Soap Making and Cosmetics – Adding the Benefits of Botanicals and Extracts to Your Products

Soap Making School make your own botanical extractsAdding Botanicals and Extracts to your products is a wonderful way to increase the benefits of your creams, beauty products and natural soap. This has been happening for thousands of years, all over the world.

Most of the time, the reasons for adding the botanicals and extracts in commercial products are for the promotional benefits rather than the skin benefits.

This is what the industry calls Fairy Dusting.  The process of Fairy Dusting is when a company puts an almost undetectable amount of the botanical into the product to be able to add it to the label and most of the time, make it the major feature of the product.

Consumers have no real way of knowing how much of the ingredient went into the product.  This is because of the labeling laws.

When it comes to labeling, the ingredients must be in quantity order until the content is 1% or less.



In the following $150 skin care product ingredient list, all of the ingredients up to the Cetearyl Alcohol were over 1%.  After this ingredient, the rest are mainly extracts, preservatives, and fragrance oils.  Since fragrance oil is generally added to 1% so it can appear on the ingredient list as the last item, and Potassium Sorbate is usually .5%, we can already tell this list of ingredients after the Cetearyl Alcohol is out of order.

We can probably assume that many of the extracts will be under the 1%.  This is a legal option for this company, because at 1% and less, they can rearrange the order of the ingredients to make their product look more impressive than it is.

Aqua/Water/Eau, Glycerin, Squalane, Triheptanoin, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil,
Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Candelilla/Jojoba/Rice Bran Polyglyceryl-3, Esters,
Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Cetearyl Alcohol,
Rosa Canina Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Saccharum Officinarium (Sugar Cane) Extract,
Acer Saccharinum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract,
Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Soybean Sterols, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract,
Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Macadamia Integrifolia Seed Oil, Bisabolol, Tocopheryl Acetate,
Trehalose, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract,
Vaccinium Myrtillus Extract, Sodium Phytate, Potassium Sorbate, Ethylhexylglycerin,
Phenoxyethanol, Parfum/Fragrance.

Another sneaky ingredient listing game that the commercial companies play is the use of freeze dried aloe extract.

Though water may be the main ingredient in a product, many companies choose to use freeze dried aloe and
count all of the water they have added to reconstitute the aloe.

This allows the Aloe Extract to appear as # 1 on their ingredient list.  Even though they have used
far more water than they needed to hydrate the aloe, they then use a few cheaper ingredients to thicken the product.

Thank goodness there are alternatives to purchasing these over priced under beneficial products.
We can make our own and we can use botanicals and extracts as a functional part of our products.

You can even make your own Natural Extracts.  This is better than purchasing many of the
spray dried extracts (powder)  that are known to be filled with more cyclodextrine (from sugar)
and starch than the actual botanical or herbal ingredient.

This is not damaging to your health, you are just not getting as much of the herbal benefit
that you are paying for when you purchase powdered extracts.

You can learn how to make your own extracts at Soap Making School.

There are over 70 Videos to guide you through making cold process soap, hot process soap,
natural liquid soap, creams, lotions, skin care, spa products, sugar scrubs and so much more.

Join today for $7 a week (12 weeks then the rest is free) or join the
entire program for $84 and get access to all of the videos immediately.

You can also choose certain classes you want to take ( soap or just skin care)
through Karma Suds

Take a look and check out the options:
Soap Making School

Don’t forget to join “Taking Back Your Skin” on the right side of this page.
It’s a free email series that gives you information and
free recipes to get back to the basics with your skin.


Happy soaping



Soap Making – The Realities of Sustainable Palm Oil

Sustainable Palm Oil.  What does this mean?

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) was formed in 2004 with the following goal:

promoting the growth and use of sustainable oil palm products through credible global standards and engagement of stakeholders.

So who is involved in the RSPO?  That would be Palm Oil Producers, Traders, Retailers, and Banks.  To me, this is a conflict of interest.  The loopholes are everywhere.

There is a huge difference between RSPO membership and RSPO certification.

