soap tips and tricks

Here’s some stuff that I’ve learned during my soap making adventures that you might find useful.

The lye solution:

  • it can be made out of water, tea, fruit juice, milk, coffee or any other liquid that you consider proper for the soap
  • in order to avoid destroying all the properties of the liquid that you have chosen, due to the high temperatures from the reaction with the lye, I freeze the liquid after measuring
  • sugar can be added in the lye solution to increase how “bubbly” the final soap will be

Essential oils:

  • can accelerate the saponification process
  • they can blend during the cure time

Additives:

  • fruits and vegetables can decrease the soap’s “life”
  • if you want to use natural flowers to decorate your soap, take into consideration that during the saponification process the beautiful colors of the dried flowers can be damaged
  • I will soon write about my experience with natural coloration

Molds:

  • don’t use small molds if the soap is thickening too fast; you will no longer be able to pour it or end up with bars that look like this
  • if your molds have small details, let the soaps rest for 2 days, then freeze them. your soap will come out easily and you avoid breaking it

Gelling phase:

  • all cold process soaps tend to enter the gelling phase. you can help your soap through this phase. an incomplete gelling phase will damage the look of your soap
  • in case you want a milky color for your soap, avoid this phase and put the soap in a ventilated area to decrease its temperature
  • if you want a more translucent soap then keep the soap warm in the first hour after pouring it into the mold. the gelled soaps tend to be harder from the beginning

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