All About Da Bees

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Nutty

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Now that I have made two perfect batches of soap, I am hooked. Walking around the store I always see soap with beehive or bee shaped molds which made me wonder....can you incorporate beeswax and/or honey into your recipe? I ran a simple soap recipe through the calculator (adding beeswax) only to find it makes a perfect bar! The only difference is that it makes a harder bar which I kind of prefer...
Has anyone had experience with adding honey or beeswax to their soap? And if so, how is it on the skin? ;)

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Nutty

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Oh gawd. It will be like rubbing soap on dry skin as it pulls at your hairs? Haha.
 

snappyllama

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For honey, I like to use 1tsp to 1tbl ppo. It's easiest to pull out a little water from your batch, heat it up, and then mix the honey with it. I like to do this incorporate that additive mix into my oils before my lye to make sure it's combined well.

It will heat up your batter a bit and can turn an orangey color (that mostly fades). It adds bubble-factor to your soap (like any sugar).

I don;t use beeswax, but I think I remember most folks mentioning they stick to around 1-3%.
 

cmzaha

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I use beeswax in my almond honey soap at 3% max, honey at 1.5% of my batch oils and bee pollen .5% and we shall not forget the goat's milk, honey almond fo with a touch of clove eo. Makes such a lovely soap, but oh my, it is a disaster waiting to happen. It has to be hp'ed or it will boil over even in the freezer using a chilled mold. As me how I know!! Small amounts of honey will add bubbles to soap like sugar.
 

dibbles

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I use honey in one of my recipes and love the boost in bubbles. Like snappyllama, I usually take some water out, warm it to mix with the honey and add it to my oils before the lye.
 

Steve85569

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Bee's wax really stays bee's wax. The sugars will react out but there are only very small amounts of it there. Makes a bar of soap that lasts a long time if you can stand to use it though. Don't ask and I'm not doing it again.

Between 1 and 3% ppo and you need direct heat to melt the wax ( it will not melt in the microwave). I would only use it in a recipe that I thought was going to be reall really soft ( and salt brine it too). But that's just me. Feel free to experiment. Most soapers do. :mrgreen:
 

Obsidian

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I've used 5% beeswax and quite like it but it does have a different skin feel, not really waxy but almost. It speeds up trace as does the high temp needed to keep it melted.
honey and wax are know heaters, often going into full gel even if thats not what you want. In all honesty, I wouldn't recommend a beginner mess with beeswax, too many things can go wrong with it.
 

SuzieOz

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I haven't used beeswax but I've done a goat milk with 1 Australian tbsp honey to 1kg oil (so about 4 tsp to approx 2lb oils).
It is super luscious! Love it. And I don't add any other scent to it, just the honey (Leatherwood which has a strong scent) and the soap smells like honey. Yum.

It does heat up fast, so I quickly put it in the mould and bung in the freezer, leave in the freezer for a couple of days, take it out and put in the fridge for a couple of days, then take out and leave on a shelf until it comes to room temp, then unmould. I still get a gel ring in the middle but I kind of like it.

I'm still learning though, all the freezing, chilling etc maybe isn't necessary. I do love the honey though.
 

Susie

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You can get beeswax to melt in the microwave if you grate very small amounts into liquid oils. But it makes a messier clean up than other oils. Lots harder to get out.
 

reinbeau

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Never, EVER melt beeswax over direct heat. Use a double boiler or a small dedicated crockpot. Beeswax is extremely flammable, handle it carefully. I actually use a small crockpot called a Little Dipper and it is dedicated to melting beeswax. It is never cleaned out.
 

dixiedragon

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I love beeswax soap! I buy beeswax in pastilles, which are little dots. I use it at 5% and also 1 T of honey per pour of oils. I melt the beeswax in my microwave with some other oils - usually castor which I also use at 5%. Then I add the beeswax to the melted oils. Sometimes the oils are too cool and the wax solidifies into blobs. Then I slowly heat the oils until the wax melts. Since the oils are hotter than I prefer, I make sure my lye is room temp before I mix. Once the oils are melted and the lye is cool, I add the honey to the oils and, while I am stickblending the oils, pour in the lye water.
 

IrishLass

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I made a couple of batches of beeswax and honey soap over the summer (my first time using beeswax) and everything proceeded surprisingly well...and came out well, too. Extra care does need to be taken with working with beeswax, but honestly, I couldn't have been more happy with how the whole experience went for me. You can see my finished soap and read about how I went about making it HERE (my 'how-to' process is a little further in on page 2 of the thread). For what it's worth, I used beeswax as 3% of my formula, and 5% honey ppo.


IrishLass :)
 

HappyBeeSoapCo

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I put honey and beeswax in all my soaps and even in many of my other products. That was actually how I got started in soap making, trying to find other uses for our honey and wax! It makes really lovely soaps, they are harder and they lather beautifully. I usually use fresh goats milk, or goat yogurt too, in soaps as well. Combined they make such a nice and gentle soap with lather that feels good to my skin.

It's true that honey will discolor the soap but usually I just work with that, either leaving the soap a nice golden color (it lightens to a warm honey color), or using honey in just part of the soap, for example. And because I am also using the goat milk, I usually put my soap in the refrigerator right away and leave it for a few hours or overnight. The milk and honey together can really heat up the soap if you don't watch for it.

I always just melt the beeswax together with the other hard butters in the microwave before adding the liquid oils. The beeswax can try to harden up a bit but just pop it all back into the mw for short blasts until it's melted again.

I haven't ever had a problem with it but it will move faster because I have to soap cooler to not burn the milk so I don't do fancy swirls or designs that take a lot of time. But I get some nice ITP swirls and really nice round swirls when I pour into a column mold.

Give it a try, I bet you'll like using those additives. But everyone is right, I wouldn't go over 5% with the beeswax and I generally don't use more than 3% honey unless I'm cutting the CO way down and need the lather.
 

Nutty

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Well after reading everyone's posts, it seems that 80% of people like it! Haha. This is so neat though, I may try it! Even 2% or 3% wax with a tbsp of honey per pound. I especially liked the comment that it will give a honey fragrance? Does this depend on the honey used, or can it be just store bought big brand name honeys?
I have never used goats milk or any creams (yet) in my soap making. I live across the street from a Whole Foods Market, I may check to see if they sell it there.

Would a Simple Lard and Olive Oil soap work well for this?
 

SuzieOz

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I especially liked the comment that it will give a honey fragrance? Does this depend on the honey used, or can it be just store bought big brand name honeys?
I imagine it depends very much on the honey used. The one I use is a Tasmanian Leatherwood honey which has a very strong flavour and scent, so any honey I guess in your area that is really strong flavoured.
 

soaring1

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I use beeswax in my almond honey soap at 3% max, honey at 1.5% of my batch oils and bee pollen .5% and we shall not forget the goat's milk, honey almond fo with a touch of clove eo. Makes such a lovely soap, but oh my, it is a disaster waiting to happen. It has to be hp'ed or it will boil over even in the freezer using a chilled mold. As me how I know!! Small amounts of honey will add bubbles to soap like sugar.
How does bee pollen act in cp soap? Does it dissolve or do you add it a trace to be a scrubby texture? Do you include it in the basic recipe or as a additive? Just curious
 

Obsidian

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I dissolved my pollen in some water so it wouldn't be in big dry pieces. It behaved just fine and its not scratchy at all, it lightly colored the soap some, looks really pretty.
 

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