Just because you are purchasing your oil from a RSPO member, does not mean you are getting sustainable palm oil.  In order to be sure you are getting certified sustainable palm oil, you should see a certification seal which is traceable to the actual facility.

The RSPO member can still call their palm oil sustainable, since they have purchased this right through their yearly membership.  No matter where the palm oil came from.

To me this feels deceptive and unfair to the consumers who go out of their way to find sustainable products.

This is no different than chemical based products calling themselves green.

Here are some of the loopholes they have been allowed:

New plantations are allowed to remove forest as long as the land is not deemed “high-value  conservation forest.” Each country interprets “high value”for themselves.  This doesn’t mean they need to be Orangutan Friendly or Rain Forest Friendly.  This rule is meaningless and vague.

Palm oil trees planted before 2005 are exempted. On average, the trees need  about seven years to bear fruit, so the “high value conservation forest” requirements do not pertain to the recent palm oil shipments that received RSPO certification.  So basically, every sustainable palm oil shipment, whether certified or not, is just plain old ordinary Palm Oil.

All palm oil firms are allowed to join RSPO and improve their image despite the fact that they were the ones who created this disaster to begin with.  This is like a fresh new start to their tarnished image.  Yet they have done nothing to earn it except pay a few thousand for their membership fees.

The Jakarta-based Center for Orangutan Protection said last year  it found two RSPO member companies clear-cutting forests that were home to orangutans, sun bears, and Borneo gibbons. “It has been six years after RSPO was put into operation but forests are still cleared and orangutans are continually killed,” said Novi Hardianto, the Center’s habitat program coordinator, in a press release. “All criteria on sustainable palm oil and certification process are merely public lies.”


This blog post is based on my opinion only.  Please, if you have something to add, I would love to hear it.  If you have found evidence that these fact I have found are incorrect, please let me know and I will post the truth.

Palm Oil Free soap making is easy,  please let me know if I can help you get started on the road to Palm Free soap making.  It’s good for you, it’s good for the environment and it’s the only way we as soap makers can stop contributing to the damage that is being done.

Sustainable Palm Oil is not the answer.  The industry is too corrupt and it is just another way of messing with us to make us feel like we are making good choices.  It is an environmentally destructive industry and always will be.  If you thought you were making the right decision with sustainable palm oil, it’s okay, it’s not your fault.  The industry is spending an enormous amount of money to get you to believe they are the new good guys.  In reality, they are the same bad guys.

The only way to stop the horrors is to stop using Palm Oil.

Happy Soaping!



Soap Making – How to Sell Your Soap

Soap Making – How to Sell Your Soap At A Craft Show


craft shows for soap making schoolSo many Soap School Members have asked me what to do about getting their soap out there, where do you go once you have soap inventory.

This is a huge topic, so I will do several segments on how to sell your soap.

The first step that I took, which was 15 years ago, was to hit the craft shows.

Not a lot has changed since then, and it’s a pretty traditional method to getting yourself out there.

The best thing about selling your soap at a craft show,  is that the money exchange is instant.  You don’t have to advertise and you don’t have to spend a lot of time convincing your customer to buy.

They either buy or move on.  The face to face contact is pretty minimal, unless they spend forever at your booth asking 1000 questions about your ingredients and your soap making manufacturing methods.

These time suckers are usually other soap makers feeling out their competition.  You usually recognize them right away.  They scrutinize your labels and your ingredients but never buy from you.  Your biggest clue that they are a soap maker  is when they whip out their iphone to take a picture of your product.  Not very subtle.

Now that you have decided to go the craft show route, you are going to scope some of the shows out.  Usually in the summer, you are pretty limited to farmers markets and special fairs.

Try to check out as many of the shows that you can.  Make a call to the organizer and find out if there is space for another soaper in the show. I would not go into a farmers market type show if there are 3 soap makers already.  This depends on the attendance though.

