Posts Tagged ‘soap making process’

Cold Process or hot process soap?

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

In the soap making process, making cold process soap and hot process soap is quite different. Often the end products look alike and it is difficult to tell them apart. The usual commercial soap purchased at a store is made using the hot process, as it is much faster to make.

In the hot soap making process larger batches can be made in a shorter processing time, thus maximizing profits. In manufacturing the soap, the glycerin in the soap is removed as a by-product from the heating process, along with the waste product, lye. This cooked soap lacking glycerin dries our skin.

Glycerin is a natural humectant, drawing moisture to our skin. This maintains the proper water balance and makes our skin feel soft. The glycerin removed during the hot soap making process is isolated from the waste products and sold separately as expensive beauty bars, supplied to spas and beauty parlors.

soap making process

To the cooked soap, devoid of glycerin, synthetic fillers and fragrances are added. Artificial moisturizers are also added to overcome the drying effect of the soap. These synthetic ingredients may cause skin irritation and allergies may develop over time.

Many people develop overly dry skin from using commercial products. Mothers who wash their hands often are particularly affected. Some manufacturers add natural essential oils to their soaps in an effort to improve them, but the effect is spoiled by the other chemical substances present in the soap.

In the cold soap making process, the glycerin remains intact in the soap since it isn’t subjected to any heat. Most natural handmade soap manufacturers make soap on a small or meduim scale. Personal attention is paid to the soap making process.

Using all natural ingredients in the soap increases the benefits of using it. Natural handmade soap can improve your skin. People suffering from sensitive skin, dry skin, or other skin ailments may benefit greatly by switching to a cold process soap made from natural ingredients.

Cold process soap gently cleanses without drying. Made without harmful chemicals or other synthetic ingredients, all natural soap will increase your peace of mind. Make the switch today and feel the difference tomorrow.

Making Your Own Natural Soap

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Whether you’re pinching your penny or looking for a new hobby, the process of making your own homemade natural soap has attracted many.  A starter kit designed for beginners might be the best option for you if you’re just starting out.  If you want to take on a bigger challenge, however, you might consider searching out recipes and trying one on your own.

Starter Kits for Natural Soap

Soap making starter kits contain all the soap supplies you will need, and are the simplest way to go.  Complete with molds and detailed instructions, you will be guided every step of the way.  Look for a kit in a craft store, or shop online.

Melt and Pour Soap is what you’ll most likely find in these starter kits.  Just as its name indicates, you melt the glycerin, and pour it into the molds.  Using your microwave makes the process even simpler.

soap supplies

The Hot Process

When making natural soap using the hot process, be prepared for a few hours of heat.  Mix your soap supplies and ingredients over the stove in a double boiler or stock pot, and cook for several hours.  Finally, pour into molds.

The nice thing about the hot method is that because of the cooking process, it expedites the time it takes for your soap to cure.  On the downside, some of the valuable glycerin is lost while the mixture is heated over the stove.  Soothing the skin by pulling moisture right out of the air, glycerin is one of the most valuable components of natural soap.

The Cold Process

While the glycerin retention and preparation is much more favorable in the cold method, the time to wait is not.  Soap created through the cold process takes three to four weeks to cure, meaning you must hold off for that long before ever using your soap.

Find an easy recipe that others have been successful with.  After setting out your soap supplies, line the container(s) you will be using with plastic wrap, wax paper, or parchment paper.  In a large mixing bowl, add the lye to the distilled water and take caution – lye causes heat, and there will be fumes.

Melt the oils in the microwave, and add to the lye-water mixture; stir.  Place the mixture in the lined containers, and wait for it to solidify.  Cut into bars, and set aside to cure according to recipe instructions.  Use within twelve months.

Organic or Natural?

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Sometimes it’s confusing to know the difference between something labeled as “organic” and something else labeled “natural”. The certification of organic varies from country to country, but involves a set of standards for those growing, storing, processing, packaging and shipping food products. This includes everyone from the seed suppliers, farmers, processors, retailers and restaurants. Here are some of the general rules for something labeled organic.

Synthetic chemicals such as fertilizers, pesticides, antibiotics and food additives, and also genetically modified organisms are avoided. The farmland where the food is grown needs to be chemical free for at least three years. Accurate records need to be kept including production and sales numbers.

There needs to be a strict separation between certified and non-certified products in order to avoid contamination. The premises need to be inspected periodically to ensure these regulations are followed. Even when these rules are followed, there are differences in the levels of organic products.
candle and soap making
Something labeled as 100% organic means that all products used were made from ingredients certified to be 100% chemical free. An organic label means the products are 95% free of chemicals.  If it says made with organic ingredients, the product must contain a minimum of 70% chemical free ingredients.

