Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Price of Experimentation

Batches of soap do not always turn out like you expect.  Sometimes, even if you think the recipe is exactly the same, something turns out just a little off and throws every off.  The heat could be too high, the mixture could become stiff, or it cooks too fast or too slow.  Or, sometimes, the soap maker adds things to the batch without prior research.  Because soap making is nothing more than a chemical reaction, any new additive will change the make up of the batch.  Well, this happened to me this weekend.

On.  A.  LARGE. Batch.


10 pounds of soap, approximately about $100 worth of soap down the drain.  Literally, trashed.

 Because of peppermint starlight candies!

I made a very nice small batch of peppermint soap for Christmas and added a coloring that turned it pink.  I really wanted a red batch so when I retried the same recipe in a larger batch (much larger), and added some starlight mints.

A few things happened.

1.  The batch was much larger than expected.  I put in 5 pounds in the soap calculator and it read it as 5 pounds pre-soap, which made about 10 pounds of soap.  It should have been 5 pounds post soap, not mixture.

2.  The larger amount called for a higher amount of lye which heated up the already hot mixture too much.  So, when I added the candies,

3.  The overly heated mixture melted the candies and burned the sugar, resulting in large, sticky black streaks throughout my entire mixture.  Therefore,

4.  It never completely mixed up and so it was too chunky and fell apart.

5.  And lastly, the melted, burnt sugar leaked out all over the mold and into the cabinet and it was one huge, sticky mess.

Sadly, I had to trash 10 whole pounds of soap.  Disappointing, but lesson learned.  Stick with a good thing and don't try to do anything fancy without first researching.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

New Items

It's nice to have a long weekend.  What better way to spend it than cleaning up the soap room and getting some new items on board?

First, I tried a new method of wrapping.  I really like the look of this method and it's actually easier than the prior method.  What do you think?

Next, I used some of our samples and smaller portions and combined them.
Introducting, Skinnies:

Skinnies come with 2-3 skinny sized bars, each of a different scent.  This is a great way to sample several scents for one low price!

And next, we have Chunkies!

These are Through the Dutch Door's version of soap on a rope!

Tomorrow, we will be working on tweaking our last recipe to bring you the finest handmade beer soap!  Spearmint Eucalyptus will be our scent!

Let us know what you think!  I love to hear from you?  What do you think of our new soap on a rope? How about our skinnies?  Would you buy a Spearmint Eucalyptus soap?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

"Why do you put beer in your soap?"

We get asked that a lot and the answer is simple. Beer is good for your skin! Beer contains vitamins, antioxidants, and other agents that are really great for your skin.

 Let's review some of the ingredients in beer that can benefit your skin.

 Brewer's Yeast: Brewer's yeast is formed from a one celled fungus and has been used for many years as a supplement. It contains many of the B Complex vitamins. Brewer's yeast has been shown to improve acne, and decrease inflammation and the risk of skin cancer.

 Panthothenic Acid: This is also known as vitamin B5, which is used to clear up skin disorders. People apply pantothenic acid to the skin for itching, promoting healing of mild eczemas and other skin conditions, insect stings, bites, poison ivy, diaper rash, and acne. It is also applied topically for preventing and treating skin reactions to radiation therapy.

 Hops: These are the flowers on the vines that are used in the making of beer. When they are processed during brewing, the essential oils of the flowers are released into the beer. Essential oils have been used for centuries as a natural medicine for countless ailments.

 Xanthohumol: This bioactive molecule which is present in the hops found in beer, has been shown to have antioxidant and anticancer effects 100 times that of green tea and soy.

Barley:  Barley is a grain and contains vitamin C, antioxidants, and minerals.  It works to reduce inflammation, The selenium contained in the barley helps enhance skin elasticity, making your skin more supple, and reducing the look of fine lines and wrinkles.  The antioxidants in barley reduce the signs of aging.  Barley water can be used to flush out toxins in the skin, making the skin look more youthful.   Barley also contains zinc which acts as a healing agent to diseases of the skin, acne, and lesions.

Water: Water is a key ingredient to making beer. Water helps flush out toxins and hydrate your skin.

Not only is beer great for your skin, but it's also good for your hair and your health. Drinking beer (in moderation, of course) can have other benefits on your health as well!

Want to read more?

Official Launch

Hello everybody!  Thank you for visiting the *new and improved* Through the Dutch Door handmade soaps website and blog.  We are gearing up for our official launch on May 1.  We are busy getting all of our licensing in order and building that inventory!  Right now, we have 8 different scents to choose from.  Without knowing what you, our followers are looking for, we are trying to start small and see what people prefer.  What scents would you prefer?  Comment below.

As I mentioned our official launch will be May 1.  We will be kicking our launch off at the Old Town Clovis Farmer's Market beginning on May 8, provided all our paperwork gets approval.  Until then, we are selling soaps on the website only in limited quantities.

I would love to meet you!  Come by our booth at the Farmer's Market this summer!  We are very excited for this new chapter in our lives.  Have any questions?  Please ask!