I chose to buy professional soap bases instead of going through the tricky and possibly dangerous process of handling lye. And even if the lye handling wasn’t bad enough, I’d have to wait about 6 weeks for the mixture to saponify (harden). When all that happened, I’d be limited to one style of soap – hand cut from a big block. I could not use molds, and be as creative as I currently am.
So, for me, simply putting lye and oils together, outdoors mind you to avoid breathing in the “plume” that comes up when first mixed, and then having nothing at all to do but wait, I opted to buy big blocks of already saponified oils. This gives me the ability to add conditioning oils, fragrance, and of course, our own raw honey, and then, pour the melted mixture into the molds of my choice. I have taken this a step further and make chunks out of some of my soaps that are added to my molds before pouring another batch on top. I love the results!
About the suds.
The only advantage to beginning with the lye and oils is that the lather is initially better. Not always, mind you, because I’ve bought many bars from companies who choose to begin with the lye, but for the most part, the “cold process” as it’s called, produces lather faster.
Note that I did not say “better” lather, but faster. Let me explain.
I have found that my soaps need to be primed a bit before the rich, creamy lather begins to happen. This is simply done by washing your hands a few times, rubbing the bar against a wet wash cloth. My soaps produce excellent foamy lather from there on.
Just the good stuff.
I could of course add chemical sudsing agents, like you find (most always, you know, no matter what the price) in commercially made bar soap, but I choose not to go that route. I hold my soap making to a very high standard, and so instead of just going for the initial result, I choose to add nourishing ingredients that do perform well, yield lather to comfortably shave with, and leave the skin clean and smooth.
Additionally, my bars last and last. Let me tell you my husband and I have been impressed! 8 weeks and counting in our shower. Both of using the same bar. And it’s not gone yet! There’s still enough for a few more uses! And at the sink? Well, I have not yet even gotten to the halfway mark on my bars. That’s in part because of the raw honey. And in part because I use costly oils. And, in part due to the high quality soap bases I buy.
I’m just about done with the final labelling process. I have kept it neat and simple. Boxes are not the way to go as far as I’m concerned. Neither is shrink wrap. I use plastic wrap first, add a band and label, or slide the bar into a lovely little plastic bag. Moving forward I’m likely to only use the bags.
Pricing and where to purchase.
Bars are at $7.50 each, retail.
A discount for B&Bs, Inns, Hotels, weddings, showers, business needs and fundraisers is available. Please contact us at our Facebook page and let us know about your business or charity and what quantity you would be looking at buying.
You can purchase Coastal Honey Bees LLC Luxury Soaps at The White City Mercantile from October 12th on. We will be at The Farmer’s Market in Tradition, PSL, FL every Sunday beginning November 3rd. We will also be at The Christmas Bazaar at Tradition Square PSL, FL on December 14th.
Online sales will begin later this year or early 2020. We will be renovating a warehouse we own and making it a processing center, office and retail space. Stayed tuned for more info about that.
Thanks for the great feedback everyone!