Snowflake Melt & Pour Soap Project

Snowflake1

It is that time again. Fall, the time when the kids head back to school and you have time to focus on upcoming Fall & Winter Product lines. We have a small project that is perfect for you and your child to make the cutest Let the Snow Begin Soaps. This soap uses the Wilton Silicone Snowflake mold and makes six 3 oz to 4 oz snowflake soaps. Instructions arebelow:

 

Step 1. Melt approximately 2 oz white soap base gently in the microwave. If using PJ’s injection tool (or any other medicine dosage syringe), you will need the soap to be thin. If you do not have an injection tool or syringe, you can still do this but you will need to let your melted soap cool to a thick, viscous consistency. Use either the injection tool to fill the tiny snowflake lines, or use the back of a spoon to squeeze in the thick melted soap base. Save any unused white M&P, we will use it again later for the top layer of this soap.

Snowflake-step1

Step 2. Using the back of a spoon, gently scrape away the excess soap from the snowflake lines, pressing down gently as you scrape. You do not want to pull up the soap filled lines, so pressing down helps. I recommend filling one snowflakes at a time, then immediately start clearing the excess before the soap gets too firmly set up. It is easier to scrape the excess without damaging the snowflake lines while the excess soap is still pliable.

Snowflake-step2

 

Step 3. Now you have your silicone mold with filled in snowflake lines and cleared of the excess soap from the outlying silicone areas. Wait until your white snowflake lines are firm, about 30 minutes. Now melt approximately 12 oz clear M&P soap base. We tinted red ours red using a Red Lake and some Burgundy oxide dissolved with alcohol and then added to the soap base. This prevents pigment lumps. Alternatively, you can use liquid gel colorants. Fragrance your red tinted clear Melt & P

 

our soap base and then let it cool until pourable, but cooled to a thicker state. We do not want to cause the heat from the red tinted M&P to melt the delicate Snowflake lines.

Snowflake-step3

Step 4. Spritz the surface of your white Snowflake lines with alcohol. This will allow the next pour of M&P soap, the red tinted clear, to adhere well. Gently divide the red tinted clear M&P soap base among the 6 snowflake mold cavities. Wait 1 to 2 hours for the red tinted M&P to firm up. My son and I were in a hurry and we should have waited another 15 minutes.

Step 5. Now melt some additional white M&P soap base with the left overs you have from making the snowflake lines. You will need about 10 oz of white M&P. Fragrance this portion of white M&P base. Using your sprayer with alcohol, spritz the red tinted M&P soap surfaces of the 6 snowflake molds. Now, divide the white M&P soap base evenly among the six molds. Let sit and firm up for 1 to 2 hours.

Step 6. Gently pull the silicone mold away from the firm soaps, removing the soaps as you do so.

This was a fun project for my son and I. We will be doing some more using white & blue Hannukah theme, as well as white and Christmas green themes.

Soapalooza Boot Camp Coupons!

DoorMagnet1We have Soapalooza BOOT CAMP Coupon Offers! These coupons are good for any of the remaining 2014 Soapalooza Boot Camps (2 Day, 3 Day, or 5 Day) You can use a $50 Coupon for any upcoming 3 Day Bath & Body Boot Camp, the 5 Day Fast Track Boot Camp, or a $25 Coupon for our 2 Day Intensive Soap Making Boot Camp. Just in time for Holiday and Fall Soap Making!  We also offer MONTHLY INSTALLMENT PAYMENT PLANS!

Learn the science behind soap making. Learn the basic math skills so that you can troubleshoot your soap and design your own formulas. Learn about soap labeling. Learn to make Milk Soap, Salt Soap, Swirled Soap, Layered Soap, Pine Tar Soap. Learn to use Natural Botanicals for coloration, Learn about Dyes, MIca, Oxide. Learn the Nuts & Bolts of starting your own Soap Making Business. PLUS, all the tricks of the trade from a 25 year veteran Soap maker that used to product over $76,000 of soap a year as well as owner/operator of a Cold Process Soap fragrance supply business.

You learn the in and outs, from a veteran Cold Process soap maker, to include How to wholesale, and what you need to have an efficient cold process soap making business. You also get 3 months of email/phone support!  We offer a convenient MONTHLY INSTALLMENT PAYMENT PLAN on each of our Boot Camps to make it easier for you to budget. And don’t forget, your professional education is TAX DEDUCTIBLE!

