Easy Drop Swirl Tutorial

Creating beautiful, intricate swirls is one of the most fun things to do with cold process soap, but some of them can be intimidating for beginners. This simple drop swirl is quick, easy to do, and creates gorgeous designs that make each bar unique. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to switch up your soap designs, this tutorial gives you everything you need to create your own unique drop swirl. (more…)

The Ultimate Cold Process Soap Tutorial & Troubleshooting Guide (Part II)

Find Part I here!

There are dozens of variables that can cause problems in cold process soap making. One major factor that can determine the success of your soaping session is the fragrance or essential oil that is used. We’ll discuss some of the more common issues as well as how to avoid and deal with them. All the images shown were from a single tester batch that went through almost every problem imaginable. If this batch could be salvaged, almost any soap can! (more…)

The Ultimate Cold Process Soap Tutorial & Troubleshooting Guide (Part I)

This guide is only the beginning! Look for Part II: Troubleshooting Tips here!

Making cold process soap isn’t as easy as a simple melt and pour soap, and it can be overwhelming at first. The team at the ChemistryStore.com wanted to lend a helping hand in making your cold process soap. We’ve crafted a complete guide to cold process soap with a basic recipe, step-by-step instructions, and some trouble shooting tips to help you make your cold process soap batch. (more…)

Make Your Own Deck Cleaner

Now that summer is in full swing many people enjoy spending free time outside on their patios or decks. Often times a deck is used to enjoy the sunshine, barbecuing with friends or just spending time with family and neighbors and taking in all that nature has to offer. However, during the months when we aren’t taking advantage of our wonderful decks, nature weathers and ages them dramatically.

Two of our products can bring those dull boards back to life with a quick scrub and rinse! Tri-sodium phosphate (TSP) eats away the built-up dirt on the deck while oxalic acid brings out the grain and original brightness and color of the wood. The best part is these chemicals are safe for treated lumber or to prep for re-staining or coating your deck or patio. We demonstrated the cleaning power of these chemicals on one board but this process will work for your whole deck, though more solution may be required depending on deck size. (more…)

Make Your Own Perfume with the Perfume Starter Kit


When it comes to fine perfumes and colognes the good ones just keep getting more and more expensive. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could make your own fragrance line and use exactly the scents you want? With this step by step tutorial you can! Our Perfume Starter Kit gives you Perfumers Base and bottles in one convenient package. Just pick your fragrance to get started!
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Make Your Own Liquid Hand Soap

Liquid hand soap is a hot commodity in any household, and buying it from the store month after month can be expensive. Many people don’t realize that it’s actually quick and easy to make your own hand soap at home! ChemistryStore.com‘s Liquid Hand Soap Kit comes with everything you need to make a gallon of liquid hand soap, and all the ingredients except the coloring are already measured out for you. You can choose from five fragrances and colors for a scent that perfectly suits your home. Just follow the detailed, step-by-step instructions below, and you’ll have a batch of soap ready in no time!

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Making Milk Soaps

Milk soaps are well known for their thick, creamy lather and various skin benefits. Although the benefits of your soap will vary depending on the type of milk you use, in general milk soaps are gentler on the skin, provide milk exfoliation due to their lactic acid content, and offer excellent moisturizing. Even better, you can turn any cold process soap recipe into milk soap, so pick your favorite recipe and milk and let’s get started! If you’re not sure what recipe to use, we’ve included our recipe below, which makes about 4 pounds of soap.in mold 2 (more…)

Fresh Garden Mint Soap

As winter weather turns the corner to spring breezes, many soap-makers like to create fresh new scents and combinations to highlight the change of seasons. Garden mint soap is an excellent choice for adding to your product line or using in your own home. One of the best parts about this soap recipe is that you can use mint grown in your garden or windowsill, making it as natural, organic and homemade as possible. (more…)

Maple Syrup Soap

Late winter through early spring is maple syrup season in the northern United States. More than 13 gallons of sap must be collected from a maple tree in order to produce just 1 gallon of maple syrup. This wonderful, vegan, organic treat can also be used in home and beauty products, including handmade soap. This maple syrup soap recipe will have you craving a big stack of pancakes for breakfast. (more…)

Introducing Suzie Soapmaker

Hello Soapmakers,

ChemistryStore.com would like to introduce the newest addition of our family, Suzie Soapmaker. Suzie Soapmaker has been in the soap making industry for over ten years and is ready to share her knowledge, answer questions, and listen to your tips and tricks in making personal care products.