There may be some chemical free ingredients specified in the ingredient list, but it can’t be considered “certified” unless it meets the above criteria. Non-certified and certified food producers both adhere to the same agricultural standards for food safety and other governmental regulations.  Obtaining the specialized certified label requires extra precaution to ensure consumers are getting what they expect.

Natural ingredients are those that have not been processed with chemicals and synthetics since leaving the farm. This means the farmer could have used chemical fertilizers and pesticides while the food was growing, but that no additional chemicals were added later. Thus, natural candle and soap making implies that no additional chemicals are added to the original products used in creating the candle or soap.

The word natural is overused, along with unrefined, pure, wholesome, and authentic. This can make it difficult to sift through the labels to find the truth. Natural candle and soap making can vary greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Knowing the difference between the certifications used on different labels can help us better understand what we are buying. Although it can be confusing, it is well worth the time it takes to read the labels a little closer. This can give you peace of mind when candle or soap making that you are really getting what you want.

The Difference between Natural and Regular Soap

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

If ever given the option, it is always better to use natural or organic products.  Organic food is better for your body, and with soap it is no different.  Knowing the differences between the soap making process of natural and regular soap will allow you to make yet another better choice in your day-to-day life.

The first major difference between natural soap and regular soap includes what they are made from.  During the soap making process, natural soap is always a mixture of lye, water, and oil, whereas the regular soaps you buy from the store are detergent-based from petroleum.  While petrol may be good for your car, it is definitely not good for your skin.

Regular soap contains ingredients which are harmful to your skin.  These include isopropyl alcohol, BHT, and Tricoslan which is found in most anti-bacterial soaps.  Natural soap contains none of these harmful substances.

The most noticeable difference between natural soap and regular soap is the effect it has on your skin.  Natural soap is soothing, whereas regular soap commonly acts as an irritant.  If you are looking for smoother, softer skin, consider switching to a natural brand.

soap making process

The most common irritant in regular detergent-based soaps is alkali.  Alkali causes tight, itchy, and/or flaky skin.  If you suffer from any of these conditions, check the amount of alkali listed on your product’s label.

On the other hand, natural soap carries a high level of glycerin after the soap making process.  This compound soothes and moisturizes the skin.  It pulls moisture out of the air, making your skin stay soft longer than it would by using regular soaps.

Some would assume that the tag of ‘natural’ also means the tag of a higher price.  There is actually little price difference between natural and regular soap.  Making your own natural soap at home may bring its price down even further.

Again, some might claim it an inconvenience to buy natural soap rather than purchase what they are used to.  With the ever-increasing popularity of organic products, however, natural soap is easier to find than ever before.  Look more carefully at the same places you usually shop, visit a store selling organics, or even shop online.

Five Tricks for a Better Natural Soap

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Natural soap making has become more common with our increased awareness of what harmful chemicals can do. Good natural soap requires the right combination of ingredients. Here are five tricks for better soap.

1. Get the basics right. High priced ingredients aren’t really necessary to make good soap. Often high-priced ingredients try to make up for an inferior soap recipe.

Recipes using coconut, palm and olive oils, though simple, are often the best recipes. There is no need for sugar in soap. Other expensive oils such as rice bran oil, emu oil or shea butter are also not necessary.
natural soap making
2. Use the right amount of coconut oil. Coconut oil in natural soap making creates a soap that lathers well with lots of big bubbles.  However, too much coconut oil cleans too well, drying out the skin.

3. Use enough fragrance. Many recipes don’t call for enough scent oil, so when you’re done, what little scent you used was wasted. In your natural soap making, use enough scent oil so you can enjoy it later.

4. Palm kernel oil also takes a prominent place in natural soap making. It takes the place of animal fats such as beef tallow or lard. Palm oil makes a fairly mild hard soap with only fair lathering qualities.

5. Moisturize with olive oil or something like it. The unsaturated oils such as olive oil act as moisturizers in natural soap making. These oils attract moisture to the skin and give the soap a luxury feel. Castile soap, made with only olive oil, makes for a thiner soap and doesn’t lather as well as soap containing coconut oil.

Natural soaps need not be expensive, and don’t need to include exotic ingredients. The trick is to get the right blend of ingredients in order to clean the skin without drying it. With the proper recipe, all natural  soaps can be a joy to use.

Planning the Perfect Party

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

I bet when you hear the words “perfect hostess” you picture someone you know.  This person is maybe a friend or family member that always seems to throw the best parties.  You have also maybe wondered why their parties are always a hit, when other parties you’ve been to, or thrown yourself, seem to flop.  The secrets to planning the perfect party are actually quite simple! Here are 3 tips for making your next shin-dig a smash.

The first thing you want to do is pick a theme for your party.  A theme is the reason for the party.  It should be what the party surrounds or the main event though it’s usually quite simple.  A theme can be anything from a movie/TV show, to a game/craft, or even as simple as a color.  Once the theme is determined, the next task is to decide on an activity or event which coordinates with the theme.

