Monday, December 12, 2011

Another batch of soap

Over the weekend I got around to mixing up another batch of soap.

This is my third time of soap making. So far I'm sticking to this basic castile recipe, which has worked really well so far. Previously I have added in lavender oil, but this time I left it pure, just the olive oil and lye. The reason for this is that I want to hand-mill the soap to add in other things, such as botanicals like the calendula petals I added to the round soaps in the photo. The soap on the left is the pure castile, and I used a silicone loaf pan and roughly cut it into slices since it will be grated and melted in the near future.

Hand milling involves grating the soap then adding water and melting it before adding in additional ingredients. With this method since you are using pre-made soap, you don't need to take all the precautions you would when making soap adding lye (caustic soda), such as protective eye wear and clothing, also I usually put newspaper everywhere just in case of spills.

This was my first try at hand milling and I am quite pleased with the result, although have not yet tried the soap, it still needs to dry a little more. I didn't use any colourants, it just looks this colour from adding the  calendula petals.

I want to experiment a little more with hand milling, on my list is rosemary soap (with rosemary leaves) and a citrus soap (maybe lime and coconut). I also want to get some better soap molds so will be on the look out for these on my next trip to the shops.
Does anyone have any good soap recipes/tips?


ms lottie said...

I love the look of those calendula petals. I've kept a look out for silicone molds but there's not much around. I've thought about pressing a craft stamp into the soap when it's still soft - but haven't tried it yet.

Cabbage Tree Farm said...

Hi Ms Lottie

I used a plain muffin pan (silicone) to make these. Will keep looking for something a bit fancier though! Pressing a craft stamp is a good idea, I don't have any as yet.
I should add they were dried petals, although I guess you could use fresh.

Melanie McMinn said...

The Warehouse has just gotten in some super cute flower and insect silicone cupcake molds. I picked both up last weekend for just $6.99 on sale each. I've tried them for hand-milling and they worked out great, although you'd want to pic and choose the flowers as some have more details than others which can be an issue if you are using petals.

Cabbage Tree Farm said...

Hi Melanie, thanks a lot for that, I will definitely check it out next time I'm at the W/H.

Providence Acres Farm said...

One big tip: Watch out! Soap making is addictive!

I have a free ebook on soap making that you might find interesting. It on the freebies page of my farm site at Just use the link at the top of the home page. It's really and truly free, just for anyone to use.

I like to use my medicinal healing herbs in soap. Dried and powdered they will colour it too.

Thank you for the award!

Shaheen said...

They are gorgoeous. I like how the calendula petals have infused the soap bars. I think the muffin moulds have worked wonders, but yes silicone mould would give them an additional charm.

Tanya said...

I love the oval shapes you made. I would love to hear more about your adventures with re-batching, especially as you are doing pure veg oil soaps. I have heard that they are trickier to re-batch. I make tallow based soaps and have only re-batched once. Loved the results.