January Soaps – Making A Good Thing Better

I am going to tell you about the two soap recipes I made in January but first I was wondering if you would be willing to tell me about your personal soap usage. As a soap maker  there are things I try to achieve when making and marketing my soap but I am curious if the things I view as important are important to others as well. My goal as a soap maker is not to get rich or to sell millions of bars of soap. At that point they would no longer be hand crafted. I do think that my products are for a specialized market(natural, fragrance free, no artificial colors).  Your input could perhaps help me gage that market. I compiled a list of questions below. Feel free to answer as many as you like or skip them all and read about January’s soap making farther down on this page. Thank you in advance.

Soap questions

Do you use bar soap or some other form of body wash?

On average how long does it take you to use up a bar of soap?

How do you apply soap to your skin (rub bar of soap directly on you body or apply to a wash cloth then use the wash cloth to wash your body)?

Do you use bar soap for hand washing?

Do different members of your household use different soaps for bathing?

Do you read the ingredients on the soap package?

Which factor(s) are most important in determining what soap product you purchase? Price? Advertising? Packaging? Ingredients? Other?

What qualities do you like in a soap?

Please feel free to include additional comments.

January Soaps – Making A Good Thing Better

I made two soap recipes in January. I have made both of these soaps in the past but after the holiday rush my stock had dwindled. After discovering the wonderful creaminess that yogurt added to my latest creation I decided to add yogurt to these two recipes as well.

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The first was aloe soap. I have been making aloe soap for a couple years now. My aloe soap recipe uses olive oil and coconut oil combined with lye and water. After this combination comes to a trace (when the fats and liquids are blended and begin to thicken) I add aloe juice/gel that I have scraped out of several aloe leaves and blended in a small blender. While I can’t say whether or not the aloe retains any of the healing properties that it is known for, I can say that it adds a slipperiness to the lather and my soap testers (maybe I should call them my critics) have determined that it makes a great shaving soap.

This was already a great soap, but sometimes I can’t help but experiment, so I decided to see if I could make a great thing even better. To add yogurt to the recipe, I used the same procedure as I did in the previous recipe. Yogurt would count as a liquid in the recipe, but since I didn’t want to add lye directly to the yogurt and scorch it I would only use yogurt for part (1/3) of the liquid. I mixed my lye with only 2/3 of the water the recipe called for. I measured out the yogurt in the amount of 1/3 of the water and blended it with my aloe leaves and set it aside. Once the lye/water and oils had been mixed and come to a light trace I then added the yogurt and aloe mixture. I continued to mix this until the soap had come to a thick trace (the consistency of cake batter) before pouring it in the molds.

The yogurt soap seems to take longer to set up, so two days later I took it out of the mold and cut it into bars. It is now curing in my soap room and will be ready for testing in two weeks… if I can wait that long 🙂

The other soap that I made in January also seemed like it would benefit from having yogurt added. This is another soap I have been making for quite awhile. It has coconut oil and olive oil as the base oils and has oatmeal, honey and cinnamon added. I call it Breakfast Bar.

I used the same process – reducing the amount of water that was mixed with the lye by 1/3. Then measuring that amount of yogurt to add once the soap had come to a trace. I found it interesting that after adding the yogurt, honey, oatmeal, and cinnamon the soap seemed to take a long time to come back to a trace. When it did finally trace, I poured it into the mold, wrapped it in a towel, and left it overnight. Again I discovered that this soap, with yogurt added, was taking longer to set up, so I left it another day. The following day the soap was still soft and looked as though it had a thin later of oil on the surface. It didn’t look right so I went online searching for answers and thankfully I found this explanation. Adding sugar to soap causes the soap to heat up more than normal during the soaponification process, and apparently too much sugar can cause some of the oil to separate. It went on to say that in four or five days the oil usually is reabsorbed into the soap. This explanation made perfect sense. The sugar in the yogurt combined with the honey caused this reaction. Fortunately at the four day mark the oil had indeed absorbed back into the soap, and though it was still soft I was able to take it out of the mold and cut it into bars. I am so thankful for experienced soap makers who freely share their knowledge online. 🙂

This batch of soap is also curing in my soap room for about the next three weeks.

Once we (my critics and I) test these soaps I’ll let you know what we think.

Thanks for reading and an extra huge THANK YOU if you decided to answer any of the above questions.

 

 

 

 

 

16 thoughts on “January Soaps – Making A Good Thing Better

  1. I actually haven’t used a bar of soap since I was a child. I prefer using body wash as its easier for the family to share and my children know that one pump is enough for their whole body. My children apply it straight onto their skin where as I prefer to put it onto a sponge first.
    My Aunt also told me that bars of soap tend to be the worst for the build up of soap scum in the shower, (not sure how true that is) but being a bit of a clean freak it’s not a risk i’m willing to take lol!
    I hope that helped! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have super sensitive skin, and have recently stopped using soap in the shower, switching to just water and my Norwex body clothes, which kills up to 99.9% of bacteria. My husband uses a Goat’s Milk bar soap (packaging says its made in Quebec). When I asked him what was important in a soap, he said scent (this one smells like Thrills gum) and it’s a good balance in the sense that it doesn’t leave the skin too dry or two greasy. He uses the bar directly on his body. We use Tiber River liquid soaps for handwashing because they are made from non toxic ingredients, and they are more convenient to have by the sink instead of soap in a dish. I hope that helps!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi there –
    I am so happy that we connected because I LOVE soaps and skin tips!
    My household definitely relies heavily on liquid soap (body, face, and hand). Since I am typically the buyer, I tend to go for brands like Mrs. Myers and Dr. Bronners. I love a fragrant soap and if it has essential oils or is derived directly from plants, its a huge bonus. I am all about natural remedies so I am excited to hear more about your soap making process and learn from this blog. I am definitely going to be following along closely!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I wash body wash Ruth, but I did use an oatmeal soap before made up of goat’s milk, it’s supposed to be good for the skin they said, haha. Currently I’m liking the lavender, ylang-ylang and patchouli oil body wash I’m using.. I wish I could try one of your soaps one day.. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oatmeal is supposed to be soothing and is actually used to treat conditions such as hives or chicken pox. The oatmeal and goats milk would probably be similar to my oatmeal and yogurt.
      If you ever make it to my part of the world look me up and I’ll make sure you get a bar. 🙂 and if you ever decide to make your own soap I will share my recipe with you. Thanks for reading and for your reply.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome Ruth.. I make time to visit and read your blog because I’m interested with your passions.. Maybe one day I’ll be able to visit there as I have some childhood friends who resides in US now. And I would ask for your advice in case I would make some soaps.. thanks.. tc! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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