soap making

Teaching my hubby to make soap

This month’s challenge for the Soap Challenge Club was the Collaborator Challenge.

As soon as I learned of it, I asked my husband if he would be interested in being my collaborator and he agreed.  

I told him he could choose the colors.  Any colors, I said, even neons; confident in my well stocked mica and pigment supply and blending possibilities.

What color did he choose?  Metallic ones.  The ones I didn’t have and that I didn’t even think exist in soap.  (Because it wasn’t a gold or silver he was after, but a metallic green, metallic pink, etc.) When I explained this to him, he said it was ok to use regular colors. However, I thought I could try and find them. The inspiration for the colors came from a dress a coworker of his wore one day (She is a fabulous dresser). Here is a picture of the dress fabric:

As you may know, most micas lose their shimmer in an opaque medium such as cold process soap, but I had heard about some micas that kept some of their shimmer even in cp soap. I had achieved a decent gold soap dough with gold Enviroglitter, (aff link) so I thought I would explore that first. Enviroglitter is a environmentally friendly, cruelty free, plastic free glitter that I had bought at nurture soap a while back. I had only bought white, gold and silver though to keep my cost down. They are more expensive than regular glitters, but considering that they are not harming the environment, and that a small amount goes a long way…I believe they are worth it. someone taught me (when it came to organic food)…not to question why organic food is expensive, but to ask instead why conventional food is so cheap. And I think the same applies here. Thankfully, they have small sample sizes for a couple of bucks, and it was enough to color this soap and have some left. Most glitters do not color soap, but I knew some of these would, because they are made of mica and some plant derived ingredients.

A couple days later the colors have deepened or perhaps morphed back?

As far as fragrance, I only have two fragrances that I know behave extremely well for this technique and that do not discolor so I offered him the most neutral one of those and he accepted, that was Seventh Heaven. (aff link)

I got everything ready, the oils, the lye water and pre-mixed the colors the day before.  I had him read the lye safety sheet and he came ready with long sleeves and even steel toe boots (a bit overkill with the shoes, but better safe than sorry).

The hardest part for me was to contain myself from grabbing the stick blender,  I was concerned at first he had not reached trace, and then that he may have reached too thick a trace.  

Immediately after pouring he started wondering how the soap would look.  Then when we were done, about thirty minutes later; I asked what he thought of making soap.  He said he liked it but he didn’t like the waiting.  (He had only waited 30 minutes at this point!) His hobbies (building and flying electric wings) do not require any waiting after he has done his part, so that was why.

At this point I am waiting to cut the soap and find out if he achieved the drop swirls.  Personally I have never tried this technique.  So it was a learning experience for me too. Though I have made soaps for a couple of years, there are several techniques I have not tried because they either seem too time consuming or require slow moving recipes, like this one.  Usually, slow moving recipes have a high quantity of water soluble oils, such as olive oil, which in turn make a soap that is not as long lasting in the shower.  (Compared to recipes with less water soluble fats).  If you want to learn more about that, you can check this post.

Either way, I always learn something from each challenge and perhaps what I will take away from this one is a new soap making buddy.  My husband has already told me what soaps he wants to make next, and has asked about how the lye is mixed and how long it takes…I will be sharing his creations as they are also techniques I have no experience with, so it shall be interesting!

Colorful drop swirls Soaps with dark orange, pink, yellow, green and blue colors.
Drop swirls soap

So here it is! I told him that the accidental pointy layers he got at the bottom of some of the bars were a challenge on itself once (and that for that challenge, I had to make two soaps as my first one failed). The green and blue do sparkle in person, but it was hard to capture in the picture, depends on how the light hits it. Interestingly, when we cut it the next day, the colors seemed muted and the soap was very soft (the soap was probably not done but I needed to get the picture ready). On Tuesday morning the colors were deeper and vibrant. I realized it when trying to capture the shimmer in this video, the orange is now lighter too, and the pink looks more the way it did in Nurture soap website. So perhaps this was due to some color morphing during saponification? Here in this video the shimmer can be seen better, like dots on the soap (which still doesn’t make it justice to the real life experience).

Scroll down for a video of the making.

Recipe Oils, Fats and Waxes

Olive Oil30.6110.1286.33
Tallow Beef25.458.4238.14
Coconut Oil, 76 deg21.217198.45
Almond Oil, sweet103.393.55
Castor Oil6.792.2463.5
Shea Butter5.941.9655.57

Recipe Totals

Liquid Required9.78 oz277.2 g
NaOH Weight4.6 oz130.45 g
Oil Weight33 oz935.53 g
Fragrance Oil Weight2.06 oz58.47 g
Total Batch Weight49.44 oz1401.65 g
Lye Concentration32%
Liquid : Lye Ratio2.13 :1

You can also copy and and adjust the recipe in this Recipe link


(All Nurtures Soap links are affiliate links).

4 thoughts on “Teaching my hubby to make soap”

  1. This looks amazing!! Glenda, I think I’d keep him as a soapmaking partner! You did a great job teaching as well – even a technique you hadn’t done yourself, but it sure helps to know what the thickness of the batter should be and the intensity of the colors, which really are fabulous! The dress was an awesome inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

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