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HP Soap with Calendula

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Willyd

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Hi all,

I am getting geared up to make some Calendula infused HP soap. I took a quick look on the Internet to see how other people were doing the same thing hoping I could learn a thing or two. Well, what I found out is that other people are adding the Calendula by infusing into one or all of the base oils used in the recipe, and straining out the oil soaked Calendula leaves before adding the lye. What I don't like about that method is that the Calendula is exposed to the lye which does god knows what the the properties and color for the herb.

I have a different Idea for making this soap but wanted to run it up the flagpole first and see who salutes.

It seems to me I should be able to grind Calendula leaves (or chamomile leaves etc. etc.) to a powder and then add a couple of tablespoons to the soap AFTER it is saponified. Along with some scent oils and anything else like a little olive oil or something.

Does this sound like a sane way of going about this? And if so, how much Calendula powder should I add to a 4 lb batch.

Thanks
Willy
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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I don't think that rubbing the ground leaves on your skin would not do what you want it to do. You wouldn't do it that way without a soap, because just rubbing the leaves is not as effective.

You're best bet would be to make an infused oil and add that as your superfat after the cook:

Calculate your batch as usual, with normal superfat calculated. Reduce the total oil weight by 5% and set the SF to 0. After the cook, add in that 5% as infused oil.

Your batch is now at your target weight, with your infused oil unsaponified
 

navigator9

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I'm unfamiliar with using calendula leaves. The only time I've used calendula, it was the flower itself, and calendula is one of only two flowers that I know of, (the other being cornflowers), that keep their color in soap. I've never infused the flowers in oil, just added the flowers to my soap batter.
 

lsg

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I have used calendula petals in my cp soap and they worked out OK. I haven't tried it with HP.
 

earlene

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Hmmm. I'm thinking the calendula powder would be somewhat exfoliating, but then I've never seen calendula powder so I can't say for sure. I say dry the flowers (or are you only using leaves or the actual yellow/orange calendual petals?) and see how grinding them into powder works. Once you've done that, compare the consistency to other ground materials you normally put into your HP soaps. For example, is it like colloidal oatmeal? Or is it more like tea? Anyway, once you have ground some up I think you'd have a better idea of how it will affect your soap.

I have infused calendula petals. I like infusing oils with a variety of things in oils. But if you want the benefits of the properties of the botanical to be available to the skin, soap is not your best vehicle for delivery because it is not a leave-on product. Soap is a wash-off product. And unless you are doing rebatch of already completely saponified soap, even in HP saponification continues for a while. Unless you follow The Efficacious Gentleman's advice above, I think you would still have lye reacting with your botanical.
 

Willyd

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Many Thanks

Thanks to everyone who replied here, It has been very helpful.

Earlene, I like your approach doing some testing by grinding some calendula leaves and comparing the end result with other exfoliating materials. I will do that today and report back. Also, you talked about rebatching, could you explain what that means please?

My goal in putting the calendula in my soap is to provide some color, and exfoliating value to the soap. Not sure what I would use as a scent maybe lemon or something associated with the yellowish color of calendula.


Thanks again
Willy
 

earlene

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Thanks to everyone who replied here, It has been very helpful.

Earlene, I like your approach doing some testing by grinding some calendula leaves and comparing the end result with other exfoliating materials. I will do that today and report back. Also, you talked about rebatching, could you explain what that means please?

My goal in putting the calendula in my soap is to provide some color, and exfoliating value to the soap. Not sure what I would use as a scent maybe lemon or something associated with the yellowish color of calendula.


Thanks again
Willy
Willy, I believe lemons accelerate trace, but that may not be as much as an issue with HP as it is with CP.

Rebatching is where you take already made soap scraps or a batch that didn't turn out as well as you'd like (looks, etc.) and make it into new soap. I usually melt down my trimmings from when I cut soap & bevel the edges, etc. and turn it into new soap. There is a lot of information on how to rebatch soap on the internet, so when you are interested in doing that just do a browser search and you'll find instructions. One method I use which I really like is found in this link. My husband said the soap looks like granite. I think it is reminiscent of old style linoleum. Either way, it can turn out very nice.
 

Arimara

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I'm unfamiliar with using calendula leaves. The only time I've used calendula, it was the flower itself, and calendula is one of only two flowers that I know of, (the other being cornflowers), that keep their color in soap. I've never infused the flowers in oil, just added the flowers to my soap batter.
I've only used it once but I'm willing to bet it's one of the reasons why I like my first batch as much as I do. It's also the most soothing of the soaps I have. It makes no sense that my daughter's skin tolerated that soap so much better than some of the soaps I've made with LESS coconut oil. The best way to use calendula is via infused oils.
 

Willyd

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Infused Oil

I've only used it once but I'm willing to bet it's one of the reasons why I like my first batch as much as I do. It's also the most soothing of the soaps I have. It makes no sense that my daughter's skin tolerated that soap so much better than some of the soaps I've made with LESS coconut oil. The best way to use calendula is via infused oils.
So if calendula infused oil is used in making hp soap does the color survive saponification?
 

DeeAnna

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Totally off topic -- Willy, I see you're from Denison! My home town is Ute, although I live now in NE Iowa. Still have family in Ute and Charter Oak. Hiya!
 

Arimara

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So if calendula infused oil is used in making hp soap does the color survive saponification?
The infused oil didn't make a difference color-wise. My soap is light in color as was the oil I used. I also used lavender with this oil but it came out a light green in the end. I think that's were the powder would be handy. If you can pulverize it, I'd try it that way and infuse it. You might need a cheese cloth or a fine mesh tea infuser to strain.
 

Willyd

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Small World

Totally off topic -- Willy, I see you're from Denison! My home town is Ute, although I live now in NE Iowa. Still have family in Ute and Charter Oak. Hiya!
Hi DeeAnna,

I drive through Ute a lot on my way to and from Sioux City. It is indeed a small world. I grew up here but left in 1977 to join the Navy. I just moved back about 8 years ago.
 
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