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What do you want to know? : Handmade Soap

First of all, I apologize for neglecting this blog lately. Summers are CRAZY in our house, plus it’s too hot to think here in Texas. I’m going to try to crank up the AC and devote some time to keeping you all updated, informed and entertained.

This Wednesday starts a series I like to call “What do you want to know?” Each week I’ll pick a topic and you all get to hammer me with questions on the subject. Some will be related to my crafts, some will be current events, and some will be off-the-wall random.

Feel free to ask ANYTHING even remotely related to the subject, and I’ll answer it as best as I can.

I’ll try to respond as soon as possible. Any questions I don’t get to on Wednesday will be covered on Thursday.

Today’s topic is handmade soap. Fire away!

0 thoughts on “What do you want to know? : Handmade Soap

  1. My question is how long does it take for you to make each batch of soap?

  2. Hi Jill :)It generally takes about 1.5 hours to mix and cook a batch. Occasionally I'll have a batch cook super fast and be done in an hour, or one that takes FOREVER to thoroughly heat. Those can take 2 hours or more.I'll let it sit in the mold overnight and cut them sometime the next day. Since I do hot process soap, they only take about a week to cure to a firm bar, although it's safe to use immediately after the cook time.

  3. Hi! What ingredients should I look for and what should I avoid in handmade soaps?

  4. Hi!It really depends on personal preference. The best thing is to try a few types until you find what works for you. Most soapers offer samples or will provide them if you ask.Here are some general guidelines to help you get started.Any handmade soap will have lye as an ingredient. You'll see it listed as lye or sodium hydroxide. On some soaps you will see terms such as sodium tallowate (saponified tallow) and sodium cocoate (saponified coconut oil). All this means is lye that has reacted with the specified oil. A good bar will have a mix of oils to create a soap that is firm but not crumbly or drying. Here's a few of the main oils used and properties they lend to the soap.Olive oil is a staple in most soaps. It is great for most skin types, but alone it makes a softer bar. If you have sensitive skin, however, Castile soap made from olive oil alone is a good bet.Coconut Oil produces a firm bar that lathers really well. It's best mixed with olive oil or other conditioning oils and butters because too much coconut oil can be drying.Palm Oil also lends to a firmer bar. Some Palm oil is not sustainably produced, however, so you might want to ask about that before buying.Castor oil produces a rich, fluffy lather. It is especially good to look for in a shampoo soap, since it lathers similar commercial soaps. There's also the question of Fragrance oils vs. Essential oils. Personally I'll use either, although if I'm looking for something more medicinal, I'll lean towards EOs.I prefer to avoid handmade soaps with SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) or most other chemicals. In general, if I can't pronounce or recognize it, I avoid it.If you have any other questions, ask away!

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