Category Archives: Yogurt Soap

Coming Clean – Aloe Soap With Yogurt

A while back I wrote about making  Aloe Soap with Yogurt  and since my husband and I have recently tested this soap I wanted to share our thoughts on it.

Before I do I find it necessary offer this prelude. When our daughters were growing up we had some pretty strict rules that they had to follow. These rules served several  purposes: help maintain order, live within a budget, teach the girls responsibility and self discipline… One of the rules was that their showers were limited to eight minutes. We generally find that eight minutes is an adequate amount of time for us to get in, wash, rinse and get out. We bought a kitchen timer to keep in their bathroom. They were required to set the timer for 8 minutes and when the timer went off they had to get out of the shower.  It was done on an honor system, but if my husband or I were around when they got in the shower we would occasionally set the timer in the kitchen for 8 minutes to see if they were cheating.

It’s been about two weeks now since I first showered with the new Aloe Soap . I was thrilled with the outcome. The lather was rich, bubbly and creamy, it rinsed off well and left my skin feeling soft and clean.

After I had used this soap for a few days I gave my husband a bar. I didn’t tell him what I thought of it. I just asked him to let me know what he thought. After his shower he told me that he loved the soap. Several (at least four  probably more like six) times throughout the day he repeated to me how much he loved the soap. “That lather is amazing.”

The following morning after breakfast my husband said, “I’m afraid to get in the shower.” His statement caught me off guard and I asked him why. “That soap feels so good I don’t think I will want to get out. I might stay in there for a couple hours until I use up the whole bar.”

“Oh, no!” I laughed. “Eight minutes.”

He said he had already considered finding the timer and setting it. (I’m sure none of the girls took it when they moved out.) He also had wondered, if he did set the timer, if he could/ would cheat.

I found this pretty funny and I thought it was a wonderful testimony for my soap, but knowing that the girls read my blog could I really I confess his temptation to them and the whole world?

He didn’t really get out the timer, and I don’t know whether he stuck to eight minute showers, but I did not notice his showers taking longer than normal. A few days ago he announced to me that the bar lasted him for six showers which is about average for him.

As you now know I did decide to “come clean” because even if the girls try to hold this over his/our head the worst they can do is razz him about it since they are now paying for their own hot water. Hmm, I wonder if they will use this soap.


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.


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.






Crunch Time

With only a few short days before Christmas I still have several projects in the works. Even though I don’t do Christmas shopping, I guess this year I am as bad as a last minute shopper. Call me a “last minute crafter”. Thus the next few days will be spent finishing those projects (that I will tell you about after the holidays), grocery shopping for our Christmas meal, and baking some Christmas treats.

I did want to take a minute to tell you how my latest soap turned out. I wrote about it in this post It is the one with cucumber, yogurt and Rosemary. I will start by saying my first impression was positive, but I always keep my thoughts to myself until I get some feedback from others. My husband was the next to try it. He showered with it in the morning then headed to the farm to get some work done. A while later he called me, “what was that soap I used this morning?” he asked. I told him and he went on to tell me his experience. “I always start my shower by lathering up my hair” he said.  (Yes we both use my homemade soaps to wash our hair as well as our bodies.) “I started rubbing that soap in my hair and the next thing I knew I had a big pile of lather on top of my head. It felt really good and rinsed off nice too. I like it.”

My niece stopped by a couple days later so I gave her one for her and one for my sister to try.  When I asked my sister about it she said something like this, “I usually don’t spend much time in the shower, I get in, wash up and get out. When I was using this soap I didn’t want to get out. It left my skin feeling so good, and I don’t know if I have ever felt so clean.” My niece also liked this soap, and I only wish I had written down her comments because I can’t remember them right now.

Besides the rich creamy lather and my skin feeling really soft after the shower, I noticed some things that no one else mentioned. First the bar had a bit of a gritty feeling like small grains of sand in the soap. I am not sure where this came from unless it was ground up cucumber seeds. It wasn’t offensive, in fact it gave the bar a little extra scrubbing power much like to coffee grounds in my coffee soap. The other thing I noticed was that I could smell the scent of Rosemary when I sniffed the bar. I am not surprised that no one else noticed this because I had to actually put the bar right up to my nose and sniff it in order to detect the fragrance. This soap recipe is definitely a keeper.

In my previous post I shared that my biggest dilemma was coming up with a name for this soap. A couple of readers offered cute suggestions, and while I very much appreciate their ideas I decided to stick with my “Don’t Eat It!” theme. This new soap is now called———————————————————————————————–







Yep! It’s Salad Bar Soap. Cucumbers are definitely salad food and yogurt and Rosemary could be ingredients in a salad dressing, so quirky as it may sound “Salad Bar” it is.

Now before I get back to all of the busyness of the next few days, Dom and I want to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas. God Bless.

The Soap is Curing

I am sure anyone who makes cold processed soap will agree that the hardest part about it is waiting for the soap to cure.

