Finish Your Soap Edges Video – Quick and Easy Method

Helpful Video for Soap Edge Finishing


When I began soap making 18 years ago, the finishing techniques were not at the top of my list.


I liked the rustic look and thought it looked very natural.


Over the years I have changed my soap style and do enjoy a pretty finished bar of soap to both look at and use.


I tried the soap edgers that slice off the point of the edges, I tried  potato peelers and I’ve tried using beveled soap edge molds.


This method in the video is by far the easiest and least wasteful.


I accidentlly discovered it when I went to cut my soap on an edger and because there was oatmeal in the bar it looked like a complete mess.


I tried to clean up the edge with a butter knife then quickly discovered how much less waste I created when the batch was finished.   The edges looked soft and round.  The soap was comfortable in my hand and this is the method I still use.


Let me know how you like it!


Happy soaping



Beauty Bars and Cleansing Bars vs Soap

Beauty Bars, Cleansing Bars and Soap

One of These Things is Not Like The Other



Beauty bar and cleansing bar companies
cannot use the term soap on their labels.



Why is this and what is the difference between
beauty or cleansing bars and real soap.




Let’s begin by exploring exactly what soap is.



Soap is created when a chemical reaction between oil and alkali happens.


The oil can be any type of oil, either animal or vegetable.


The alkali can be either sodium hydroxide for bar soap or potassium hydroxide for liquid soap.


Since the alkali is a water soluble ingredient it will need to be mixed into a water or other liquid before it is added to the oil.


The oil and alkali added to liquid is then blended and emulsified (brought together)


This mixture of oil and alkali would then begin the chemical reaction called saponification.


Once this reaction is complete the oil component is no longer an oil and the alkali component is no longer an alkali.

Natural soap is created from the reaction between the oil and alkali.


This method has been used since civilization began and is the only way to make natural healthy soap.



soap making schoolThe resulting product is called soap.



Soap comes from the word saponification.


This brings us to comparing actual soap to the beauty and cleansing bars.


Beauty Bars and Cleansing Bars


Since most of those bars on the market consist of sulfate and
other chemical-based cleaning ingredients,
they are not authorized to use the term soap
since this product did not go through the saponification process.


The fact is, they are detergents.


Natural soap is much different than using a detergent to clean your skin.

For more information on how to start your journey into natural and organic soap making and skin care, visit :


From many wonderful skincare and soap making ingredients visit:


Is There Glass in Your Store Bought Commercial Soap?


What We Don’t Know About Commercial Soap


vintage pop art girlGlass is only one shocking ingredients that might be in that store bought soap.


Over the last 18 years of making soap, the question I get asked most:  what is the difference between commercial soap and handmade natural soap?



There are several differences, but today I want to tell you about a concealed ingredient you may be exposed to if you are still using commercial soap.



Many commercial soap companies stretch their production dollar by adding sodium silicate or sulfate of soda to the soap making process.


This ingredient is a liquid glass and is added to the soap product.  It reduces the actual content of soap in the product.  This brings down the production cost making it extremely cheap to make the soap.


When Sodium Silicate is added to the soap, it increases the lather.   This allows the soap maker to use less of the natural soap making ingredients to create the same effect.  It really stretches the soap maker’s dollar.


Unfortunately, since soap is considered to be a wash off product, the commercial soap industry is not obligated to put many of the ingredients they choose to use on their ingredient list.


You can usually identify the soap that has Sodium Silicate in it because it has a slight glossy look to the bars.


Scratching BoyAccording to the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) Sodium Silicate is a skin irritant.


No matter how diligent we are when it comes to reading labels and educating ourselves on the ingredients that manufacturers do list, we are still subjected to harsh ingredients without knowing it.


The good news is that we can protect our health and our families’ health by making our own soap and skin care.


This is only one of the differences that makes natural handmade soap so appealing and essential to our everyday lives.


To learn more about natural skincare and soap making,  join soap making school and start your journey today.

Come check out the ingredients and products available from Soap Making School and Karma Suds.


To you and your beautiful skin!




The Dangers of using Glycerin and Glycerol in Skincare and Soap Making

Glycerin and Glycerol in Skincare and Soap Making


soap making school vegetable glycerin





Over the last few years I have noticed more and more
participants in my classes
have been concerned with using glycerin
in their hand made products.
This surprises me since I have always thought of glycerin as one of the major
reasons why my skin is so soft and healthy.