If the organizers say yes there is room, find out how many soap makers are in the show or farmers market.  If they say there are plenty, but there is always room for more, then walk away.  You are not doing yourself or the other soapers a favor by going into this show.  The organizer is clearly after the money and not the success of the vendors.

The best types of shows to get involved in are the ones that jury your product.  If they just don’t seem to mind what you bring, then you are setting yourself up for a dumpy garage sale setting.  Walk away.

Now on to the marketing of your products at the show.

I want to tell you a little story about the very first show I did.  I was a Brownie Leader in 1997, when I began soap making.  The leaders in our area held a little craft show to raise money for each of our units.

I thought this would be a good time to show off my new soap making hobby.  I wrapped up my soap, labelled them and tried to work in the theme of Girl Guides (I found a hand mold and called the soap “Lend a Hand”soap) .  It was fun and I made quite a  bit of money for our unit.

One of the people who stopped by our little craft show of 20 vendors happen to be the person in charge of doing all of the ordering and purchasing for the Vancouver International  Airport.

She asked me if I was interested in supplying my soap to the Airport.  Over 60,000 people go through that airport every day.  This was crazy and of course I said yes.

I didn’t waste any time, I began the process of starting a business the very next day.

My point is…..

Always be prepared when you are at the show.  You never know who will be attending.  Keep a wholesale list, make up some business cards, make sure you have proper labelling on your products etc.

We will talk about labelling in another post.

Your entire purpose for being at the show should not necessarily be to sell a lot of your products, but for the exposure.  This is the key.  Be ready for opportunities.  Don’t think about the short term ( the show) , think about the attendees, and think about the re sales.

I sold a bottle of natural shampoo to a lady at a show, she contacted me every 2 weeks for 5 years and came to my home to buy a bottle of shampoo.  Her family wouldn’t use anything else.  She moved away, but bought several  bottles before she left.

This is the first part of marketing your soap.

I will expand on the craft show information in the next blog.

There is a lot of information I would like to share with you on this topic.

I would love to hear what you have to say so far.


Happy Soaping









Soap Making School and Karma Suds….. We are Getting Certified For 2012!

I have been told I can make a New Year’s resolution right up until the end of January.  So here I am cutting it close.

By the end of 2012, we will be a Certified Natural Company.

The standards are high, there are a lot of steps, but I am going to make my way through the process.  If you are at all interested in going through this process, please follow me on this journey, I will give you information that I find out as I go along.

There is only one organization that does the Natural and Organic Certification in Canada.  That is Certech Registration.

If you are in the US, you have several  options, the best and most well known are the USDA National Organic Program (for organic products) and NPA -Natural Products Association (for natural products).

There are quite a few European Standard Programs available too,  Ecocert Greenlife being among the toughest with the highest standards in both Organic and Natural Products.

For the Soap Making School members from Asia and Africa, I am not sure how you would become certified, but I will look into that for you.

One of the main reasons I am doing this is because no matter how strict I am with my own formulations, I am still lumped in with other companies that have polluted the market with their unnatural products that claim to be natural.

There are very few regulations on calling your products natural.  This is true for Organics as well.  The only way to truly be considered a natural company is to become certified through a private association.  The rules and guidelines are clear and it gives you credibility.

There are many ingredients that can’t be included in your product if you are certified.

Some of the ingredients include :

Synthetic Fragrances

Synthetic Colors


Formaldehyde producing ingredients


propylene glycol

Sodium Laureth Sulphate

Sodium Coco Sulphate








and several other ingredients that you would find in uncertified “natural” products on the market.


I will keep you up to date on the whole process and I will talk about carry these standards into the Soap Making School classes.  So far I have not used any ingredients in the classes and videos that don’t qualify as a natural ingredient.  I look forward to sharing this journey and hope this encourages all of the Soap Making School members to possibly take the steps too.

Happy Natural Soaping!!



Welcome Uttuh – Our Palm Free Soap Making Inspiration

This is  Uttuh

She is an Indonesian Orangutan who was rescued from a palm oil plantation by a wildlife organization.

