatch.
I let the soap sit for a long time, since I was so dreading the thought of ruining it with a rebatch. (I’ve never had very good luck “fixing” soap by rebatching.) Finally, a few weeks ago, I got a bright idea! Instead of rebacthing it, I was going to make it into a useable, and still pretty looking soap.
The first thing I did was prepare my twelve-pound slab mold. All it takes to do this is to cut a garbage bag in half and line the mold with it, yes; it does make for some wrinkles, but only on the ends. I either use those for me or I cut the wrinkles off and use them as sample bars or guest bars.
With my mold prepared, I got out my handy dandy veggie peeler. I KNEW that would come in handy some day! So, veggie peeler in one hand, soap bar in the other, I started peeling the soap as I would a carrot, over the mold. Every once in a while, I would stop to even out the curls inside the mold, making sure they were getting into the corners of the mold. When the mold was ¾ full, I left it and started to make my base soap.
Following basic soapmaking techniques, I made four pounds of soap, colored it with Titanium Dioxide at trace and then poured it over the curls. Then, since I choose to do ITMHP, I placed my mold in a warmed oven for two hours, turned the oven off and left the mold in over night. I did not add more fragrance, since the curled soap had a heavy fragrance to begin with. That’s all there was to it!Happy Soaping!!
Permission to reprint by Winsome Tapper, Soapmaking Editor, www.bellaonline.com/site/soapmaking
Sunday, August 17, 2008
2 cups baking soda
2/3 cups citric acid
2 tablespoons of soluble dextrose
5 tablespoons of sweet almond oil
6 drops of gel tone colorant
6 drops of essential oils or teaspoon of fragrance oil
plastic mold (the 6 in 1 soap molds work great)
Combine dry ingredients (baking soda, citric acid and soluble dextrose) in a medium bowl and mix well. Blend sweet almond oil with colorant and fragrance in a glass container. Pour into the dry mixture quickly to avoid fizzing. Mix all ingredients together with hands until the mixture stays compressed when squeezed. Wipe inside molds with a small amount of sweet almond oil to prevent bombs from sticking. Fill each cavity 1/3 full and pack firm. Repeat until mold is completely filled. Smooth the top with a straight edge knife. Turn mold over and bang firmly on a flat surface lined with wax paper to remove bombs. Let them set for 24 hours. Makes six 2 oz bombs.
Source: Glory Bee Foods 2006/2007 Catolog page 20. Website: http://www.glorybeefoods.com/
For those who have taken my lotions crafting class, I tested my lotion creation from May 2008 (3 months ago) and there was no trace of bateria. So far citric acid does work well for a perservative. I should test it again in 3 months to see if it has gone bad. If you want to err on the side of caution in this case and you can add another perservative such as a powdered germall or a liquid germall. There are plenty out there.
There is a big debate on preservatives. Supposedly there is no natural perservative on the market. To tell you the truth in most recipes, the amount you add is so small to me it is worth it. Because I will tell you that there is so much other junk in commercial lotions that for most at home recipes contain water, oil, fragrance, and an emulisfying wax. So by adding a small amount of preservative is well worth keeping your lotion fresh.
You can also purchase a roll of pH Test Papers for Soaps and Toiletries for $7.25, pH Adjusters, pH Indicators and many more items for your other bath and body products from Snowdrift.
While you are checking out their website, you can get some great recipes. Have Fun!
Saturday, August 16, 2008
9 oz Shea Butter
1 oz Cocoa Butter
2 oz Sunflower Seed Oil (Buy at Grocery Store)
1 oz Hemp Seed Oil1 oz Virgin Olive Oil (Buy at Grocery Store)
1 oz Walnut oil (Buy at Grocery Store)
1 oz Avocado Oil (Buy at Grocery Store)
1/2 tsp Vitamin E
¾ tsp skin-safe fragrance or essential oil
4 four ounce clear jars
Heat Shea Butter in a small pot first. Get it to 180 degrees and leave it at that temp for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and add cocoa butter. When it has cooled some and the cocoa butter has melted, add the liquid oils, Vitamin E and scent. Pour in to jars, attach caps and refrigerate.
For an extra fluffy product, whip the body butter once it has cooled and starts to solidify. It won't whip if it is too hot, and it needs to be softened some if it has turned solid. Use a blender or a stick blender to do the whipping.