A message from Suzie Soapmaker:

Hi Everyone!

I’m Suzie Soapmaker, and I am excited to share my passion for soap making and hand crafted personal care products with all of you! Every Tuesday I will share my business tips with you. This will help you start and grow your soap making and personal care business. It’s fun to see your products sell out and have people wanting more of something you created! I love to chat so say hello, tell me about your business and share what has been working for you! I love to hear things that I may not have even thought of before.

I know some of you are not in soaping and personal care as a business but more as a hobby. If that sounds like you, make sure to check in on Wednesday’s for my Whats What Wednesday posts. I’ll give you the scoop on everything from melt and pour soap, sea salts, sugar scrubs, and which essential oils you’ll want to use. That’s only the beginning! Let me know when you used a tip, or even just to say hello, I could chat all day long about soap making!

Something I think will be fun and beneficial to everyone is sharing our tips and tricks and what we’ve been making. So I want to give you the opportunity each month to win a $25 ChemistryStore.com Gift Certificate! All ChemistryStore.com customers can enter by posting your own soapmaking tips and tricks on chemistrystore.com social media accounts! At the end of the month I will pick the tip or trick that I think is the best one for that month and announcethe winner and their post on social media! I will award the winner a $25 Gift Certificate to ChemistryStore.com!

Happy Soap Making!

Suzie Soapmaker

A Guide to Making Recycled Soap Balls

Your ancestors likely saved bits of soap, putting them into a mesh piece of fabric and melting them together so none of it would go to waste. While this is one way to recycle bits of soap, another, more user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing method is to do some re-batching and make recycled soap balls. With the addition of a little essential oil and some fragrance, these recycled soap balls are sure to be a hit among your friends, family or customers. These are great to use on their own or as embeds and toppers for other soaps, so have some fun and get creative with them! (more…)

A Simple Lotion Even Kids Can Make

Perhaps the children in your life have seen you whipping up batch after batch of amazing handmade soaps and lotions and asked when they can get started making some too. For younger kids without a lot of patience or who do not want to wait a month for the soap to cure, there are still fun projects they can do with your assistance. This simple lotion is quick to make, requires just a few ingredients and is ready to use right away. Try this as a rainy day activity with your own kids and their friends, as a scout troop activity or even as a birthday party event. This lotion also makes a great item to add to your product line of soaps and lotions for sale. (more…)

Understanding SLS and SLES

What They Are

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) are both surfactants that are added to products to increase the foaming action when the product used. This is done due to the widely accepted notion that foam equals product performance.

Both SLS and SLES are used in a wide variety of personal care products such as soaps, shampoos, body washes, toothpastes, and many other products where you would expect to see foaming action. These ingredients lower the surface tension of water and act as a dispersion agent to properly mix the ingredients in fragrance oils and body sprays. Due to these properties SLS & SLES are also popular in moisturizing lotions and sunscreens.

The Difference

So what’s the difference between SLS and SLES? The major difference is in the manufacturing process. To make SLES, SLS goes through a process called “ethoxylation.” Why go through this process for chemicals that appear to be the same? While both are very similar, SLS is a skin irritant. This can cause some minor skin irritations like dry, itchy skin. SLES is formulated be much milder and not irritate the skin. For this reason, many manufacturers use SLES to make their products gentler on the skin and hair. It may not seem to matter, but if you’ve ever compared products made with SLS and SLES, the difference is easily recognizable!

Whether you’ve been using SLS in your products or not, SLES is a great way to get that foaming action without irritating skin, so give it a try! Many of our melt and pour soap bases are SLS free as well, so you can make a much milder, gentler soap with the ease of melt and pour!

3 Places to Sell Your Handmade Soap

Perhaps you’re looking to add a secondary income or just offset the cost of making soaps for personal use. Maybe you’ve been increasing your production of handmade soaps and want to make it your full-time business. Whatever your reason, selling your handmade soaps is a great way to earn some money, get to know people, and expand your your product base. Although many soap makers sell their products online, her are just a few venues where you can sell your soaps and interact with customers face-to-face without needing to open a brick-and-mortar store.School Fundraisers
If you have school-age children, chances are that the school will put on many fundraisers throughout the year. Many schools have arts and crafts shows where parents and members of the community can rent a table or donate a portion of their proceeds to the school. These events attract dozens or even hundreds of customers within just a few hours. Most of the time, the fee to set up is nominal or nonexistent. You can usually advertise your wares for free as part of the event promotions or on the school’s PTO page.