They think that her mother was probably killed, since Uttuh was left in the middle of the plantation road.

When they found her, she weighed 8 lbs, but now she is 16.5lb.  She is completely dependant on the care of the Orangutan Foundation International.


She is very lucky that she was not captured and sold to the animal trade.

All this just for palm oil.  We can do without it.  We can stop ruining the lives of these fantastic, beautiful creatures that share 97%

of their genetic material with us.

There is an easy way to avoid losing the orangutans.

Stop buying products that contain palm oil.  Stop buying soap that contains palm oil.

Stop making soap that contains palm oil.

It’s easy.

If you would like a few recipes to get you started on the road to palm free soap making,

please, email me at or and I would be so happy to share a few recipes.  No strings attached, just help

us with our quest to stop this nonsense.

My sales manager, Karen and I have decided to foster Uttuh and give her a fighting chance .

Uttuh is our new inspiration for palm oil free soap making.

If you are interested in fostering an Orangutan or helping to protect Tanjung Puting National Park to keep the orangutans and other

Rainforest animals safe from extinction, please check out the Orangutan Foundation International at

and put a stop to the horrors that the palm oil industry has created.

Happy Palm Oil Free Soaping!!



New Soap Making and Cosmetic Making Classes Available at Karma Suds

karma suds products for your body and spirit

Introducing Karma Suds On Line Store – New Soap Making and Cosmetic Making Classes

Check out by clicking here

Many visitors have asked me if I can break down the big 70 video soap making class program into smaller

I did this about a month ago, and it’s now ready.


Introducing Karma Suds !!

This is my new site where you can purchase products and classes.

There are now 10 choices for classes.

Class #1
Cold Process Soap Making Class:

This class consists of cold process soap making only.

You will learn how to make all natural soap.

This bar soap making class will give you the foundation of
the best skin care available.  Starting with clean skin is the
beginning to natural body care.

You can also view the video for making your own recycled soap mold.

There are several videos and recipes that show you this
soap making method, such as Natural Indigo Soap Making, you also have access to my collection of
120 essential oil blends.

Here is the detailed page description for this class:

Cold Process Soap Making Class Preview

price: $25

Class #2
Hot Process Soap Making Class:

Hot process soap has changed the way I make soap forever.

I have been using this method for almost all of my 14 years of making soap.
The method allows you to use delicate essential oils and vulnerable
natural herbs that would not be able to survive the harsh
chemical reaction of cold process soap.

In this soap making class, you will learn to make several soap making recipes
as well as how to create your own recipes and fix batches of soap that just
didn’t turn out.

You will be making soap such as Organic Rooibos Tea soap and Chocolate & Silk
soap made with real silk fibers.  You will also learn how to make herbal oils
that use the same method as the bigger oil manufacturers, except you have more choices
in the herbs you use.  Especially if you choose to make organic herb oils.

Here is the detailed page description for this class:

Hot Process Soap Making Class Preview

Price $25

Class #3
Natural Liquid Soap Making Class

This soap making method is similar to hot process soap making.

Once you begin using natural liquid soap for all your household
cleaning and personal use such as shampoo, you will never want to
touch the commercial chemical filled products again.

There are no chemicals to worry about there are no surficants that
can harm you, and you can scent your natural liquid soap with essential oils
that are environmentally friendly and actually good for you.

You will learn to make Olive liquid soap (also known as Castile liquid soap),
Almond liquid soap (makes a beautiful hand soap and shampoo), Soy liquid soap
(similar qualities to olive liquid soap and more economical), Coconut liquid soap
(it’s cleansing abilities are amazing),and Hemp Seed liquid soap (wonderful shampoo,
hand soap and facial cleanser addition).

All of these liquid soaps can be made with organic oils to make it even more special.

With all of these liquid soaps, you will be able to create special products
like shampoo, hand soap, laundry detergent, Mocha Bubble Scrub and more.