What exactly is Glycerin?

I’ve been making natural’s natural soap since 1997.

I have watched my skin go from dry and scaly to healthy and supple.

The only real change I made was using

natural soap with all of the glycerin intact.

lemonWhen we produce natural soap, 2 products are created:

Soap and Glycerin

The Glycerin that is created is known as a humectant.

Humectants pull moisture from the air and seal it onto our skin.

It provides a barrier between your skin and the environment.
In this case Glycerin is a wonderful ingredient.

During the commercial soap making process,
the glycerin is extracted from the soap using a salt product.

The Glycerin is then sold to skin care companies and the pharmaceutical industry,   to be added to their products.
Glycerin is actually a more valuable product than the soap it was extracted from.



In natural soap making, we leave the glycerin in the soap.


This makes our skin soft and leaves us feeling like there is a protective layer on our skin.

The absence of the glycerin in commercial soap steals moisture from your skin.

This created a vicious cycle of using drying soap then needing a lotion to balance out the drying effect.


Before I began soap making, I had dry, chapped skin most of the time and often had bleeding knuckles.

This is all a distant memory.  I feel Glycerin is an important part of keeping my skin healthy.



Sources of Glycerin

It is extremely important to know the source of your glycerin and always purchase
vegetable Glycerin when it comes to skin care.

Natural Glycerin is created during the soap making process.

Other sources of Glycerin are created in a laboratory and are made using Mineral oil,
which means it is Petroleum based.
Not a good product for your skin, your health and the environment.


Poison bottle

Why does Glycerin have a bad reputation?

I have done researched to find out if there is a real concern
and if this fear of glycerin is legitimate.

I’ve searched newspaper articles, medical resources,
and magazine archives to find this information.

I found a very interesting documented articles in the late 1990’s

There were several cases of Chinese manufactured glycerin
making its way into many less prosperous countries.

This “Glycerin” was used in medicine that was being distributed in these countries.

Though this product looked and acted like glycerin, it was actually Diethylene glycol, which is a poison.

It was used to formulate cough medicine, and actually caused many deaths.


Other information I have found was regarding a chemical glycerin that is available on the market
which is the petroleum-based glycerin I mentioned earlier.

It has been shown to cause a lot of skin sensitivities and reactions.

Should we use Glycerin?

Using 3% to 5% of natural vegetable glycerin in a skin care and lotion recipes creates a protective barrier against moisture loss.
Using Vegetable Glycerin alongside other natural ingredients is a great way to protect and maintain healthy skin.

Finding out the source of your Glycerin will allow you to make the right decisions
and avoid chemical based glycerin that is also available on the market.

By creating and using your own products, you can safely look after your own skin
without worrying about hidden ingredients in the commercial products that we are exposed to every day.

To learn more about creating your own skin care and natural soap,
please check out the online classes at Soap Making School.

To you and your healthy skin!




Soap Making and Wabi Sabi – The Art of Finding Beauty in Imperfections

Wabi Sabi and Soap Making


Soap Making and Wabi Sabi What is Wabi Sabi?

It sounds a lot like a sushi condiment, but it’s quite different.

Wabi Sabi is the art of finding beauty in imperfections.
This is a Japanese phrase and is usually related to nature.


I was introduced to Wabi Sabi in a feng shui class about 10 years ago.
I like to think of it as a reminder that our flaws make us beautiful.
It had a huge impact on me and how I relate to life and all its flaws.


I like to think of Wabi Sabi as a reminder that our flaws make us beautiful.

Things like stretch marks from giving birth or a gray hair that sticks up
like an antenna from your head. You’ve earned that gray hair. Beautiful!

Someone may think that a teacup stain on a table is a flaw.
Maybe that stain came from your grandmother’s teacup that she spilled
because she was laughing so hard.
That’s a stain that you don’t want to have removed

That’s Wabi Sabi.

The next time you see something or someone that doesn’t quite fit the mold,
look for the Wabi Sabi,
it makes the world a much more interesting place.
We all have Wabi Sabi.


How does Wabi Sabi relate to soap making?
First of all, if any of you have taken my soap making classes,
we spend a little time talking about what to expect when you cut
into your fresh batch of soap.

