Lemongrass and coloring soap

19 09 2012

imageUpdate 19 Sep 2012: They’re ready now. Still not the color I wanted but they smell good.

There are two ways to color soap. The first is pigments. They’re like crayons. What you see is what you get. They mix easily and predictably. The thing is, the soap is a crayon too and you can’t get bright colors. That’s why many soaps have the ingredient titanium dioxide.

You can also use dyes. They’re water based and produce much brighter colors. The thing is, what you see is not what you get. Yellow starts out orange, blue and red both look purple. They don’t mix evenly or predictably either. I demonstrate here. The yellow is as intended. For the other color, I mixed blue and yellow and it was green before I put it in the soap but I just pulled it out of the mold and now it’s orange.

My question to you is, can I get away with saying, “I meant to do that,” or is it just FAIL?

Druid soap 22 AUG 2012

19 09 2012

Update: 19 SEP 2012: They’re ready now.imageMy father has a guest house he called the druid because it’s under the oak tree. He’s calling it the oak house now but I still think of it as the druid. They’re thinking of setting up a bed and breakfast when they retire next year and we decided I should come up with some soap for them. I found these molds and a scent called “Oak Leaves and Acorns”. It’s a very nice scent, a combination of woody and berry scents that’s good for a man or a woman.

Walnut Shell Soap – 16 SEP 2012

18 09 2012

Remember the coffee soap that I made for my sister for art project cleanup. Well, it wasn’t the first attempt. Before I tried coffee grounds, I tried walnut shells. I also used a different recipe, walnut oil, palm oil, and palm kernel oil. We were looking for something scrubby. Walnut shells are abrasive which is not the same thing. Anyway, it was not considered a success. It did however smell great, like roasted walnuts. I thought I would try walnut oil soap without the shells. Without the shells, I didn’t see any reason to make it hot process so I didn’t. The result was fine but the roasted walnut smell was too faint and while it was nice otherwise, I like my personal recipe better. I thought perhaps it was because I didn’t cook it so I just tried again, this time hot process. Again, very faint scent. So, experiment complete, it was cooking the shells that gave the scent.

I don’t see any reason to have more boring soap. I would rather have abrasive soap that smells good and I still have plenty of walnut shell powder so I put some in and let it cook longer. I did put in less. The other batch was almost like a pumice stone and this isn’t nearly that abrasive. Anyway, sometime abrasive soap comes in handy. Perhaps I can find a home for it.

Walnut shell soap

Pear soap – 16 AUG 2012

16 09 2012

Update: 16 SEP 2012: The pear soap is ready to go. Used it. It’s just as nice as before.



Update to the pear soap; the dragons are out of the mold. It’s well worth giving the extra time before pulling them out. All three came out in excellent shape. I still put them in the freezer to help make sure of that. These were made on Aug. 16 so they’ll be ready Sept. 16.


As promised, two posts today.

Pear scented soap. My mother likes to swim but doesn’t like to smell like chlorine all day. She says this takes the chlorine smell away completely. I’ve put some in the dragon mold she gave me. For large molds, I like to take it out after two days. It’s solid and comes out in good shape but is still soft enough to cut easily. You’ll notice I didn’t take out the dragon mold soaps. I’m not going to cut them and I want them good and hard so the design doesn’t get damaged. I leave them in at least a week.

Oatmeal, gingerbread, and vanilla – 19 AUG 2012

16 09 2012

oatmeal now ready

The oatmeal soap is now ready. As you can see, it has darkened while it cured. The oatmeal gives it some texture but is not especially scrubby. The gingerbread scent stands out the most. The vanilla and oatmeal accentuate.


So, this is a bit more complicated than usual for me; mixed fragrances and botanicals. I ground up some oatmeal and put it in along with a gingerbread fragrance and vanilla. I had some ground oatmeal left over so I sprinkled it on top of one of the loafs. The other I left alone. The gingerbread fragrance gave it a light tan color. A morning type of soap. Let’s see how it turns out.

Bergamot soap

15 09 2012

The bergamot soap is now ready. I used it last night. It is a quite sharp scent. Think the sharp of marmalade without the sweet. Definitely different.


Bergamot is a citrus fruit. If you like Earl Grey tea, you are familiar with it. The Bergamot oil is a very dark green and I read that it might take on some of that color. No such luck. It’s a distinctive scent and I’m looking forward to trying it.

Resupply – 14 sept 2012

14 09 2012

So, my resupply is here. In the two large white jugs are palm kernel oil and shea butter. On top of them are almond oil in the large bottles and fragrances in the small one. Then there’s some bags and boxes. The clear bottles are glycerin for mixing colors and in from of them is almond oil on the left then some more green color and titanium dioxide to try. Then there’s some tea that came free with the order and lime scented body cream which is their sample fragrance of the month. I also got a couple more soap spoons because just one wasn’t convenient.

But what, you ask, is in the large box? Well, that is 50lb of palm oil. 50lb of palm oil! Are you some mad crazy soap-maker, you ask? Why!?

Well, maybe I am, but that’s not why I got it. I was only going to get two of the 10lb buckets like I got of the palm kernel oil and shea butter but the 50lb box was on sale for not much more than that. I guess I’ll just have to make a bunch of soap. I’ll need some more lye too.

But right now… Mmmmrrrrrggg, just got off 63hr week of night shifts.



I'm Karl and I make soap.

The Dream Café

Steven Brust: “A masterful storyteller of contagious glee and self-deprecating badassery” —Skyler White

Baby Name Wizard

I'm Karl and I make soap.

Hyperbole and a Half

I'm Karl and I make soap.

FastMail Blog

Blog for FastMail announcements, news and comments

Con or Bust

I'm Karl and I make soap.

coffee, dog, crochet

I like coffee. And dogs. And crochet. See what I did there?


I'm Karl and I make soap.

Adventures With The Sage

I'm Karl and I make soap.

The Dream Café

I'm Karl and I make soap.

Marie, Let's Eat!

We live in Tennessee, eat well, and tell the world about it.