Soapmaking question

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Soapmaking question

Postby sbdmom » Wed May 09, 2007 1:25 pm

Its been ages since I've been here ! I hope everyone is doing well !!

I have begun to make cold pressed soap and I am ready to take it one step further..

Which is better ?

For exapmle if I am making a nettle shampoo bar is it better

to make it with strong nettle tea


nettle infused olive oil

or both ?

I assume using an herbal infused oil , the scent of the herb holds better in the soap ?

I have read that the jury is still out on wheather or not using the teas in recipes actuall have any effect. Do you think the heat of the process kill the benefit fo the teas in the first place ?

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Postby suebee » Wed May 09, 2007 1:37 pm

Yes Im sorry to say that the high heat of soap making does kill the benifits of the herbs. :( Its also hard to scent soap with fresh herbs, the scent burns away. When using E/O's wait till the last poss min so its as cool as can be with still being able to stir in your E/O's, other wise they just burn away. I think milling your soap after you make it is the only way to keep in the benefits of the herbs.

Tea or oil should be fine as long as you sub the tea for the water in the recipe.

Im not a soap maker but I wanted you to have a reply with some kinda help. Cory Su cooks up wonderful cold press soap and shampoo. I think she has some stuff in the bazzar.

We have lots of soap makers here, hopefully someone can give more advise!

They won't remember what you said, or what you did, they will only remember how you made them feel.
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I was afraid of

Postby sbdmom » Wed May 09, 2007 1:52 pm

I wasnt planning on using solely the herb to scent the soap.

I was hoping using the teas or infused oil would add some benefit to the soap. Does it at all even though it is cooked by the lye ?

ei. Nettle tea is high is silica and good for the scalp and dark hair so it would be a benefit in the soap..

Does that make sense ?

It will be fun to experiment

thanks..I'll keep poking around these forums soo much cool info


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Postby herbalmom » Wed May 09, 2007 2:26 pm

I have to agree with Sue in that you'll lose almost all of the medicinal qualities of herbs, EOs, and herbal oils in soap. Lye is very unforgiving and many things cannot stand up to the heat generated during the saponification process. However having said that, it would be interesting to have a bar of handcrafted soap tested in a lab just to see if there's any medicinal qualities left after the soap has cured out.
You can certainly use herbal teas, though the liquid will often turn brown once it comes into contact with the lye. This also happens to many herbs as well and may not give you the desired look or effect you wanted in your soap. I like adding things like pureed carrots, various spices, and earth pigments for color when I want them and they all work wonderfully.
I love making my own soap and it has really made a difference in my skin. We don't use anything else. :D
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Postby honey moon herbals » Sun May 13, 2007 8:11 am

I just wanted to recommend hand-milling your handmade soaps to truely capture the benefits of herbal oils and infusions. This process is taking your handmade soap and
1. grating it with a cheese or food mill grater
2.add additional herbal oils and or infusions
3.over a double boiler cook and gently stir until soap and oils/infusions mesh
4.allow mixture to cool
5. put the soap into a mold or make soap balls
6. allow to cure for 4-6 weeks.
These soaps are lovely and the lye will not effect the oils as much when they are added in this way. There is a great book on hand milled soaps by a woman named Norma Coney I think it is called the handmade soap book but I cannot remember for sure. I have been making soaps for about 10 years and this always works as long as you add the right amount of oil/infusion Let me know if you have heard of this method or if you have any questions about it!
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thanks for the replies

Postby sbdmom » Sun May 13, 2007 4:22 pm

I am curious tough why the hand milled would need to cure for an additional 4-6 weeks ?

If I made a batch of hot processed unscented soap, waited a day, then hand milled it will extra goodies, wouldnt it be safe to use right away ?
Wouldnt it already be soap before I add the extras..

I am off to check out that book


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Postby honey moon herbals » Sun May 13, 2007 10:30 pm

The hand milled soap would not have to cure for an additional 4-6 weeks if the soap that you start with has already been cured.
Yet, according to the recipes in the book by Norma Coney, you can mill the soap before it has cured, and then cure it as you normally would with the additonal herbal oil or infusions. She also adds fruits and veggies to her soaps. The pictures in her book are incredibly delicious looking to me.
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