I usually mention that you need to get rid of your expectations,
because it will never look like what you were expecting.


Swirls and colors have their own agenda.

You never know what is going to happen or what your soap will look like,
unless you are making a solid colored soap, it will always be a surprise.


During the Christmas season, I created a soap called Autumn Bliss.

The whole mess started out with the essential oil blend.
I wanted a soft Patchouli / lemongrass blend.  I measured the patchouli and added the lemongrass.
It was too strong with lemongrass.
I added a little Cypress, a little Juniper Berry and a few other things including Ylang Ylang.
It came together and I was okay with it.

I gathered a few fall colors for the swirls, walnut hulls being one of the natural colors.

I poured and blended the colors in the batch and made two batches (44 bars).
When I went to cut it, I didn’t see what I was hoping for.

The soap had a very yellow tone because of the lemongrass. I wanted a beige tone.
I decided to take it to the shows anyways.
It would be a good backup soap to break up the big sellers and for when I sell out of a few other soaps.


Autumn Bliss was the very first to sell out at the first show of the season.

I have received several emails from those who bought this Wabi Sabi soap and want more.

I’m so glad I wrote every detail down.

The essential oil blend, the natural colors, and the weights of all ingredients.

autumn bliss natural soap with lemongrass and patchouliHere is the Autumn Bliss

For those of you who are waiting for it,  I will have it ready in another six weeks.

I know it’s not always a good idea to assume what others consider beautiful.

My opinions are completely different because my perspective is different.

The flaws I see in this soap are beautiful to others.


Are you giving your Wabi Sabi Soap a chance to shine?

Do you have a batch that doesn’t fit your expectations?  Maybe you should just see what happens.


This is a good time for all of us to let go of looking for perfection.

Maybe perfection is meant for big box stores, but I don’t think

it has a place in either natural handmade soap or in our lives.

It’s time to get it out there, both our ideas and our products.

Let the sun shine on it
and maybe with a little fixing or a little bit of Juniper Berry and Ylang Ylang,
it can turn into something marvelous.


One thing that has been holding me back from blogging has to do with Wabi Sabi.
I will begin to write a blog and find it to be not as interesting as I would like.

The blog topic wasn’t perfect and it wasn’t beautiful.

I never completed it or posted it.


I’m realizing now that avoiding blogging because my
topic isn’t a show stopper is not exactly opening the door to being creative.
In fact it shuts that door even tighter.

If you have something that is holding you back be aware
that it might be holding a lot of other things back with it.


It’s okay to be a little vulnerable, make a few mistakes.


We all have Wabi Sabi.


Time to embrace it!


Happy Soaping Everyone




Soap Making – How Much to Take to a Craft Show

How to Decide on The Amount of Soap Making Products to Bring to a Craft Show


Soap Making School at a craft showPreparing to sell soap and bath products during the busy craft show season is always a challenge.

How much soap, lotion, baths salts, body mist, night cream etc. do you need to prepare?


I have heard so many different ways to work out this amount from every type of crafter I have talked to. Many say five times the booth fee amount is their number.


If you make several products, how do you know how to allocate that amount of product?



What about your lotions and creams that have expiry dates? If you do not have a backup plan for those products that have a short shelf life ?  What will happen to them?


As craft show participants with several products including expiry sensitive creams and lotions, we need a whole new way to work out

the amount of product to bring. We need a practical solution.



After several years of following this five times my booth rate, I have thrown out that whole idea and have come up with a better way

for me to decide on the quantity of each product that I will be preparing to make and take.


Here is my process broken down into steps.


1.  Write down and list every item you are planning to make and take to your craft fair.
2.  Next to each item write down whether it has a short shelf life (six months) or not.
For example lotion – yes, bar soap – no, natural shampoo – no, conditioner – yes, Bath Tea – no, night serum – yes.

3.  For all of the products you have yes next to, you need to answer the following questions.


*If I don’t sell all of these items at the craft fair, do I have another outlet to sell them?

A. Several crafts craft fairs in a row that you were going to attend as a vendor.
B. Your product can be taken to a consignment account or a wholesale account to sell shortly after the craft show.
C. You have a long gift giving list, and the left over products can be given as gifts.
If any of those situations apply to you, and you have an outlet for the left over short let shelf life products, then make as much as you like within reason.