Farmer’s Markets
Today’s farmer’s markets offer so much more than bushels of apples and quarts of berries. Handmade creations are surging in popularity as market patrons seek out natural and local alternatives to commercially made products. Set up a booth at a farmer’s market to showcase your handmade soaps and related products. To protect your creations, be sure to set up an awning or gazebo-like enclosure to keep the sun from softening or melting the soaps. Be sure to bring flyers or business cards that include your contact information, product list and website.

Artisan and Consignment Gift Shops
In many cities, there is an arts district or downtown area that offers small boutique shops, consignment and artisan gift stores where crafters can place their handmade goods for sale. Instead of having to pay rent, find employees or staff a booth for hours a day, you can put your handmade soaps up for sale. The owner or the shop may retain a small percentage of each sale as commission. You may be able to track your sales online so that you can keep inventory at ideal levels and replace hot-selling products so that customers aren’t left out in the cold when they come seeking their favorite handmade soap.

Using Coffee in Soap to Eliminate Odors

If you’ve ever cooked with onions, garlic, or even if you’ve been working on your car or the lawnmower you know that your hands pick up unwanted and unpleasant scents. Oftentimes when you’ve finished your work, you have to wash your hands, then again, and then a few more times because you can’t get rid of that unpleasant smell!

Below is your solution!

coffeebag (more…)

Easy Homemade Lip Balm with Lip Balm Base

With the winter weather still upon us, chances are your lips have been taking a beating from the cold temperatures and wind. When your lips are chapped and cracked, what you need is a good lip balm, but who wants to spend money on tube after tube of lip balm from the drug store when you don’t really know what’s in it? If you want the best care for your lips with ingredients you know, the best solution is to make your own, and our [lip balm base] makes it easier than ever! (more…)

How to Make Conversation Heart Soaps

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, which means it’s time to think about what to give that special someone in your life. These conversation heart soaps are great to give to others or add to your line of handmade soaps for sale. You can either use our Milky Way Valentine’s candies mold to create soaps with traditional conversation heart phrases like “Hugs” and “Be Mine” or follow the additional steps to create customized messages and designs. (more…)

3-Ingredient Romantic Cocoa Butter Massage Bars

Whether you’re seeking to make a heartfelt gift for your Valentine or you’d like to add a few new romantic products to your items for sale, these cocoa butter massage bars are a wise choice. As a cross between soap, lotion, and massage oil, these unique bars will surely be enjoyed by anyone who receives them. These bars require just a few simple ingredients and cure in a short amount of time. Be sure to make a few of them for yourself too so you can enjoy the luxurious moisturizing effects on your skin! (more…)

Make Your Own Shampoo Bars with Melt and Pour Base

Shampoo bars are becoming more and more popular these days, and it’s easy to see why. They’re easier to pack for travel, are great for your hair, and last much longer than liquid shampoo. But shampoo bars are hard to find in stores, and the ones available online can cost anywhere from $6 to $12 (plus shipping) for just a small bar! The good news is, with our shampoo bar melt and pour base, you can make your own for a fraction of the cost.

About the Base

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Our Stephenson Crystal SS Shampoo Bar Melt and Pour Base is a vegetable based soap with a high glycerine content for excellent lather and moisturizing. It’s Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate free for a gentler clean and contains soothing Aloe Vera and conditioning additives to keep your hair and scalp feeling great. This is some of the best soap base on the market, so you get a high quality product for much less than the average retail price. Since it’s melt and pour, you also get to choose what (if any) fragrances, colors, and essential oils to add!

Making Your Shampoo Bars

If you’ve ever made melt and pour soap, you know just how easy it is, and the shampoo bar base is no exception. Start by melting down the base, which can be done in a crock pot, double boiler, or microwave, whichever you prefer. When the base is melted, spray the surface with a little bit of isopropyl alcohol to get rid of any bubbles (this is optional).

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Next, add any fragrance, essential oils, or color you want and mix thoroughly. Fragrances like our cool water are light and not too overpowering, so they’re great for use in shampoo bars, but other fragrances work well too! Essential oils smell wonderful and can also help keep your hair and scalp healthy. Rosemary, for example, helps eliminate greasy hair and dandruff and also stimulates the scalp to promote hair growth. Patchouli is also good for hair care and dandruff reduction and has a spicy, herbal scent that men will like.

