Thursday, April 4, 2013

Back to Basics Cleaning

My Friend Marge Posted this on her FaceBook page.
It is recipe for a all purpose general cleaner.
I've been making my own cleaning solutions for yrs. With grand kids, and pets running around the house all the time, I just do not like the ideal of poisonous cleaning products laying around.
We are a society of  convenience that grew up buying products that makes our life easy. With the rising price of gas, health insurance, and generally the cost of living going up I think we are beginning to see that we can get by with a lot less.
I am not one of those "greenies"  that is out to save the world, but more of a frugal type of person that leans towards healthy living.
Now we are seeing green cleaning product popping up on the grocery shelves, but I am not going to spend the extra "green" to buy them and there is no reason when you can make them cheaper!
My main cleaner I keep around is made with Lavender and Tree Tea oil.
1 empty clean pump spray bottle.
20 drops of Tree Tea oil
10-15 drops of Lavender oil
Add drops to bottle, and top off with distilled water. (or just plain tap water) Shake before using.
  I use this for everything.
It disinfects, plus leave a nice clean scent.
Get rid of the Frebreze! I use this on beds, sofa, pillows.
I spray the sinks, counter tops, carpets, toilets, door handles, well you get the picture! 
 If you don't like the smell of Lavender you can use mint, or other natural 100% essence oils. (Be sure and test a small area if using on fabric or carpet when using other essence oils.) I use Lavender for the antibacerial benefits.
 Orange Cleaner (as on Marge post) 
 peel 2 oranges, or in my case, 2 grapefruits, and soak them in vinegar for 2 week. Sweet and simple! You also can mix lemon, and lime peels with the orange peels. Shake before each use.
For a less cloudy look, you can strain though some cheese cloth.
  For a fresh smelling carpet mix some baking soda with a few drops of Lavender and sprinkle on carpet, let set for 15 mins, then vaccumYou could also put some baking soda in a qt jar and add a vanilla bean and let set for a week and use same as the Lavender mix. 
 Lets get back to the basics. There are hundreds of things we can do when it comes to cleaning, that are a lot healthier and earth friendly. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

All Handmade Soaps are created Equal

All Handmade soaps are not created equal! The bar in the picture, I took at a local store. I did not stop to read what was used in making this soap.(It is just a picture of "Handmade Soap" being sold at stores.) ** Picture removed because it might cause me some legal issues!
 I love trying out Handmade soaps. I pick up a couple of bars at the farmer's market or store every month.
One thing that I noticed about most of these bars, is the lack of ingredients. I try not to read what was used in making the soaps, until after I showered with them a few times. I am getting good at guessing what is in the bars, by smell, and how my skin feels after showering.
Most, if not all of the Handmade Soaps I have bought over the last couple of years have really been a let down. 
I think most make soap for only one reason. The reason is to make $$$!
Call me a romantic, but I make soap because I care about what I put on my skin, because I care about how it makes my skin feel. Most of all because I take pride in making a bar of Soap, that people will tell others about.
A few years ago, when making soaps I would always think about the day, my bars would be sold in the chain stores, or selling hundreds of bars a week over the internet. Those days are gone.
I am happy making 30, 50, or 100 bars a week if I have the time. 
On some of the "soap making forums" people are always asking about using a cheaper oil, or "instead of using so much olive oil, can they replace some of it with canola oil." It all comes down to cutting cost.
On one of the forums a lady said she stop using jojoba oil, because the price went up. When I decide on making soap, I use a software program, that adds up the cost of making a 5 ounce bar. On average a bar using several luxury oils and butters, cost between $1.50-$2.00 per bar. If I were to make soap like the "Handmade Soaps" being sold in the chain stores I could cut down the price to about $.50-$1.20 per bar. I am sure most of the companies that make a 1,000 bars of Handmade Soap a week (small batches), can make them cheaper since they buy their oils in 50 gal. drums.
So let me say that All Handmade Soaps are not created Equal!
I have not seen a bar of handmade soap in a store that uses Silk proteins. (Which I use in every bar.) They might have one, maybe two luxury oils or butters in them, but use just enough so they can put it on the labels.
I might be funny when it comes to Handmade Soaps, but I like how they make my skin soft! 
Now some tips on buying Handmade Soaps.
Look for soaps, that contain some nice oils and butters, such as olive, almond, coconut, shea, coco, mango, and jojoba. These oils and butters contain properties that benefit the skin.
Don't fall for the "heals so and so" If it heals, it is a drug! A good soap will help clear up the skin, because it cleans the pores, helping Prevent acne. There is a science in making a good bar of soap. Each oil and  butter contributes to an over all cleansing process.
I am not saying that all Handmade Soaps sold in the big box or chain stores are bad, I am just saying READ the label.
Come the New Year, I will get back to making some more soaps, using mango, coco, and shea butters. A couple of shaving bars, and a skin balm. If time permits, I will make some lip balm.
For me it is not about making 1,000 of bars each month. It is about making bars that are the best.
If you have any questions about the benefits of certain oils or butters, drop me a line. If you have any request about a certain fragrance or balm let me know. 
An artist creates a painting with passion, I guess I am a artist when it comes to making Handmade Soaps!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Male Addiction

