some love, and a little soap 101

by Heidi on October 13, 2010

Its no secret that i love making soap. But i mean.. i love it. I really really love it.  would i marry it? .. maybe… if it could take the trash out.


Did i mention that I love making soap? I could be in the worst kinda funk and all i have to do to get out of it is start whipping up a batch of anything and suddenly i am in the zone. Doesnt matter if its a soap ive made a hundred times, or working on a new one for the first time. Its always the same. Soothing comfort, anticipation and creative ventoutleting ( yeah i just made that word up).

making soap is awesome…it never gets boring! I love formulating, im not just talking about what special bits are going to go in a bar, but the ACTUAL base formula. You see, depending on what oils and butters you use, in what amounts, it will definitely change the final result. Sure, you can mix any fats and lye/water mix, and end up with soap regardless…. but certain mixtures will be creamy, certain ones will be squeaky, certain ones will have large bubbly lather, others small stable lather more like foam. Certain mixtures will add transparency to a bar, certain ones will cause it to be more opaque. Some will be soft and take ages to harden up, some will be so hard out of the mold i could use a hacksaw to cut it. ok not really.. but you get the idea.  Some companies ( i wont mention any names) use the same base formula for ALL of their soaps. Thats not exactly the best idea. I guess they fail to take into consideration that what goes into the bar, even something like an essential oil will change the final result. everything has properties, and they all need to be taken into consideration when formulating the base. duh.

Theres another factor in soap making…….Figuring out what temps to mix what batch at , each formula behaves differently, and more so.. depending on the mix of the special ingredients going in on top of your base oils? even better. more science :)

Creating a new bar is always exciting for me. First i find the key ingredient i want to use… and why, then around that goes which essential oils are going to go in it.. and for why? what purpose is this bar going to serve…after that its coming up with a base formula.. and lastly,designing the aesthetics…  for me, personally, the aesthetics always come after the essential oils are chosen. ..I get a vision… and i go for it.  its all part of it. Sometimes, what comes out of the mold is nothing like my original vision.. which i kinda like.. a challenge. And we go for it again. Sometimes, im confused as to which vision i want to go with, and we come out with 3 or 4 different looks initially, until i see the one its meant to be.  One of my favorite parts of making soap, is cutting it. Unless or until youve done it, you may not understand. There is something so therapeutic about cutting a batch of soap. The cutter slicing through a fresh batch of soap. .. touching the bars while they are still somewhat warm from going through their transformation overnight,  smelling the essential oils as they are opened up by the fresh cutting. Then, bashing the bars with a metal stamp and a hammer, as if to seal the deal. DONE. lol…. jk, sorta. i do hammer them, but i dont bash them .. ahem…yes, that is my soap cutter and hammer in the photo below, getting ready to cut and stamp soaps made the day before!

anywho… just felt like talking a bit about my love of soap making… and passing on a little FYI about the soaping process to you :) I swear if i didnt have a life outside of making soap, i’d never leave the shop.. and if my body didnt require me to sleep? id be making  it around the clock.

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