We have the best fun! I hope that you will join us in one of the upcoming Soapalooza 3 Day Bath & Body Boot Camps (use Coupon Code 50OFFCLASS), or even one of our 2 Day Intensive Soap Making Boot Camps (use Coupon Code 25OFFSOAPCAMP).

Both Coupons are only valid until Sept 30, 2014… So HURRY and sign up!

 

Good luck and safe soap making from Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, where soapmaking is an Art, an Adventure, and a Passion!

Kelly, Chief Excitement Officer at Soapalooza!

KellyValentines14Kelly Bloom is the owner and Chief Excitement Officer at Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, located in Williamsburg, VA. She is a former Science Education teacher, and the founder of Southern Soapers. Soapalooza sells Kelly’s formerly Southern Soapers branded fragrance oils now under the Soapalooza brand. Kelly is a 20+ year veteran soapmaker and soap business owner, supplying wholesale soap for private label as well as back bar products for local boutique spas.

PS: We would LOVE to connect with your at our Facebook Soapalooza Fan Page We also have a Facebook Soapmaking Group called Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, and we share lots of information there! We would love for you to join us!

Great Essential Oil Blends!

BloomWorks Soap Company

Years ago, long before I purchased my first ounce of fragrance oil (it just was not available to soap makers back then!), I started using essential oils with my herbal soaps. Originally, ALL my soap was JUST herbal based. I was a spice vendor, so adding herbs and spices was as natural as breathing at the time, I learned to color all my soaps with spice or herb infusions. None of my soap was scented, just pretty. Gradually, I started noticing that there were some essential oils available, and started experimenting with them for scent. This was still back when finding essential oils in more than 1/2 or 1 oz bottles was very hard, and often much more expensive than they are today.

Below are some of my favorite Essential Oil blends that I developed for my BloomWorks Soap Company product line:

Cedarwood & Lime: 2 parts Cedar, 3 parts Lime

Tangerine Lemongrass: 3 Tangerine, 2 Lemongrass

Sandalwood Tangerine 3 Tangerine, 1 Sandalwood

Bay Rose; 2 Geranium Rose, 1 Palmarosa, 1 Bay Laurel

Patchouli Rose: 1 Patchouli, 2 Geranium Rose

Fairy Garden: 1 Lavandin, 1 Ylang Ylang, 1 Rosewood, ½ sweet orange

Cedar Mint: 1 Peppermint, 2 Spearmint, 2 Cedar

Desert Flowers: 3 Rosewood, 1 Ylang, 1 Lavandin, 1 Geranium Rose, 1 Patchouli

Cleopatra: 4 rosewood, 2 ylang ylang, 1 sandalwood

 

Good luck and safe soap making from Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, where soapmaking is an Art, an Adventure, and a Passion!

Kelly, Chief Excitement Officer at Soapalooza!

KellyValentines14Kelly Bloom is the owner and Chief Excitement Officer at Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, located in Williamsburg, VA. She is a former Science Education teacher, and the founder of Southern Soapers. Soapalooza sells Kelly’s formerly Southern Soapers branded fragrance oils now under the Soapalooza brand. Kelly is a 20+ year veteran soapmaker and soap business owner, supplying wholesale soap for private label as well as back bar products for local boutique spas.

PS: We would LOVE to connect with your at our Facebook Soapalooza Fan Page We also have a Facebook Soapmaking Group called Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, and we share lots of information there! We would love for you to join us!

Birthday Party Ideas for Kids!

PrintYesterday I was processing files from over 10 years worth of teaching various types of soap and cosmetics classes in my forums and private consulting. Materials spread out over three hard drives and 8 thumb drives! It has been something I’ve been planning to tackle for a few years. Consolidation and compilation of all my soap and cosmetics training materials!

The daunting part is tying not to confuse myself between open file folders across the couple of thumb drives a particular document might be re-saved with a different date! Thank goodness I had the foresight to actually date my files when I saved them on a new location!

Not everyone can manage to come spend a day or two with Kelly, sadly!  I would love to have you all here, laughing and cutting up as we make soap or cosmetics together. But I realize that with jobs, family, and expenses of being away from your own businesses, that often training workshops are not easy to get away and attend.