I have a addiction. Some might call it a sickness.
A lot of men have it. Most keep it hidden from their friends and families.
When I am out at the mall, I wonder if that man walking with his wife is like me.
I am glad I am not alone with this addiction.
The internet feeds my cravings, I can spend hours looking at all the pictures. Lusting for a touch. I guess by now you are thinking it is Porn. Well you are correct. Not the Porn you are thinking about, but never the less it is an addiction. Those of us who have it, call it SOAP Porn. 
People who spend hours looking at beautiful naked soap bars.
Maybe it might be hard to understand how one could have such an addiction, unless you have made soap from scratch you may never know. I spend hours on end formulating a batch of soap. Making what I would call the prefect soap. All of us who make soap strive for perfection. The perfect soap for dry, or oily skin. A bar that will leave your skin soft and smooth. A bar that will make you look forward to taking a nice long bath. It is a sickness. Something that gives you pleasure.
I dare you to google "soap porn" and click on "Images". I warn you once you start, there is no turning back. You will find yourself glancing over your back, making sure no one is in the room as you view all the pictures. Go ahead, it will be our little secrect!

 Eros Soaps

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Old People Smell

I was going over some fragrance reviews and I came across one that said "It was nice and fresh, not a old people's smell."
She was talking about a men's fragrance not having an "old spice" scent.
It made me think, about how scents trigger the memory. 
When I smell a bay rum scent, it reminds me of my childhood when I would get a haircut. The barber putting a splash of tonic on my head and rubbing it in.
For me if it does not have a "old people's" scent I don't think of it as manly!
My oldest son is more of a "Cool Water" type.
I guess in 30 years a Cool water type scent will trigger memories for him.
Another scent review was for a "dirt" scent.
I was surprised of all the positive reviews on it. People were talking about how it reminded them of their childhood, making mud pies.
Just thinking about how a dirt scent would smell, triggered memories of working in my grandparents garden when I was a young boy.
What kind of scent triggers memories of your youth?
I am tempted to buy some "dirt" scented fragrance. A dirt soap, some dirt bath salts  for a mud bath? Maybe there might be a market for it to pig farmers!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Find Out Why Homemade Soap Is Healthier For Your Skin!

Author: Suzanne Currie
Homemade soap definitely have an edge over factory produced bars - it's gentle on our bodies and a lot cheaper. Thanks to the natural ingredients used in making homemade soap. Start making soaps and you can enjoy healthy, safer soaps with all your favorite scents and ingredients.
The Glycerin Gap
A bar of commercial bath soap can last you two weeks but a bar of clear glycerin soap has a lifespan of three to four days. Commercial bath soaps are harder because the naturally-occurring glycerin, a by-product of the soap preparation is removed and used in beauty creams and shampoos. Animal or vegetable fat and lye is the major ingredient in basic and easy soap making.
Animal and vegetable fat contain naturally occurring glycerin; lye is the by-product of ash and water. In commercial preparation, salt is added to lye and animal or vegetable fats concoction to separate and extract glycerin. In contrast, homemade soap preparation leaves the glycerin in the mix. The glycerin removed from commercial soap is used as an important ingredient in creams, lotions, and shampoos because glycerin keeps the skin and hair soft and smooth.
A commercial soap bar does not contain glycerin whilst your homemade soap is loaded with this important natural skin softener. Try using commercial bath soap on your hair, and you have dry coarse hair. To solve the problem, you lather your hair with expensive shampoo. However, glycerin soap can be used on the hair aswell and you get fantastic results.
Glycerin is a natural humectants. It is non-oily sweet-tasting liquid that attracts moisture in the environment. It is also colorless. When mixed with water or alcohol, it dissolves easily but not when combined with fragrant oils. This explains well why glycerin soap melts faster than commercial soap and why it is a favorite with scented creams, moisturizing gels and lotions.
Humectants keep the skin smooth and supple. Since this is not a man-made chemical, glycerin is does not irritate the skin. In fact glycerin soap is always recommended for individuals with sensitive to dry skin. As beauty soap, it keeps the facial skin smooth and clear. Hence, glycerin spells the big difference between commercial and homemade soap.
Baby Care
Babies and young children benefit from homemade soap because it does not contain toxic chemicals such as sodium lauryl sulphate or SLS. SLS causes the foaming in soaps. This chemical is used also in shampoos and degreasing agents to remove grease from engines. If this chemical can remove grease, it can remove the body's natural oils, causing dry skin which leads to skin rashes and irritations, and eczema. Also, would you want your baby's tender and sensitive skin to absorb this chemical? Definitely not.
A 1983 report from the American College of Toxicology showed that a minute concentration or 5% of SLS can trigger skin irritation and higher levels of the chemical caused severe skin irritation and skin corrosion. Can you imagine your baby taking in all those chemicals and poison everyday?
Therefore, making soaps gives you complete control in deciding what ingredients to use. You can choose ingredients that are safe for baby's hair and scalp, too. High quality organic ingredients are always used for homemade soap. You can make them yourself or order these online from experienced homemade soap makers.
Article Source:
About the Author
If you would like find out how how you can get started in making homemade soap as mentioned in the above article then go here

