Adventures in Soaping

Of the many things I made this weekend, I did get a chance to whip up two batches of palm-free soap (hooray!).  I named them “Terra Cotta” and “Eskimo Kisses”.

Alas, I didn’t have the greatest of success, but they may still cure out to be wonderful — only time will tell!

Eskimo Kisses


The first batch contained kukui nut oil, shea and kokum butters and boabab oil.   I scented it with a blend of eucalyptus, tea tree, cajeput and peppermint essential oils.  I chose a light blue and white scheme, and because the fragrance is clean and “icy” smelling, that is how I came up with the name “Eskimo Kisses”.


When I unmolded it from the rice milk container, however, it was seeping water, or perhaps fragrance, and it felt like a block of tofu.   If you look at picture #4 (bottom left side) above, you might be able to see the water in the bottom of the container.  You can kind of see how wet the soap looks in the picture of the cut bars.

I normally don’t wear rubber gloves when umolding and cutting, but in this case I made an exception because I didn’t know if that was lye water leaching out or just fragrance. It was definitely water, though, not oil.

I did manage to cut it and there were no lye pockets, so it must just be condensation, or something.  I decided to let it cure and then test the pH to see if it’s lye heavy or not.




The second batch contained nothing fancy, just the usual soaping oils (coconut, olive, castor, and avocado oils and shea and cocoa butter).   I did add a couple of tablespoons of rhoussal clay, and scented it with Nurture Soap’s “Orange Patchouli” fragrance, which is a fragrance and essential oil blend.    I added just a tiny microscoop of red brick oxide, and combined with the rhoussal clay, it came out a lovely terra-cotta color, thus the name “Terra Cotta”.


This one, while it didn’t have the seeping problem that the first soap did, seems to have tiny glycerin rivers.  There is no titanium dioxide in this soap, so I don’t know what caused it — perhaps the clay or the red brick oxide.  I did use the full amount of water (38%) due to the use of the clay and since this was a new fragrance for me, but since I wasn’t using titanium dioxide, I really wasn’t expecting it.

It is a rustic soap anyhow, so the glycerin rivers give it personality!

As I have said in previous blog posts, I don’t care much for patchouli.   Nurture Soap’s description said that this fragrance/essential oil blend would make a patchouli lover out of you — that is why I bought it.   I have to agree with them.  I don’t even smell patchouli in it.  I smell the orange, and a sweet-spicy-ness, but it is lovely!   If this is what patchouli is “supposed” to smell like, then maybe I was buying some bad patchouli!


So, somehow, in my busy weekend I was able to whip up two batches of soap.  They are not perfect, but might become my favorite anyhow.  We’ll have to wait 6 weeks to find out. 🙂


6 thoughts on “Adventures in Soaping

    1. Thank you so much! I am a palm-free convert. I was having trouble with some of my palm-oil containing soaps sticking to the mold, but since switching to palm-free, I am amazed at how nice and crisp they are when they unmold. Plus they unmold in like 24 hours or less! It uses a ton of butters, but it’s still cheaper than wrecking batches of soap due to sticking! Good luck with your experiments!


    1. Thank you! I love the milk cartons too. Unfortunately, they changed my rice milk container so now it’s shaped differently and not at all a good size for soap. I loved the square shape. It was perfect!


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