Aloe bars (revisited)

I made some aloe bars a while back. They turned out with disasterous amounts of soda ash. WAs ready to toss them, but tested one or two out in the shower. You know what, aside from the soda ash- I think these are great bars. They’re hard as a rock. Lather up well. So I’ve gone to my ‘ruined’ batch and carved the good parts out from their soda ash strongholds. Don’t know if I could sell these except for a buck or two, but they’d be fine to give out to friends. And since soda ash doesn’t hurt you (it’s just aesthetically unappealing), there’s no harm in this soap. I’ve started keeping chunks around the kitchen sink to use as handsoap/dishwashing soap.



Reflections on Bay Rum Sesame Oil

It’s funny. I didn’t intend to make Bay Rum Sesame Oil soap. I had some sesame oil laying around and figured to make some soap out of it before it expired. I hunted down a recipe and this was the easiest one I could find. Actually, it has turned out to be one of my best loaf-molded CP soaps so far. I rinsed the top to rid it of soda ash, but realized that made the whole thing kinda slimy and hard to handle in the bar-cutter. I will have to remember that next time. Anyhow, we’ll see how this one heals up. But its looking good so farIMG_3241


Tallow 10 oz
Sesame seed oil(untoasted)6 oz
Olive oil 6 oz
Coconut oil 6 oz
Palm kernal flakes 6 oz
Castor oil 2 oz
Rice bran oil 1 oz
Lye (at 5% discount) 5.28 oz
*Water 14 oz OR 12.6 oz(discounted)
.5 to 1 oz Bay Rum FO
*For extra skin conditioning add use half water and half Goats milk or substitute all the water for goats milk.


Follow all usual soapmaking precautions and procedures. Keep temps low and watch this one closely because once it traces it goes fast(especially if you do a water discount). Add your FO at light trace to give yourself a little more time.

Go-to-place for Palm Oil

Smart and Final sells 50lbs of palm oil (Shortening) for $35.

That’s a pretty good price. I’m glad to know about it. Coconut, I can order online @ Amazon for $20 a gallon. Olive oil and Palm I can get locally at the best prices. These are the three most common oils. For the exotic oils, I’ll do mailorder.

Oatmeal, milk and honey soap recipe

I’d like to have a solid honey/oatmeal recipe so tonight I tried one from the book I bought, “Natural Soap Making.”

Recipe for a 4-5 pound brick

Olive oil- 15 ounces    Coconut- 15 ounces    Palm- 13 ounces   Jojoba- 3.5 ounces

Beeswax 1.5 ounces

Lye- 6.73 oz.      Distilled water- 12 ounces      Buttermilk 6.02 ounces

ground oats 1/2 cup, honey 8-10 teaspoons

At light trace, add oats and honey.

This was a bigger batch than I was expecting. Almost flowed over my mixing bowl. Other than that, I felt confident working with it and it went into the mold pretty neatly. I did not cover it right away. Let it sit for about 20 minutes. Spritzed with alcohol. Put in the room and covered with a towel. About an hour later I checked on it and a giant, gooey brown gash has opened up in the center.

I fear it might be ruined. I don’t know if its from the spritzing of alcohol, although I doubt it. Will research on forums for some advice. At least I did some bars in the bar molds and those should turn out fine.

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Here are the responses I got from an online forum:

Looks like it started to gel, and then went straight to overheating before the outside had gelled. Both buttermilk and honey are additives that are prone to making soaps overheat. It’s also why the soap in the smaller molds was unaffected–they don’t have the mass to build up heat the way a log mold does.


It is the beginning of a volcano. Your soap overheated. Beeswax, Honey, milks especially goat’s milk and sugars floral and spice fo’s and eo’s can make soaps prone to overheating. I never cover my milk soaps and many times put them in the freezer. When you see it starting to crack it is best to put in the fridge or freezer to stop the overheating. Hopefully yours just gelled, but sometime separation can occur which you will not know until cutting. I would suggest unmolding this soap in a crate or some type of non-reactive container in-case it separated in the middle which can cause oils to leak out.

Successes with molds and melt and pour glycerine

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I am happy with the SHAPE of my Old Bay replica soap. However, I have two things to learn about gylcerine melt and pour. #1 how to erase the line from the second pour. Also, how to better define the shapes. Can you tell those are three stars in the middle of the soap? It kind of looks like an atomic bomb instead. I’ve actually added old bay to the soap itself. That is what all the grit is that you see. Will that work in soap as a decent exfoliant? I don’t know. I will send to my parents as a gift to see if it tears their skin off.

Success and disappointment with molds and melt and pour glycerine

Some of my molds turned out amazing. One that did not was a leatherbound journal I tried to make into a soap mold. My error was that I did not coat the ENTIRE thing in mod podge before making the mold. This silicone rubber is a very good product, but it sucked up the fibers of the book. Also, it got under some of the strings and made an ugly patch. I’m tempted to try some soap in it, but the stains of leather are too deep to seriously use it. I will end up tossing it. 😦IMG_3220 (2) IMG_3221 (2) IMG_3222 (2)

More mold-making

I am done with mold making for a while, at least until Dick Blick has another 20% off sale on their silicone rubber.

Anyhow, here are some items before and during the molding process. I didn’t have enough silicone rubber to do the coffin, so that one will wait. To get the size I wanted, I had to first make a mold the inner coffin from soap. I will then make my mold around that. I tried making a mold around my entire, original coffin but its just too big. That extra quarter of an inch I’m shaving off makes a difference.

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I’ve attempted a book-shaped mold before, but was not entirely pleased with the result. I find that if the book cover overhangs the pages by too much, it doesn’t work so well as a soap mold. On this little leather diary I used, I created a buffer zone out of clay and scraped pages into the clay. We’ll see how it turns out. Diary is ruined, but it’ll be worth it if it makes cool soap, right?