Keep your unused product clean:
When using body butters, you should use a one use type of size. Every time you dip your fingers into the jar, you are introducing bacteria from your hands. If you use a larger jar for many uses, use a spoon or stick to remove the butter from the jar and never actually put your fingers in to the jar. This way you can use your larger jar many times without building up bacteria in the product.
Friday, August 15, 2008
From "Creative Juice"
Episode DCRJ-709 (DIY Network)
Nature and the great outdoors are the inspiration for these unique gifts. Steve Piacenza and Cathie Filian are giving gardeners a hand with lotion bars, making edible presents that are as good as gold and tying everything together with gift bags that spring to life.
Gardener Lotion Bar
Smooth out skin's rough edges with a homemade lotion bar complete with personalized packaging.
3 tbsp. beeswax pellets
2 tbsp. regular cocoa butter
3 tbsp. shea butter
2 tbsp. sweet almond oil
2 tbsp. calendula oil
¼ tsp. vitamin E acetate
soap bar mold
glass measuring cup
popsicle stick for stirring
optional – essential oils
1. Mix ingredients together in a very clean glass measuring cup. To create a double-boiler, place the cup in a large pot filled with enough water to come half-way up the height of the cup.
2. Heat the mixture on medium heat, stirring until all ingredients (except essential oils) are blended together.
3. Remove from heat and add, if desired, several drops of essential oil for fragrance.
4. Pour into a mold and let cool for approximately 30 minutes before popping the bar out of the mold.
5. To package as a gift, wrap in a cello bag and tie or staple a handmade gift tag, silk flower or decorative ribbon to the package.
If you are looking for other recipes, check out some of the links in the side bar or check in my archive. There are alot of recipes in both places. I am always looking for new recipes to post on my blog, so please return in the future.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
This recipe combines grated beeswax, petroleum jelly and carrier oils with your choice of essential or fragrance oils to create this perfume jelly. Does this sound interesting to make? Then check out this easy recipe by welch on ehow.
Monday, August 11, 2008
If anyone tries it, please let us know any encounters that may arise. I would like to hear any experiences - good or bad.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
The first write-up assumes you can just go to a store and buy the ingredients. The second only assumes you have some animals you will be butchering and that you have been burning wood fires and cleverly saved the ashes.
[A. This first write-up is taken from Hulda Clarkís book, “The Cure for All Diseases,” pages 529-530.]
A small plastic dishpan, about 10″ x 12″
A glass or enamel 2-quart saucepan
1 can of lye (sodium hydroxide), 12 ounces
3 pounds of lard
Plastic gloves [really; use eye-protection too]
1. Pour 3 cups of very cold water (refrigerate water overnight first) into the 2-quart saucepan.
2. Slowly and carefully add the lye, a little bit at a time, stirring it with the a wooden or plastic utensil. (Use plastic gloves for this; test them for holes first.) Do not breathe the vapor or lean over the container or have children nearby. Above all _use no metal_. The mixture will get very hot. In olden days, a sassafras branch was used to stir, imparting a fragrance and insect deterrent for mosquitoes, lice, fleas and ticks.
3. Let cool at least one hour in a safe place. Meanwhile, the unwrapped lard should be warming up to room temperature in the plastic dishpan.
4. Slowly and carefully, pour the lye solution into the dishpan with the lard. The lard will melt. Mix thoroughly, at least 15 minutes, until it looks like thick pudding.
5. Let it set until the next morning, then cut it into bars. It will get harder after a few days. Then package.
If you wish to make soap based on olive oil, use about 48 ounces. It may need to harden for a week.
Make chips from your home-made soap cake. Add enough hot water to dissolve. Add citric acid to balance the pH (7 to . If you do not, this soap may be too harsh for your skin.
Basic Method When There Are No Stores!
[This write-up was taken from one done by Marietta Ellis concerning the soap-making practices of colonial America, with the tense mainly changed from the past into the present.] Saponification is a very big chemical word for the rather complex but easy to create soap making reaction. Saponification is what happens when a fatty acid meets an alkali. When fats or oils, which contain fatty acids are mixed with a strong alkali, the alkali first splits the fats or oils into their two major parts fatty acids and glycerin. After this splitting of the fats or oils, the sodium or potassium part of the alkali joins with the fatty acid part of the fat or oils. This combination is then the potassium or sodium salt of the fatty acid. As we said at the start, this is soap.
