Thursday, August 28, 2014

Handy Guide to Soapmaking Methods

There are several different processes that can be used to make soap. These include Cold Process, Hot Process, Melt & Pour (or Gylcerin) and Rebatched.

Cold Process (CP)

In this process, oil and lye are brought to their desired temperatures, mixed, and allowed to react without additional heating.  Fragrances, colorants, and other additives are added to the mixture, which is then poured into a mold. Saponification typically takes place in the mold within 24 hours and the soap is cured for 4-6 weeks.

·    Natural, authentic looking soap, made from scratch
·    You control the ingredients and can make customized formulations
·    Many design possibilities – swirling, layering, embedding, piping, peaked tops, and more
·    Some fragrances and additives can cause acceleration in trace, seizing, ricing, and separation
·    Curing time is 4-6 weeks
·    Dangerous chemicals require added safety precautions are used

Hot Process (HP)

Hot process soapmaking is very similar to cold process. The oil and lye are brought to their desired temperatures, mixed, and allowed to react; then additional heat is applied to complete saponification.  This is done either in a double boiler on the stove (HP), in a crock pot (CPHP), or in the oven after pouring into the mold (ITOHP). After heating, fragrances, colorants, and other additives are added to the mixture, which is poured into a mold.

·    Saponification is accelerated, shortening the time in the mold.
·    You control the ingredients and can make customized formulations
·    Fragrances are added after saponification so there are no issues that can arise
·    Soaps are ready in a few days, but still need to cure in order to harden

·    HP produces a thicker and stickier mixture that can be difficult to pour evenly and smoothly into molds
·    Curing time is 2-3 weeks
·    Milk soaps or soaps containing sugar may turn brown due to overheating
·    Difficult to remove from some molds
·    Dangerous chemicals require added safety precautions are needed

Melt and Pour (MP) - also known as Glycerin

Melt and pour soapmaking uses a soap base that is commercially produced and already saponified.  You can then blend in fragrances, colorants, or additives into the remelted base and pour into a mold. Saponification was completed when the base was produced by the manufacturer.

·    Quick and easy to make soap
·    Many design possibilities – swirling, layering, embedding, and more
·    No curing – soaps are ready as soon as they have cooled
·    No dangerous chemicals
·    Safe for kids to make
·    It is not made from scratch
·    Many bases contain chemicals, although there are some natural bases, too
·    Less control over ingredients
·    Tends to ‘sweat,’ requiring the soap to be shrink wrapped

Rebatched - sometimes referred to as Milled 

Soap is first made using either the cold or hot process method. Anytime after saponification, the soap is shredded, melted, and remolded. Typically, rebatching is used when something minor has gone wrong in a batch of soap the first time around – unattractive color or design, fragrance didn’t take, etc. You can also purchase shredded soap that is ready to rebatch. 

Rebatched soap is sometimes referred to as milled or remilled soap. This is not necessarily a correct term for this method. Milled soap, i.e. Triple Milled French Soap, uses a special process in which factory machinery presses the soap, among other things. It is not shredded and melted like you would do in a small shop or at home. Therefore, to avoid confusion, it should be referred to as rebatched soap. 

·    Remake an unsatisfactory soap, rather than wasting the ingredients
·    Can add ingredients without having to start processing all over
·    Essential oils that are too delicate for MP or HP can be used
·    More time-consuming
·    Softer soap that tends to melt faster when bathing
·    Doesn’t always fix problems with a batch that didn’t come out right the first time around

Soapmaking, Bath & Body and Candle Making Classes
Online or Local

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Artisan Soapmaker - New Quarterly eZine

We have released a brand new soapmaking eZine to the industry this month. It is released quarterly and our hope is that it will become a fun and inspirational resource for creative soapmakers worldwide.

