No Lye = No Soap

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Jasmine Soap

Over the years that I have been making soap, there have always been questions customers have for me about my products. Today I am addressing the most frequent question I receive about my SOAP!

“Do you use LYE to make your soap?” My Answer is YES!

Yes, I use LYE to make my soap BUT the soap no longer contains Lye once it has combined with the oils and cured!

Without LYE, also known as Sodium Hydroxide, you cannot have soap!! Even glycerin bars, melt & pour bars, liquid soap…….ALL SOAP requires either Sodium Hydroxide(LYE for bar soap) or Potassium Hydroxide(LYE for Liquid soap) to make it soap. You see, Sodium Hydroxide is a chemical that is harmful ALONE! When you combine it with the right ratio of oils & water, it binds to the molecular structure of each producing a COMPLETELY different element, SOAP!

The end result is no longer, Lye, Oils OR water, but a combination of all to produce the soap!

The Babylonians were the ones who invented soap at 2800 B.C. when the mixing of animal fats & ashes produced a cleansing product used for utensils & skin conditions. Even today, Lye CAN be made from ashes, rock and hay in a large wooden barrel. Now, Lye is produced commercially so it can be calibrated for modern recipes using exact measurements, thus refined for exactness. It is still a caustic substance that can harm you if touched!

Do not approach Lye lightly. ALL precautions MUST be taken when handling it and making soap. The Saponification of the Lye & Oils, (chemical reaction that creates soap) happens over time.

Here I am mixing the Lye into the water wearing ALL of my protective gear!

Here I am mixing the Lye into the water wearing ALL of my protective gear!

Here you see me mixing the Lye with the water. I am wearing protective eye wear, long gloves and an apron. I am also mixing on a newspaper lined table in my work station AWAY from children, pets and distractions! This is the MOST important!

Getting the right temperature before combining the Lye into the oil!

Getting the right temperature before combining the Lye into the oil!

After the Lye has come to the 100-98 degree temperature, I then mix it with the oils of the same temperature. It immediately starts swirling in the pan, showing me that the two are combining.

The oils & Lye start combining!

The oils & Lye start combining!

I then stir and “mix” with my immersion blender. This helps speed things along. You CAN use just a spatula or spoon to stir, but it does take much longer, as I have tried this method, before learning about the immersion blender 🙂

"Pudding" like consistency tells me it is ready to pour!

“Pudding” like consistency tells me it is ready to pour!

Then after it has produced a “pudding-like” texture, I pour it into wooden molds lined with freezer paper for easy removal once it is set.

Clay Tea Tree Soap Just poured into the mold!

Clay Tea Tree Soap Just poured into the mold!

It sits, covered, for 24-48 hours before being cut. It still MAY contain some traces of Lye in the water molecules left in the soap, so I handle WITH my gloves on!

Clay Tea Tree Soap Curing

Clay Tea Tree Soap Curing

They then are exposed to air for 4 weeks minimum, being rotated every day for even drying. They are then ready to use, OR the best option would be to let them dry/cure longer!

**Why CURE soap?**

There is a reason for “curing” the soap. This is to allow the traces of lye that may remain in the left over water found in the soap to evaporate. The longer the soap sits, the better! It will harden up nicely and last much, much longer!

Did you know that the longer it sits, the better it gets?

Soap is not going to “go bad”, it will actually get BETTER! For example, there is one bar from last year that I found in my toiletry bag used for travelling. When I used it recently on an overnight outing, it lathered up MORE than before and was VERY hard! Even though I used it frequently for a few days, it looked as though I had not used it at all!! This just goes to show that the longer it sits, the longer it lasts 🙂

Organic Cinnamon Roll Soap

Organic Cinnamon Roll Soap

*So the take away from this post is:

~Without Lye you do not have soap of ANY type!

~4 weeks minimum is needed before soap is ready to use.

~The longer it sits the better it gets!

~Keep soap well drained & dry in-between uses so it lasts longer! *************************************************************************

I will be covering different questions that are frequently sent to me about my products!

♦Do you have any questions about my products that you want answered?

♦Do you understand the basics of soap making and how LYE is on every soap?

Please leave your comments below!

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Organic Clay Tea Tree Soap with Hand Harvested Glaciomarine Clay

Today I want to share with you about my Organic Clay Tea Tree Soap with Hand Harvested Glaciomarine Clay.

It is an exclusive Organic soap made with Exclusive clay that is very rare. Most people don’t know about Glaciomarine Clay. If you are interested in Natural clay’s you have probably heard of French Clay, Bentonite Clay, Red Clay, Green Clay etc.. Many different types of clay are found all over the world with different properties and minerals found in that part of the world. The type of clay we are talking about that is so rare is Glaciomarine Clay.

This clay is loaded with minerals from the sea, hence the “Marine” part of the name. It was deposited here in the Puget Sound Region in the Pacific Northwestern region of the North American continent 200,000 years ago when Glaciers still inhabited the region.Here is a Map of Glaciomarine Deposits left during the receding of the glacier that carved out the Puget Sound in Washington State over 200,000 years ago.

**Geological Society of America Bulletin 1995 v. 107, p. 1288-1303

As you can see the highlighted areas are where the Glaciomarine Deposits were left. In the upper right hand part of the highlighted are you see a line ending in a black dot, this is where my special harvest spot is. It is not a regular map, but a Geological map that I overlayed with a topographical map to pinpoint the location. I found this exclusive spot in the mountains while I was camping with my family 3 summers ago. This is where I sustainably hand-harvest this clay myself. So with my rubber boots on, I trudge through the mud to get to the clay on the banks of the riverside, and then fill up a 5 gallon bucket. We always seem to havea heavier load when we are coming back from camping!!
Once I am home it gets spread out onto trays for drying in the sun! After the drying is done, I break the large chunks into small chunks and grind it by hand with a mortar & pestle.

When the Glaciers melted, they left behind hundreds of sea minerals in the clay layers of the soil. The sea minerals included in my Organic Clay Tea Tree Soap will:
~ Help to soften and tone with ancient marine minerals.
~ Effectively exfoliate dead skin cells
~ Remove toxins and impurities from pores.
~ Protect skin from harmful effects of everyday dirt/grime from the atmosphere by sealing the skin.
~ Help to tighten & smooth skin while helping to reduce wrinkles.

Some of the ground clay ends up in this soap, then the rest is used for my Glaciomarine Clay Masks I sell each one is formulated for your specific skin type.
Check them out here on my website http://www.honeybeeholistics.com/glaciomarine_clay_products.html
AND at my Etsy store http://www.etsy.com/listing/45100677/deep-cleansing-hand-harvested!

So not only are you being treated to the benefits of using an Organic soap free from chemicals, but it is loaded with this awesome clay and Organic Tea Tree Essential Oil.

Tea Tree Essential Oil helps to combat acne and fungal infections. Organic Tea Tree Essential oil is also a natural anti-bacterial, antiseptic that helps to eliminate bacteria, soothe skin disorders and heal wounds. I would reccommend it as a face soap for men who are prone to ingrown hairs from shaving as the clay helps exfoliate the dead skin which helps to prevent them! It also reputedly improves immunity and reduces the incidence of colds and flus! It is one of the best essential oils out there!

So stay tuned because there are only 4 days left till my new soaps are cured and available for sale on my website & Etsy store!

Next to be reviewed….My newest Organic Soap…Organic Walnut Apricot!