Monthly Archives: September 2011

Misadventures in Soap Making Part 2


Lately I’ve been on a glycerin soap kick. I’ve been having a lot of fun playing with the different ingredients I can use to make glycerin soap do more than just clean. So when I got an email to participate in a soap swap, I was all excited about what I could make with the ingredients I had in my stash.

I came up with a triple layer loaf that would be exfoliating and antibacterial. I decided I would use oatmeal, rosehip seed powder and honey powder. Oatmeal and rosehip seed powder are very gentle exfoliators and honey is highly antibacterial. I also added a little olive oil and camellia oil to make the bars more moisturizing. I could not wait to see how these were going to turn out.

My first layer was a mix of oatmeal, white glycerin soap base, olive oil and fragrance oil. As I melted the soap, I used a coffee bean grinder to pulverize the oatmeal. Once the soap was melted, I added in the olive oil, oatmeal and fragrance oil. This layer poured nice and easy.

Looks cool huh?

The second layer was the honey layer. As I melted the honey glycerin soap base, I measured out the amount of honey powder I wanted to use. As soon as the soap was melted, I dumped the honey powder in. And then it happened.

Maaaaaaaaaaan. It got all clumpy.

Um yeah. I had to fix this and fast. The soap was starting to harden up and if it did, there was no way I’d be able to get all the clumps out. I grabbed a slotted spoon and started digging the clumps out as fast as possible. And luckily I did get them all. I think the mistake I made here was to not dilute the powder in oil first. Had I done that, the powder would have easily dispersed into the soap. I think it would have anyway. Since I had honey granules in the stash, I decided to use those instead. Honey granules are a lot more substantial than the powder, so by swapping these in, I was able to save the layer.

The final layer was the rosehip seed layer. Rosehips are a gorgeous dark brick red color. Between the lighter oatmeal and honey layers, I knew this would be the perfect offset. In addition to the rosehips, this layer was made with clear glycerin soap base, camellia oil and fragrance oil. As I melted the soap base, I added the camellia oil to the rosehip seed powder. I was not about to have another “ai-yah” moment. Luckily for me, this layer worked as planned with no problems.

And here is the finished loaf, cooling down and waiting to be cut.

Since I added so much extra material to the soap base, I decided to let it harden up overnight before I cut into it. But when I did cut it up the next day…

Dude…so not cool.

My bar broke in half between the layers. I was able to save some of the bars by “gluing” them back together. The “glue” is actually more glycerin soap melted and poured lightly in between the two things you want to glue back together. I’m not sure why my layers seperated other than maybe the temperatures weren’t right when I poured the layers. I’m pretty sure my friend Rose of Sugarloaf Soaps can tell me what I did wrong, but for now, I was happy that only 3 of the bars had issues. The rest were looking good.

When I tested the bars, they came out exactly as I wanted. Light scrubbing action with super clean and soft hands. Luckily for me, this didn’t turn out too bad after all.