Perfume oils

beautiful choice of bottles and labels, Wow!

One of the funnest, easiest, and probably cheapest things I have made for events was to make your own perfume oils. I usually bottled up the top 10 best-selling soap scents into perfume oils. These were fairly popular and were sold for $12.95 each. Continue reading

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are perfumes toxic?

Are perfumes toxic? Those store brands’ scents and perfumes are. Natural ones created at an aromatherapist’s shop are not dangerous. And some store brands are worse than others.

An ingredient list does not report each and every of the dozens of chemicals that are involved in the making of perfume.  The average number of omitted ingredients is 14, and these do not have to be listed because the FDA has granted privacy regarding their top-secret ingredients. Continue reading

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antibacterial essential oils list

The following is an antibacterial essential oils list, as well as lists of essential oils for being antiseptic, antiviral, and antifungal.  I’ve used a lot of these essential oils extensively for a variety of remedies, including as a nail fungus treatment.  You can mix and match in any percentage that you like.  For an all-around anti-microbial, try to have one from each group.  Also, note that certain essential oils are better at eliminating specific bacteria and other microbials.


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antibacterial soap

You can make your own antibacterial soap with this complete all-points-covered recipe.  Those antibacterial brand name soaps contain a chemical called “triclosan”.  this is a nasty chemical developed to kill germs and bacteria on contact.  I did not realize how rampant this chemical was being used, without our knowledge or permission, onto and into our everyday products and lives.  Not impressed!  Now this recipe is: anti-septic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal! A lot of soap makers make an anti-bacterial soap, but containing only Tea Tree, whereas this covers all germ variants.

make your own antibacterial soap recipe: Continue reading

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anti-garlic or kitchen bar

This Anti-Garlic or Kitchen soap bar recipe is known by other names as Fisherman’s Bar, Odor Remover, Coffee Soap, Coffee Scrub Bar, or Odor Eliminator Bar. What they all have in common is ground coffee beans and a scent, both known to remove odors from hands or all over. I first came up with this bar when I was attending a Garlic Festival and they wanted something ‘garlic’. Yes, there was someone there with an actual garlic soap, yuck, but I went with an anti-garlic soap which became the best-selling bar at that event.

L-R: Egyptian Musk, Anit-Garlic, Mocha Latte, and Sandalwood

The odor-eating Anti-Garlic or Kitchen soap bar recipe: Continue reading

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hemp soap recipe

I make hemp soap as well and tested all sorts of various scents. Perhaps if we stuck to one scent, a popular but different than others, I may have sold more. One of the things soap makers do is look on the internet for scent combinations to try. This is what I had done for the hemp and then in the end created my own unique bar.

simple yet perfect, a nice green color with hemp seeds sprinkled on top

You can add certain things to make this soap look more interesting. Perhaps adding hemp leaves to the soap base, will burn a little but still look awesome. Adding seeds to the top, like the image above, is easy to do. Or treat it like any other soap variety and add oatmeal or clay. My recipe below used basil and orange essential oils but that wasn’t overly popular. Whereas more soap makers use patchouli, for a traditional hippie-pot-head typical theme. This recipe included using hemp oil as a superfat, instead of in the base where it gets saponified.

Hemp Soap Recipe

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what is trace and soap

What is trace and soap? Trace is the time when the saponification of the lye, water, and oils have become soap. It is at this stage when the soap base is thicker and doesn’t start to separate if you stop stirring. It will continue to get thicker from here on in. Now is also the time to add your scents, colorants, superfats, clays, or anything else, then you’d pour all this into the molds.

This is what trace looks like when a bead of soap can be drizzled across the top without sinking in.

When I started making soap I kept thinking What is trace in Soap Making?  It sounded complicated to me, but once I saw it, I knew what it meant. I have given you step by step instruction on how to make soap, but here is some more information to help you clearly understand TRACE. Continue reading

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what is superfatting soap

What is superfatting soap? It is about making the soap a little more moisturizing. In theory, the extra oils added at the end, at trace, will be less saponified by the lye and create free-floating oil in the soap that you can feel. I tested this by separating a soap I just made, putting half in a mold, and then adding a superfat (cocoa butter) to the other half. In the finished bars, I could feel a slightly more moisturizing ability. So yes, it does work.

You can see that the soap is at trace (on the right) and a super fat is being added

If you were to add too much superfat, two things may happen. You’ll get a soft bar that never gets hard or a bar that takes months to harden. I had a sunflower bar, scented with orange and lavender essential oils, and superfatted this bar with sunflower oil. Sunflower oil is known to make a soft bar, and this is what happened. Six months later it still wasn’t hardened, but I took these bars to a music festival and sold them all for a dollar a bar. The outside edges of the bars were hardened but that center refused too, lol, could have poked your finger through it, but the festival goers didn’t mind at all!

The superfatting rule is to not go over 5% of your oil content. So if your recipe has a total of 50 ounces of oil, do not exceed 2 1/2 ounces.

Cocoa Butter is my preferred superfat. A little of that went a long way, and I prefer it over the sunflower oil (of course), shea nut butter, and hemp oil.

you will feel the extra oils the first time you wash your hands!

Here is the hemp oil soap recipe where the superfat is hemp oil.

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Basic Soap Recipes – my 6 at a glance

I tried a lot of soap-making recipes and decided to keep it simple with one main basic soap-making recipe. Sometimes I need a backup soap recipe depending on the oils on hand, resulting in 5 basic recipes. These recipes will make about 24 – 4 oz bars, you can cut the recipe in half, or double it, just keep the proportions the same, and use the lye calculator when changing things up 

If you run out of a specific oil you may need a different base recipe – it’s always good to have backup recipes

To keep your basic soap-making recipe nice and easy, Canola oil and Olive oil have the same saponification values. This means that the lye will interact with either oil in the same manner, whereas other oils may need more or less lye to saponify. Don’t exceed 75% Canola oil or your soap will develop small brown spots, this is due to the natural proteins found in Canola oil. It’s harmless yet can blemish your pretty soap. When recipes state lye crystals, it refers to sodium hydroxide, NOT potassium hydroxide. Sometimes lye crystals are also referred to as ‘caustic soda beads’.

Below are the 6 base recipes that I use, and the first 3 recipes are the ones I use most

This is a picture of soap at trace, with no scent or color

Basic #1 with Olive, Coconut, & Palm Oil:  (more details here)
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#1 – Olive and Coconut, No Palm

Usually simpler is better, and an olive and coconut soap recipe, no palm, is an option. At the beginning of making soap, I started with an Olive, coconut, and palm oil soap recipe, which worked very well. Over the years and depending on supply deliveries, supplies on hand, environmentalism, and ingredient costs, I came up with 6 very tried and true soap recipes.

Soap logs ready for cutting into bars

The only oil to not use in over 50% of total oils, is canola oil. Although canola oil is the oil of every single restaurant on the planet, it isn’t the best for soap, but only because of the reaction to the lye and the oxidation of the oils. This means that a canola oil-based soap will start getting brown discolored spots on the soap bars. This is too bad really, because the cheaper cost of the canola helps keep the price of your final product lower. More about the type of oils and the pros and cons of each can be found on this basic soap-making recipe page.

The following recipe is one-fifth of what a batch was in my store. Yet it could be too large for starters, so if you like, you can divide this recipe any way you like. This makes about 25 4-ounce bars, so dividing it in half to make test batches would work well.

olive and coconut soap recipe, no palm:

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