Wednesday, 29 February 2012

What is Cold Process Soap?

Cold-process soapmaking requires exact measurements of lye and fat amounts and computing their ratio, using saponification charts to ensure that the finished product does not contain any excess hydroxide or too much free unreacted fat.   It really is an art and requires time, dedication and attention to detail.  Most soap makers formulate their recipes with a 4–10% deficit of lye so that all of the lye is converted and that excess fat is left for skin conditioning benefits.
The lye is dissolved in water. Then oils are heated, or melted if they are solid at room temperature. Once the oils are liquified and the lye is fully dissolved in water, they are combined. This lye-fat mixture is mixed until the two phases (oils and water) are fully emulsified.Emulsification is most easily identified visually when the soap exhibits some level of "trace", which is the thickening of the mixture. (Modern-day amateur soapmakers often use a stick blender to speed this process). There are varying levels of trace. Depending on how additives will affect trace, they may be added at light trace, medium trace, or heavy trace. After much stirring, the mixture turns to the consistency of a thin pudding. "Trace" corresponds roughly to viscosity. Essential oils and fragrance oils can be added with the initial soaping oils, but solid additives such as botanicals, herbs, oatmeal, or other additives are most commonly added at light trace, just as the mixture starts to thicken.
The batch is then poured into moulds, kept warm with towels or blankets, and left to continue saponification for 12 to 48 hours. (Milk soaps or other soaps with sugars added are the exception. They typically do not require insulation, as the presence of sugar increases the speed of the reaction and thus the production of heat.) During this time, it is normal for the soap to go through a "gel phase," wherein the opaque soap will turn somewhat transparent for several hours, before once again turning opaque.
After the insulation period, the soap is firm enough to be removed from the mould and cut into bars. At this time, it is safe to use the soap, since saponification is in essence complete. However, cold-process soaps are typically cured and hardened on a drying rack for 2–6 weeks before use. During this cure period, trace amounts of residual lye is consumed by saponification and excess water evaporates.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Today we made another batch of our popular Odalisque cold process soap.   It will be ready first week of April and for the Easter and Mother's Day period.  We also filmed the making of this soap which is uploaded to YouTube.   You can view our progress here:

Thursday, 23 February 2012

EarthKandi Wedding Favours.  
We do special prices on our products if you wish to use them for wedding favours.  Here we have a recent order, in Honey and Almond, wrapped in client's choice of cellophane and tied with iridescent ribbon and glittery label.   We do wedding favours at wholesale prices for orders over 30 pieces.  Email us for details.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Today we made some gorgeously refreshing Lemongrass & Lime cold process soap, using coconut oil, castor oil, olive oil and real Tussah silk.   The palest of pale lemon and lime colours and white creamy topping with shards of spring green soap embeds make this a delight to both eye and nose.  We've used a touch of May Chang Essential Oil to boost the fragrance staying power.  This soap is very large and chunky, weighing in with at least 140gms.   

Monday, 13 February 2012

Introducing a clean fresh unisex fragrance called Bay Rum.   We've kept the lines of this soap simple, creamy white base with a touch of blue.  A hard bubbly soap, uncomplicated that leaves the skin feeling fresh, clean and moisturised.  We've used olive oil, palm oil, coconut oil, and caster oil which combines to make a hard white soap that is long lasting, creamy with a stable lather.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Today we made some brand new soap cake, our Honey Parfait.   Using Honey and lemon fragrance, topped with glitter blood red hearts.   We used a mix of olive oil, castor oil, coconut oil and sustainable palm oil using Tussah cruelty free silk for an extra creamy and luxurious feel on the skin.

A luxury gift for any time of the year, and can be used whole, or cut into slices as wedding favours or for use as guest soaps.   Or simply cut yourself a slice whenever you need it.

Monday, 6 February 2012

We have decided to share our cigar band style soap labels which you can purchase on our Etsy or Folksy sites. Printed out on 90gms linen paper in cream, name of your products, ingredients and logo. Top edge cut out with doilie pattern continuously along the top edge. Length approx. 12 inches. Simply wrap around your soap and sellotape in place. Great for cold process soap, but it is recommended you wrap melt and pour soap in cellophane first.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

EarthKandi presents the BE MY VALENTINE soap. A thick chunk of clear soap with a scarlet heart embed, fragranced with Cassis, Fig and White Musk and beautifully packaged ready to give as a gift to the one you love.