*If you do not sell all of the short shelf life products and do not have an outlet, once the craft fair is over, here are your options.


How big is the craft show you are attending?
– A little gymnasium in a school that gets a few hundred people attending each year with a low booth cost of $50 or last.
– A medium-size show with a few thousand attendees. $100 plus for booth fees.

– A large show that has enormous attendance (10,000 + people attending).  Expensive booths costing 600+.


With this information both the booth fees and the approximate attendance, decide on how much of each short shelf life product you will bring.

Here is how I decide:

is this a popular item that you generally sell many of?

How much of this product do you need to sell in order to be satisfied with your sales of that particular product,
even if you were to sell out of it?

For example, one of my top selling lotions sells for $12 per tube.
For a small craft show, with a $50 entry fee and low attendance, I would make and bring 15 tubes.


For a midsized show, $200 entry fee. I might bring 30 tubes.

For a big show, big attendance, $2500 entry fee, I would bring 100 tubes.
Even if this amount does not cover my booth cost, for this large show, I do not want to risk throwing away dead stock.


Large Craft Show Preparation For Soap MakersIf I sell out of this particular item, then great for me.
If this is a five day show, maybe I will have time to whip up another smaller batch.
maybe another 30 tubes. Or maybe I will just rearrange my booth a bit, and congratulate myself for selling out of the product.


This is something you will need to decide on your own.


For less popular items that are not going to be the highlight of the craft fair,
keep your stock low.

For example, a cuticle cream, not a huge seller, I would bring
one half of what you would bring of the more popular short shelf life products.
If you sell out, then great!


When it comes to your bar soap, liquid soap, shampoo, Bath Tea, essential oil blends, Bath salts etc.

Bring as much as you would like to sell. Make these your highlights.

Ask yourself how much product in total you would like to sell at this particular show
in order to feel like it was a successful venture.


Would $500 be enough for the little school craft show to make you happy?


Would $8000 be enough for the $500 entry fee show? Maybe you would be happy with $2000?


For the big show, that would take months to prepare for, would $20,000 be enough for a $2500 show?



You really do need to decide how much money you want to invest in that particular craft show that you will be entering into.


All of the above information are things to think about.


Good luck with your upcoming shows and try not to burn yourselves out.


This is the time of year to spend with friends and family, so carve out some time for the important people in your life.


There is always next year, and you don’t have to enter every craft show that comes your way.


Keep soaping!





Soap Making and The 30 Day Blog Challenge – Day 1

Day 1 – Blog Challenge

Hi Everyone, This is a little different than my usual blogs, but here we go.

Business Success

I have committed to a 30 Day Blog Challenge and this, I hope, will get me back on track with blogging more often.

It’s all about routine.

In my last blog post, I talked about how important your time is when it comes to Soap Making.

I mentioned how you need to make sure you are using your time wisely.

I feel like Blogging is a great way to spend my time.




Here are some of the reasons I feel this way:

*Blogging keeps me on track and helps me focus on the next task.

* I blog about what is going on right now.  This also helps me realize what I am spending most of my time on.

* I start off blogging about one thing, then I get many ideas for future blogs as I am typing away.

* There are a lot of really great  questions that I get from my Soap Making School Members.  I usually get part way through answering
their question and I realize it would make a great blog post that may help others as well.

* But the main reason I like to blog is to keep in touch with everyone that reads this blog.  I get so many fantastic emails from all of you.  I love it, keep it up!

Each day we will be given a new topic to cover.  I will do my best to keep it related to the Soap Making World.

But as mentioned in the challenge, some things cross over into our regular lives.

Here is today’s Blog Challenge:

TODAY’s challenge: Write a post on why you started your blog, who you wanted to reach, what you wanted it to be all about.
Then state why you joined this blog challenge and what you want to get out of it.

Why I started my blog:

I began this blog because I am obsessed with making soap, lotions, bath goodies and cleaning products.  I have been doing this for 16 years and feel I have a lot to share.

I live and breath this art.  It feels natural and right to talk about it and share the truth with everyone.

As I have figured out by talking to other soap makers, not everyone wants you to succeed.  Many soap makers have asked me why I share so much information and if I am nervous that I am creating more competition by teaching others how to make soap and products.