Soap Making Takes Three Basic Steps
1.Making of the wood ash lye.
2.Rendering or cleaning the fats.
3.Mixing the fats and lye solution together and boiling the mixture to make the soap.
First Let’s Make The Lye
In making soap the first ingredient required is a liquid solution of potash commonly called lye. The lye solution was obtained by placing wood ashes in a bottomless barrel set on a stone slab with a groove and a lip carved in it. The stone in turn rested on a pile of rocks. To prevent the ashes from getting in the solution a layer of straw and small sticks was placed in the barrel then the ashes were put on top. The lye was produced by slowly pouring water over the ashes until a brownish liquid oozed out the bottom of the barrel. This solution of potash lye was collected by allowing it to flow into the groove around the stone slab and drip down into a clay vessel at the lip of the groove.
Some colonists used an ash hopper for the making of lye instead of the barrel method. The ash hopper, was kept in a shed to protect the ashes from being leached unintentionally by a rain fall. Ashes were added periodically and water was poured over at intervals to insure a continuous supply of lye. The lye dripped into a collecting vessel located beneath the hopper.
[Use whatever you have available or can make.]
Now The Fats Are Prepared
The preparation of the fats or grease to be used in forming the soap is the next step. This consists of cleaning the fats and grease of all other impurities contained in them. The cleaning of fats is called rendering and is the smelliest part of the soap making operation. Animal fat, when removed from the animals during butchering, must be rendered before soap of any satisfactory quality can be made from it. This rendering removes all meat tissues that still remain in the fat sections. Fat obtained from cattle is called tallow while fat obtained from pigs is called lard.
If soap is being made from grease saved from cooking fires, it is also rendered to remove all impurities that have collected in it. The waste cooking grease being saved over a period of time without the benefits of refrigeration usually become rancid, so this cleaning step is very important to make the grease sweeter. It will result in a better smelling soap. The soap made from rancid fats or grease will work just as well as soap made from sweet and clean fats but not be as pleasant to have around and use.
To render, fats and waste cooking grease are placed in a large kettle and an equal amount of water is added. Then the kettle is placed over the open fire outdoors. Soap making is an outside activity. The smell from rendering the fats is too strong to wish in anyone’s house. The mixture of fats and water are boiled until all the fats have melted. After a longer period of boiling to insure completion of melting the fats, the fire is stopped and into the kettle is placed another amount of water about equal to the first amount of water. The solution is allowed to cool down and left over night. By the next day the fats have solidified and floated to the top forming a layer of clean fat. All the impurities being not as light as the fat remain in water underneath the fat.
You may have observed this in your own kitchen. When a stew or casserole containing meat has been put in the refrigerator, you could see the next day the same fat layer.
Finally The Soap Making Can Begin
In another large kettle or pot the fat is placed with the amount of lye solution determined to be the correct amount. This is easier said than done. We will discuss it more later. Then this pot is placed over a fire again outdoors and boiled. This mixture is boiled until the soap is formed. This is determined when the mixture boils up into a thick frothy mass, and a small amount placed on the tongue causes no noticeable “bite”. This boiling process could take up to six to eight hours depending on the amount of the mixture and the strength of the lye.
Soft Soap and Hard Soap
Soap made with wood ash lye does not make a hard soap but only a soft soap. When the fire is put out and the soap mixture allowed to cool, the next day reveals a brown jelly like substance that feels slippery to the touch, makes foam when mixed with water, and cleans. This is the soft soap the colonists had done all their hard work to produce. The soft soap is then poured into a wooden barrel and ladled out with a wooden dipper when needed. To make hard soap, common salt is thrown in at the end of the boiling. If this is done a hard cake of soap forms in a layer at the top of the pot. As common salt may be expensive and hard to get, it is not usually wasted to make hard soap. Common salt is more valuable to give to the livestock and the preserving of foods. Soft soap works just as well as hard and for these reasons the colonists, making their own soap, did not make hard soap bars.