The Soapalooza 2 Day Intensive Soap Making Boot Camp, and the Soapalooza 3 Day Bath & Body Boot Camp are doing phenomenally! These workshops have been SO MUCH FUN to give and participate in! I will be adding a weekend session for both each month, straddling the holiday’s that teachers and students are off from school also!

The Skype Classes are also fun! We have had a huge response to the Labeling De Mystified Conference Call / Skype format class. I will adding my Preservative Class next to the Skype format, as well as the PDF Training format.

For those that just can not attend our classes and workshops, I have started uploading workshops and training materials as PDF’s that students can purchase and download. All the PDF Training products will be located in the Soapalooza E-University store category.

The first PDF Training document for sale in the store is the Master Batch Soap Making Techniques. It includes the slides from the 2010 HSCG Conference presentation I did in Denver, Colorado, as well as 14 pages of step by step instructions on setting up your soap production to handle several thousand bars of soap manufacturing per week. The PDF includes how to master batch your lye solution, soap formula, how to adjust your lye solutions, and many more Master Batch Technique tips.

soapalooza_inviteI had an other brainstorm too! I have a really cool PDF Birthday Party Invitation from when Soapalooza hosted children’s Birthday Parties at our Hampton, VA retail store.

I learned that after 5 children of my own, it is more fun to teach mothers to orchestrate their own children’s Birthday Parties than me doing it in the studio or at their homes! So, I am making the Soapalooza Birthday Party Invitation Fillable PDF available FREE on the Soapalooza website! You can put it in the shopping cart and then you can download it for free. The really cool thing about this PDF is that you can EDIT it with your child’s name and party location, then print it. You can download the PDF, save it to your computer, and use it and share it!

NicholasBday1bOver the next few days I will be adding a few fun ideas for Birthday Party soap activities also! Your children and their friends will be fighting to get into the tub first!

Kelly Bloom is the owner and Chief Excitement Officer at Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, located in Williamsburg, VA. She is a former Science Education teacher, and the founder of Southern Soapers. Soapalooza sells Kelly’s formerly Southern Soapers branded fragrance oils now under the Soapalooza brand. Kelly is a 20 year veteran soapmaker and soap business owner, supplying wholesale soap for private label as well as back bar products for local boutique spas.

Good luck and safe soap making from Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, where soapmaking is an Art, an Adventure, and a Passion!

Kelly, Chief Excitement Officer at Soapalooza!

PS: We would LOVE to connect with your at our Facebook Soapalooza Fan Page We also have a Facebook Soapmaking Group called Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, and we share lots of information there! We would love for you to join us!

The Big Lye (History of Sodium Hydroxide as We Know it Today)

Collage1In 2005 there was a discussion in my former Southern Soapers Yahoo forum about the origins of Lye.  The Lye we use today, in modern soap making, is a synthetic. I was utterly fascinated by the entire Sodium hydroxide history and evolution. Prior to the development of plastics and other non reactive, air tight containers, there was actually no safe way to store sodium hydroxide as it is so incredibly hygroscopic, and violently reactive. There seemed to me no way it could have been stored for use in handy gourds or pottery urns.

So I had to go do research to satisfy my curiosity about what did folks in the 8th century use to store their lye?  Well, they did not use or even have lye as we know it today!  Lye, as we know and use it (bead or flake form,readily available in 50 pound poly bags), is not something our great, great, great grandmothers used to make soap with. We have it so easy compared to our ancestors soapmaking alkali’s available.

Wikipeidia had some great information on sodium hydroxide and other elements of it’s production and history. From the early 1800’s up until the the 1860’s, the Leblanc Method was used to create sodium hydroxide. Then, the Solvay Method was devised in the 1860’s and outdated the LeBlanc process.

Prior to these two first manufacturing process, sodium hydroxide did not exist in the form we know it today. Calcium carbonate, also known as limestone, then readily available (and very easily stored), was used in a long tedious cooking (the ancient soap boiling method) to expedite the saponification process, with salt water washes of the soap curds used to separate the non water soluable elements out of the soap mass. Yeminte and Arabic records record bits of pieces of this long tedious process, and the Marius Fabre soap company in France still uses it to this day.

How Sodium Hydroxide is produced today:
Sodium hydroxide is produced (along with chlorine and hydrogen) via the chloralkali process. This involves the electrolysis of an aqueous solution of sodium chloride (or, more simply known as salt water). The sodium hydroxide builds up at the cathode, where water is reduced to hydrogen gas and hydroxide ion:

2Na+ + 2H2O + 2e- ? H2 + 2NaOH

To produce NaOH (sodium hydroxide) it is necessary to prevent reaction of the NaOH with the chlorine, this is typically done in one of three ways, of which the membrane cell process is, economically, the most viable.

