*Happy Dance* I have a new toy!

March 28, 2011

For about the past four to six months I’d been reading more and more about people using stick blenders to mix their soap and lye-water together as opposed to stirring by hand.  I hadn’t been having any troubles with my soap tracing so I figured it wasn’t worth the investment in on.

That is until I had a couple failed batches on new recipes I’d tried.  After much research I’d determined I was getting a “false trace.”  And the more I read, the more I realized a hand mixer would solve that problem.

One more failed batch and I finally broke down and bought a stick blender.  Isn’t it pretty!?!?  I love new toys!  And the best thing about this!?  I had a 30% off coupon to Kohl’s come in the mail and that reminded me I had a gift card from Kohl’s from Christmas that I hadn’t used so my new toy ended up not costing me anything!  How cool is that?

My stick blender. All shinny and new! Soon to be used!

Post to come shortly on how my new toy worked when I tried it out on a new soap recipe!


Arrowroot Powder

March 25, 2011

My parents went on a cruise recently and they were at some island in the Caribbean (no I can’t remember which one, I’m awful with names!) known for its spices. My mom sent me a text asking if I wanted any spices. “Um, heck yeah!” I love to bake. I enjoy cooking well enough and the thought of fresh spices to bake/cook with! Then not two seconds after that thought my mind goes to…can’t you guess? SOAP!!!

I started typing a return text with a list of all the spices I wanted, wracking my brain for all the spices I could remember off the top of my head that I wanted for soap making (my list was at home and at the time I was at work.) I vaguely remember reading something about arrowroot powder so I put it down…figured I could figure out exactly what it could be used for later.

When my parents returned home and gave me my spices it included this HUGE bottle of arrowroot powder! (See picture) Apparently my wonderful dad went into pharmacies and stores looking for it when they couldn’t find it in the spice market for me! Awwww. Thanks Dad! I figured since he went to all that effort to find me the powder I needed to figure out how I was going to use it!

Lots of Arrowroot!

So, out came the soap books…my fingers got busy searching the web and I found a fair amount of useful information! Questions I asked and found answers to:

What is Arrowroot Powder?

Arrowroot Powder: A natural powdered root starch that is white in color and very light in weight from the genus of plant Maranta arundinacea. Arrowroot powder is used as a thickening and stabilizing agent in food preparations, as a base for some of your body care formulations, and it is the main foundation for most body powders.

How can it be used in soap?

Arrowroot powder can be used for soap making as well as as one of the ingredients in your bath & body powders or all by itself as a soothing body & bath powder. Just add your own scent or leave unscented, and use as is.

I found this piece of information on a chat board (someone was writing about her experience) and I just thought it really interesting and I think I might try it next time I make a shaving soap!

I have horribly sensitive skin. Whenever I shave my legs, I get a rash. I added it to my base when I stumbled upon a soap recipe from a supplier. I never thought to add something like this to base. I have only used it in powders. Anyway, I sifted the arrowroot powder into my base. This is the same base that I have always used. No more rashes of any kind happened to me. I tried without it again to see if it was a fluke and it was not. I have used the same brand of razors too. I cannot explain why it helped me. It just did. My guess is that it is soothing, the same way that it is in a powder I guess. Perhaps it is just me, but I love the feel and the fact that for whatever reason, I have no rashes on my legs. Oatmeal never worked for me or other soothing agents for that matter. I noticed no difference in the lather or the razor glide. It is all about the apparent soothing affect that it has on my skin.

And lastly I found this recipe (which isn’t a soap bar…but I’m still really tempted to try!)

Shaving Soap Update

March 24, 2011

I don’t know if you all remember back to two weeks ago (I can barely remember what I did two days ago usually!) but I was trying out a new shaving soap recipe!

It seemed like everything was working great until I poured and the oils started to separate. After getting frustrated that yet another batch of shaving soap was failing on me I decided to be stubborn. I kept mixing the oils back together every 30 minutes or so until I went to bed that night.

Woke up and the oils were still separated. In one last effort I mixed them back together before I headed to work. I expected to come home to find the oils separated again and was prepared to dump the batch, but surprise, surprise they hadn’t separated! I didn’t know what to expect at this point…but figured I’d leave it in the mold and see what happened…well two weeks later and it’s starting to harden! It’s almost to the point where I can probably attempt to take it out of the mold, but it’s still super soft.

Last night I attempted to pull the sides away from the mold to see if it came away cleanly (or crumbled like my previous failed batch did). The sides seemed to remove cleanly! I’m going to give it a few more days in the mold but I’m crossing my fingers that maybe my stubbornness saved this batch…

Sides of the mold removed cleanly...this is a good sign!

It’s so soft that I image it’s going to take months (if it does remove from the mold) to completely cure before this soap is usable…but I’ll wait months if it means the batch didn’t fail on me!

If the batch worked (that’s still a big “IF”) the first three people to comment on this post can be a tester for this soap (a couple months from now probably…but sign up it you want to :))

Soaptastic Poll Friday!

March 18, 2011

Pictures: Apple Glycerin Goat’s Milk Bars

March 17, 2011

Pictures: Lavender-Vanilla Glycerin Bar

March 16, 2011

Pictures: Oatmeal, Milk, and Honey Glycerin Shea Butter

March 15, 2011