Saturday, August 18, 2012

MP TIPS & TRICKS

Basic Soap Recipe
Soap base - above is a clear glycerine soap base and a cocoa butter soap base
scent - essential oil, fragrance oils
soap colorant - liquid or mica 
texture - herbs, coffee beans,dried flowers, oatmeal, poppy seeds

*Microwave soap base in 30 second intervals until melted, stir every 30 seconds.  (If you are only melting 1 square/1 ounce you may need to try less than 30 seconds)  Don't over heat or boil.  As soon as the base is melted you need to add your scent and texture!  I use a glass measuring cup or ramekin dishes to heat up the base.  Make sure your container is microwave safe and can handle the temperature you're heating to!

*Add scent - 1-4 oz soap = 1-2 milliliter FO,  1 pound soap = 1-2 teaspoons FO, 2 pounds soap = 2 teaspoons FO, 3 pounds soap = 1 tablespoon FO

*Add texture/exfoliant/visual appeal - lavender buds, coffee beans, oatmeal, epsom salt, black walnut hull, poppy seeds, ground pumice, flaxseeds, spices.  You should check the soaping sites to make sure what you want to put in will be ok in soap.

*Pour your soap into a mold and let sit to set.  You can put your molds in the freezer to speed up the process.  For smaller molds like mine it's been taking about 20-30 minutes.  Pop them out and you're done! 

*You can buy your soap base at a craft store or online.  Most craft stores have a decent weekly coupon.

*I found microwaving the soap base to be the absolute easiest quickest way to melt your soap.  Be careful of over heating and just make sure to stir every 30 seconds.  Think of microwaving chocolate.  You can also melt soap in a double boiler or crockpot.

*You can use soap molds, candy molds, pans lined with wax paper or silicone molds for your soaps.  I personally think the soap and candy molds break to easy, I prefer silicone.  You can make soap in a loaf mold as well and slice the bars off when they're done.  

*Layering and Embedding - Be sure to spray in-between every layer and every embed liberally with rubbing alcohol!

*Marbling - Drop a couple drops of colorant in mold before pouring soap.  Pour soap in and add a couple more drops of colorant.  Gently swirl around with a toothpick until desired effect.

*Embed Temperate - when doing embeds make sure soap is between 
130-140 *F or else you will melt them.

*Use a salad shooter to make shred embeds for your soap!

*Use a fondant cutter to make cute embeds or toppers for your soap!

*Mix in your scent and textures before you pour into molds!

*If your scent is colored it will dye your soap so keep that in mind.  If your scent has vanillin in it, it will turn brown.  Use a stabilizer. 

*Cocoa powder - gave the soap a rich, dark appearance and a nice non sweet chocolate smell.  You can mix it into rubbing alcohol first to dissolve the powder or else it can give your soap some spots.  Sometimes those spots are desired and sometimes they are not.

* Alcohol based extracts will not scent the soap for very long.  It's best to use fragrance oils

*Vanillin is an ingredient in soap that causes it to darken over time.  Use a vanilla stabilizer to keep it from darkening.  2 parts FO to 1 part stabilizer or equal parts if vanillin content is high.  DO NOT sniff this!


Check out some of my favorite soaping links here!

Bluing Technique - add 1 drop of blue or turquoise liquid soap colorant to about 2 lbs of soap to make clear glycerine look even clearer.















Textured top - use a utensil to drag around on top of your soap and make peaks while cooling.  Keep chopping at the top of the soap until it's cooled down so much you cannot do so.











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