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As a rule of thumb, 2% of your total amount of shampoo (by weight) should be fragrances and/or essential oils, so if you’re using a pound of soap base, you only need 9 grams of fragrance or essential oil. This is mostly designed to give you a strong scent, however, so if you’re using essential oils solely for the health benefits, you may only need 1% or 4.5 grams per pound. If you want to color your shampoo bars, any of our gel colors will work well with the base and give you a vibrant color with just a few drops. We got a nice, bright pink color using the magenta gel color with just five drops, but you may want to add as many as 10, depending on how dark you want the color to be.

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Now your soap is read to pour into your molds. We made our shampoo bars using the professional circle and rectangle molds, which made for very large bars. While these are easy to hold and last a long time, you may want to use one of our smaller Milky Way molds since these will be easier to travel with, and you can make a couple of test bars with different ingredients without using up too much base. Once your bars are hardened, simply pop them out of the molds and enjoy!

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Using Your Shampoo BarsH138xl5

Many people are wary of shampoo bars because they’re not sure how to use them, but it’s really very simple! For people with short hair, simply wet your hair, rub the bar in a circle on your head a couple of times, and then work the lather through your hair and rinse. For longer hair, run the bar up and down the length of your wet hair a couple of times, then work the lather through and rinse!

If you normally use conditioner in addition to shampoo, you may be able to cut back or stop altogether because of the conditioning additives in the shampoo bar base. If you’re interested in making your own conditioner as well, our Chemsoft conditioner base makes a great conditioner that pairs well with the shampoo bar. Your shampoo bars can be used just like a normal liquid shampoo, though they will last longer if allowed to dry fully between uses. Our wood soap decks elevate the soap slightly and absorb water to ensure a quick drying process so your shampoo bars are always ready to use.

Whether you’re making them for yourself or to sell or give as gifts, shampoo bars are a great product, and our melt and pour base makes them incredibly easy to make. You can include them in gift baskets along with other soaps, conditioner, or even perfume for a great Valentine’s Day, Father’s Day, or Mother’s Day gift. So stop wasting your money on pricey, high-end shampoo bars and start making your own!

How to Make Beer Soap

You’ve likely heard of beer soup and beer bread, but beer soap may be something you’ve never heard of or tried before. Beer soap is made with the addition of a bottle of beer and provides a great amount of conditioning to wintertime skin. This type of soap is a great gift for the special man in your life and can be an exciting new item in your line of products if you’re a seller of handmade soaps. This guide will get you started making your first batch of beer soap. (more…)

Sweet Soaps with Southern Sweet Tea

Even if the weather outside doesn’t feel quite right for a tall glass of southern sweet tea, you can get brewing and put this much-loved beverage to great use in your soaps. Sweet tea soaps offer a unique way to get clean and enjoy the fresh tea aromas without worrying about your caffeine or sugar intake. These soaps also make a great gift for your sweetie or a lovely addition to your product line if you sell your handmade soaps. (more…)

Enhance Winter Skin With Pore-opening Soaps

If all that time spent outdoors skiing, caroling or shopping outside during the holiday season has resulted in your skin feeling chapped, dry and sore, you’re not alone. Even if this isn’t true for your skin, it has likely happened to someone you know. With gentle yet effective ingredients, you can make natural handmade soaps that heal wintertime skin and open those pores back up for both health and beauty.

Preparing the Soap Base
For this type of soap, a cold- or hot-process soap base is best as you have the most control over the ingredients. Select from among your favorite natural oils offered on the Chemistrystore.com™ website. For the winter months, a luscious coconut oil or olive oil will be a great addition to the soap base for adding moisture and reducing sensitivity from the wind and cold air. First mix all of your oils. If using the hot-process method, warm the oils to about 125 degrees F. Measure the lye and water, then Add the lye to the water and stir with a whisk. Allow the mixture to rest for two minutes and then stir again. Allow the lye mix to cool to 120 degrees. Add the cooled lye mix to the oil mix and hand stir until the soap begins to trace.

