The Ethical Gentleman

While I do not currently sell my soaps, it is something that I am actively working towards – here in the EU it is not as straight forward as it is in The United States, for example, which means it is taking some time to get in a position to sell my products.  Throughout this time I am faced with ethical choices and I also engage with other soap makers who do sell and face similar questions of ethics.

For me, ethics are a very important part of my plans. (more…)

Shaving Soaps # 1 & 2

Shaving Soap # 1

A short time before I started making soap, I got in to traditional wet shaving – using a double-edge razor with blades, as well as a brush with shaving soap to make the lather. I hadn’t really given any thought to making shaving soaps until there was a discussion about it on The Soap Making Forum. It didn’t take much reading for me to decide that I was going to have to give it a try for myself.

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Tenth Soap – Salt Bar # 2

Having really enjoyed the first salt bars and was getting low on stock – this gave me a great chance to experiment with a couple of changes to the previous recipe.

A member on the Soap Making Forum had posted some interesting ideas on changes to the oils. The previous recipe had 15% Olive oil, but this time I changed that to 10% Avocado oil, upping the Coconut oil amount to 85%.
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How To Make Soap – Cold Process

In my previous posts I have often spoken about various processes involved in making soap.  In this post I will describe how to make soap using Cold Process.

Cold Process seems to be the way most people make soap and is certainly a straight forward method.  Many people use it because it is not only arguably the easiest method and therefore ideal for starting out, it also allows a lot of freedom in how the soap looks which makes it a mainstay for the majority of artisan soapers the world over.
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It Happens Eventually – First Major Issue

When it comes to soaping the odds are stacked so that mean, eventually, every soaper will have a fairly major issue to contend with. It might be a batch overheating or separating in the mould, or some issue with fragrance oils reacting badly and causing the soap to seize solid in the pot before it is even poured. This happens most often when trying out a new recipe or technique and not so often with something tried and tested. As it happens, I had a pretty major issue with a batch of soap that I was making. While it was a slightly different recipe, the problem came from something that can strike at any time – soaper error. (more…)