Howdy, howdy howdy,
Let’s get to it then – starting making soaps (as with any craft) = lots of mistakes. I’m listing my mistakes here to try and assist any other folks who may be learning soap making as a hobby/craft/employment opportunity. Soap making materials are costly and the fewer mistakes made, the better!
Use of colour
I’m not going to talk about the benefits/drawbacks of oxides, micas or natural colourants here – that’s discussed extensively on other websites. A basic lesson to learn in colouring your soap is to pre-mix the colour rather than doing it on the fly while making your batch.
See those black dots in the soap? That’s actually purple oxide that would turn an unsuspecting user into Violet Beauregarde –
The mistake was simply doing things out of order (again). I prepared the soap batch and then as an afterthought added the purple oxide directly to the soap batter at trace. This meant that the oxide formed clumps in the soap batter rather than permeating throughout the entire batch.
What I should have done was siphon off a small amount of liquid oil to be used in the batch (or water, dependant on whether the colourant is water soluble) and mixed the colourant thoroughly into it. Then, I should have prepared the soap batch and added the pre-mixed oil/water and colourant to the soap batter at trace.
Lesson learned! In the next batch I prepared, I made sure to pre-mix the colourant which achieved a much better result –
Essential oil measurements
When you buy essential oils in medium to large quantities, suppliers often package them in open top bottles that don’t allow for careful measuring out of your precious (read: expensive) ingredients. It may seem like a no brainer, but I would definitely recommend purchasing a large amount of pipettes for measuring out your essential oils. This will help you to avoid any waste, spillage and ensure that you use exactly the right amount in your recipes.
For UK readers, I get my calibrated transfer pipettes from The Soap Kitchen which is an excellent supplier of all things for the hobby and business soap maker (this public service announcement has not been endorsed by The Soap Kitchen).
I make my soaps/balms/oils while listening to my favourite bands. I was thinking of adding a ‘Made while listening to…’ section on each of my batches just to personalise them a bit more. What do you think? Do you listen to anything specific while carrying out your crafts? Leave your responses in the comments section, I’d love to hear what you listen to.
As always, stay classy internet peoples.