Thursday, February 24, 2011

Soap Oils

Olive Oil
So people wonder why soapmakers use the oils/fats that they do. They know they are good, but don't really know why. Here's a crash course in the basic oils that I use.


You can use all variety of olive oils in soapmaking. I use grade A olive oil.  Extra virgin and virgin olive oils come from the very first gentle pressing of the olives. The refined, or Grade A oil (generally the best grade for soap) comes from the second pressing, and is lightly refined/filtered. Olive oils have been used in soap for centuries. One hundred percent olive oil makes the famous "Castille soap" and "Marseille soap" must contain at least 72% olive oil. Olive oil is generally the #1 oil in most soap makers' recipes - and for good reason. Olive oil soaps are very moisturizing, make hard, white bars of soap (though high % olive oil soaps take a longer time to cure) and are exceptionally mild. But the lather from Castille soap  is low and a bit slimy. Most soap makers combine olive oil with other oils to improve the lather.

Hemp Seed Oil

Hemp seed oil is a deep, green color with a light, nutty smell. While it does come from the seed of the cannabis plant, it does not smell like marijuana, or have any of the affects that marijuana has.  It's really lovely in lotions and creams and great in soap too. It gives a light, creamy/silky lather. Because of its fatty acid makeup, it has a very short shelf life...less than six it should be refrigerated or even kept in the freezer. It can be used as a luxury healing/moisturizing oil in soap. I use hemp seed oil in some, but not all of my soaps.

Palm Oil

Palm oil, along with olive and coconut, is one of the top oils used by soap makers today. Because of the qualities it gives soap, it is often called "veggie tallow" in that it gives many of the same qualities that beef tallow does - a hard bar with a rich creamy lather. Alone, it's pretty unremarkable, but combined with other oils like olive, coconut and castor, it makes great, hard, long lasting soap. In keeping with our social and ethical responsibility goals, our Palm oil supplier is a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), an organization that supports sustainable palm oil production.

Coconut Tree
 Coconut Oil


I LOVE the lather that Coconut oil gives to my soap. Do do my customers. It is one of the primary oils soapmakers use in their soap. Coconut oil gives tremendous, bubbly lather to your soap. It also makes for a very hard, white bar of soap. The collective opinion is that using more than 30% coconut oil in your recipe will be drying to the skin.

Castor Oil

Castor oil in soap?! Yes it's fantastic and just a dab will do ya'! A little goes a LONG way with castor oil. Castor oil is a thick, clear oil that helps increase the lather in soap - a rich, creamy lather. Castor oil is a humectant oil- this means that is draws moisture to your skin. Castor oil has a fatty acid makeup that's completely unique - which makes what it contributes to your soap rich creamy lather.  

I will write more about the butters I use later on.
More info about common oils and fats here:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Before our old fashioned cold process soap
Are you dirty?? Does your dry winter skin need some soathing, luxurious, old fashioned handcrafted soap to moisturize those rough spots? Do you need to treat yourself to some rejuvination?  Well then- YOU are in luck!

Saturday March 5, 2011 10-3p Theresa's Handcrafted Soaps will be at the RENSSELAER JR-SR HIGH SCHOOL craft fair!

Free admission, and it supports the senior class. ♥ I just ...may have some samples-1st come, 1st serve

See you all there!!!! ♥♥♥

After our wonderful old fashioned soap!


Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!

This year Jim and I opted to make cards for each other, which was nice and fun. Everyone should do that next year. Hallmark wouldn't be happy but this was so much more fun. I will post pictures of the covers at some point. There's not enough time in the day! He also made me a beautiful wooden pendent that I will post.

I wonder how many conversation heart candies were consumed today?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pay it forward and blog post! :)

So a woman who runs a homeschool website contacted me the other day to see if she could use our soap picture for her blog. She is also a fellow etsy store owner. Really excited and grateful she choose us!.

Here is a link to her blog:

Here is her etsy shop, which she does graphic design out of when she has the time.

I will end this with a question: What do you do with your small soap pieces?

New product photos

Please give me your feedback and let me know what you think of these photos. I spend a little time playing around with different compositions for the etsy page.
Lavender 100% Natural gift set

Black Rasberry and Vanilla swirl on one of my ceramic slab dishes

Cozy Chamomile on Cedar soap deck

100% Natural Stress-Less Lavender gift set
Honey Shea loaded with lots of yummy shea butter? Dry Skin? Honey Shea will help!
Nag Champa Soap made with turmeric. Good for dry skin.
Black Rasberry Vanilla Swirl with cedar soap deck.

Kitchen Coffee soap on one of my ceramic dishes. Gets all the smell out.