Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sea Rose Devotion Soap

My mind is working overtime this morning trying to come up with a new soap creation.. The proprietor of my favorite little Italian restaurant, Pina, and I have been talking about soap.  When she grew in Sicily Marseille soap is what was used all around the home.. from bathing to laundry.. as a shampoo to just a general cleaning agent.  

As we were talking yesterday I mentioned that I had ordered some powdered Rosemary from a place that I purchase soap making supplies from.  She walked me outside and cut off this huge stalk of Rosemary from a bush she has in front of the restaurant.  I am going to incorporate this into a creation today that will be a Marseille Wanna-Be. 

Marseille soap is made from 72% olive oil and from the waters of the Mediterranean Sea.  It is made hot process so my usual crock pot method will be good for this new venture of mine.  My challenge is the where to get Mediterranean Sea water!  Google to the rescue!  I am going to use my French Sea Salt (Fleur de Sel) and mix it with water to the right concentration and that will be my Virginia Mediterranean Sea water!  One formula I found to make sea water is 35 grams of sea salt per liter of water.  That is what I am running with! 

The next challenge is how to incorporate the Rosemary into what I am doing.  I think I will make a 3 lb batch and once it is cooked spoon out 1 pound of it.  In that pound I will mix in some Rosemary that I chop fine in my bullet blender.  That will go into my 1 pound mold and the rest will go into my 2 pound mold. 

I think my recipe will be:

72% Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I know.. this is a major splurge!)
20% Coconut Oil
8% Castor Oil
Homemade Mediterranean Sea Water

I am going to superfat with some of the Castor Oil.  I will mix in 5% at the end of the hot process.  That will ensure the Castor Oil is what is left after the hot processing saponifies the lye and other oils. 

This batch is going to need a long cure time.  I may discount the water.... or let some of it cook off in the crock pot at the end just before I put it into the mold to shorten the cure time.  That will be a first for me too!    

Update as the day rolled on... Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 2:17 PM

Well it's soap and it smells grand!  I changed my plan and mixed Lavender Essential Oil and chopped Rosemary in at the end with the Castor Oil through the whole batch.  I made it a tad over 3 pounds total so I could have two little remnant bars to use while I wait.   The soap is in the mold.  Tomorrow it will be hard enough to cut into bars... And then the cure for as long as I can take it!  It's a pretty cream color right now but I think over time it will be darker.  The Rosemary is still green and I think that will turn brown as it cures.  I don't mind.. because as of yet I haven't gotten into the swirls and other fancy pretty stuff.  I just want earthy real soap that feels good on my skin, cleans well, moisturizes... and sometimes has a scent!

For now I've decided the name of this soap will be Sea Rose Devotion.  Because in Italian Rosemary is Rosmarino.  Which means Sea Rose... It grows and thrives by the sea.  And Lavender flowers represent purity, silence, devotion, and caution.  Since Pina from Presto! Pizza gave me her precious Rosemary to make this soap and we had our lovely conversation about much of this... ergo the name Sea Rose Devotion!  

Update the next morning... Monday, March 26, 2012 at 5:30 AM 

I decided to cut this pretty soap up this morning before leaving for work instead of letting it sit all day.  I was a little nervous that it would get too hard because of the salt water and it seemed ready to cut.  So..without further noise from me... Ta Da.. I present to you my Sea Rose Devotion Soap!  

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Monday, March 19, 2012

Wanna-Be Castile...

I am totally in love with this soap.. This is not a Castile in the true sense as it is only 55% olive oil.  Doesn't even qualify as a Bastille Soap (Bastardized Castile)..  Bastille is usually at least 70%.  Why didn't I make this 100%.. Well I hear that the bubbles are small and that it some think true Castile is slimy.. So I chose to add some other oils to balance the properties of this bar.  

Regardless of the technical details of Castile vs Bastille, this batch of Crock Pot Hot Process (CPHP) soap turned out wonderful with a foundation of 55% olive oil!  I only made it 24 hours ago so there hasn't been time for it to cure.  I could hardly wait to get home and cut it up tonight.  

And the heck with curing... I used the end slice right away!  Since it was hot processed it was already soap!  I will try to keep my hands off of the rest to give it some time to cure.  I tried to capture the suds so you could see for yourself how lovely this young batch is...  

So the recipe details are....