Membrane cell process –  with a Nafion membrane to separate the cathode and anode reactions. It produces a higher quality of NaOH.

An older method for sodium hydroxide production was the LeBlanc process, which produced sodium carbonate, followed by roasting to create carbon dioxide and sodium oxide. This method is still occasionally used. The LeBlanc method helped to establish sodium hydroxide as an important commodity chemical.  The following article was one I published in 2006, edited slightly for this blog format.

So, one of the biggest lies in soap making, and probably one of the most fiercely debated, is that soap can not be made unless lye (sodium hydroxide) is used.

Sounds heretical to you if you are a cold process soap maker, right?  Here is some history on early soap making, and on the use of sodium hydroxide in manufacturing soap.

In the 1600’s the French king issued an edict that the popular regional soap, Marseilles soap, could only bear that name if it was produced in a very specific manner. Sodium carbonate was the alkali used for saponification then, and is still used in Marius Fabre French soaps today.

If a soaper wants to make soap without lye, it is possible, but not really as practical as using lye (sodium hydroxide). It can be done, but is a  much more complicated and laborious process. Saponification using other alkali’s requires many more steps and ingredients to create the chemical reaction & catalyst than our method of just mixing a strong solution of lye (sodium hydroxide) & water into melted or fluid oils. Salt water rinses, long cooking periods (as many as 10 days), etc.. are not really feasible for most of us, or even warranted anymore. The method of soap making that does not use sodium hydroxide is the ancient, dying art of true soap boiling. It was one of the true soap arts guarded by the medieval soap guilds. No clear European description of how soap was made has survived from the medieval period.

Lye is not a chemical that exists by itself. Prior to 1791 Sodium hydroxide did not exist in any recognizable form. Additionally, the storage capabilities for safe handling of sodium hydroxide on a large manufacturing scale surely did not readily exist as we have today. Plastics and stainless steel were not available for storage protection of the highly reactive sodium hydroxide. But we know there was true soap being manufactured.  So how was this done and what was being used as the alkali catalyst?

First some history on sodium hydroxide, also known as ‘lye’ and NaOH. 

Sodium hydroxide is produced in the chloralkali process, which is the electrolysis of an aqueous solution of sodium chloride (salt and water). It is a by-product from the production of chlorine. Sodium hydroxide is both hygroscopic (attracts and absorbs water from the environment) & highly reactive, producing often violent exothermic reactions. Until 1791 soap making alkali was commonly sodium carbonate and soda lime, then rinsed and washed and cooked with salt water baths. This laborious 10 day process had the effect of creating a strong alkali by product.

Sodium hydroxide (NaOH), also known as lye or caustic soda, is a caustic metallic base used in industry, mostly as a strong chemical base in the manufacture of paper, textiles, and detergents. Due to it’s high reactivity, it must be stored properly in air tight, non porous containers to prevent it from absorbing CO2 (carbon monoxide) and H2O (water).

Since the ready availability of sodium hydroxide, by the Leblanc process in 1791, it is the most financially feasible, and readily available alkali for soap making.

An early soap method was recorded in Yemen (Arabia) The Secrets of Master Alexis of Piedmont, written about 1547. Arabia was making hard soap in the soap boiling method as early as the 8th century, and a document translated reads:

Description of Soap Making

Take two thirds from alkali (al-qily} and one third of un-slaked lime (nura dhakar). Break the lime into small pieces the size of faufal or chestnut. Take a mirkan large vessel} of pottery and cut an outlet (manzil) at its bottom. And seal this outlet tightly with a rag. Take bricks and break them into small pieces, not quite small, and pack them inside the middle of the mirkan.

Place on the broken bricks a piece of khsaf. Throw on the khasafa the alkali and the un-slaked lime. And pour on them an amount of water equal to four or five times the submersion volume. The mirkan should be placed on a high position, and we place under the outlet another empty mirkan so that the liquid will flow into it. If there is no high place you will dig a cavity in the ground at a depth equal to that of the empty mirkan, and it is lowered down the cavity so that it is below the outlet.

