Friday, April 27, 2012


Sometime last week I decided to do some color and fragrance testing in a basic batch of cold process soap. I think I was trying to convince myself that I didn't need to buy new colors, that the ones I already have would work just fine!....but first let me prove it to myself.... It didn't really work. I ordered more. They are supposed to be "the most reliable and easy to use soap colorants on the market." Damn well better be for the price..... We'll see when they get here.

Colorants in cups, patiently waiting for soap batter!

I tried out a fragrance I hadn't used in soaping before then too, Sweetgrass. It's a very fresh, sweet, herbally sort of scent. It was lovely and held strong. But I admittedly just kind of slung all the colored soaps into molds without caring what they looked like when they came out, and they were pretty unshapely. I really had this grand plan to make them into curls with a vegetable peeler. Or at least practice the method....and practice was as far as I got. So I decided to shred em up and melt em back down because I really liked the fragrance. I worked on some melt and pour projects while the shreds were cooking down. My kitchen smelled good!

Even though the soap was still pretty fresh and soft, I did end up adding a little distilled water and aloe vera liquid to keep it from drying out or scorching. Here is the rainbow of soap shreds in the crock pot before it all started to melt.

I figured with my luck it would end up some pukey greenish brownish disaster. In the end though, the pinks and reds won through for a presentable sort of burgundy. I slopped it into some single cavity molds. We'll see how they turn out tomorrow when I get home from work.

This type of soapy look is often referred to as "hand-milled." If you are interested in trying soaping but maybe scared of working with lye or don't care to buy all the different oils, you can actually buy bags of pre-shredded soaps fairly cheap online, to melt down like this, or in the oven or a double boiler. Most bar soaps you buy at Wal-Mart etc won't work for this because they contain a lot of detergents and chemicals. Or I'd be happy to hand over a bag-full the next time I make a royal mess of a batch of soap. :)

Thanks for reading!