What’s Wrong With My Soap? {troubleshooting cold process soap problems}

what's wrong with my soap? soft soap and crumbly soap

We all have soapmaking fails. This ultimate troubleshooting guide breaks down the reasons and solutions for 30+ common cold process soap problems. On a daily basis I receive emails from readers about problems and questions encountered while making soap. (Currently, I have 70+ of those emails in the queue to answer!) A few months ago I realized that I’ve been writing variations of the same answers over and over for several years now, so it … Continue reading

Why do you need lye to make soap? (FAQS)

Learn why you need lye to make soap and how to handle it safely. Our great great grandmothers made soap without having to use a caustic chemical, so why do we? The short answer is that our grandmothers manufactured their own caustic chemical of sorts, called potash, by combining hardwood ashes and water. This created an extremely strong alkaline substance that was considered ready when it would dissolve a chicken feather. The caustic wood ash solution … Continue reading

FAQS: How to Create Your Own Shave Soap Recipe {dual lye}

To accompany my Calendula Shave Soap Recipe, I though it’d be helpful to write up some FAQS I’ve received about how to create your own shave soap recipe. This information is also useful to know if you want to make substitutions in an existing recipe you’ve found in a book or online and aren’t sure how to do so. If you have a question I didn’t answer here, let me know in the comments below! … Continue reading

How to Make Pencil Lines in Soap {+ 12 Natural Colorants Experiment}

How to Make Pencil Lines in Cold Process Soap

Pencil lines in soap are thin horizontal lines that are created by lightly dusting a powdered colorant over a layer of freshly poured cold process soap batter, before adding the next layer on top. They’re a fun and relatively easy way to add visual interest to your soap recipes. While micas or charcoal, or my personal favorite – cocoa powder, are more commonly used for making pencil lines, I decided to do a little experiment … Continue reading

Blogging About Your Hobby (FAQs series)

A few years back, I wrote a blog post about Selling Handmade Products, where I covered some of the most frequently asked questions I received on the topic. In it, I mentioned that I’d personally stopped selling handmade items because blogging was more profitable and less labor intensive, which resulted in a lot of emails and questions, and me promising multiple people a follow-up post on blogging. Though it’s a couple of years late – … Continue reading

Selling Handmade Products (FAQS Series)

Frequently Asked Questions About Selling Handmade Products

Are you interested in selling handmade products but aren’t sure where to start? Check out these frequently asked questions to get the answers you’re looking for! I frequently get asked about how I got started making and selling handmade products. Today, I’ll answer some of the specific questions on this topic that I’ve received over time.   I started making my own soap because of this little dirt-loving guy: My son had a lot of allergies … Continue reading

How to Harvest and Dry Flowers & Herbs From Your Garden

Drying Flowers

Learn how to easily harvest & dry flowers and herbs from the garden. Also included is a list of common flowers and herbs along with ideas for using them! I often get questions about how to best harvest and dry flowers and herbs from the garden, so today I thought I’d write up a little article detailing how I do it. It might not be the fanciest system out there, but it’s worked for me for … Continue reading

Essential Oils for Soapmaking Chart

Natural Soap Making

Confused about which essential oils can be used when making soap and how much of them you should use? If so, this chart should help! It can be downloaded and printed out, so you’ll always have it for easy reference when making soap. The chart lists 24 of my favorite essential oils to use in soap & includes: a brief description of scent a benefit or characteristic of the oil the note (top, middle or base) a … Continue reading