Leave it for one day and one night then open the outlet on the second day so that the filtered water of alkali and lime will pour into it. When all the liquid is emptied, return again and pour it above the alkali and lime and leave it for one day and one night. Open the outlet the next morning and empty the whole clear liquid. When the whole liquid ceases flowing divide it into two halves. Put one half aside. Pour [onto the remaining half] an equal amount of sesame oil (shiraj) and beat (agitate) the mixture strongly and repetitively with a wooden beater for one hour until it hardens and thickens.

Leave it for the rest of the day and overnight if you are in a hurry, otherwise leave it for two or three days if you are not in a hurry because the longer it stays the better it ferments. Cool it down and put it in a copper cauldron and set under it a strong fire. Each time it thickens water it with the sharp water from the one half that was put aside as mentioned above.

You will continue kindling the fire and watering with the sharp water until it becomes grainy and ripens. Continue beating (mixing) it so that it will not burn. Put it down and pour it into a mirkan (a large vessel) and beat it and water it little by little, then pour it again into the cauldron and place it on fire, let it be a strong fire, and whenever it tends to become dry, water it with the sharp water little by little while you are stirring so that it will not burn.

Continue like this until the water is consumed and the soap is well cooked and its consistency becomes like that of the shoemakers glue, known as ashras. Make a milban (mould) from wood, similar to the milban of bricks, but larger. Spread a kham cloth {coarse cotton cloth) or a piece of khasf and place the milban (the mould) over it. Pour the soap into the milban. The purpose of the milban (the mould) is to prevent the soap from flowing until it thickens.

Leave it for one night and one day until it solidifies. Then cut it with a knife as is usual. If you want the soap to be perfumed add to it, on the last cooking on fire, choice perfumes and saffron and whatever scents you like then pour it as above mentioned, if God wills.  (source: http://www.gabarin.com

Info on Sodium Hydroxide
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_hydroxide

Info on Sodium Carbonate
http://www.inorganics.basf.com/p02/CAPortal/en_GB/portal/Anorganische_Basen_/content/Produktgruppen/Anorganische_Basen_(Laugen)/Produktinformationen/Soda

A really cool science experiment using Sodium Carbonate
http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/gen01/gen01966.htm

Ancient soap methods
http://www.answers.com/topic/soap

Marius Fabre soap caldroun/boiling method
http://www.beautyandstyle.net/store.php?counter=fabre

Solvay method of Sodium carbonate production
http://scifun.chem.wisc.edu/chemweek/Bicarb/SodiumBicarb.html

Chemical process of creating Sodium hydroxide
http://scifun.chem.wisc.edu/chemweek/Cl2&NaOH/Cl2&NaOH.html

More soap history
http://members.tripod.com/~marieainsley/instruction/soap.htm

/Kelly Bloom is the owner and Chief Excitement Officer at Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, located in Williamsburg, VA. She is a former Science Education teacher, and the founder of Southern Soapers. Soapalooza sells Kelly’s formerly Southern Soapers branded fragrance oils now under the Soapalooza brand. Kelly is a 20 year veteran soapmaker and soap business owner, supplying wholesale soap for private label as well as back bar products for local boutique spas.

Good Luck, and Safe Soapmaking from Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, where soapmaking is an Art, an Adventure, and a Passion!

Kelly, Chief Excitement Officer at Soapalooza!

PS: We would LOVE to connect with your at our Facebook Soapalooza Fan Page We also have a Facebook Soapmaking Group called Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, and we share lots of information there! We would love for you to join us!

© 2006 Kelly Bloom, BloomWorks Holdings, LLC & Soapalooza at http://www.soapalooza.com. Registered with US Library of Congress. If you would like to reprint this material, please contact us at kelly@soapalooza.com for permission. All we require is a link to our published post here on the blog, author credit, etc. We want our materials to be shared, just credit given where credit is due.

Fragance Testing Videos

SoapaloozaWORD-LogoOne of our customers did a YouTube video on the testing process of about 36 Soapalooza Cheap Thrills.  I thought you might like to see how the process went.

Ivy Coreen Bath & Body makes cold process soap, and as such, needs fragrance oils that are manageable in her soap mixture. She needs like to mix her soap fragrance in, and still have time to use color and play with design elements of her unique soapmaking process.

