Soap Making

Tuesday, February 7, 2012 0 No tags Permalink

This year I decided to go crazy and hand-make a bunch of Valentine’s Day gifts for my staff members. We’ve lost three employees recently, and all the remaining staff members are female, so I thought it would be something fairly easy to accomplish. The first item is bottled bath salts. I didn’t take any photos, as I’ve already recorded that process. This batch is in different decorative jars and is colored pink.

Valentine’s Project #2 – Soap.

Saponified Vegetable Oil (mainly coconut), Glycerine (kosher of vegetable origin), Cocoa butter (naturally crushed), Purified water, Sorbitol (from berries as a moisturizer), Sorbitan Oleate (natural emulsifier), Soybean Protein (conditioner), Organic Lavender, Organic Geranium Oil, Titanium Dioxide (a natural mineral used in opaque soaps), food coloring. The first batch also had goat milk and rose petals added.

First step: preparation. Although we do have a double-boiler, I did NOT want to use that as I anticipated a giant mess to clean it up. In this case, I used a glass measuring cup and put a bamboo spoon on the bottom of the pan so the glass wouldn’t rest directly on the metal. I got my soap base from The Gourmet Rose.

Put the lavender and other items in with the cut up base, and stir and boil until completely liquid.

Pour carefully into a silicone tray. Note: make sure you put the tray on a cookie sheet FIRST. The silicone is too wiggly and you’ll get your liquid soap all over if you try to move it without a tray.

Put tray in your freezer for two hours.

After that, it’s ready to come out. Pop the soaps out of the mold.

I bagged the individual soaps in candy bags right away. I figured that they would be easier to work with while they were still cold. I left the bags open though until the soap had warmed up. Now all I need to do it tie off the tops with ribbon and a card with the ingredients and they are done!

What I learned: put the silicone tray on a cookie sheet as soon as you get started. Otherwise, you’ll forget and you’ll have to move the silicone tray onto the sheet and it WILL spill and be a mess. While the base itself is creamy white, the addition of the lavender turned the liquid kind of yellow. First batch, I added red food dye, which doesn’t look as nice as the yellow. Adding items will change the color of the base. Also, rose petals are quite lovely…but when they are heated they turn a gross, slimy black color and don’t really add to the scent.

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