Coconut oil 25%
Castor 8%
Olive Oil 55%
Shea Butter 12% ... 

And no additives!  I wanted just pure soap! 

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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Shea Monkey Fart's Supreme

I chose to make my second batch of soap in a crockpot as I did my first.  Its one of the ways to Hot Process soap vice Cold Process.  It's acroynm is CPHP - Crock Pot Hot Process.  One of these days I am going to try CPOP - Cold Process Oven Process.  You can make bigger batches that way as you shouldn't fill your crock pot more than 1/2 full or you may have a bubble over.  I had a bubble over last night even though it was only half full but I didn't keep an eye on it.  I had wandered into the living room.  Bad Donnita!!  

The recipe I made is as follows.  I use some animal fats in my soap.  This time I used some beef tallow.  Most folks that make homemade soap to sell don't as many people are either vegan or don't understand the wonderful soaps animal oils make.  But since I make it for me I do what I want.  I made a 2 lb of Oil batch and molded in my 3 lb log mold I got from a lovely Etsy seller.  Her dad makes these molds.  


25% Coconut Oil - 8 Ounces
8% Castor Oil - 2.56 Ounces
15% Olive Oil - 4.8 Ounces
22% Beef Tallow - 7.04 Ounces
30% Shea Butter - 9.6 Ounces

Lye, Water, and Superfat

 Caution always mix lye into the water.. never water into the lye.  Know the safe handling of lye as well.  

26.748% Lye Concentration - 4.44 Ounces
38% Water as percent of oil weight - 12.16 Ounces
5% Super Fatted

.75  Ounce Per Pound of Oils Monkey Farts Fragrance Oil - 1.5 Ounces

When I made this I chose to up my frangrance to .75 ounce instead of the original .5 I had planned. calculated recipe:    

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Saturday, March 10, 2012

2-Gallons Homemade Ivory Laundry Soap

Just made my second batch of liquid laundry detergent.. The first one I made with Fels-Naptha, Washing Soda, and Borax. This one the same except I used a bar of Ivory instead of the Fels-Naptha. I made a 2-Gallon batch. So far I can say I love this stuff... I hope to never buy liquid laundry detergent again! Money saver, as-clean results, and control over the ingredients is very satisfying.. AND.... I use white vinegar for fabric softener instead of using the store stuff... I just fill up the receptacle for fabric softener with vinegar.

2-Gallons Homemade Ivory Laundry Soap
  • 1 bar grated Ivory Soap (If you use Fels-Naptha only 1/2 bar)
  • ½ cup washing soda (not baking soda) (Can increase, see note below)
  • ½ cup borax powder  (Can increase, see note below)
  • a small bucket, about 2ish gallon size 
  1. Grate the soap and put it in a sauce pan.
  2. Add 6 cups water and heat it until the soap melts.
  3. Once the soap melts simmer gently for about 10 - 15 minutes.
  4. Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it is dissolved.
  5. Remove from heat. Pour 4 cups hot water into the bucket.
  6. Now add your soap mixture and stir.
  7. Now add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir.
  8. After an hour or so it will gel. But it's better to just let it sit undisturbed overnight or about 24 hours.  Mix it well to break it up and liquefy with hand blender, whisk, or even your hand.
  9. Put into containers of your choice.  I prefer clear empty milk jugs as I can see the separation.  Shake before using so don't fill your jugs to the top or you won't be able to shake them well.  
Give this a good shake before each use.  Use about ½ cup per average front loader load. Heavy dirty loads need more.  Since I don't have a top-loader the only advice I can give is top-loaders require more from what I understand.  I would guess that you would start with 3/4's of a cup and adjust to your needs.  This is low-sudsing so don't gage the amount you use on the suds. 

** If you have hard water increase the amount of Borax to 1 cup. Borax is a water softener.  You can also increase the Washing Soda to 1 cup or a 1.5 cups for more cleaning power.

Update 28 April 2012 -  I just made another batch of this and chose to increase the Borax and Washing Soda to 1 cup each.  I did this because I live in an area that has hard water and I have some laundry challenges.  For my really dirty dirty loads I was using 1.5 cups of the original recipe.  1/2 cup in a pre-wash cycle and 1 cup in the main wash cycle.  I will add another update to this to see what impact the increase has on my changes.

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