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  1. topofmurrayhill

    Unusual transparent soap

    This is classic transparent soap with the interesting twist that it incorporates rosin, which is a type of pine tree ooze (chunks of which are shown at the upper right of the photo). Viol players know it as the stuff you put on your bow. Rosin is meltable and saponifiable and was once an...
  2. topofmurrayhill

    "Crystal Light" LS Recipe and Procedure

    Some contributors have expressed interest in my process for the liquid soap I recently posted in the The Photo Gallery. With apologies for the delay, here it is. Keep in mind I'm still experimenting with the formulation. I'll include percentages in addition to specific amounts for a sample...
  3. topofmurrayhill

    Lots of liquid soap, new formulation

    Here something I've been focusing on lately. I developed a variation on formulating liquid soap and have been testing it with different fragrances. The soap seemed very good, so I sent some off for feedback. A soap maker friend said it was better on the skin than a good bar soap. I even sent...
  4. topofmurrayhill

    The beginners' guide to Castile vs. Bastile craft soap

    One of the things you have to understand about soapmaking if you're to become an expert is the very important difference between genuine Castile soap and the untraditional versions that crafters have named 'Bastile'. Genuine Castile soap is made according to the traditions of the commercial...
  5. topofmurrayhill

    Can you get spontaneous gel with a 40% lye? Yep.

    100% coconut loaf for laundry soap, uncovered out on the workbench, no lye discount. It got pretty hot.
  6. topofmurrayhill

    The mysteries of the lye calculator

    There aren't any! What it does is dead simple. You can create your own calculator pretty easily if you're good with a spreadsheet. Say I want to make a batch with 500 g oils and this recipe: 20% CO 50% Lard 20% OO 10% Castor Let's do it manually. 500 x .20 = 100 g CO 500 x .50 = 250 g Lard...
  7. topofmurrayhill

    Premature Ageing / DOS of Lard Soap

    So this is interesting. It's 80/20 soap made with Fanny and Flo leaf lard, their high end product. It's rapidly going orange and smelling off after hardly more than 3 months. It started off quite white, as you can see if you search for "piggy" in the photo forum. I made this batch with EDTA but...
  8. topofmurrayhill

    I'm so impressed!

    OMG check this out. Grace VanderWaal. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNxO9MpQ2vA
  9. topofmurrayhill

    "Aleppo" Soap -- halfway through cure

    My first shot at it. Now 6 months old, 6 more to go. It sure has that unique laurel oil aroma. This is hot process except the laurel berry oil was added at the end and it finished saponifying in the mold. I used a slight excess of lye.
  10. topofmurrayhill

    Liking a new dispenser for my fresh batch of LS

    This soap is dyed -- that's not the actual color. It's scented with an EO blend that's mainly lemon 5x and bergamot, along with some eucalyptus and a little lavender. I like the contemporary style OXO dispenser I found on Amazon.
  11. topofmurrayhill

    Fascinating - listen to the evolution of pop music

    This web app is like a musical time machine. Go back to the year you were born or any period you like and hear what the top of the charts sounded like in a continuous chronological medley. It goes to 1997 when you start it but you can select the year at the bottom. One interesting time trip...
  12. topofmurrayhill

    Latest Batch of M&P Base

    Decided to make some more, and this time I poured a plain slab instead of colored and scented soaps. It's 1 1/2 inches thick, and based on previous experience the transparency should increase over a few days or a week. It cut quite nicely with my utility knife, and the second photo shows a 1/2...
  13. topofmurrayhill

    Homebrew M&P with Rose Gold Mica

    I'm no M&P artist. I've mainly been interested in learning how to make my own M&P base because I'm a geek. But I saw this beautiful mica at Bramble Berry and thought it was high time to make something shimmery. This is fragranced with tangerine essential oil. Yum. So far I'm having good luck...
  14. topofmurrayhill

    Psychedelic piggies!

    Or maybe they're piggies at a rave? I had to do this. Got a UV flashlight just to take these pictures of the glowpigs.
  15. topofmurrayhill

    How to use vinegar to harden your soap

    When you use vinegar to replace some or all of your water, the acetic acid in the vinegar reacts with sodium hydroxide to form sodium acetate. Sodium acetate works like sodium lactate to harden your soap, except all you have to buy is vinegar. I promised simpler instructions for folks who don't...
  16. topofmurrayhill

    Piggy Soap!!

    A forum member was so kind as to gift me a sample of Fannie and Flo leaf lard after I remarked that artisanal lard should be used in biscuits or pie crusts instead of soap. :) To honor this ingredient, I decided to keep things very simple. The recipe is just 80% lard and 20% coconut oil...
  17. topofmurrayhill

    Testing Vinegar/Sodium Acetate In Soap - Phase II

    I have been testing the hypothesis that sodium acetate has an effect on soap comparable to the hardening effect of sodium lactate. One of the implications would be that you can get the benefits of SL by simply replacing all or part of your lye water with vinegar. The acetic acid in vinegar...
  18. topofmurrayhill

    Kinda plain classic-method transparent soap

    I plan to do a prettier batch soon. For one thing, this one has no color apart from whatever it picked up from the grapefruit EO I used. This soap was made with alcohol as the main solvent, along with glycerin and sugar. In fact it's one of Failor's recipes. The oils are coconut, castor and...
  19. topofmurrayhill

    Made some transparent MP from scratch

    This MP has only been poured but not yet melted! The base should be fairly close to water white, but I colored and scented this entire batch. The fragrance is Sweet Cakes Pomegranate (Bendel Type).
  20. topofmurrayhill

    Some rebatch of the Veggie Lavender EO soap

    I had about a pound of trimmings from the Lavender soap, so I made some rebatch from it.