Thursday, 24 June 2010

Goat Milk Soap Colours

I keep hearing that goat milk soaps all turn tan coloured.

Mine don’t. Some turn tan... others turn yellowy... others are creamy white. I can’t quite figure out why some turn out a nicer white than others!

These three are all no-palm soaps. In all three soaps, 100% of the liquid in the white/tan part is goat milk. I froze it first and added the lye to the frozen goat milk.

After all my experimenting for a great palm-free soap, my favourite recipe so far is the one with the heart in the middle. It's smooth, creamy, bubbly, sudsy, long-lasting, hard, the smell stays & it cleans well. I am so pleased!! I am now using this recipe as my base recipe, with variations. So for these three soaps, you can notice that the heart one is the whitest. The only difference is that for the liquid oils, it has Olive, Castor and SWEET ALMOND oil. The other two only Olive and Castor oil. The bottom one looks more yellowy, the one on the left looks more tan. The only difference between these two is that the one on the left has more Castor Oil.

So, it appears that sweet almond oil makes for whiter goat milk soap, and the more castor oil, the more tan coloured?

The middle one is the heart one

I have added another soap here. The top one is one of my older soaps and has palm oil, but again you can see that it appears whiter, and it has Sweet Almond Oil.

I have been told that Titanium Dioxide produces a nice white, and is natural. I actually have purchased some but have not found I have needed to use it yet.

Any comments on goat milk soap colour or Titanium Dioxide or anything at all welcome!


Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Zen Soaping

Zen Soaping & Not-So-Zen Soaping

This soap all began on a wonderfully relaxing no-plan Sunday morning. My darlings were sleeping. I was inspired... An adaptation to my Aloe Green Clay soap... with Tea Tree & Eucalyptus EO blend this time as a friend of mine wanted a one of my facial soaps but with Tea Tree and Becky at was making something similar… we may do a swap! It was all going so smoothly until...

The Not-So-Zen Part
• The phone rang as I was pouring the Castor oil into the liquid oil mixture and I poured too much!!! Scooped out some oils to compensate, but it wouldn’t have just been the castor oil!!
• Got on my computer when waiting for the lye to cool, completely forgot about it and the oils were heating and got left cooking on the stove for ½ hour!!!
• The scale cut out on me (batteries went!) when I was measuring the Aloe Vera, so the first bit was measured correctly, the last bit was a guestimate??!!
• Mixed all the at trace ingredients together (Aloe Vera squeeze out from my plant, Green Clay & Avocado Oil) and tried to blend but it all just got stuck in one big glop in the hand mixer… so I added the Eos and they were too watery and wouldn’t blend well... Big gloppy mess.

The Zen Part
Then the evening, as I was catching up on some of the blogs I follow, I came across a brilliant tutorial by Sergio from He stressed the importance of putting on music through the process and being relaxed, even right through to the cutting. So... for the next part of this soap, the cutting, I though I would try it. For some reason, I guess it is our busy lives, I am usually rushed through the process. My darlings were out.. my honey at the driving range.. my daughter at Ballet... So instead of doing a quick cut so that I could have the finished product right away... I put on some of my favourite music. Sergio suggested classical music. I actually put on Dave Matthews “One Sweet World” and “Crash Into Me” and just settled in, sat down in a comfy chair, and took ages to cut the soap. I got so into it that it was the most pleasurable experience cutting a soap I have ever had. They came out very nicely cut and I love this soap specially now. Each soap is a memory, isn’t it?

I would like to continue this new part of my process... the music… the being in the moment and thoroughly loving each second... Here’s to Zen soaping!

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Lemon Poppyseed

I know...I know... not the most original soap... everyone seems to have a Coffee Kitchen Hand soap (I do and I really like it!), a Honey Oatmeal soap (I do and I am still experimenting with getting the perfect one) and a Lemon Poppyseed soap. I tried Orange poppyseed, but I didn't like it as much. I have been frustrated in my experiments with citrus soaps because I couldn't get the Essential Oils to stay. But this one... FINALLY! I seemed to have found a natural colour I am really pleased with, and the Essential Oil combination smells very lemony and seems pretty strong right now. The colourant is Carrot Tissue Oil that I bought from Gracefruit. I added just a few grams at trace and got this yellow I really like. The Essential Oil combo is Litsea Cubeba (May Chang) from Fresholi, Lemon & Lemongrass. I used my favourite no-palm recipe, adapted slightly. Now I just have to wait till it fully cures to see if the Essential Oils stick!

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Cinnamon Oats Scrub

Cinnamon for colour...Oats for exfoliation... loaded with Olive Oil, and also Almond Oil, Coconut Oil, Castor Oil & Shea Butter. Sweet & spicy Essential Oil combo. After lots of experimenting, I have finally come up with a Palm Oil-Free soap that I really love. This soap has been one of my most popular but the base recipe had palm oil & this is the first time I have made it without. Even better!

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Soap Moulds – IKEA

One of the first and very important factors to consider when creating soap is Shape & Size, in other words – MOULDS.

I tried ice-cube moulds, I tried silicon baking moulds, I had a wooden mould made by a carpenter, then I struck gold at IKEA one day with my Molger Moulds. As I found them in the bathroom section, they are probably meant for organization and storage in the bathroom but they are AWESOME soap moulds and very economical. The three moulds together in this picture cost between 7 and 8€ total.

The smallest of the moulds, an excellent experimental batch mould, makes three soaps 81mm across, between 50mm and 60mm height (depending how you want them) and the soaps in this picture are about 26mm thick, but you could make thinner or thicker soaps. None of mine are the same as I hand cut them. The soap you see in this picture is a variation of my beer, egg & honey shampoo bar. This one has goat milk, egg & honey and something weird happened in the middle, darker and speckled, as you can see in the photo. If you have any ideas on how to correct that, suggestions welcome!

The middle mould makes about 6 (and a small slice) soaps but again, it all depends on how thick you want them.

The longest mould makes between 9 and 11 soaps.

My only issue... I do love these moulds but here I go “tweaking” as my blog buddy at calls it. In trying out other soaps, I realize I prefer smaller width soap. I am not sure I like mine 81mm across. They may just seem a bit unmanageable in the hand at first. If you look at the photo below, mine is the last one in the row.

I think my favourite width so far is the soap I got in a Soap Swap from , which is 75mm across (Second one from the frount in the photo above). If mine were that width, I could cut them thicker as well, which I like. I love the look of the size of the soaps at Beguile Soaps and Platypus Dreams So I will most likely try to modify my Molger moulds somehow. I have been thinking of cutting a magazine down to the mould size and sticking it along the side, or I may get a carpenter to make me wooden inserts which I could just slide into any of them.

Happy soaping!!