Here is the detailed page description for this class:

Natural Liquid Soap Making Class Preview
Price $25

Class #4
Bath and Spa Creation Class

This class is filled with bath goodies and cosmetics.
There is no soap making in this class. These are all videos and recipes
that are perfect to match up with soap.

You will be creating and learning to customize bath and beauty products.

These all natural beauty products are chemical free and great for your skin.

You will learn to make the perfect bath bomb, beautiful bath tea such as
Green Tea and Roses Bath tea, chocolate massage bars, spa salts, Goji Berry
Body Scrub, natural eye shadow, natural eye liner and lip liner, Lemon Verbena Soy Candles,
and much more.

Here is the detailed page description for this class:

Bath and Spa Creations Class Preview

Price $25

Class #5
Lotions, Skin Care and Hair Potions Class

This class is all about natural skin care and natural hair care.

The videos show you step by step how to create a perfect lotion, day cream, a heavy night cream,
microdermabrassion, wonderful facial masks, 3 lip balms including a vegan lip balm,
a wonderful mineral hair mask, a weekly hair conditioner and a daily hair conditioner.

This class teaches you how to make your own herbal extracts that can be extremely expensive to buy
off a shelf, but does not contain the harmful chemical used to express the benefits from the herbs.

Here is the detailed page description for this class:

Lotion, Skincare and Hair Potions Class Preview

Price $25

Class #6
Bar Soap Making Class

This soap making class is a combination of class #1 Cold Process Soap Making
and class #2 Hot Process Soap Making

All of the videos and recipes from these 2 classes are included in the
Bar Soap Making Class.

Here is the detailed page description for this class:

Bar Soap Making Class Preview

Price $40

Class #7
Hot Soap and Liquid Soap Making Class

This soap making class is a combination of class #2 Hot Process Soap Making Class
and class #2 Natural Liquid Soap Making Class

All of the videos and recipes from these 2 classes are included in the
Hot Soap and Liquid Soap Making Class.

Here is the detailed page description for this class:

Hot Process and Liquid Soap Making Class Preview

Price $40

Class #8
Just Soap Class

This class is a combination of Class #1 Cold Process Soap Making,
Class #2 Hot Process Soap Making and Class #3 Natural Liquid Soap Making.

The Just Soap Class Has all of the videos and recipes from all 3 of these classes.

This class also contains the videos and recipes to make your own natural
transparent glycerin soap base.

You will also see what you can do with this melt and pour soap base.

Here is the detailed page description for this class:

Just Soap Class Preview

Price $60

Class #9
Skin Care and Spa Creation Class

This class is a combination of class #4 Bath and Spa Creation Class
and class #5 Lotions, Skin Care and Hair Potions Class

Everything from these 2 classes are included.  There is no soap making in
this class.

Here is the detailed page description for this class:

Skin and Spa Creations Class Preview

Price $40

Class #10
Complete Package Class

This is the complete program.  All of the classes are included.
Class #1 Cold Process Soap Making Class, Class #2 Hot Process Soap Making Class,
Class #3 Natural Liquid Soap Making Class, Class #4 Bath and Spa Creation Class,
and Class #5 Lotions, Skin Care and Hair Potions Class.

All 5 classes are included in this class with the addition of Making your
own Glycerin soap base and what to do with this melt and pour soap base
that you have created, as well as a very fast and efficient method to make
your own Cream Soap Base.

Here is the detailed page description for this class:

Complete Package Class Preview

Price $84

You can still join soap making school the old fashioned way by going to the home page and
signing up for weekly online video classes. $7 per week, 12 weeks, then you become
a permanent soap grad with access to all of the soap grad videos and recipes.

Check out the soap grad preview page here to see what we have been doing:
Soap Grad Page


Soap Making Scents – How to Keep the Scent in Your Handmade Soap


Losing the scent from your soap is a real problem that all soap makers face.

You have unmolded and cut your fresh soap, you have let it cure and set,
now it’s ready to be packaged and used.

You notice that the scent from your soap has either dissipated or completely faded.

How frustrating!!




I have discovered a perfect solution completely by accident.

