Tutorial: The Best Wet Shaving Soap Recipe

The Best Wet Shaving Soap Recipe

Shaving soap. It's a big deal in the world of wet shavers, and now, having made it, I can see why. I ran into some issues when I first started to research shaving soap. Stearic acid is considered to be one of the best ingredients to use at high percentages in a shaving soap - the stearic helps bind the bubbles together thickly, creaming a thick dense foam, rather than large bubbles. But, … [Read more...]

Join Jo: Using Natural Colorants in Soap with Your Lye Solution

Pink manjistha soap in the mold with a decorated top for contrast

One of my favorite ways to use botanicals in soap is to make soap with the plant colorant directly in the lye solution! Madder (Rubia tinctorum), indigo (Indigofera Tinctoria), and manjistha (Rubia Cordifolia) are three natural colorants that can be used straight into the lye solution to bring out their best color. Madder and manjistha will give a gorgeous pink, depending on the amount you … [Read more...]

Join Jo: How to Use Plant Infusions in Soapmaking

The final result of using 15% of Alkanet infused oils - beautiful purple!

Great, now I have jars full of pretty plant infusions - exactly what do I do with them? I use them, that’s what! I love clear bright colors in soap. I used to use mica many moons ago, and I really wanted to have those colors again, but this time I wanted to use plants. Weavers use plants all the time to get bright colors, I was sure there had to be a way for soapers to do the same. A lot … [Read more...]

Join Jo: How to Make Infusions for Use in Soapmaking (& Cosmetics!)

A Collection of Jo's Plant Infusions

Did you miss the first post in the Coloring Soap Naturally series? You can find it here! Are you ready for the next step on our plant colorant journey? I am so excited to teach you how to make infusions and see the results you achieve. Please share them with the rest of us in the comments section below! Before we begin a quick word on cleanliness! Regardless of what equipment or method of … [Read more...]

How to Resize a Soap Recipe for Your Mold (Imperial and Metric!)

How To Resize Your Recipe for Your Soap Mold

One of the most common questions I receive is how to resize a soap recipe here on Modern Soapmaking to fit a different mold than what is used in a tutorial. To resize a soap recipe, we first need to know how much soap or oil your mold will hold by calculating your mold capacity. There are two calculations that are widely accepted by soapmakers to determine the amount of oils needed for a … [Read more...]

Join Jo & Her Botanical Love: Coloring Soap Naturally

Just a small selection of Jo's beautiful and naturally colored soaps!

My name is Jo Haslauer, and I LOVE soaping with natural colorants, botanicals and essential oils. I love to infuse herbs for their color, their herbal properties, and to enhance essential oil scents. Yes, some plant infusions can help hold scents! The magic of seeing a red colored infusion turn blue when mixed into the lye, and then purple within 7 days, never ceases to amaze me. I like nothing … [Read more...]

Tutorial: Cranberry Pomegranate Elemental Swirl with Gold Mica line

Cranberry Pomegranate

When I discovered a Cranberry and Pomegranate fragrance oil at Aussie Candle Supplies, I couldn't resist. Two of my favourite smells combined together! I immediately began design planning: green, white and red just seemed a logical choice. Now, elemental swirls! I didn't know that's what they were called until I read Kenna's Rainbow Elemental Swirl tutorial, but I've been doing a few of them … [Read more...]

A Long Road to Idaho & Back: Soapers + Skoolies

our little school bus

As you've probably followed along with our little adventure, we've been looking for a school bus for a conversion project as a new home since we arrived in Arizona. We found a potential school bus in Idaho on Craigslist last week, and spent this week getting ready to go pick it up, travel to Idaho from Arizona, and back again. On Thursday, we left Arizona around 9 am. Crossing through Northern … [Read more...]

Blog Your Brand: A 30 Day Challenge Is On The Table!

Indie Business Network Blogging Challenge!

I must tell you, the reasons that I love being a member of Indie Business Network just grow by the day, week, month, and year! Recently, I've been hitting a bit of writer's block and this little bundle of joy is coming right at the right time... Donna Maria of Indie Business Network and Stacia Guzzo of Handcrafted Honeybee have put together a thirty day blog challenge for IBN members! (Are … [Read more...]