Thursday, May 21, 2015

Brush Embroidery Decorated Cold Process Soap

After spending quite some time decorating sugar cookies use brush embroidering decorating techniques with royal icing (see this post) , it occurred to me that I could use that same technique to embellish some of my cold process soap bars. Since I am always drawn to beach scenes, that is was the perfect place to start.

This is a quick picture tutorial of how I accomplish this. For more detailed instructions, there are several cookie websites that have tutorials on the brush embroidery decorating technique.

Here are some of my beach themed royal icing sugar cookies to the left and the finished soap to the right.

I am going to recreate this type of design with cold process soap. Both in circular and square soap bars.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

pH testing of liquid soap and lowering pH

One of the most confusing aspects of liquid soapmaking is pH. What should my pH be? How can I lower the pH of my soap? Why do I need to know the pH of my soap? 

Liquid soap is an alkaline product meaning it wants to and will always have an alkaline pH - typically between 9 - 10.5 If you try to lower the natural pH of your soap, you begin to release fatty acids into the mixture which can cause all sorts of problems from separation of these fatty acids from the soap into a distinct layer that floats to the surface, to haziness, cloudiness and so on on.  

When making liquid soap, it is lye excess that you need to worry about not pH. Having excess lye in your soap is what causes it to be caustic and not safe to use. Testing pH will not tell you if you have excess lye and you need to test with either a zap test on your cooled paste or with Phenolphthalein drops.