Using what I have.....

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As a frugal, extreme couponing (ok not like on TLC) chick I tend to like to use things I have on hand for projects. I've YET to make my first batch of soap because I am OCD on having EVERY material I want and learning ALL I can before DIVING into something and making a mess. Eventually, I'd love to sell the soaps (locally) at craft fairs, etc. So, this means quite a bit to me. It would help ensure some type of financial freedom and there are many reasons I need this.

Anyway.. on to the question....

Do you think I could find uses for:

Muscadine Grapes
Raspberries
Blackberries
Figs
English Black Walnut
Pine (anything pine)
Mimosa
Wildflowers (daisy etc.)

Lots of garden things etc.

Thanks in advance =)

:wave:
 

jcandleattic

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Experience is the best teacher and those words were never more true than when it comes to soapmaking.
I've not used any of the things you listed, but that doesn't mean it can't be done. I just have no experience so no advice.

The advice I do have is that with soapmaking, is, you never know how something is going to turn out until it's done, and you can't know that until you do it. :)

Good luck and have fun.
 

Moody Glenn

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I agree with jcandleattic concerning experience. Can I be respectfully blunt? Be careful adding things to your soap. Be brave to experiment but think things through about what you wish to accomplish. Do you wish to add things within your soap (such as berry seeds to add abrasive qualities) or objects to add on top of your soap, such as for decoration. Adding things within your soap can contribute over time to DOS. Objects on top of the soap may look pretty but they all end up down the drain or in the waste basket. The real function of soap is for cleaning.

Got some time? Here are a couple examples of why I dislike lots of additives in soap. A few years ago I bought a bar of soap from a very well known soapmaker and her famous company. The soap was an abrasive hand soap containing, of all things, chopped oat straw. The bar was pretty but after one time washing my hands with it I decided enough was enough and threw it away. The straw was extremely sharp and washing with it paper-sliced my hands. Talk about a painful experience!! :shock: I tried another soap for experimentation (different maker) with dried rose petals. It smelled great and the lather was wonderful.....except the embedded rose petal bits stuck all over my body. I had to take another shower with another soap to get myself clean. My point is artistic, natural soap may look beautiful but you have to question its practicality. Please keep that in mind. :)
 

Bicycle808

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I put all sorts of crap in my soap, but all of it tends to be small bits (chopped rolled oats are the largest; most stuff is finely ground) of very dry stuff (oats, unused coffee grinds, ground spices, um that's prolly about it so far.) If you start adding wet, juicy stuff to the soap, it'll likely make some soft spots in your soap that will quickly discolor, usually orange. If you try to juice up some of the fruits/berries you listed, you could use it for your lye solution, but the colors and odors will likely be heavily modified by the lye.

Also, in response to what Glenn said above, you do have to be careful about what you add, especially if you're selling. My coffee soap with the grinds is one of my most popular soaps, mostly adored by itchy ppl and mechanics b/c the grinds help them out. Other folks HATE the fact that there'll be some random coffee grinds left over in the tub, sink, and by the drain. So, different strokes for different folks, but I for one cannot think of a practical use for whole flowers or petals in soap.
 

nebetmiw

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You will want to wait on putting anything in your soap till you have worked out a basic formula that works. Any type of live plant material will turn brown in soap unless it it used for dying the soap a color. Fruits have sugars in them and can do strange things to soap. Experimenting will tell you how they act with your basic formula. Black walnut is tannic so will turn soap a dark brown and is harsh on the skin not something you want in soap. Pine is gummy and sappy and people do make pine tar soap which is something different than regular pine from a tree. It would be hard to make with real tree pine do to the sappiness of it. Wildflower some are used for dyes so do your reading on each and how to make it up.

But first as I said you need to make basic soap with 3 to 4 oils for a few months and many batches to get used to making it and work out kinks and problems you will run into Before adding things to it.
 
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Oh I was NOT planning on putting anything whole in soap. Like as for raspberries I thought the seeds could be used as a natural exfoliant -- I've heard of fig in soap and thought that might be useful. I think I will try to grow some things as well. I just figured why buy the seeds (raspberry/grape) when I have a source on hand to get, pit, and ground them myself. As for coloring: I've done some research and ordered some alkanet root, beet juice, etc. for more skin safe colorants (or at least for MY SKIN) and did my FIRST soap last night in little mini heart molds (only a tiny mini batch to get used to the oils/etc.) I do know NOW that when using EO -- less is sometimes more as I can still smell lavender on me ;) Thanks for all the great help!

Happy Soaping!
 

kazmi

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Congrats on the first batch! You got some great advise here so keep practicing, researching, and experiement slowly. Having little molds to make small batches is a great way to learn so you don't waste a lot of supplies in the process.
 

soapguy

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You may want to use the wild flowers as an ornamental feature for your soaps. You could imbed them in the soap. Some of my soap users never actually use the soaps. Instead, they keep them in the bathrooms for the fragrance and looks. At first I was disappointed, but I soon realized there was a another market for the same product. I have never used flowers in my CP soaps, but I imagine that in Glycerin soaps it would look very attractive.
 
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