Back in mid-September I put out an appeal to you lovely people for questions to help me with topic ideas for Blogtober and I wasn’t disappointed. Rather than try to answer them all in one post, there will probably be three posts in total during Blogtober – this here being the first.
Question 1 came from Claire of Saponista, who asked ‘What is your favourite soapmaking oil, and why?’ Without a doubt, my favourite soapmaking oil isn’t actually an oil, it’s a butter – cocoa butter, and I can’t imagine making soap without it (that’s a bit of an exaggeration of course – I made castile recently, and there ain’t no cocoa in that, but as a general rule each batch I make contains 10% cocoa butter) Cocoa butter adds skin loving properties to soap, and because I choose not to use palm oil, it also helps a lot with making a nice hard bar.
Question 2 comes from Jo who asked what I do about soaps and bath bombs that aren’t perfect. I’ll be honest, I have my own idea of what a ‘perfect’ drop swirl is, and it’s very rare that I achieve what I see as perfection. Consequently, practically none of my soaps are perfect in my eyes and I’m always striving to make them better. Providing a soap is a good hard bar, even if the design isn’t my best, it’s made available for sale. (Having said that, I’ve just cut one this week that I’m really not happy with – 3kg of soap that is more than likely going to have to go on the reject shelf – but I’m keeping the details of that one for a post later on this month)
Bath bombs, on the other hand, don’t go out unless they’re pretty much perfect. It took me a while to be able to get the mixture to the right consistency every time, but I think I’ve cracked it and it’s rare that I get bombs that aren’t pretty good (but the odd one that doesn’t quite make the grade will always find a place in my kids’ bath!) Interestingly (and this was part of Jo’s question), although I live in a particularly wet part of the country, I haven’t found that the climate or weather conditions have any effect whatsoever on my bomb making abilities. This seems to go contrary to what I’ve heard so many others say about bath bomb making, but there you go, that’s my experience.
Question 3 kind of leads on from the last question, and came from Barb of Scrub Me Down Soap who asked how the weather affects my soaping. This one’s easy – it doesn’t! I live in a mountainous area, but the climate is effectively wet, cloudy, windy and mild. We don’t experience great extremes of temperature, and the only time the weather has ever affected anything to do with my soapmaking was that time my coconut oil unexpectedly melted and made one hell of a mess in my storeroom. It’s ALWAYS solid at room temperature, but that one time – arrghhhhh we just don’t get that kind of heat here often…
Question 4 is another one from Barb – what music do I listen to when soaping? Actually, it’s not always music. I LOVE the radio, and I’m a big fan of BBC Radio 4. It keeps me up to date with current affairs and has the most insanely interesting programmes, on all subjects under the sun. When I do listen to music, it’s inevitably rock music; contemporary rock, 70s rock, or any era in between, including the occasional trip down memory lane to my uni days with 1990s indie rock.
Question 5 is the last one for today, and yet again comes from Barb – where do I buy my stash? I buy my oils and butters from a variety of companies, including LiveMoor, Mystic Moments, and the local Cash&Carry for olive oil. (Anyone else notice how expensive olive oil is at the moment?!!) I buy my soap colours (micas) from U-Makeitup , and my bath bomb colourants from Soaposh. As for fragrances, I buy most of my fragrance oils from the wonderful Gracefruit (who. by the way, have the BEST customer service) and essential oils, well I’m currently looking for a new supplier, so if you have any recommendations…
Thanks for reading – back tomorrow!