The first video is just a short one, showing how she is setting up her testing process. The second video is pretty long, showing each one of the Cheap Thrills fragrance vials and how they react with her soap mixture. This second 42 minute video is fun to watch and listen to, as her husband helps her, and they have playful banter. Both husband and wife have a running commentary with their thoughts on each fragrance and their thoughts on it, as well as both visual and audio description of the reaction of the fragrance oil in the soap solution. I believe she is using about 1 to 1.6 oz of soap mixture in each paper cup to ensure the same level of fragrance oil to soap mixture ratio as she would use in a full size batch.
Video 1 – Testing Set up

/http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcROSDZkoH4

Video 2 – Testing 36 Soapalooza Fragrance oils in CP soap

If you are unfamiliar with what a Cheap Thrill is, it is a small perfume vial size of our fragrance oils. We sell these for $1.00 each. We know that one of the most exciting parts of trying a new fragrance oil suppliers scents is the decision on which ones to try first! And imagining what they smell like after reading their scent descriptions. So, we introduced Cheap Thrills in 2008 to allow you to load up on inexpensive sniffy sized vials of scent … so you could smell them up close and personal before investing in the larger sizes. They are fun and exciting to get, and each one is enough for a 3-4 oz bar of melt & pour soap, or a small cold process soap sample, or a single perfume rollette (mixed with a carrier oil), or even a small single solid perfume tin. Many customers also barter them with others for scents they want to still try.

What Is A Cheap Thrill?

What is a Cheap Thrill, and what can I do with one

  • Our Cheap Thrills fragrance vials are an economical way to smell a fragrance before purchasing a larger quantity. This lets you save money and prevents you purchasing fragrance oils you find you really don’t care for. But, what can you scent with a Cheap Thrill? Each small glass perfume vial holds 1/8th of a teaspoon of fragrance oil.

A Cheap Thrill will scent

  • A Perfume Roulette filled with jojoba oil, making a wonderful perfumed body oil to dab on pulse points.
  • A 4 oz Melt & Pour bar of soap.

 

  • A small wax tart for your wax melter.

 

  • A bath bomb (make mix, scent small portions individually.

 

  • An 8 oz jar of bath salts or sugar scrub.

 

  • A 4 – 8 oz bottle of lotion

 

  • Add to a cotton ball and place in your vacuum cleaner bag.

 

  • A 4 – 8 oz bottle of body wash.

So, even though the Cheap Thrills were designed to just let you sniff before buying, you can still use them for many creative products. Many customers blend a few and create unique fragrance blends.

Kelly Bloom is the owner and Chief Excitement Officer at Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, located in Williamsburg, VA. She is a former Science Education teacher, and the founder of Southern Soapers. Soapalooza sells Kelly’s formerly Southern Soapers branded fragrance oils now under the Soapalooza brand. Kelly is a 20 year veteran soapmaker and soap business owner, supplying wholesale soap for private label as well as back bar products for local boutique spas.

Good Luck, and Safe Soapmaking from Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, where soapmaking is an Art, a Passion, and an Addiction!

Kelly, Chief Excitement Officer at Soapalooza!

PS: We would LOVE to connect with your at our Facebook Soapalooza Fan Page

We also have a Facebook Soapmaking Group called Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, and we share lots of information there! We would love for you to join us!

Congrats to Sue Finley of Artisan Soaps LLC

BizInsuranceCongrats to Sue Finley of Artisan Soaps, LLC for renewing their HSCG or IBN Membership and obtaining business & product liability insurance through one of our industry trade associations!
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/Soapalooza offers a $20 Gift Certificate when you join or renew your membership with either the HSCG or Indie Business Network (formerly Indie Beauty Network) and obtain your business and product liability insurance through them. Simply send us a copy of your insurance certificate PDF with date issued, and we will issue you a $20 Gift Certificate to shop at Soapalooza.com. More details on our exclusive promotion at the Soapalooza website.
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/Good Luck, and Safe Soapmaking!
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/Kelly, Chief Excitement Officer at Soapalooza!
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/Where soapmaking is an Adventure, an Art, and an Addiction!
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/PS: We would LOVE to connect with your at our Facebook Soapalooza Fan Page
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/We also have a Facebook Soapmaking Group called Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, and we share lots of information there! We would love for you to join us!

