Soapy Experiments

Hello everyone!

Sorry for a quiet month on the blogging side of things, life has been ever hectic and the garden and nature has taken over my life for a few weeks!  However, recently I discovered the fun of making soaps and bubble bath!  This isn’t actually as hard as it sounds if you start with a base.  The soaps I actually made as presents for my mum’s and grandma-in-law’s birthdays, but I made enough so I could keep a sample of each!  Today I’m just going to focus on the soaps and leave the bubble bath for more experiments and a later blog.

The Joy Of Handmade Soaps

One thing I learnt in this process is that commercially available soaps from the supermarket don’t always melt.  It made a rather sticky gooey mess so I don’t recommend trying it.

When I got it right, I started with a shea butter and oatmeal base that I got from Hobbycraft (you can find it here).  This was really easy to use.  I simply melted the right amount of soap, added the fragrances and any prettiness, poured it into a mould (small, clean margarine tub!) and let it solidify.  I made five ‘flavours’.  I should say that I’ve no idea if using some of the fragrances, colours and herbs were recommended, but it seems to have worked just fine for me!

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Shortly after making.  Clockwise from top right: 1. Lavender and Rosemary; 2: Tangerine; 3. Chocolate; 4: Rose; 5. Mint

Flavour 1: Rose (a.k.a. Turkish Delight)

I used Rose Water (the stuff in turkish delight!) for fragrance and dried rose petals (also brought from Hobbycraft) to make it look pretty.  I also added a small large amount of pink food colouring.  I like how this turned out, although I haven’t used this yet and it smells more like turkish delight than pure rose!  Sadly the pink has faded to an odd brown but still smells beautiful!

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I love the patterns from the Rose Petals, but its a shame it lost its stunning pink colour!

Flavour 2: Lavender and Rosemary

A relaxing soap!  For this I used lavender essential oil and freshly cut rosemary leaves.  I cut the leaves up a little bit to help release the scent better.  The rosemary leaves also look quite pretty.  For colour I added the tiniest amount of blue food colouring to get a lavender-like colour!  I just love the smell of this one, haven’t used it yet, but it does smell good!

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I love the very uneven distribution of rosemary leaves!

Flavour 3: Tangerine

I was originally only going to do three flavours, but I had extra soap base, so thought I’d do five instead.  This was one of the extra ones.  This one was very simple, I just used some tangerine essential oil for the fragrance and some yellow food colouring for the colour.  This one seems nice enough, I wouldn’t say its my favourite, I think the food colouring had a slight smell which seems slightly odd, but its something I would definitely experiment more with.

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The plainest looking soap!  (The little dots you can see is the oatmeal from the soap base).

Flavour 4: Mint

Now I’m a huge fan of mint so it was natural I’d try a mint soap!  This was also one of my extra flavours because I thought mum and grandma might like the others better!  For this I used peppermint essence (yep, the food flavouring!) and some freshly cut mint leaves.  Mmmmm, it smells good!  I also added some blue and yellow food colouring in an attempt to make green…it ended up green after cooling, but it definitely didn’t look green in the saucepan!  This soap I have started using and I’m very much in love with it!  It not only smells and looks good, but my skin is loving it compared to my normal shower gel!

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A part used bar of mint soap.  It’s actually a bit greener than my camera would have you think!

Flavour 5: Chocolate

Last, but definitely not least, we have the chocolate soap!  This was created especially with my mum in mind.  It uses cocoa powder and chocolate extract for both the smell and colouring.  It smells just like an extra chocolately cake that’s just finished baking!  I did warn my mum not to try and eat it because the soap base probably isn’t edible!

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Personally, I think this is the best soap I made today, it looks and smells wonderful.  Can’t wait to try it!

Overall I had a thoroughly good time playing at being a chemist making soaps and its so easy using this method!  I would like to try the whole process at some point, but for now I’m going to shower with the joy of using my handmade soaps!  You’ve probably guessed I love handmade anything by now, even my mouse enjoys his homemade toys!  (Oh wait, you’d like a cute mouse picture?  Really?  But its so off topic?  Oh, ok, if you insist, here’s my little darling!)

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