Maybe I should backup a step for anyone not familiar with soap making. There are basically three methods that can be used for making handcrafted soaps. There is the melt and pour method which involves buying a premade base soap and melting it to add ingredients such as fragrances and colorants then remolding it perhaps into pretty or cute shapes. The other two methods are hot process and cold process. Both of these methods involve mixing lye with liquid and oils. With hot process, once the ingredients are combined the soap is heated in order to speed up the chemical reaction, known as soaponification, which must occur in order for the soap to be safe to use. This soap can be ready to use in a matter of hours. Cold process soap, on the other hand, is poured into the mold after the lye/liquid is mixed with the oils. While it can usually be taken out of the mold in 24 to 48 hours it needs to cure for several weeks while the soaponification takes place. Many factors can effect the speed which soaponification takes place including the soap recipe, the size of the soap bars and the temperatures in which the soap is curing. I allow my soaps to cure for a least six weeks and have almost always found this period to be sufficient.

I have several batches of soap in various stages of curing right now including the soap I made a few days ago by request I honestly found it difficult to make that batch of soap because it was such a simple recipe. It lacks the creativity and experimentation aspects that I find so challenging and fun. While it was very tempting to add extra ingredients I restrained myself because this, three-ingredient, soap was what the person who requested needs.

Some of the other soaps that I have curing have allowed me to be more creative so I will tell you about those. Both the Sweet Dandelion and Coffee soap that I made a while back are cured and ready to use. I have made both of these recipes in the past and they are both favorites.

This time when I made the coffee soap I decided to experiment with it. I have been having some success at getting light fragrances and or colors in my soaps by infusing herbs into the oils. I wondered if this would work for coffee as well. In the past when I have made coffee soap I used brewed coffee for the liquid, I also added coffee grounds. This time in addition to using brewed coffee I added the coffee grounds to my oils. I knew that in order to release the oils from the coffee grounds the coffee would need to be heated much higher than I normally heat my soap oils. I put the coffee grounds into my oils and heated them about 190 degrees Fahrenheit. I then let the coffee infused oils cool.  As usual I mixed my oils with my lye/liquid (brewed coffee) when both were cooled to about 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Coffee Soap

The coffee infused oils gave the soap a dark, rich coffee color but the fragrance that I had hoped for is still largely absent. I have since read that the optimal temperature for brewing coffee is between 195 and 205 Fahrenheit so next time I will heat it just a little bit more.

I have had positive feedback from a few people who have used this soap. Comments were things like “it’s a really nice soap” and “I really like it” and my sister who called me yesterday said “I love the coffee soap” and she found it to be “refreshing”.

Among the other soaps that are curing is a completely new recipe. I decided to try this back in the summer when we were harvesting our beautiful cucumber crop. I know that cucumber is often used in skin care products so I wanted to give it a try. I don’t usually make a lot of soap during the summer so I pureed a couple of cucumbers and put them in the freezer until I was ready to make the soap.

About 5 weeks ago I was ready to use the cucumber puree in my soap but I wondered what ingredients would pair well with the cucumber. The most common way we eat cucumbers is as pickles but for more than one reason that doesn’t work for soap. It took me a while to figure it out but I eventually decided to try yogurt. Since milk based soaps are known to be gentle and creamy I though yogurt could add this as well. I also wanted to add an herb to this soap so I decided to infuse my oils with rosemary that I had harvested from our garden. I didn’t want to leave the rosemary leaves in the soap so I put them in a teabag then placed the teabag in the oils as I heated them. I again brought the temperature up higher than I would normally heat them for making soap in order to draw out some of the rosemary properties. When adding the cucumber puree and yogurt I knew that they should be counted as liquid. Since I didn’t know how they would react to being mixed directly with lye I decided to add them later in the process. In order to do this I discounted the amount of water I was mixing with the lye. I decided that the combination of cucumber puree and yogurt should equal 1/3 of my total liquid, I divided the amount of water my recipe called for by 3. I then measured my cucumber puree and added enough yogurt to bring this mixture to 1/3 of my total liquid. I set that mixture aside then measured the other 2/3 water and added my lye to it.

Once the lye/liquid and the oils cooled to around 100 Fahrenheit I removed the rosemary from the oil then I mixed the lye/water with the oils. I blended this mixture until it came to a light trace (started to thicken) then I mixed in the cucumber/yogurt mixture. I continued to mix until the mixture had come to a full trace ( the consistency of a thick gravy) then I poured the mixture into the molds. I am excited that this soap will be ready for testing this week.

I don’t have a formal testing process. It basically goes like this – I use the soap first. I pay attention to it’s properties – hardness, creaminess, lather, does it rinse off well, does it leave my skin feeling soft or dry, is there any scent. I then give my husband a bar to use and get his opinion. With new recipes I generally like feedback from a couple more people, so a friend or family member who stops by when I have a new soap ready will likely be given a bar to try with the condition that they provide me with honest feedback about the soap. I’ll be sure to let you know how this soap turns out.

I do have one major concern about this new recipe with cucumber, yogurt and rosemary.Maybe you can help. The  problem is what the heck do I call it? You can leave your suggestions and any other questions or comments about this post in the comments section below.

Thanks for reading.

🙂 until next time.