My answer to that….. as long as people are still going into a grocery store and buying commercial soap off the shelf, then there are not enough of us soap makers out there to guide these poor people in the right direction.

This is truly how I feel.

Who Do I Want to Reach:

I love it when I can reach those who are curious about the whole soap making process.  I also love it when soap makers tell me “I never though of it that way”.

I want to reach those who know there is a better choice than commercial products filled with chemicals and claim they are all natural.

I want to reach people who have something interesting to say about the topics I bring up.  I like thought provoking topics.

What is this blog about:

Well, soap making, marketing your soap, learning new methods, natural products and how to create using natural ingredients, my experiences in the industry for 16 years.  Things I have seen, things that have changed.  And mostly things that I have thought about when it comes to soap and cosmetics, but I don’t see others discussing it.

Why I joined this challenge and what I want out of it:

I am looking to get back on track with my blogging.  I keep looking for deep interesting topics, but maybe that is not what blogging is all about.  I want to mix it up a little.

Time to make this a routine and keep in touch with everyone.  I am hoping this challenge will turn my blogging into a real habit.

That’s it for today.  Can’t wait to see tomorrows challenge.

Take care and Keep Soaping!





Soap Making – The Reality of an Everyday Soap Making Business

Running Your Soap Making Business – Time is Everything


soap making business time managementWhen you are starting out in the world of Soap Making,
the time you spend on your business is the biggest and most
important factor in your success.

There is just one question you need to be able to answer and this will make or break your success.

Are you spending your time on the right things?


I think the most important thing I learned is what to let go of.

You can work and work and work all day and night.  Every day, sacrifice the time you spend with the people you love,
tell them it will all work out in the end and because you are so darned determined, it HAS to work out.

But the truth is, you need to be thinking about working smarter.  Not harder.

I encourage you to try new things, but don’t become attached to the idea that it is THE thing that will get you where you want to go.

Having hope and praying for results are both great.  But….. are you hoping and praying for the right things?

If you keep doing the same time sucking things over and over, thinking that one day everything will fall into place,
you might be missing the boat on the real opportunities.

Be really careful with your time.

I keep hearing over and over from so many vendors at some of the markets…… I am here for a reason,
it might  not be a great market, but there is a reason I am here today.

Okay, I am a very spiritual person, I know there is a reason for everything.

But maybe the reason you are at a specific market or show is to give you a clue that the show you are at is not worth your time.

Maybe the message you should be receiving is that it is time to move on.

I really do think there is a time to hold on steady ( a wonderful opportunity to capture a new account)
and a time to let go (like a terrible market that you keep showing up for and barely make your booth fee).

Be very careful with your time.  This is your most valuable asset.  Make it count and cut out time wasting, energy sucking tasks.


Do you spend too much time on the computer?  Get off it and get to the creation part.

Research is a good thing, but there comes a time when it becomes a crutch.  You need to try out what you have been researching.

When I am at a really bad market, and I am considering pulling out,
I sit and make a list of all the things I could be doing at that very moment that would be a much better use of my time.

Here is a brief list of things that might show up on my list:

*Going through my schedule to plan for more live classes.

*Prepare materials that are needed for upcoming classes (print outs, soap samples, etc)

*Plan out a few upcoming videos for the Soap Making School Members

*Actually make the new videos for Soap Making School

*Visit my wholesale accounts and talk about new products that they might be interested in carrying.

*Get some NEW wholesale accounts that look interesting to me.

*Clean up some soap that has been curing so I can post the new ones on the website.

*Take more updated pictures of my soap because every batch is different

*Work on my website and make the members page more user friendly

*Call my mom on the phone because that is priceless.

*Get together with a few potential business partners over coffee and toss some idea around

*communicate with my British Graphic Designer and get those new wholesale brochures happening

*Work on my metaphysical line and website

*get some bills entered into business software program

*blog, blog, blog

*do some planning for a few Christmas shows (haven’t even booked any yet)

*Get a floor plan worked out for the big November Vancouver show

*Look into gift shows and wholesale shows.  Check them out for new packaging companies and contacts.

*Take a few classes and learn to use things like photoshop.