So let’s do an example.  Let’s say you want to host a party for a few girl friends. You choose a Spa Theme for your gathering.  A great activity for a spa themed party would be natural soap making for example.

natural soap making

Natural soap making is a great craft for an intimate gathering.  Choosing a craft like natural soap making is a good choice because it gives your guests something fun to do and makes everyone feel comfortable.  You can easily learn about natural soap making in a variety of books and online websites.

Another important part of any good party is the food!  Whither you plan to serve light snacks, or a full meal, your food should tie in with your theme. But even more importantly than that, be sure to have enough food for your party.  Always plan for more food than you think you’ll need.  An easy way for a party to flop is for food to run out.  This will embarrass the host and make the guest feel unwelcomed.

Take for instance our Spa Night example above.  A spa menu typically includes healthy foods.  What you pick for edibles will also depend on your guests’ and your personal preferences as well.  You may decide on healthy choices like fruit platters, a sushi bar, or wrap sandwiches.  Top these items off with chic tooth picks and you’ll have your guests oohing and ahhhing.  Matching the food with the theme helps to really pull your party together.

The theme and the food are essential to a party, but the most important tip for planning the perfect party is the hostess herself.  It’s important to be fresh upbeat for your guests.  If your company senses that you are frazzled or worn out, they won’t be having fun; they’ll be worrying about you.

In summary, always make sure you have a purpose or theme for your party.  Remember to center the food on your theme and make sure there is enough. Then relax, put on a smile and enjoy your own bash!

What Homemade Lye Soap Really Means

Friday, April 9th, 2010

When someone refers to homemade lye soap, it can be hard to know what they mean if you have never heard it before. Lye is a chemical used to turn ingredients in to soap. This soap making process is often referred to as homemade lye soap.

Lye is used in all soaps at one point. To differentiate between soap makers who are using fresh lye and those who are not, the term “homemade lye soap” came about. This is to help those who are trying to explain their soap making process with lye, and help the rest of us out there who also know that lye is a normal ingredient in all soap.

People make lye soap in a few different soap making processes. There is the heated way, where everything is heated together. The other way is called the cool version, where no heat is required.

The reason why some people choose not to deal with lye is because it is a dangerous chemical. Lye can cause a harmful chemical reaction to your skin if it comes in contact with it. Because of this some soap makers like to use base soap that has already been mixed with lye instead of dealing with lye in its raw form.
soap making process
The chemical lye can actually be made by people who would like to make soap. Homemade lye is often thought of as the only natural way of making soap. Homemade lye has been made by hand for hundreds of years from people around the world, and many people feel it should remain that way.

Others feel that commercial lye, or buying a block of the chemical, works just as well. Commercial lye is usually viewed as less natural. However, since both the commercial lye and homemade lye cause the same result when it causes a catalyst with the soap, it is up to the user which one they would rather use.

Commercial lie takes less time and effort than handmade lye. Commercial lye requires no extra waiting time, while homemade lye does. If you are planning on making your own lye plan on also adding a few extra days to your soap making process.

It can be a long process, but making your own soap can be very fulfilling. If you decide to try it out and want to buy commercial lye instead of making it on your own, look for online vendors. Most local stores do not have lye because of the danger it presents, but it is pretty easy to find online.

Soap Mold Suggestions

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Are you tired of giving the same boring presents to your family and friends? Are you tired of doing the same crafts that everyone else also does? I was as well, and I recently found a great new one – soap making.

I know there is a lot of work that goes in to the soap making process, but it is worth it. Things need to be done a specific way during the soap making process to have it turn out just right. There are also a lot of safety precautions that you need to take in the soap making process.

But the effort is well worth it. Homemade soap crafts have been one of my favorite gifts to give to friends. They have turned out to be a lot of fun, and if you have the right soap mold they can be a very cute gift.

soap making supplies

It is important to know the type of soap making process you are going to use before finding your soap mold. There is a little planning required to make sure the mold will work correctly. Since the soap may be hot, for example, you may need to find a heat resistant mold.

If you are using heat in your soap making try using Pyrex glass instead of normal glass. Ceramics or glass may not hold up well against the heat, and will also not last as long as Pyrex glass. Pyrex glass is heat resistant and sturdy.

If you are using a cold soap making process try using a wooden soap mold. Another great choice is plastic. Plastic is very flexible and won’t cause damage to the mold or the soap if you need to un-mold the soap.

Plastic can also be used in heated soap making, but it needs to be microwave plastic. Silicone also works great and is flexible. Stainless steal can also hold up to heat well.

Soap molds can be found around your home or can be bought through craft stores online or locally. Once you use the mold for soap, however, that should be its only use from there on out. Do not try to clean it and use it for baking or cooking again since there are dangerous additives that go in to soap making.