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

It seems that everything has a trend. Fashion, hairstyles, food, and yes even soap!
I am a member of several soap making forums.
Every season change there will always be questions on what is every ones  best seller, what will be the next "big" Scent in bath and beauty products. Are salt baths in? Scrubs? I really like the questions that go around asking something with out trying to just come out and ask .  Such as " What is your favorite scent in soaps?" Which means " What do you sell the most of?"
In most of the forums soap makers will tell you what  their best sellers are, with out batting an eye.
Because we all have our different markets, or as in my case I make soap because I like creating different types and scents.
A few months ago I made a really nice soap, combining several fragrance oils. I was trying to create a signature men's line.  A day after I cut the soap loaf into bars, I noticed a funky smell. I could make out one of the fragrance oils, but the other or the combination of the two had a off funky smell.
After about 6 weeks it had mellow out, well the funky smell did.  As always I took a few bars to work and laid some out on the kitchen counter. A week later a guy I work for, said the soap had a fishy smell to it. I told him that I thought the scents were still morphing. ( Which they were) Now 4 months later the funky smell is completely gone, and I have a great manly smelling soap that leave a fresh clean scent! Yes I do hold some soaps for months, smelling and testing them. When I make soap I always make  an Oatmeal Honey all natural soap. Then  I put my Dr. Jekyll coat on and do some creating.
I break even on my soap making, most of the time.
I don't charge much more than a bar cost to make, I use several "luxury oils and butters" in my soaps.
As any soap maker will tell you " I don't do it for the money" (Well most of us.) 
So for me I always have the same soap trending. Which is Oatmeal Honey, made with Olive, grape seed, palm, coconut, jojoba and castor oils. With a nice amount of Shea, mango and coco butters.
Yes they do cost more to make. I do cut corners to keep the price down, such as no labels, no packaging, no fancy pictures or booths. Just your plan luxury soap. If someone has a special request, I will do my best to make it. What they don't buy I will sell or give the rest away. I am not in it for the money. ( Well not at this point.) I do it because I love doing it! When I get that signature men's line down, then I might start working on the packaging, with the fancy labels! This week I will be working on that signature line, along with some Oatmeal Honey, an All Natural unscented lard soap (Just like my granny taught me over 40 yrs ago!) and some Organic Rosemary  green tea soap. If I don't drink all the beer, I just may make some beer soap!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Soaping for Family's Health

When I was growing up, I had the chance to live on a working farm. 
Chickens, pigs, cows, horses, a pea patch, along with just about every other veggie.
A few weeks ago I saw a video about a chicken farm not far from where I live. They raise their chickens  as farmers did way back. They just let them wonder around the farm, eating insects, grasses and such. They talked about how much more flavor the chickens have, along with how great the eggs were.
One thing I do remember about growing up on a farm is the Great food! I have yet to find a store bought chicken that tasted as good as those farm hens. I decided to buy a farmed raised chicken, along with some fresh farm eggs. The eggs run about $6.00 a dozen. The chicken was about $ 9.00.
This weekend I will see if it is worth the price!
Well it got me to thinking about how much someone is willing to pay for something that is more healthy for the body.
Which brings me to why I soap.
I guess the main reason, is that I know what is in my soap.
Using natural ingredients that benefit the skin.
I found out that  I will be a grandfather for the fourth time this fall. So I started shopping for natural ingredients  to make some baby soap, baby diaper cream, and baby oil.
I only want the best!
It will cost a bit more, than if I was making a plain soap.
 The last batch of soap I made was a Lavandin Grosso, Rosemary, and Patchouli with poppy seeds. I used mango, and shea butter, along with some olive, and grape seed oil.
Looking over my cost to make this wonderful moisturizing soap I realized that with the added luxury butters and oils it only bump the cost up fifty cents per bar.
For me, when it comes to my family's well being and health it is worth the extra price, rather it be food, or body products.
Back to basics and the simple life for me.
If you have a chance head out to the local farmers market this weekend and stock up on some healthy items. The extra cost is worth it. As you watch your family grow, knowing that you did your best for them you will have an inter peace that you did do your best!