Monday, April 21, 2008

Soap Stones

I'm always at a loss as to what to do with soap scraps. I don't have as many as I used to (back when I had to trim the backs off HP soaps). Since I'm not under pressure to come up with a wonderful solution, I've been turning scraps into stones.

I like the rustic look of soap stones, and so do my customers. I tried for ages to sell soap balls, but they wouldn't move. The stones sell well, though. The stones above were made awhile back using natural vanilla soap scraps. The veins and specks are vanilla paste which was added to the soap after the cook.


Sarah said...

These look really cool. How do you get them so shiny?

PG said...

I used to know a thrifty lady who stored all her scraps in a strange little plastic press, and when she had enough she would plop them out into a whole cake of soap - trouble was, it wa a mix of normal cheap household soaps, so the results were multi-coloured and, shall we say, interesting.
But these look lovely and rustic! :)

Anonymous said...

Those look very much like stones! They're really wonderful - rustic and earthy. They'd be right at home anywhere!

gracefruit said...

Thanks everyone!

Sarah, I smooth out the stones with wet hands which gives a nice shine. Of course, camera lens flare helps a lot!

I've heard of people recycling bits of soap by putting them in a sock, but the cake sounds very interesting!

Ray said...

Elizabeth have you given up HP these days????? as usual your imagination is an inspiration for all of us, and bet we all have thos left overs to play with!!

gracefruit said...

It's been a few months since I've done an HP batch. CP is so much easier for me these days. I've gone lazy in my old age. :)

Joanna Schmidt said...

re: salt bars. So.... do you make them yourself? Perhaps a recipe? Perhaps a tutorial??? I would love an actual recipe for one that is salt laden but doesn't fall apart. :)

Thanks for your comment!

gracefruit said...

The best salt bar recipe I know of is:

15% shea
5% Castor
80% Coconut

The weight of the salt should be equal to the total weight of your oils. I've used bars made this way and they are lovely.

I've tried making salt bars once and it was a disaster. Don't try to HP them! I understand CP is easier, but you must cut the bars while they are still warm, or better yet, use individual molds. If you try to cut salt soap once it's cool, it will shatter. Or break your knife!

Casey said...

They look like they have been through a rock tumbler, they are so shiny and perfect!

Croap Queen said...

My "stones" don't look that nice!

Re the salt bars, everybody seems interested in them lately. What are the benefits (or am I missing something as usual!).

gracefruit said...

Thanks, Casey! I still ogle your website regularly.

Jo, salt bars were created by a Danish soapmaker. Her forum name is Iben and she's always on the cutting edge of soapmaking techniques.

You know how coconut oil soaps will lather in salt water? Salt bars take that to the next level. By adding salt to the bar, the coconut oil's lather is greatly inhibited, rendering it dense and very creamy. This makes the soap incredibly mild.

When I've used salt bars, I've actually had a little trouble getting them to lather. The water needs to be fairly hot, and the bars need a bit of work to get them going. It's worth the effort, though. My skin has never been better. My husband even commented that my face looked smoother.

Salt bars are brilliant. One day I'll get up the courage to try to make them again.

Michelle said...

Those soap stones are beautiful! Are they hard to make at all?

I would love trying to make a salt bar but I have this little phobia of salt on my skin as I used a salt scrub once on an open wound by accident!

gracefruit said...

Michelle, they're a snap. All you need are the scraps and a bowl of warm water. They're pretty easy to shape.

I found a paper cut I didn't know I had while using a salt bar. Still, I wouldn't use anything else to wash my face. They really are that nice.

Croap Queen said...

Thanks for that. I'll have to give the salt bars a try then - with a face like mine, it needs all the help it can get! :-))