Adding Skin-enhancing Ingredients
Once the soap reaches trace stage, it’s time to add in your desired ingredients. A 3 to 7 percent volume of lanolin is an ideal addition to a soap for winter use. Lanolin has strong moisturizing properties and helps to form a barrier against skin irritants such as wind. You can also add up to 1 percent volume of vitamin E acetate. The vitamin E works to improve the skin’s elasticity and smoothness while also protecting the skin from wintertime sunburn. The addition of some Shea butter at this stage opens the pores of the skin while also working as an exfoliant to help get rid of dead skin flakes.

Essential Oils
Adding one or two essential oils further boosts this soap’s ability to heal the skin. Use cinnamon leaf oil to act as a skin protectant and anti-microbial agent. Tea tree oil is another excellent addition to your wintertime healing soap. It opens the pores, reduces stiffness of the skin, muscles, and joints and guards against infection. As an added bonus, tea tree oil also works to relieve symptoms of the cold and flu viruses that often circulate during the winter months.

3 Easy Steps to Making Your Own Perfume with Perfumers Base

If you’ve never thought about making your own perfume, now is the time to start! If you sell soap or other personal care products, perfume is another thing you can offer your customers that they’re sure to love. Even if you don’t want to sell it, by making your own perfume you get the exact scent you want every time and can make personalized gifts for your friends and family with their favorite scents! (more…)

Confetti Soaps for the New Year

As people are ringing in 2015, it’s time to freshen up and make things sparkle. In addition to getting out the crystal stemware and glittering dishes for a New Year’s party, another way to add a festive touch is with specially handmade New Year’s soaps. These soaps double as gifts for other occasions as well, such as sports championships, birthdays or graduations. Confetti soaps will bring a smile to any recipient’s face with every use. (more…)

5 Things You Might Not Know About Fragrances & Essential Oils

Fragrances and essential oils can be a soap-maker’s best friend (after all, who wants soap that smells like just, well, soap?), but they can also cause problems if you don’t use them properly or don’t know a lot about them. Of course, there are many things that are important to know about essential oils and fragrances, but here are just five you might not know already.

1. Fragrance oils degrade plastic

This is something you may not have thought about before, but it’s true, and very important to remember! When stored in HDPE bottles (these are like the plastic containers that your store-bought lotions and shampoos often come in) pure fragrance oils will degrade the plastic over time. Basically, the chemical makeup of the fragrance draws other chemicals out of the plastic and then those mix in with the fragrance. This changes the scent of the fragrance and makes it less potent but can also make it less safe to use.

So what do you do? Well, don’t store your fragrances in regular plastic. The best way to store and package fragrance oils is in amber glass bottles. The glass bottle won’t react with the chemicals in the fragrance, and the amber color keeps light from hitting the oil, which can affect the quality as well. Some stores will sell fragrances in plastic bottles, which means you then have to transfer them over to glass if you don’t plan to use the whole bottle immediately. At the Chemistry Store, we only sell fragrances in amber glass bottles, like the ones manufacturers use, so it’s less hassle for you and you always know your fragrance remains high quality.

2. Essential oils are even worse

Now you may be thinking, essential oils are natural, how can they affect plastic containers the same way fragrance oils do? Even though essential oils are extracted directly from plants, their chemical makeup is similar to fragrance oils and can still react with HDPE plastic containers. With these, the best thing to do is purchase and store them in amber glass bottles like we do here at the Chemistry Store.

3. Even diluted fragrances & essential oils will affect plastic

You may be getting a bit frustrated with me about now. Do I have to put everything I make in amber glass bottles? you ask. The answer (thankfully) is no. Almost any product you make using fragrance or essential oils will have such a small amount of oil, compared to the total amount of liquid, that storing them in regular HDPE plastic is no big deal. Over time, the plastic will degrade and the sides of the bottle may start to pucker inward, but we’re talking a long time here—longer than it would reasonably take someone to use up a bottle of shampoo or hand soap. So no worries! Keep using your plastic containers. Just be aware of how long that shampoo bottle has been sitting in the back of your cabinet!

4. Fragrances & essential oils won’t degrade PET

If you’re still worried about the effect HDPE plastic bottles will have on your products, just use PET! PET or polyethylene terephthalate is a kind of plastic with a different chemical makeup than HDPE that keeps the fragrances and essential oils from absorbing chemicals from the plastic. PET containers won’t degrade over time, so they’re perfect to use with diluted fragrances or essential oils like in body sprays and perfumes. They’re not ideal for storing pure fragrances and essential oils because they don’t have the amber coloring that keeps light out, but will work well for most finished products.

