Sunday, September 08, 2013
I love coffee. I love to reuse and to recycle. This led me to wonder if used coffee grounds could be used to make soap. Come to find out the answer is yes, but now I am not sure this is what I want for an end product. Once again I have found that sometimes trying to use something up to make soap out of it does not always mean the end product is desired or can stand alone. Regarding using the grounds, I found these opinions and ideas: 1. If new grounds are used the color can bleed out of the ground into the lighter colored soap and leave a ring of sorts, which is ugly. 2. New grounds are said to make stronger scented soap. 3. Used grounds can be further ground up to make different consistencies. I found one reference to coarse, smaller and fine. The issue is that the grounds in the soap make an abrasive element. Some find that the coarse grounds are too rough to use in the shower. 4. Some say the coffee removes food smell, such as using coffee soap after using ungloved hands to cut up onions and garlic can remove the onion and garlic scent immediately. Some say this is just not true for their own soap. 5. Some want the scent of coffee in the soap. To achieve this some people buy a coffee fragrance oil (a synthetic - manmade in a factory product). That is an added expense and step that I was not looking to do. 6. To make a darker color and to try to add scent some use brewed coffee in place of distilled water in the soap. They actually use distilled water to brew the coffee. People say to use strong coffee. Strong is a subjective word. One person was specific and said to use five times as much as usual. Now the soap is getting more and more expensive to make! --- In the past I have made soaps with oatmeal and some with apricot kernel. The large pieces of oatmeal turned to mush. I do not like the scratchy texture of hard kernels in my shower soap. I do use my bare hands to cut up onions and garlic but find the food scent is out of my hands by the next day. Once I cut up a ton of onions and the scent remained for two days when using normal soap at the sink and showering with normal soap. I do not think I need a special coffee soap for handwashing at the sink. I certainly don't need a whole batch of it. I am tempted by pretty layered looking soaps just for that aesthetics of it. If I were to sell soaps I would consider making coffee soaps but for now for my personal use I have decided to not make a batch of coffee soap.
Saturday, September 07, 2013
This is a helpful article that discusses the different types of clay that can be used in cold process soapmaking. I used bentonite clay for the first time two weeks ago in cold process soapmaking. The main inspiration was for the clay to act as an anchor for the essential oils. EOs are supposed to stay stronger and last longer if they have a clay to grab onto. I read elsewhere that bentonite clay adds a slip to the soap which is good or shaving. For that reason it is used in shaving bars of soap for men. It will work great for me in teh shower for shaving my legs and my underarms. I actually bought the bentonite clay a couple of years ago an intended to use it to make homemade facial masks. It has sat in my cupboard untouched until now. Bentonite clay turned my soap a bit green but both batches also happened to have some grapeseed oil which is green and is green enough to turn the entire batch of soap green. On its own bentonite clay can turn the soap green. I am using the bentonite clay at a rate of 1 Tablespoon per pound of soap.