Friday, January 10, 2014

2 Favorite Soaping Products for Beginning Soapers

Out of all the things I have gotten for my adventures in soap making, there are two I have found to be the most beneficial. One is the Bramble Berry Fragrance Samplers (I have bought the Foodie, Men's, Fall, Spring, and Best of Bramble Berry Samplers). The other is the 1lb Silicone Mold (I have two).

Why are these two items my favorites you may ask? Let me tell you. (And excuse the photo quality, it was a dreary day and I had trouble finding decent light. That, and I was preoocupied by Downton Abbey...)

My two 1lb molds. One empty, and one with a 1lb loaf for a friend who is in desperate need for some handmade soap. 
First off, when starting to learn cold process soap, you are going to make some mistakes. You don't know how colors will react to the lye (some morph), you aren't really sure how certain fragrance oils will change the color of your soap, or accelerate trace, or a myriad of other things that might happen. And, while soaping materials are not outrageously expensive, if you are frugal like me, you want to learn as much as you can while using as little supplies as possible. Get the most bang for your buck people!! Enter the 1lb mold. You can easily make a small batch of soap, using about 12-13oz total oils to see what happens when you use Fragrance Oil A, or perhaps LabColor B. You can try a new swirl technique. And, when you are more experienced and have a better idea of what to expect, you can still use the 1lb mold to whip up small custom batches or test out new ideas. I even use this for my melt and pour loaf soaps, and they come out beautifully.

Just a small corner of my fragrance stash.
Speaking of trying things out, that is why I like the fragrance samplers so much. Since I use my 1lb loaf molds so much as a beginner, (maybe even advanced beginner by now?) the half ounce size of the fragrances in the samplers are perfect. A half ounce is perfect for scenting 1lb of cold process soap. I have yet to feel like that amount does not give me the scent throw from the bar itself, or during use, that I want, even though Bramble Berry's fragrance calculator lists (for most scents, some take less than a half ounce) that amount as being a light scent. Plus, the samplers indulge the sniff junkie I am. I love different scents. I want to try them out, see what ones I love (Oatmeal Stout!! *swoon* or Lilac) and what ones aren't for me (I have learned that Lavender makes me sneeze). And the huge amount of little scents I have amassed lets me see how vanilla content scents react in soap (by going various shades of brown), how florals can accelerate trace or speed up gel phase, etc. All learning experiences and new scents every time I make a new batch. The people who get the bars after they are ready are appreciative of the variety as well.

So, those are my recommendations of two products from Bramble Berry that I think beginning soap (either playing with cold process or melt and pour) would not go wrong in purchasing. Of course there are other products I adore too, but you don't have all day, do you?

*Disclosure: I am not being paid for this post either through links or other compensation. However it is my S.O.A.P Panel application. Bramble Berry is seeking participants to try out some new scents and give feedback on them. Applying is done through blogging, pinning, FB-ing or Instagramming something about your favorite products from them. I want in this panel...BADLY. As I said I am a sucker for new sniffies. But, if you have been reading my blog since I began soaping, you know I love Bramble Berry even without a contest.

Want to apply too? See the Soap Queen Blog post here, and good luck!! :)

2 comments:

  1. Good luck with the S.O.A.P. Panel, Sue! It sounds like so much fun! Silicone molds are great because they make unmolding so easy, and a one-pound mold is perfect for testing fragrance samples.

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    1. Thanks for the well wishes! Now off to your blog to leave my own :)

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*Holding out piggy bank* I would love to get your $0.02!