This works equally well for hot process soap making  and cold process soap making.

Here is the story:

There is a soap making supply store near my home that I go to when I need a few small things between my wholesale purchases.

Every time I go in there, I leave the store smelling like whatever fragrance oil they were pouring in the back.

This smell sticks to me for a good few hours.

I never stay in this store for long because artificial fragrance oil
makes me feel ill and gives me a headache.  I try to get in and out in 10 minutes.

As I was driving around with this scent in my nose and clothes,
I started thinking how odd it was that in such a short amount of time,
a scent could cling and last so long.

My mind started working and I rushed home to start experimenting.

  •  I took some soap bars that had lost a lot of its scent after curing.
  • I put this soap in a lidded container
  • I put a small amount of the essential oil blend from the soap batch in a glass bottle
  • I left the soap in the closed container with the scent for a full day.


When I opened the container and took out a bar of soap, I noticed the soaps scent had been fully restored.

It was at the same intensity as when I first cut the soap.

The fact is, the soap acts as a sponge for scents.

This is a good reason to keep your soaps away from each other,
so they don’t pick up each other’s scents.

This is the solution to your soap losing its scent.

Once your soap has cured, put it in a plastic container with the scent you used in your soap.







Close the lid so your soap can absorb the scent.  Take the soap out as you need it.

If you are using essential oils to scent your soap, be sure you put the essential oil in a glass bottle.





Let me know what you think of this solution.  It works for me, I hope you try it out.

Happy Soaping and Happy New Year!!








Soap Making Ingredients – Palm Oil Alternatives for Soap Making

soap making school palm oil free soap makingThe other day I was in a cellular phone store waiting for a sales person to help me.

It took about 15 minutes so I watched a program on their store screen.

I thought at first it was a video on Nature in the Rainforest.
A few minutes later it turned into a show on Poachers and the illegal wildlife trade.

When a mother and baby orang-utan are spotted, the poachers first kill the mother with a machete.  This allows easy capture of the baby because it is totally dependent on its mother for safety.



One of the major comments that hit home was a native who mentioned
how easy it is for the poachers to capture Orangutans
because there is less and less rainforest for these animals to live in and hide.

The reason why the Rain Forest is being destroyed is simple.

Palm Oil Plantations in Malaysia and Indonesia are continually being created.

There are several reasons why this is a problem.

Here are just a few things that are happening with the Palm Oil Industry:

Millions of hectares of forest are being destroyed and the Orangutans along with other unique species
have nowhere to live.  The Rainforest is the world’s most species rich habitat,
but many of these animals are nearly extinct.

Most of the land that is taken for Palm Tree Plantations is areas where communities grow food
to sustain the families living in the area.
These areas are known as Traditional land.
There is hardly ever paperwork proving ownership of this land
because it has always been part of the community.
The bulldozers arrive to clear this area for Palm Tree growth
and there is almost always violence and death.

The Rain Forest also provided an economic source for the locals.
Thing like seeds, rubber and medicinal plants are becoming less available
with more of the forest being destroyed.  These people are forced to work
on the Palm Oil plantations to support their families.

The pesticides and herbicides that leak into the water from the plantations
make the water undrinkable.
A highly toxic herbicide that has been banned in 13 countries is being used on the palm trees.
The workers are not properly protected from these toxins.

There are so many more problems that are going on because of the Palm Oil Industry.

So what does this have to do with us?
How can we change things?
We are just soap makers and natural soap enthusiast,
there are around 7 billion people on this earth, what can we do?

Here is what the author Margaret Mead had to say:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world.
Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”


What does Palm Oil offer for soap making?

#1 – Makes a hard bar of soap (so does natural wax)

#2 – Makes nice, big, thick, cleansing bubbles (so does coconut oil)

As a group, can we come up with some alternatives? YES WE CAN.


Whether you are into Soap Making, cosmetic making, candle making, chocolate making, baking, etc.


I would like to hear your thoughts, recipes, ideas or whatever you have to say on this topic.