5. Not all fragrances & essential oils are equal

As with anything, there will always be someone selling fragrances and essential oils for a little bit less, and it’s tempting to go for these to save a few cents. Don’t do it! Even when someone does manage to beat our amazing wholesale prices, what you save in dollars and cents you lose ten times over in quality. At the Chemistry Store, we take high-quality, manufacturing-grade fragrances and essential oils and sell them directly to you. Some companies, however, cut their fragrances with other “filler” liquids to make the oil go farther and cost less. These diluted versions are much less potent and you’ll usually end up having to use much more of it to get the same effect as a pure fragrance or essential oil.

So when buying your fragrances and essential oils, make sure you’re getting only the highest quality. And the easiest way to do that is to shop chemistrystore.com for all your project supplies because we understand that quality matters and would never settle for anything less.

Making Hot Process Soaps for the Holiday Season

There are only a few days left until Christmas, which means there is not a lot of time to create handmade soaps that require a four-week curing period. If you need to make some last minute gifts for your acquaintances, friends and family, or you want to fulfill some surprise orders, you’ll need soaps that finish quickly. These tips for making hot process soaps will ensure that you have everything done on time so you can relax and enjoy the holiday season.

What Is Hot Process Soap?
Hot process soaps are typically super-fatted. This means that the ratio of fats to lye is atypical compared to what is used in a cold process soap. An easy way to make super-fatted soap is to use coconut oil, which you likely already have on hand as a soap maker. The super-fatted soaps produce luxurious lather with thick and foamy bubbles.

Ingredients and Supplies
To make quick-setting hot process soaps, you’ll need 33 ounces of 76 degree melting point coconut oil, 5 ounces of lye and 12.5 ounces of water. Optionally, you can use 0.5 to 1 ounce of essential oil in this soap. You’ll also need a melting pot, stick blender, rubber spatula, wooden spoon, mason jars, a soap mold and parchment paper. Safety equipment such as oven mitts and goggles are recommended since you’ll be working with lye.

Mixing the Soap
Melt the coconut oil on low heat. Pour the water into one mason jar. Add the lye to the water. Add the lye mixture to the melted coconut oil. Use the stick blender to mix until the soap reaches trace stage. Cook the soap for at least an hour until the oil puddles have disappeared. Allow the mixture to cool for 30 minutes. Add any essential oils such as cinnamon oil or tea tree oil.

Pouring and Setting the Soap
Pour the soap into a soap mold lined with parchment paper. Allow the soap to cool to room temperature. As soon as the soap has set, cut it into bars if using a loaf style mold. If using a tray mold or a holiday soap mold like the snowflake offered on the Chemistrystore.com website, pop the soaps out as soon as they have set. The coconut oil soaps harden quickly and will be extremely difficult to cut or remove from the mold. Cure soaps for 24 hours.

Add Some “Zest” to Soap-Making Projects

The zest of citrus fruits is invigorating, fresh and adds a colorful touch to any handmade soap. Citrus fruits are at the height of popularity during the winter months due to their high vitamin C content. These fruits are also well known for their antiseptic properties. Many people use lemon juice or lemon essential oil in their cleaning routines because it is a natural and great-smelling product. When used on the skin, citrus zest and essential oils offer astringent properties to help keep the skin healthy and vibrant. You can incorporate this seasonal trend into your soap-making projects by adding fresh fruit zest along with essential oils from the ChemistryStore™. This guide to making zesty soaps will get you started on your next batch.

Preparing the Soap Base
Fresh zest from citrus fruits needs to be paired with a preservative if it will be used in a melt-and-pour soap base. Otherwise, a cold-press soap base should be used for making soaps with citrus zest. Prepare a batch of your preferred soap base and use Germaben as per the bottle’s instructions if making a melt-and-pour base. Add five drops of California lemon essential oil. Mix the liquid soap base.

Preparing the Citrus Zest
Use a citrus grater or zester to prepare finely shredded zest from a lemon, grapefruit, orange, lime, tangerine or other favorite citrus fruit. Prepare 1 teaspoon of zest for each 1 pound of soap base.

Adding the Citrus Zest
Mix in finely grated citrus zest into the liquid soap base. If desired, you can add some gel color at the same time. The zest should be thoroughly mixed into the soap base for an even distribution. Continue to stir the soap base until it begins to trace. Pour it into your soap molds.

