Nizzy's Cream Soap Experience
Assisted by Lisa WB
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My Soapmaker friend Lisa WB
arrived on our doorstep right on time. So with a quick comparing notes we had
researched on the internet, plus the fact of not having ever attempted making
‘Cream Soap’ before, we bravely marched into the unknown, well more of a slip
and a stumble LOL.
Lisa WB is an accomplished soap maker here in Australia, she is also a friend. We have a hilarious time when we get together to make soap and two
minds are always better than one, especially on this occasion.
No doubt after learning the basics of making cream soap we can adjust the recipe
to whatever oils take our fancy, well that’s the theory :-)
283g Virgin Coconut Oil
60.5g Caustic Soda
288g Potassium Hydroxide
3000g of Water
595g Vegetable Glycerine
We weighed the ingredients as per the recipe, placed the large stainless steel
pot onto the hotplate and began to heat it up. Keeping the temperature low
because the stainless steel is thin and not wanting to burn the mix.
After about 5 minutes of low heating I started to read those instructions and
there at number 6 was a sentence about 'returning the soap pot to the LARGER
pot.......Oh No! ...Should we be doing this in a double boiler?? More quick
reading and sure enough ...number 7 in our list of instructions confirms it
should be in a double boiler or a pot within a pot. Lucky the temperature was
only on low.
We left it in the double boiler for about 3 hours then as it began to cool it
was forming a thicker layer on the surface, not a skin but a thick layer and we
just stirred now again then put the lid on. 4 hours later it is still warmish
but thicker. I have had the pot sitting outside with the lid on to cool it
faster, remember it's summer over here in Australia :-)
I have taken photos at the different stages and will post them here when it has
finished cooling. I think we were successful
It's still a little warm and they say to let it sit for 24 hours but at this
stage the mix resembles thick treacle, molasses. When lifted with the spoon it
forms soft folds on the surface when dribbled back into the mix and after a few
seconds the surface is smooth again. Is this correct? It will probably get
slightly thicker overnight.???
It's not a 'cream' as like a moisturiser cream or whipped fresh cream.
It's lathering well already and can only improve with age. I didn't fragrance or
colour the mix, its an semi opaque look about it. If you wanted it whiter Olivia
suggested some Titanium Dioxide.
I like the idea of making a batch then add the fragrance to smaller portions of
the soap on demand. There is hardly any odour to the plain mix. Would be good in
a squeeze bottle.
Lisa and I have decided to follow up this ''creamed' process to see what else is
around... any tips would be appreciated :-)
Here's Our Method & Photos
This is how we proceeded, the
blind leading the blind and reading from two cream soap sources we managed to
end up with the following.
We weighed out the ingredients then followed procedure to mix them together.
When we added the caustic/water mix it went white instantly.
Lisa stick blended it and we
watched it form a sort of a graininess.
Whipped some more and it changed again, still looks
grainy but don’t worry this will soon smooth out as you whip more with the stick
After about 20 minutes of heating in the double boiler
the mix smoothed out and appeared even whiter, much smoother now.
hours of cooking it formed thicker on the surface but still like warm honey
consistency underneath. Eventually all of these soft lumps would be incorporated
into the mix as it cooled further.
This is how it looked after cooling for about 30
minutes. It was getting thicker and more difficult to stir but this relaxes
The following morning it has thinned a little, sort of
We decided that the mix must have needed more heating so
we took a little out and placed it in the microwave till it heated. we took it
out and it was instant, the mix was now thick. You can see the bowl on the left
is how it looked the following morning then the bowl on the right is after
heating in the microwave. So we decided we would place it back it the double
After another hour cooking you can see the vast
A close up of the thickened soap.
And finally a shot of my double boiler set up. This is
the heating method I used.
OK we now have this pot of real thick soap...What do we do
now? Do we wait a week then whip it?
When I whip it I will add to this PDF file.
