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Welcome To The Wonderful World OF Soapmaking
Ok, so you took the Soapkmaking Workshop with Eva at Blackspring Farms... Now you want to go home and make more soap!
But first, there's some things you'll need to get.
This stuff comes in every variety you could imagine. We use the goat milk soap base in the workshops, but oatmeal soap base is lovely, as is shea butter and olive oil. You could also use a clear glycerine soap base that is really neat if you'd like to be able to see thru the soap, although my warning to you is that it isn't great body soap. It tends to dry out the skin. But for hand soap it's great. Furthermore, glycerin soap will "sweat" if let in the open air for too long, so make sure you wrap it in plastic after you make it, for the best delivery.
Typically, 2 lbs of soap base makes 8-10 average sized soap bars, depending on how big they are.
Whatever you want to make your soap smell like, it's really the best option to use essential oil. There are 'fragrance' oils out there that are not the same. They're cheaper, but they're lower quality and more often than not they are irritating to skin. So again, for hand soap, go nuts... but for all over your body everyday soap, for the love of god just go with essential oil. It's super cheap at TJ Max, as long as you're just making one batch and you don't need a galleon of essential oil... they say 15 drops/1 lb. Since soap base comes in 2 lb amounts usually, eyeball about 30 drops, or 2 squeezes from an eye dropper.
There are bags, boxes, wrap and everything else available to package soap. But really, just buy some plastic wrap from the grocery store and wrap it up. You don't need much, stretch it so that there are no air pockets. Voila.!
The Double Boiler
If there is any confusion on what a double boiler is, I'll break it down:
Boil water in a big pot. Put the soap in a metal thing (like a metal bowl or a smaller metal pot) and let it float on the boiling water. The boiler water will heat the soap slowly, this way it won't burn. This is how you should melt the soap. Don't add the essential oil until you turn off the heat.
There are bags, boxes, wrap and everything else available to package soap. But really, just buy some plastic wrap from the grocery store and wrap it up. You don't need much, stretch it so that there are no air pockets. Voila!
Color and Flowers
For color, use Mica Powder. Don't use food coloring, it'll make a mess of your bathtub and it might dye your skin. For flowers, always use petals that are dried rather than fresh. The fresh petals will decompose in the soap and leave sludgy air pockets. Roses go on sale all the time at Kroger, put some petals between two pages in a big book and forget about them for a couple of weeks and you'll have some great dried rose petals for soap making.... Rosemary leaves live thru the winter and smell great, they are a great choice to put in soaps.
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