Wednesday 7 September 2011

New Skills Festival - Vegan Soap Making with Rene

☆☆☆ Don't forget the SALE over in the shop ☆☆☆

Today we are going to be making vegan milk soap with the generous Rene from Soap Making School, soap making is something I have never tried but I will be soon. I came across Rene's site when I was looking for someone who was a soap or cosmetics maker, if you are interested in making your own, pop over to see what else Rene makes.

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I have been making soap since 1997.  I Started into Aromatherapy and Essential Oils about 5 years before I started soaping.  Soapmaking was meant to be just a vehicle for my Essential Oil obsession, but it turned into so much more than that for me.
I began participating in Craft Shows, picked up a few Wholesale Accounts, began selling some of the ingredients that I loved and believed in, ran and organized a few craft shows of my own, then started teaching soap making.
I am also a Reiki Master and I like to add good and healing intentions into all of the soap and bath goodies I make.  

Here is a video Rene made for making Vegan Milk Soap and there is more soap making info below

Soap Making – A Very Practical and Fun Craft

Soap making is one of the most practical and budget friendly crafts you can get involved with.

The reason it is so practical is because you are creating a very essential product that you will use several times a day.  Whether you buy it or make it, soap is a big part of our lives.  It plays a major role in keeping everyone germ free and sanitary.  Imagine a day without it.

This is a great reason to take up this fun and creative craft.  Another reason you might want to consider soap making is the way natural soap changes your skin for the better.  Many people who have suffered with eczema and sensitive skin conditions for many years,  have discovered that switching from harsh commercial soap to handmade soap has ended their skin issues.

So how do you begin to make soap?
You will need very basic equipment.  Much of it can be found in discount stores and thrift or second hand stores.  Here is a complete list of equipment and tools you will need:
-Wooden spoons
-Glass measuring cup or jar
-Candy Thermometer
-Stick Blender
-Rubber gloves
-Large pot for making your soap
-Old plastic cup (yogurt cup will work)
-Mixing Bowl
-Spray Bottle with white vinegar (this will neutralize the sodium Hydroxide if you get any on yourself)
-Molds to put your soap in.

The ingredients that go into soap making are quite simple.  You need a fat or oil, you need an alkali and you need water.
For your fats or oils, you can keep it quite simple.  Any vegetable oil will work.  Coconut, Olive, Soy Bean, Grape Seed, Canola, there are too many to mention. 
The alkali you will need is Lye also known as Sodium Hydroxide.  You can get this from a chemical supplier, a hardware store or from a soap making supplier. 

The water you use should be distilled or filtered rain water.  Spring water may have too many minerals added and tap water has too many chemicals.  These factors can affect the chemical reaction that your ingredients go through (saponification) in order to turn into soap. 

Now that you are familiar with the equipment and ingredients, where do you go from here?
There are plenty of books, an abundance of free information on the internet, and there are classes you can take to learn one on one soap making. 
Books are a good source, but I have personally found a lot of false and misleading information in printed books on Soap Making. 

Free online information is okay, but some of the recipes and guidelines can cost you both time, effort and the ingredients you will be wasting when the recipe doesn’t turn out.

Then there are soap making classes.  This is truly the best method to learn soap making.  All of your questions can be answered and you will have contact information if you run into questions along the way.
I have been teaching soap making for a long time and I still run into new questions every day.  I have seen new soap makers blossom into professional full time soap makers after just a few months to a year of making their first batch of soap. 

I have started teaching video soap making classes on line through, and I continue to witness new soap makers take the plunge and make a living with this wonderful essential craft.
The options are endless, all natural soap, honey soap, vegan soap, fun and colourful soap, bar, liquid cream, transparent.   

I have been making soap for over 14 years and I can’t imagine my life without it.
I hope you consider trying soap making.  It really is a wonderful, economical and practical craft.

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