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The Soleseife Experiment that Never Ended
indigo - out

Soleseife (pronounced zo-luh-zy-fuh) is a soap made from sea salt water and coconut oil.  Other oils can be used but only coconut oil lathers well in salt water.

Around July 1 I put a freshly made soleseife soap out on my porch railing to see if it would collect moisture or appear to “weep”.  My house was not humid since the air was on all the time so I figured if it was going to get damp it would do…

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Hold off on that rebatch!!
rebatch-no

My two cents (or two dollars… I”m never brief enough for cents): I think that we are generally too quick to rebatch. There are a number of reasons but the main one is that you can learn a lot more about soap by waiting than rebatching.

You need to know what is wrong with soap before rebatching it. You can’t fix a problem you don’t understand. For right now I’m addressing rebatching lye heavy soap.

First, everybody should know for sure…

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Soap Camp
Big Tent Art Workshop

I’m wondering how much interest there would be in a soap camp weekend around April or May in Myrtle Beach, SC (Spirit Air flies direct here – sometimes very cheap). We have the property for boondocking and space to do workshops. I’d like to get an idea of how much interest there is – and real possibility of people getting here – before creating a whole event

We are 12 miles from the beach and about the same from the…

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Mythbuster Castile Experiment #2
Surprise!!

I am having the most fun making soap today. I’m getting TOTALLY unexpected results (results I might actually doubt if you told them to me – so I am learning compassion at the same time).

I’ve made castile enough times to know that regardless of any unexpected results, this soap will work. That’s why I’m not doing small test batches. it’s pretty hard to totally ruin castile and I have a lot of dog clients who will use it if…

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Castile Soap Experiment – Water Discounting – Some Soap Lore – and some Bunni lore
Mashed into mold

I’ve been looking at the science of soap lately – not in strict chemistry terms but in terms of what changes in my soaping will make what changes in my soap (along with a little science from Kevin Dunn’s Scientific Soapmaking)

I got really re-motivated when I started the soleseife adventure – which is so different from the soap I’ve been making for years – which started as a result of my looking for a way to make…

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Soap Math & Using Soap Calc
soapCalc102415-1

There’s a lot of math in soap making. It doesn’t have to be difficult though, you probably just need a refresher.  (This page is for Americans. We weigh and measure things differently from most of the rest of the world.)

First, the scale and why you have to have it. 

Volume and Weight:

There are two kinds of measurements we are used to in the kitchen.  One is volume and the other is weight.  You have to understand the difference.  To…

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What is the curing time of your soap?
My notes are all over the place and out of order - I had no idea I'd be sharing them. This just gives you an idea of how I do it.

Most curing times I see listed in soap groups (which commonly say 4 – 6 weeks now, though 6 – 8 weeks used to be the popular one) are a WILD ASS GUESS.  As is the 1 year for the curing time for castile.  If 100% olive oil soap takes a year to cure, how can a 60% olive oil take 4-6 weeks or 6-8 weeks and how can a coconut oil bar take the same time? They don’t.

Let’s…

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labels

This is my final shot at labels. If there is a problem with these I’m giving up and selling it naked, or sticking to liquid soap, or being something else when I grow up. The labels I’ve been using (which don’t stick to the soap…sometimes… and no one knows when or why) are now on top of a cigar wrapper of kraft paper tape which comes in 600 foot rolls for 6.95. It’s 2 inches wide and I”m not…

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My Laundry System – Eliminating Nasty Chemicals and the Problems They Cause
laundry-small

Update note: This page was originally posted on 11/29/12. I have made some changes since then so have changed the page to reflect those improvement.  

I am very picky about my laundry. I want it clean, soft and smelling good. I realized that the smell I had come to associate with clean was not really what clean smelled like. After all, real clean smells like bathed-in-sunshine, it doesn’t smell like Gain (which I…

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