Soapmaking Classes Returning to Soapalooza

2013-12-27 08.05.32Well, the Holiday Season is over, and Soapalooza is planning new soapmaking and cosmetics training classes!
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/You will find a nice variety of studio based Basic and Advanced soapmaking classes, to include Cold Process Milk Soapmaking as well as a Beer & Wine Cold Process Soapmaking.
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/We also have a 3 Day Intensive Soap and Bath Products Boot Camp. The boot camp covers all the soap and cosmetics training classes were are offering individually here.
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/In addition to the Studio Classes, I will be also arranging Skype training sessions on many of the same topics. I understand there is a need for soapmaking and cosmetics manufacturing education for those that just simply can not arrange to get away from their homes. I will be adding information on this in the next few days.  The Skype Soap Class sessions are nice because you have an instructor there via video to walk you through each step of the way. I trained my daughter over the course of the summer and fall so that she could launch her own soapmaking business in this manner. She had a newborn baby in July, and even if she lived close enough to come over and train, the constraints of a newborn made her training needs such that Skype was the perfect fit.
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/Additionally, for those of you that are comfortable learning from PDF tutorials (written in Step by Step manner, with photos to help guide you), I will also be uploading low cost PDF Master Soapmaking Lessons over the course of the next few weeks.
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/So, there will be something for everyone’s budget and training availability needs!
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/The Cosmetics Classes are also listed. Right now, take a look at our offering and contact us if you are interested in a class, just email us and arrange a day and time that works. We are currently offering the following cosmetics training classes:
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/Make Your Own Bath Bombs
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/Make Your Own Bath Salts
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/Make Your Own Body Butter
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/Make Your Own Facial Masks
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/Make Your Own Lotion & Creams
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/Make Your Own Scrubs
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/All soapmaking and cosmetics class are taught in the 3 Day Soap & Bath Products Boot Camp. The individual classes let you pick & choose on an Ala Carte basis, or attend in shorter brackets of time. You also have an option of choosing PayPal during checkout and selecting the 6 months financing selection.
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/Good Luck, and Safe Soapmaking!
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/Kelly, Chief Excitement Officer at Soapalooza!
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/PS: We would LOVE to connect with your at our Facebook Soapalooza Fan Page
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/We also have a Facebook Soapmaking Group called Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, and we share lots of information there! We would love for you to join us!

How to handle a lye spill

redcrownlyeA few months ago some soapmakers were discussing how they spilled some lye in their workspace. They talked about how they doused the area with a jug of vinegar to clean up the chemical spill (lye is a chemical).

Not many soapmakers were chemists in their former lives, or even are accustomed to handling chemicals prior to learning to make cold process or hot process soap. Because of this, there is a gap of education on handling some of the chemicals we use in our manufacturing process.
Lye is also known as NaOH, or Sodium hydroxide. It is very base, or alkaline. Vinegar is also known as Acetic Acid. Remember that grade school science project you used to do to create a volcano? Adding vinegar to the paper mache cone that was primed with baking soda? You got the most awesome foam pouring up and out of your paper mache volcano! That is because baking soda is a mild base, an alkaline. And again, your vinegar is a weak acid. But you still get a pretty violent exothermic reaction with your self contained, homemade volcano action!

If you read your MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) on your sodium hydroxide, in one of the sections there are written instructions on how to manage any type of sodium hydroxide spill. What to do if the spill is dry flakes or beads, and what to do if it is a liquid solution spill.

The number one method of clean up is using simply H2O, also known as WATER. Water dilutes the strength of the lye solution or spill. Water prevents a chemical reaction of acid and alkali, and the resulting exothermic heat discharged during neutralization. You do not want any heat when cleaning up or neutralizing, especially if there is any sodium hydroxide on your skin! The exothermic reaction of lye and vinegar is much stronger than lye and water. Water weakens the lye spill so that it is safer to clean up.

If you spill lye in dry form, clear the area of people and pets. Carefully sweep the area up. Corrosive-Danger-Sign-S-0447Wet mop the area with plain, cold water. Later, you can spray a vinegar solution and then mop up again with water to make sure full neutralization has occurred.

Be sure to wear gloves and goggles. Remove your clothes afterward and wash them. If your spill is in liquid form, clear the area of pets and people again.

Wear gloves, protective boots, and goggles. If you have Tyvek coveralls, wear them also if this is more than your counter or a small floor spill. Use rags that can be discarded to absorb as much excess liquid as possible. When wet, toss in your kitchen sink with running water to dilute them. Wring them out and absorb as much of your liquid lye solution from your counter or floor as possible. Using plain water, mop up the area again until you have absorbed and rinsed the area.