There are over 500 visits to this blog every day.  If you would like to offer anything to this post,
please also leave a contact email, a website address and if you want to send me a logo that I can post too,
then please email me at:


These links will be valuable because they link right back to your site.

Now that we are informed and know there are alternatives to palm oil in soap making,
let’s do something about it.

After all, natural soap making is all about getting back to nature.
Why don’t we try to protect it while we are at it?


Here is my contribution, sorry about the name.  Hope you can do better than this:


Orange – utan  Soap

This makes a 2 lb soap batch; you can make it whatever size you like by doubling it or tripling it.

10 oz Olive Oil
7 oz Soy Bean Oil
7 oz Coconut Oil
1 oz Candelilla Wax (melt into the oils above)
8.4 oz Water(distilled, sea water, or filtered rain water)
3.6 oz Sodium Hydroxide
2 teaspoons dried powdered orange peel or dried powdered carrot
2 tablespoons glycerine or castor oil
½ oz Orange Essential Oil (optional)

Please follow all safety procedures when you are making soap.  Eye protective glasses, gloves and a handy spray bottle of vinegar to neutralize the sodium hydroxide.

The soap making technique I would use is hot process soap making method for this recipe
because citrus essential oil doesn’t always survive the cold process.

I do not recommend using artificial fragrance oils
because they can contain several different chemicals that can be very harmful.

For hot process, mix the glycerine or castor oil with the orange peel or carrot
and swirl it into the batch after the soap has cooked and after you mix in the orange essential oil.

You can then put it in your mold.

For cold process, swirl this either in the mold or right before you pour it in.

These are not the full instructions for soap making, only a recipe.

To learn several methods of soap making, you can either consult the internet for information or check out

Happy soaping everyone!





Spider Be Gone Spray…. This REALLY works.

spider be gone spray for soap making schoolI love spiders, I think they are wonderful and useful creatures that keep all of the annoying  insects in line.

This is a picture of one of my spiders.  He looks like he is on holidays with a picture of Mexico in the background.

I really think they are beautiful, but when they grow to be big and you see them running towards you in a dim lit room, they are pretty scary.  This used to happen frequently in my home, I live close to a wooded area, and they have come to live with me.

I have experimented and came up with a recipe that I would like to share with you if you are having issues with spiders too.

This spray is so effective, one good dose of this will keep you spider free for about a month.

Please note:  Citrus essential oils (lemon, lime, orange, bergamot, etc) are very bad for cats.  It affects their liver and can cause permanent damage.   If you have cats, please keep them out of the room that you are treating with this spray for about ½ hour.  This allows the spray to settle from the air.  After this time, you can let your cats back in the room.  Once the spray settles, it is no longer a problem for your cats.  I have 2 cats, so I put them in a separate room until it is safe for them to enter.


Please note:  You MUST use Real Essential Oil for this recipe.
Artificial Fragrance oil is not only filled with harmful chemicals, but it is not going to work.
You need the actual oils from the citrus in order for this recipe to be effective.


Here is the recipe:


1 Tablespoon Lime Essential Oil
1 Tablespoon Orange Essential Oil
1 Tablespoon Grapefruit Essential Oil
1 cup distilled water


Mix all of these essential oils and water into a glass spray bottle.


How To  Use Spider Be Gone Spray


Start by clearing out all of the spider webs in the area you are spraying.  If there are any spiders present, remove them (I capture them in a fabric net I made with light weight fabric and a bent wire clothes hanger) and take them outside.

Shake your bottle of Spider Be Gone Spray and spray around any cracks in the wall, around the windows and under any doorways or cracks in the floor baseboards.

Your goal here is not to saturate the walls with the spray, but to mist the areas that your spiders tend to come from and where they hang out.

This spray works because spiders eat what their “feet” touch.  Spiders DO NOT LIKE citrus.  If they don’t want to eat it, they will not walk on it. Problem solved.

