Testing Soap Additives

People in soaping groups are always looking for info on how soap additives behave and the right amount to use.  I tested some additives today to see how these perform and  if I want to incorporate them into my soaping work.

My recipe is olive oil 70%, palm kernel oil 23%, and apricot kernel oil 7% with a 6% superfat.   My soaping temperature was about 100 – 105.  Totally awesome recipe and it stays fluid for the 10 – 15 minutes it took me to measure and mix the samples.

Additives tested:

  • Indigo
  • kelp
  • vanilla powder
  • pearly white mica (Brambleberry)
  • honey powder
  • carrot powder
  • anatto powder
  • alkanet
  • marshmallow powder
  • mica dribble
  • control (no additive)

Each additive was a measured 1/4 tsp per (about) 4 oz batter.  The one exception was one kelp at 1/4 tsp and one at 1/2 tsp.   Additives were added dry to batter and whisked in, except a couple that wanted to clump were stick-blended.   The honey powder was mixed with a little water (1/2 tsp) and then batter added and mixed.

My shop is not heated so these will not gell and none are fragranced.  I should have done another round of samples and gelled them; a job for another day!

Here are pics of just poured soap samples.


Tomorrow I’ll unmold and take more pictures.  Then, a four week cure and, after that, I’ll lather up and see how they do when used.

A challenge challenge

I learned of a soapmaking challenge this week.  http://www.greatcakessoapworks.com/handmade-soap-blog/index.php/category/making-soap/soap-challenge/ from Amy of Great Cakes Soapworks  I am looking for techniques to expand my skills and knowledge, so signed up. Warning: soap geek info ahead!
It involves using a particular technique for layering the batch to create a striking (hopefully) contrast. The challenge is to manage the fragrances, temperatures, additives to create the swirl before the saponification process accelerates too fast to manage.  Another try in process.  This was fun and love the way it looks!

Unveiling…love the lavender!

challenge tiger stripe3/27/2013

closeup of top.  I think it’s beautiful!


A side view


First cut!  Ooooh!  Pretty!


All cut.  I like it!


I photograph all my soaps on the side of the house.  Ta da!  And the fragrance, what else?  Lilac lavender!

challenge 3.27.13