You can use the vinegar spray to now neutralize any residual alkalinity now that you have diluted and absorbed the mass of sodium hydroxide solution. Continue to rinse out your rags you used to absorb the spill with, giving them a vinegar rinse before discarding them or washing them in your washer.

The number one reason you do not want to simply douse your Lye spill with vinegar is because of the massive exothermic heat that is discharged. This can cause extreme damage to skin! Trisha Magistro explained the process with a chemical equation for those of you than would like to see that:

“If it’s (the lye spill) a solid (and there is no moisture on your hand) it’s not a problem. However, when you add water (even the little bit of water from perspiration), it will dissolve the NaOH and dissociate it into Na+ ions and OH- ions. The former are harmless. The latter will cause caustic burns. Adding water will make more OH- ions.

Rinsing it with vinegar (acetic acid, CH3COO-H or H-Ac for short) will neutralize it, though this is also exothermic. The reaction is:

Na-OH + H-Ac –> H2O + Na-Ac

(actually, it’s Na+ + OH- + H+ + Ac- –>H2O + Na+ + Ac- )

This will happen very fast, and produce a lot of heat, which will cause burns. So the best way is to rinse as much of it off quickly with water and then neutralize the tiny bit that’s left with vinegar.”  (thank you Trisha Magistro for letting us reprint your chemical reaction equation here).

So, using Water (H2O) is what is recommended for cleaning up lye spills. Vinegar is not recommended on the MSDS.

Spraying a vinegar solution mist on your work area after you have cleaned up the lye spill will not harm anything, but vinegar is not your primary liquid to use to clean up a lye spill of any kind.

If you keep large quantities of Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) on your premises, you also need to retain a copy of your MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) on your sodium hydroxide for the safety of any emergency responders. This MSDS link is a generic MSDS for dry sodium hydroxide, and one that you can print off to have in your records, regardless whom you purchase your NaOH from.

Good Luck, and Safe Soapmaking!

Kelly, Chief Excitement Officer at Soapalooza!

PS: We would LOVE to connect with your at our Facebook Soapalooza Fan Page We also have a Facebook Soapmaking Group called Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, and we share lots of information there! We would love for you to join us!

End of Year Reflections

Christmas at Gal Pal's house

Christmas at Gal Pal’s house

This is the LAST Sunday morning of 2013. Mug of fresh brewed, strong coffee in hand, I’m lounging in my PJ’s (still) in my silent house. My son is still sleeping, my daughter and granddaughter are still sleeping. It is peacefully quiet, with the rhythmic sound of the rain the only background noise. I love grey, cold mornings like this. I love the sound of rain. They make me grateful for my warm, comfortable life! They make me reflect upon where I have been, and even re evaluate where I want to go with this life, but especially this brand new 2014 that is dawning upon us in just a few days~!

2013 has been a ‘best year ever’ sort of year. So much has happened, and all of it wonderful. Even when things happened that did not seem wonderful, and actually seemed SCARY, they were sill in the end wonderful. And, doors opened to new possibilities that I never dreamed of!. I am borrowing a few lines of gratitude from another FB friend (Bina Patel) below:

– Thanks to those who hated me, they made me a stronger person.
– Thanks to those who loved me, they made my heart bigger.
– Thanks to those who were worried about me, they let me know that they actually cared.
– Thanks to those who left me, they made me realize that nothing lasts forever.
– Thanks to those who entered my life, they made me who I’m today and tomorrow.
Just want to Thank you for being there in my life!! Lets create another Best Year Ever in 2014!

KellyValentines14Kelly Bloom is the owner and Chief Excitement Officer at Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, located in Williamsburg, VA. She is a former Science Education teacher, and the founder of Southern Soapers. Soapalooza sells Kelly’s formerly Southern Soapers branded fragrance oils now under the Soapalooza brand. Kelly is a 20 year veteran soapmaker and soap business owner, supplying wholesale soap for private label as well as back bar products for local boutique spas.

Good Luck, and Safe Soapmaking from Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, where soapmaking is an Art, an Adventure, and a Passion!

Kelly, Chief Excitement Officer at Soapalooza!

/PS: We would LOVE to connect with your at our Facebook Soapalooza Fan Page We also have a Facebook Soapmaking Group called Soapalooza Soap Arts Studio, and we share lots of information there! We would love for you to join us!