I can keep a room clear of spiders for about a month, then if there are any signs of them re-entering the room (spider webs or actual spiders), I know it is time to spray the room again.

I hope you find this information helpful.

It took me awhile to work out this recipe.   I tried all kinds of other natural repellents.  Eucalyptus plants, acorns, and a few other essential oil blends.  This is the most logical treatment and this one works!!


Let me know if you have questions.

Take care



Soap Making Equipment – Choosing The Essential Stick Blender

stick blenders are essential soap making equipment


Every soap maker I know has their own favorite tools and supplies.

I would have to say my favourite piece of soap making equipment is the stick blender.

To me, out of all the other tools, this one is essential.

I remember making my very first batch of soap over 14 years ago.  I followed a book and used a wooden spoon to stir the batch of soap.  It was cold process soap, so I needed to stir it until it thickened (traced).   After about 1 hour or so of vigorous stirring, the soap finally reached trace.  My arm was quite cramped, so I did some research and discover that the stick blender was the easiest way to make cold process and hot process soap.

I purchased my first stick blender and never looked back.


using stick blenders during soap making is a time saver

The other day as I was making soap, my stick blender started falling apart right in front of me.  I heard some crunching as if the blades were hitting something solid, then the whole blade insert fell out.


This was my back up blender, since I burned out my main one just a week before.  This new back up blender only gave me 3 batches of soap.


I thought this would be a good time to analyze what makes a good soap making stick blender, and what you should avoid when choosing this very handy piece of soap making equipment.

Price to me is not relevant.  I have tried more expensive models and over all they might last a bit longer, but not long enough to justify the extra expense.  I don’t need a fancy stainless steel stick blender, since it is generally the motor that wears out first unless the blender is poorly designed.

I stick to blenders that are under $15.  Most are under $10.  Don’t spend extra on purchasing a stick blender that has all the mixing containers and jars.  You won’t be using those.

avoid screws in the bottom of your stick blender


Take a look at the bottom of the blade area.  If there are screws holding a plate behind the blades, this will be the first part of the stick blender to go.  Leave that one on the shelf.





stick blenders should be a one piece consturction for soap making


Look for a really simple design where the blades are connected to the rest of the blender and it is one solid piece behind the blade.

The height of the blade area is also important.  If the round part of the blender is too high, you will more than likely be splashed by your soap batch.  Look for a lower, shorter head for these soap making tools.

Pay attention to the side holes near the end of the blender.  If they are too high, the soap will end up splashing you through the opening.



soap making blender should have smooth bottom


The bottom rim should not have grooves on it.  Look for a stick blender that is smooth all the way around the bottom edge.





stick blenders with grooved bottoms are not the best for soap making


The soap seems to trace quicker and more evenly with the blenders that don’t have the grooves.





you don't need dual speed stick blenders for soap making


Dual speed blenders are not necessary.  Sometimes this is the only feature that sets the model apart from the less expensive stick blenders.  It’s not worth it.




Some stick blenders allow you to take the head off the motor.  This is a nice feature if you are short on time and just want to leave your stick blender to soak.

Personally, the first thing I do when the soap is in the mold is to plug the blender in and run it while it’s in a container of fresh hot water.
This cleans off the blades and the under area of the blender quite well.
I then unplug the blender and clean up the creases with a toothbrush that is a dedicated part of my soap making equipment.
PLEASE remember to unplug your blender before doing this.

The removable head is a bonus feature for me though; I don’t go out of my way to find this type of blender since I don’t leave my blender to soak.
So this is a personal preference and does not affect the life of the blender one way or another.

I hope you find this information helpful.
I have gone through 5 to 10 stick blenders each year for the last 14 years.
I have tried so many and have learned to avoid certain design aspects that just don’t benefit soap making and cosmetic making.

The Stick blender really is an essential part of my soap making equipment.
It is used in all of the soap making techniques that I teach in the Soap Making School classes.

This includes cold process, hot process, natural liquid soap making and transparent glycerine soap making.

To learn more about the classes at soap making school, check out

Take care


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