Making new molds

Worked on new molds today.

My next soap recipe will incorporate tallow and sesame seed oil. We’ll see how this one goes.

Bay Rum Sesame Oil Soap Recipe


Extra bubbly and very spicy!


Tallow (beef) 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.

Here are the molds being processed. What a mess! We’ll see how they turn out:



Learning from mistakes

Regarding the previous posts, here are a few things I’ve learned from my mistakes via a few voices from some of the online forums. My castille soap may not be a total failure. I left it in the molds for two days, but many have recommended I leave it for much longer. A week maybe. Then there are some who say they let a true olive oil castille cure for a full year. God, these soaps probably last forever. (Note: I did see some Syrian-made castille for sale at the arab market I go to. The date on the package said made in 2012). I was tempted to buy a block just to see how it was.

Anyway, the white ‘chalky’ coating is soda ash, which is normal sometimes. IT can be planed off with a peeler once the bar itself has hardened enough. (Maybe 1 month from now).

Regarding the little dark flecks in my aloe soap, it’s because I added powdered spirulina green straight into the mix. How easily I’ve forgotten that you’ve got to mix these colorants with 100% alcohol first and add it in as a liquid. The specks are not devestating and these soaps might prevail in the end. We’ll see how things look tomorrow hen I unmold them.

Reflections on Oatmeal soap made three weeks ago

While initially pleased with my goats milk, oatmeal and honey soaps, some time trials have proven that towards the end of the soap life you’re left with what looks like a big handful of oatmeal. Below are pictures of before and after. The lessons learned from this error are- #1. Go by the amounts mentioned in the recipe. #2 You want to have enough oatmeal to act as a subtle and gentle exfoliant, not so much that it looks like breakfast once the bar starts to wear down.


Aloe, Olive oil and Beeswax soap 2

The girls and I worked up this soap today. It was a very simple recipe and I added my own touch of green spirulina powder to hopefully get more of a green than a yellow. The result was…. yellow. I was much more careful to let it come to a full trace before pouring into molds. About 8 hours later, I did notice some hairline cracks which may be some chemical reaction with the beeswax. (This is my first time working with beeswax). Still have to wait a while before popping out from the molds. In the meantime, I am resuming mold-creating process. I’ve completed the structure for two dogs, a tin can and a custom ‘hungry dog’ bar of soap that I’ve carved from hard foam.

I am eager to get three or four solid recipes under my belt, perfect them and grow from there. So far, I haven’t made a very good batch of cold process soap yet. Melt and pour is no problem, but that is a soap that anyone can make and it’s not at all cost effective. I do like the challenge of cold process, but so far it’s kicked my ass for three batches.

The house is getting messy. My wife is getting stressed and I don’t blame her. I think that in the beginning, there is too much to absorb and learn. You want to try three different processes and ten different recipes all at once. I’m learning a lot from my mistakes, which is all part of the game. However, I think the thing that will help me get to the next phase is in keeping a daily planner and PLANNING what I will do next. Studying it. Making sure I am acquainted with all ingredients and processes. Waking up on Saturday morning and seeing what recipe drives me that particular day is not the best way to go about it. And I’ve got too much attention divided between creating molds and making the actual soap, while also trying to devise packaging and marketing strategies.

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Defeated by the simplest cold process soap (Castille)

A mistake I made with Castille, I think, was that I did not blend long enough to a ‘yogurt’ or mayonnaise-like trace. Things were pretty still fluid when I poured the castille. It was still gel after two days of curing. Anywhere that was not properly cleaned up from the castille was terribly and permanently stained (See cutting board picture). Also, the soap is very chalky. You can see in the pictures below how there’s an outer ‘ash’ surface over the castille. I am seeking advice on online forums to see if soap is salvageable, but anything that’s going to permanently stain a cutting board like that hasn’t got great chemistry to begin with.