In towns and cities where there were soap makers making soap for sale, the soap could be converted to the hard soap by the addition of salt. As hard bars it will be easier to store and transport. Hard bars produced by the soap maker were often scented with oils such as lavender, wintergreen, or caraway and were sold as toilet soap to persons living in the cities or towns.
Hard soap is not cut into small bars and wrapped as has been familiar. Soap made by the soap makers is poured into large wooden frames and removed when cooled and hard.
The amount of soap a customer wants can be cut from the large bar. Soap is sold usually by the pound. Small wrapped bars were not available until the middle of the 19th century [nor maybe shortly after the end of the 20th].
Difficulties in Making Soap
The hardest part is in determining if the lye is of the correct strength, as we have said. In order to learn this, the soap maker floats either a potato or an egg in the lye. If the object floats with a specified amount of its surface above the lye solution, the lye is declared fit for soap making. Most of the colonists felt that lye of the correct strength would float a potato or an egg with an area the size of a modern quarter above the surface. To make a weak lye stronger, the solution can either be boiled down more or the lye solution can be poured through a new batch of ashes. To make a solution weaker, water is added [more data to be added here on how to determine the correct strength of lye]. A Pennsylvania Dutch recipe once carefully warned that a sassafras stick was the only kind of implement suitable for stirring the mixture [see Hulda Clark comment above re sassafras] and the stirring must be done always in the same direction [?].
Not Always Done Down On The Farm
Soap making as a trade had grown in direct proportion with the growth of the colonies. Even in the very early days there were tradesmen making and selling soap, who were called soapboilers. Since tallow was the main ingredient for both soap and candles, many tradesmen were producers of both. These tradesmen were called chandlers.
Potash and Pearlash Trade
Soap making and the manufacture of potash and pearlashes were closely related trades of colonial America. Pearlash, purified potash, because of its many industrial uses, was an important item of export for the colonies. Pearlash, in addition to soap making, was used for making glass both in the colonies and in Europe….
Potash is the residue remaining after all the water has been driven off from the lye solution obtained from the leaching of wood ashes. Pearlash is then made from the potash by baking it in a kiln until all the carbon impurities were burned off. The fine, white powder remaining was the Pearlash….
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Let us know if these recipes work out for you!
Friday, August 8, 2008
How to Roll Wax Around a Wick
How to wrap layers of beeswax
How to roll beeswax
How to Cut Wax Shapes for Candles
Adding wax shapes
Making the 2nd Flower for a Candle Vase
How to make beeswax birthday candles
There are many other fun and interesting clips on various other crafts. If you are interested, go directly to You Tube at http://www.youtube.com/ and put the subject matter in the search bar. Have Fun!
Thursday, August 7, 2008
It will take place Wednesday 8/13/08 starting at 6:30 PM. Lori Nova of Nova Studio (www.thenovastudio.com) has graciously offered her location for this event. The meeting will take place at 24 West Richmond Avenue, Point Richmond, 94801. Her phone number is 510.234.5700 and email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
While we are firming up the agenda for the meeting we need your input on topics. The goal is to have an interactive meeting where everyone gets a chance to introduce themselves, share resources, ask questions, network and learn ways to be a better soapmaker. So we need your questions, thoughts on topics, etc.. to make this a more effective meeting. Please email your suggestions to me at Feleciai.Favroth@gmail.com or call 510.967.6661. I will be sending out periodic emails as we get closer to the meeting letting everyone know of suggested topics. Feel free to invite anyone who you think might benefit from attending.
There are many more instructional clips on the subject of soap making. Just go directly to You Tube at www.youtube.com and put the subject matter in the search field.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
2 tbsp fresh watermelon juice
1 tbsp vodka
2 tbsp witch hazel
2 tbsp distilled water
Strain the watermelon juice to get rid of seeds and fruit pieces. Combine all ingredients in small bowl and stir well. Pour the liquid into clean containers with tight-fitting lids.
To use: pour a small amount on a clean cotton pad and apply it to your face. Store in fridge between uses to retain freshness. The toner will keep approximately one week.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
I knew of Joan, but never took a class from her since she primarily teaches in the north bay (Napa, Fairfield, Sonoma and Sacramento area). I forgot how I found out about Joan, but I do remember going online and finding a clip of her appearing on a Sacramento TV station demonstrating how to make a whipped body butter.
