Spring Time Soap 2014

Soap Heart

Soapmaking is a blast! I really have come to enjoy it… the process of making the soap, smelling and admiring it, and of course using it myself. That’s the #1 reason why I love soapmaking so much – I use the product all over my home, especially in the shower. My favorite out of all of the batches of soap I experimented with this spring was a spearmint patchouli bar with spirulina algae powder in it which makes it look green, naturally. I used essential oils in all but one batch of my soap (that one was balsam fir scent and it was worth it, a favorite of the men who I’ve gifted it to) so they are super natural and healthy. My “Essential” batch includes tea tree, lavender, spearmint and eucalyptus essential oils – some of my all time favorites and common germ fighters. My scrub bars are so, so scrubby.. they are perfect for scrubbing dirt off after running around barefoot during the summer, and scrubbing bug spray and sunscreen off at the end of the day. I didn’t share many scrub bars this time around. I gifted out most of the soap I made this year because it was so fun to!

Here are a few of the soaps I photographed and listed in my shop. They will help fund the next batch! I keep getting better each time I make the soap so I’m definitely going to keep making it.

My soaps are available in my Etsy shop – in the Soap section!

Handmade Felt Soap
A handful of “felted” soaps. I wrap the bars with soft merino wool in bright colors, then rub it around under water which felts the wool around the bar, creating a washcloth-like effect right on the bar. It helps the bar keep longer and you use all of it up! They are super pretty to have around and make really unique gifts. I like to use them on my face!

Felted Soap
I made this new idea I had floating around for awhile… a felted “soap on a rope“. I made one for myself to try out too. Wrapped in the wool is the Spearmint Patchouli bar. Since it can be tied up it can dry out real well in between uses, prolonging its life. (Did you know that wool is naturally slightly antibacterial?)

Handmade Felt Soap Felted Soap

One other thing I experimented with was coffee. I ground up coffee beans and put the grounds in the soap. It works “ok” and doesn’t look all that pretty. I’m going to use it up myself and refine the recipe.

What would you like to see in a bar of soap?

Soap Gone Rancid

Sometimes things go wrong… terribly wrong! All I can do is laugh a little, whine about it a little, learn a lot and maybe have somethin’ to blog about. Hopefully though I will not end up with a whole category titled “Soap Gone Rancid”. This is my first big experience with my soap getting messed up and, of course, it was the largest amount I had dared to make and mix together at once so far.

Shredded Soap ~ Batch Gone Rancid

What I learned is that I will never mix different batches of soap together again. As you can see, the soap shreds (which happened by hand, whew!) are two different colors because it is two different batches of cold process soap that I mixed up, cured and then shredded together. I’m thinking that one of the bottles of vegetable oil that I used was far from its peak of freshness.

Shredded Soap ~ Batch Gone Rancid

My intention with the shreds was to re-melt them down when I wanted to make small batches of soap with other various additives like essential oil or oatmeal. I still intend to make some wonderful soaps for this season and won’t let this 6.5 pound box of “failure” keep me down. It can still be used for clothes washing… perhaps I’ll make a local thrifty person happy and give it away!