*Really sit down and think about a few ideas that are floating around in my head

*Get more liquid soap made (I am running low)

*Spend more time looking through the trade magazines (I pay a lot for them and haven’t had a lot of time to read them lately)

*Look at some new suppliers that I have been told about.  Order a few samples and see what they are like

*I have just been accepted as an Organic Coconut Oil distributor and I haven’t even been promoting it!!

*Check up on my Orangutans and see how everything is going at the Orphanage.

*I could go on and on and on………..



Grumpy BossIf this list is this big, what on earth am I doing at this market that barely pays for itself?

Time to get tough, time to stop wasting time.  Time to put on the boss hat and get honest with yourself.

If it helps, pretend you do have a boss.  This boss is critical but fair and ONLY wants this business to succeed.

What if you were called into his or her office right now.  Today.  And had to answer some questions.  How would that go?




What would he or she want for you? Probably things like this:


1. Is the time you are spending on your job productive?


2. Are you getting enough leisure time so that you are fresh on the job?


3. Are you getting enough sleep/ exercise/ water/ healthy food to be able to focus and not crash energetically?


4. Are you meeting with your support staff (family, soul mate, friends)  enough to help with some ideas you are considering?


5. Are you open to the suggestions of your support staff or do you get defensive then get angry at them for not being upfront if things go wrong with your plan?


6. Are you so attached to the outcome of your plans that you are blind to any other options even if it would create better results?


7. Is the majority of what you have been doing either  generating revenue or building your business in some way?



These are just a few questions you might have to answer to.


Concept of eighty twenty ruleAnother way of measuring how you are doing is by using the 80% to 20% rule.


This gives you a little wiggle room and allows you to have  some creative space in your day.



80% of your work day should be all about revenue generating and business building.  The hard work, the bill paying part.


20% of your work day should be about dreaming, planning, exploring and experimenting.


This is a good balance and it helps to keep you loving what you do.

Your Soap Making Business should be a pleasure, not a burden.

That really is the most important part.  Don’t burn yourself out.  Work on what needs to be done.  Look after yourself.

And most of all, keep soaping!





Soap Making – A Solution to Your Lumpy Topped Hot Process Soap

crazy hot process soap at soap making schoolSoap Making – A pretty top for your Hot Process Soap

One of the many questions new soap makers ask me is how to make the tops of their Hot Process Soap look more like the tops of their Cold Process Soap.

The truth is there is no real way to do this.  The texture is completely different and almost immediately after you pour your hot process soap it begins to cool and harden.


You really have no time to work with it at all.  The best you can do is sprinkle some herbs on the top and push them in hoping that some will stick.


You can also shred a little bit of colorful soap scraps and push them in for a confetti top appearance.  I have even made soap curls out of cold process scraps and pushed them into the top of the soap.


Basically the appearance of the top of your hot process soap will never match the beautiful swirls you can make with cold process soap.

So why not have the best of both worlds?

cold and hot process soap combinedsoap making school

Who says you can’t have it all?

Begin by making the hot process soap, and finish off with cold process on the top.

The secret to success for this method is preparation.

You need to be ready with the cold process.  You can’t let the hot process cool and settle for too long or you will miss the bonding opportunity.

As soon as possible, you will need to add the cold process or the 2 will separate.

This soap is one of my Intention Soaps.

There is an actual semiprecious stone inside the soap.  You can read about them on this page:

Maybe I should make a quick video showing you this cold process over hot process method.

I would love to hear some comments on this method.  I have not seen it anywhere else, like many ideas, this method came to me as a solution to a problem.

For more Palm Oil Free Soap Making techniques, check out   Soap Making School !

Keep Soaping!







A Simple Soap Making Solution to Get Rid of Soap Ash From Your Hand Made Soap!

No More White Ash on Your Handmade Soap



You have made a beautiful batch of soap and there it is, that white film sitting on top of your soap.


This is called soap ash.  It is not harmful, but it’s not pretty.


Soap ash is crystallized soap that sits on top of your soap and gives your batch a dull look.


I have found the solution to the soap ash problem by experimenting with heat and water.


Now I use this method whether there is soap ash or not because it makes the top of my soap glow and look great.


Watch my video for solving the soap ash problem and give it a try the next time you run into this problem.

or watch it on your portable device:


Happy Soaping!


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