Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Honey Soap for My Honey

I used to think that my husband, Ken, wasn't too particular about his soap. I know that he likes the soap I make - he cast away his favorite shower gel in favor of my soap. He even bought a special plastic box so he can carry a bar around in his gym bag.

But usually when it comes time for him to select a new bar of soap, he doesn't seem too concerned about what the bar looks or smells like. He'll say, "I need some more soap for my gym bag." And I'll ask, "Which kind do you want?" And he'll answer, "I don't care, as long as it smells manly."

And I'll go into the soap room, come back with a few paper bags of manly-smelling soap, and prepare to tell him all about his choice of scents and the aesthetic qualities of each bar. After I present the first bar, he'll usually say, "Okay, I'll take that one." And I'll say, "Don't you want to see the rest?" To which he replies, "No, I like this one."

Maybe he loves all of my soaps so much that he knows that no matter which bar he ends up with, it will be extraordinary. Last time, he got the last bar of my honey soap.

And so a couple of weeks ago, I was surprised when our new-soap-for-the-gym-bag conversation went like this:

"I need some more soap for my gym bag."

"Which kind do you want?"

"I'll take another bar of the honey soap."

"That was the last bar. I don't have any more."

He turned to me with this worried look on his face and said, "What? You're going to make more, aren't you?"

My heart melted, I tells ya.

Slab mold lined with bubble wrap
So I told him, yes, I would make more honey soap. I was planning to make more anyway because I love it, too. And I decided I would make it sooner rather than later so my sweet hubby can have some for his gym bag.

The first thing I did for my honey soap was cut some bubble wrap to fit the bottom of my slab mold. Then I placed it textured-side up in my mold. (By the way, I love that my acrylic slab mold from Soap Making Resource doesn't have to be lined. Yippee!)

Next, I got my oils ready. For this batch, I used olive oil, coconut oil, sustainable palm oil, and shea butter. Once my oils were cool, I mixed in my fragrance oil, Honey (L'Occitane Type) by Elements Bath and Body. This fragrance is super-yummy and strong - I used it at .5oz./per pound of oils and that was plenty for me. There are a few fragrance oils that I want to drink, and this is certainly one of them.

Honey dissolved in warm water
You know how honey can be pretty sticky and viscous, and how it can leave streaks in your soap? Well, here's a little trick to working with honey: Dissolve it in a bit of warm water before adding it to your soap. I used 2 teaspoons of honey in this batch (which was made with 2 pounds of oils). After I measured out my distilled water, I pulled 1 tablespoon from my total water, placed it in a heat-safe bowl, and then warmed it briefly (very briefly, like for 8 seconds) in the microwave. Then I added my honey to the warm water and whisked it. I added my honey water to my cooled oils, gave it a buzz with the stick blender, and then added my lye solution.

Pouring soap (l); soap in the mold with dividers (r)
Because the sugars in honey can cause the soap to overheat, I kept my temperatures right around 100 degrees. Once I reached trace, I poured my soap into my bubble-wrap lined mold and put the dividers in.

I lightly insulated with a single towel layer and checked my soap often to make sure it wasn't overheating.

A few days later, I unmolded the soap. The bubble wrap pulled right away, leaving me with a cool honeycomb effect on the tops.

Now my honey just needs to wait a few weeks for the soap to cure and then he can have more honey soap for his gym bag! (I'm going to steal a few bars for myself, too. Shhh, don't tell him.)

So, tell me, my soapy friends, do you love honey in your soap, or do you looooooooooooove honey in your soap?


                                                                                

9 comments:

  1. I looooooooooooove honey in my soap! And now you know that Honey prefers honey, too. I have to admit, though, I still have a weakness for spice soaps(like that creamy pumpkin bar you make) and orange patchouli -- they're right up there with honey soaps!

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    1. Thanks! I love the Pumpkin and Orange Patchouli bars, too. (The batch of Orange Patchouli soap I made last month is cured now!) I recently bought more clove and eucalyptus essential oils - I'll someday soon have to make another batch of the Eucalyptus Clove soap that you like so much!

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  2. Because we have bees and cows and chickens, one of my fav soaps to make is my Farm Bar, It has raw honey, raw organic milk and raw organic egg. Super moisturing and I don't add any scents, as I market it as clean and natural. And yes my husband loves it too.!

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    1. Donna, your Farm Bar sounds fantastic! I'm going to try to make an Oatmeal, Milk, and Honey soap soon with goat's milk, honey, and ground oats. I've never tried egg in soap before, but I have heard that it is wonderful!

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  3. Awww, what a nice story!! Yes, I loooove using honey in my soap! Your soap looks yummy by the way, I want to take a bite of it! :) I've been looking for a good honey fragrance, maybe I will order that one sometime.

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    1. Thanks, SDsoaper! I really like this honey FO - it's sweet and strong. If you give it a go, I hope you like it as much as I do! I agree, the soap does look (and smell) like something you might want to eat. ;)

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  4. Funny... my honey soap is my hubby's fav too and we use the same FO!! lol
    I made a batch of it a couple months ago and my daughter and my hubby won't let me give any away :)

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  5. Oh.. I meant to ask if your soap discolored to a beige? I will have to add some yellow to the soap next time to get a more golden color. I don't know where you got your FO but mine said it would discolor to beige but I think I was thinking more of a tan beige but its more of a wall paint beige. Smells really good though.. lol

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    1. Hi, Kim! I'll have to be careful not to give too much of the honey soap away, too - my hubby and I both love it! Or I may just have to make it more often to make sure we don't run out. I adore the Honey L'Occitane Type FO. (I get mine from Elements Bath and Body - there is a hyperlink to the FO in my post.) My soap did turn a beige/tan color. Some of that may be due to the FO, some may be due to the honey. The soap still looks about the same now as it does in the photos above. Fortunately, the color works for the soap! :)

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