First of all this class is a demo class. The first part of the class was discussion of products and ingredients and the last part was a demo of making the products. Joan's recipes are small and are easy to multiply to make larger batches of products. But the end of the class each student got to take home a jar of whipped butter and a lotion stick and a great information packaged handout.
If you have already taken Lori's body butters class, I would highly recommend taking Joan's class to supplement your knowledge. You will not be sorry. I am definately happy with the class. I am only sorry that her Age Defying Cream class (Note: This class will be offered again on 11/8/08) at The Nova Studio is filled or I would take that class to. Joan will be teaching a soy candle class in September if anyone is interested. If you would like more information about Joan and where she is teaching her classes go to her website at http://www.joanmorais.com/. For other classes offered at The Nova Studio, go to http://www.thenovastudio.com/.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Project designed by Dr. Robert McDaniel.
covered microwave-safe casserole dish
1-1/2 pounds of grated rebatchable soap
whisk or mixing forksoap mold, flexible plastic, individual bar shapes used
soap colorants (powders or color tabs)
fragrance (essential oils or fragrance oils )
milk, room temperature (cow or goats milk), up to 1 cup
shallow bowl containing hot water
1.Place the soap into a small casserole dish and add 1/4 cup milk. To produce a uniform color, add the colorant to the dish, then cover and heat in the microwave on high for 60 seconds.
2. Repeat the 60-second heating cycle until the soap begins to soften and melt then use the whisk to blend the milk, colorant and soap.
3. Heat for an additional 60 seconds, stir, and add one or two additional tablespoons of milk if the soap is lumpy or too thick to mix uniformly. Repeat the heat and stirring cycle until a uniform pasty consistency is achieved.
4. Add one tablespoon of scent and stir briefly.
5. Transfer the soap paste with the spatula into the clean plastic molds and allow to cool overnight or place in the freezer for about 20-30 minutes.
6. Remove the mold from the freezer and place it into a shallow bowl of hot water for about 10 seconds, then turn the mold upside down and push on the mold to remove the soap.
7. Allow the soap to age and harden for one to two weeks prior to use.
To view photographs of this project go to: http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/ah_personal_care_bath_body/article/0,1801,HGTV_3144_1377733,00.html
Saturday, August 2, 2008
• Clear soap base
• Soap making fragrance(s) of your choice
• Soap mold of your choice
• Glycerin soap colorant
• Soap lock (Bubble Buster or Rubbing Alcohol) in a misting bottle
1. Divide your clear soap base according to how many layers you would like in your finished soap.
2. Melt your divided soap. Add your soap colorant until the desired color is reached, then add your choice of fragrance for that color.
3. Repeat step 2 until all of your soap base is colored and scented. Don't worry if your soap begins to harden while you are preparing the rest of your soap, you can always re-melt it on demand.
4. Pour your first colored and scented layer and lightly spray some soap lock to remove any bubbles that may have formed. Let that layer cool. Spray more soap lock on the hardened layer. (this will keep your layers from seperating when the soap is un-molded.)
5. Repeat step 4 until you have filled your soap mold. Allow the soap you are going to use for your next layer to cool slightly before pouring. (remember to spray soap lock on each cooled layer)
6. Un-mold your soap and it's ready to use.
Friday, August 1, 2008
Yield: This makes approx 32 ounces
Gently melt together:
60 grms mango butter
32 grms emulsifying wax
1 tsp vitamin e t-50
(1) Gently warm to about 130 degrees: 600 grms distilled water or herbal tea of your choice. 200 grms aloe vera gel-try walmart "fruit of the earth", works great! 28 grams honeyquat from Wholesales Supplies Plus (http://www.wholesalesuppliesplus.com/).
(2) Slowly pour oil into water while using hand whisk or stick blender. Be gentle in order not to make a lot of foam.
(3) Stir for a few minutes, let rest for 10 minutes, then stir again, until room temp.
(4) Add germaben (preservative) according to product specifications.
(5) Add essential oils or fragrance. (Author note: I personally love a light touch of cantaloupe fragrance oil ).
(6) Add coloring if desired. (Author note: I like an orangey-pink melon.)
Suggestion: To make a thicker batch to put in jars, use less water. try using 300 grms-400 grms. It all depends on your taste.