Ideas for Finished Products
For a creative touch, make layered bars of citrus zest soaps. A pink lemonade soap or spiced orange are great to try. To make pink lemonade soap, prepare the bottom layer of soap with a pink gel color and allow it to solidify. Mist the top of the hardened soap with rubbing alcohol and then pour the prepared citrus zest soap. To create a spiced orange soap, make a base layer of soap using cinnamon essential oil followed by an upper layer of soap using orange zest and orange essential oil.

Tips on Making Handmade Castile Soap

Castile soap is a product that goes back centuries and originated in the Castile region of Spain. This type of soap has a rich, olive oil base and was one of the first types of hard, white soap to be produced as a commercial product. Castile soap is still a popular product today because it offers gentle moisturizing and is free of dyes and fragrances. It is also a multipurpose soap that can be used for cleaning as a hair shampoo and as a laundry detergent. These tips on making handmade Castile soap will help any soap maker create beautiful finished products for their own use, to give or to sell.

Making the Bars
Add 10 ounces of distilled water to a mixing bowl. Slowly add 4 1/3 ounces of lye to the water. Gently stir until the lye dissolves. Meanwhile, in a separate pot, heat 34 ounces of pomade grade virgin olive oil to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Once both the lye solution and the olive oil have reached 100 degrees Fahrenheit, slowly pour the lye mixture into the olive oil. Gently stir until the soap begins to trace. Pour the liquid mixture into prepared soap molds. Cover the molds with cardboard and wrap in a thick towel. Allow the soap to rest for 48 hours. Allow the bars of soap to cure on a sheet of wax paper for two weeks before use.

Creating Liquid Soaps from the Finished Bars
Because making a liquid Castile soap is a tricky process, one way that soap makers can do this is by first making the solid bars of soap. Then, the bars can be grated using a dedicated soap grater. Adding the grated soap to distilled water and slowly warming it to a boil while stirring produces a liquid soap ideal for hand washing or for using as a shampoo or detergent. For an even faster batch of liquid Castile soap, use the organic unscented liquid Castile soap base offered at the ChemistryStore™. The liquid soap can be thickened with salt as needed.

Make It Organic
To make organic Castile soaps, be sure that the olive oil is certified organic. If desired, essential oils can be added to the liquid soap produced from bars of Castile. To keep the liquid soap organic, be sure to use certified organic essential oils.

A Guide to Making Echinacea Soap

In herbal medicine, many people use natural plants and extracts such as Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia) to enhance the strength of their immune system. Echinacea comes from a purple coneflower plant and grows widely throughout North America. The crushed stems, roots and flowers of the plant offer fungicidal, bactericidal and anti-viral properties. Echinacea is also known to protect skin from scars, scratches, burns, abrasions, acne and infections. This cold and flu season, an herbal Echinacea soap will make a fantastic addition to your home, to give as host or holiday gifts, or to add to your product line of handmade soaps for sale.

Preparing the Soap Base
To make Echinacea soap, prepare a cold-press soap base as usual using mineral water and lye in a ratio of 7.5 ounces of mineral water to 3 ounces of lye. In a separate pot, heat 1.5 pounds of extra virgin olive oil to 120 to 140 degrees F. Stir in 0.5 ounces of beeswax. Stir until the beeswax is completely melted. Add the lye mixture to the olive oil mixture. Stir once every 15 minutes until it begins to trace.

Preserving the Soap
Because the fresh Echinacea used in this soap recipe has not undergone any sterilizing processes, the soap needs to have some preservatives added. Germaben II is recommended for use at a level of up to 1.0 percent in cold press soaps. The addition of Germaben II inhibits the growth of bacteria and yeast in the finished soaps and helps them remain shelf-stable for a longer period of time. The Germaben II will completely dissolve into the soap.

Adding the Echinacea
Add 20 drops of Echinacea essential oil along with 2 tablespoons of fresh or pressed Echinacea flower petals to the soap mixture. Any other desired essential oils, such as Aloe Vera oil, can also be added at this time. Add any desired fragrance oils, gel colors or mica glitter at this time as well. Gently stir. Pour the mixture into the prepared soap mold. Tap the mold to release any air pockets. Cover the soap molds with a towel and allow the soaps to rest for 48 hours. Remove the soaps from the molds. If using a loaf-style soap mold, wait an additional 24 hours to cut the soaps. Cure the soaps for 30 days. Occasionally turn them over for even and thorough drying.