What makes our eZine unique? Well, it doesn't really follow a traditional eZine format at all, with varied topics on everything from business to making cosmetics to interviews to surveys, etc. If you are looking for a traditional industry publication, we recommend The Saponifier, which I have contributed to as a column editor for over 5 years (and continue to do so). Instead, it focuses on soap and soap alone, with an emphasis on tutorials. 
  • About 6 soapmaking tutorials per issue
  • Quality step by step photos accompany each tutorial
  • Intermediate to Advanced designs
  • Based on a quarterly theme
  • Both CP and MP designs in every issue (usually a 50/50 split)
  • Additional soapy articles that support the theme, such as using colorants or making your own tools
  • NO interviews or articles about particular companies
  • NO articles outside of the realm of soap and soapy topics
  • Recipes in every issue
  • Reasonably priced at $8.95 per issue
The first issue features some fun designs, plus a number of soapy articles.
  • Color Theory
  • Using Color in Soap
  • Pigment Mixing Primer
  • Using Color Palettes
  • CP Tutorials:
    Easy Layering
    Rainbow Petals
    6 Color Mantra Swirl
  • MP Tutorials
    Simple Stripes
    Confetti Pop Dots
    Stained Glass Window
Rainbow Petals CP Soap

Making Layered CP Soap

Making Pop Dot MP Soap

6 Color Mantra Swirl CP Soap

Gothic Stained Glass MP Soap

Give it a try and let us know what you think.

Soapmaking, Bath & Body and Candle Making Classes
Online or Local

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Hot Air Balloon Soap Tutorial

This hot air balloon soap is featured in our Online Advanced Scenery CP class with a full length video demonstration.  You can learn more about that class on our website.  We had the pleasure of making this design in MP soap for a guest post on the SoapQueen blog.  You can use the same basic directions for both MP or CP soap.  It's a bit fiddly, so it is considered an advanced design meaning you should be able to layer and embed soap like a pro.

You can find the step by step instructions and photos on the SoapQueen blog.  It even includes a link to purchase the ingredients from Bramble Berry.

The Bonnie Bath Co.
Soapmaking, Bath & Body and Candle Making Classes
Online or Locally

Monday, August 25, 2014

Soapmaking Academy Fall Term Begins September 1st

We offer our 14 week Online Soapmaking Academy 3 times per year, running similar to a college schedule - spring, summer, and fall.  Our Fall term starts on Monday, September 1st.  If you don't want to be left out, you'll need to head over to our website and sign up straightaway.  Do not wait though, as we only have a few spots remaining.

Fall Term - September 1 - December 1, 2014

What is Soapmaking Academy?

  • 14 weeks of soapmaking classes
  • Beginner through advanced lessons
  • Lessons are about 3 hours in length
  • Business, labeling, and GMP included
  • Swirling, piping, coloring, scenting, and so much more
  • Thorough explanations and examples
  • Build confidence in your soapmaking
  • Professional, state of the art teaching platform
  • Countless slides and video demos
  • Exciting weekly challenges
  • Add on kits - 1 by Bramble Berry made exclusively for us
  • 14 comprehensive manuals, each at least 30 pages in length
  • Coupons to top suppliers
  • Work at your own pace - no set times
  • Unlimited access even after course is over
  • Personal attention and assistance every step of the way
  • Easy payment plans available
  • Deep discounts for add on classes
This is a comprehensive course consisting of slideshow presentations, videos, downloadable PDFs, and quizzes to highlight important information in a professional format. You'll be able to learn everything you would in a traditional classroom and ask any questions along the way all from the comfort of your home.
Classes include:
  • Week 1 - CP Beginner Soapmaking
  • Week 2 - Colorants in Soapmaking
  • Week 3: Scenting in Soapmaking
  • Week 4: Soap and Cosmetic Business
  • Week 5: CP Intermediate 1: Embedding/ Layering
  • Week 6: CP Milk Soaps
  • Week 7: CP Intermediate 2: Swirling
  • Week 8: CP Liquid Substitutions
  • Week 9: Packaging and Labeling Soap and Cosmetics
  • Week 10: CP Advanced Swirling 1
  • Week 11: CP/HP Advanced Soapmaking Pro
  • Week 12 : CP Advanced Swirling 2
  • Week 13: CP Advanced Scenery
  • Week 14: CP Advanced Soap Decorating
Our classes are unique in the industry.  Each course is designed in logical sequence in a well thought out curriculum.  Classes are very comprehensive and cover small details that are often overlooked in other courses and books, but make life easier for soapmakers (things we wished we had learned as a new soapmaker).  The class is built on a professional platform, where you can learn at your own pace on your own time, anywhere in the world.  You just need internet access and a desire to learn. 
Choose to pay in full or make 4 equal payments. 

Feel free to post questions in our comment area.

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