It lathers really well already so it can only get better
with age, I’m guessing here :-)
I beat a portion of the soap and although it softened
and even looked ‘creamed’ but after a couple of days it would settle and firm up
again, not hard but firm enough so I could slice it with a blunt knife and it
would hold the shape. Maybe it was still too soon after making it and I had not
left it to ‘rot’ long enough.?
I did take another portion and used just water to soften
it then added some FO and an ultramarine blue. I beat this to the consistency of
toothpaste and filled a couple of 100ml ‘Malibu Tubes’ I know use this to shave
with. Very neat & tidy in the bathroom, I just squeeze a little onto my wet
shaving brush and it lathers well, very thick and fluffy with lots of glide for
the razor blade to slide over the skin with. I’m very happy with my shave soap
in a tube.
Update... June 2006
After reading a message on the forum I decided to check
out my cream soap. I’ve had the bulk of my bowl of cream soap sitting under the
bench for 4 months now. I had a piece of clear plastic stretched over the top to
keep out the bugs. To tell you the honest truth I was ‘over’ the cream soap
thing and had moved on back to Cold Process soap but still enjoying my shaving
soap in the squeezy tubes.
I removed the plastic and prodded it with my finger, it
felt different now, maybe something had happened while it has been sitting there
out of sight? I took a blunt knife and it cut through very easily, like cutting
through butter but when I stirred it a little with the knife it softened and
creamed so I thought I would drag out the hand cake beater and give it a
beating. It worked like a charm, the soap is now soft and creamy, like ‘soft
peak’ meringue. This is really amazing coz I had given up on it but now I can
see I simply needed to let it sit there for a couple of months. I don’t know if
this happens to anyone else but I’m writing it down here just in case anyone
reading this has similar experience. I guess the old cliché of ‘Never Give Up’
is true in this case. :-)
Here are two photos of the mix after resting (rotting)
for a few months:
In this photo you can see the firmness on the left hand
side of the bowl and the partly creamed soap on the right hand side. There was
far too much in this bowl for my cake beater to handle so I removed some into a
small bowl and used a ‘Stick Blender’
This has been stick blended just to smooth out the lumpy
bits and is the consistency of soft meringue.
I find this soap does not lather without the use of a
shaving brush. The brush develops the lather, once it has lathered and on your
skin it holds really well.
I find it rinses off my skin much faster and easier
It’s perfect for after gardening or outside work,
although it doesn’t lather much when you use it like this, it doesn’t effect its
cleansing ability. I’m rethinking the whole thing now.
I am now happy to call this ‘Cream’ soap in the true
sense of the word … I made it…halleluiah!
the last update in June I had transferred the mix into a transparent plastic
container with a lid and stored in one of my cupboards and promptly forgot about
it. In December I found it sitting there and the colour had changed to an ‘Off’
white now but had taken on a pearlised sheen about it. It still had no colour
or fragrance added to the batch, when I sniffed the mix it reminded me of the
smell of the laundry when my grandmother used to boil the sheets and whites in
the copper. The soap she used was just a plain and unfragranced, I still refer
to it as that ‘fresh’ smell on washing day. This cream soap was made exactly a
year ago and it has lasted the time well.
stick blended again to soften it up and it looks very similar to the photo
above, maybe a little a tad softer even. I took a small amount and added
BrambleBerry’s ‘Island Kiss’ fragrant oil and coloured it pale lemon. I’ll some
more later with some of our Australian essential oils just to give me a change
of fragrance. You can purchase Brambleberry’s FO’s from Jude Birch at Aussie
Soap Supplies here in Australia
http://www.aussiesoapsupplies.com.au/ Jude is also another great ambassador
to soapmakers here in Australia, a wealth of soaping knowledge which she shares
freely both on the soap forums and privately.
now come to an end and I have been using this cream soap to shave with every day
since I made it and I can vouch that I would never go back to plain old cold
process soap or tinned shaving foam ever.
a couple of photos of my final product.
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