Monday, August 10, 2009

Olive Oil Soap Making

I come to soap making with these skills...self-taught baker, crocheter, recent college grad, some knowledge and practice of herbs, patience, and curiosity. And, after browsing the web 24/7 since March 2008, I consider it lucky I didn't use the web to learn soap making. There are more don'ts than dos, and I have learned in my life that just because it is written doesn't make it right.

That being said, I make my unscented olive oil soap with 100 and 2 1/2 percent extra virgin olive oil. According to much of Internet reading, that is a no-n0.

The reason for this, mostly, is because it takes a bit to trace. When a soaper gets used to a stick blender, they are used to a soap that traces rather quickly, in a matter of 2-3 minutes. I have created two recipes in which I must stir the soap from beginning to end, it traces so quick. This soap I make with extra virgin olive oil takes more than 2-3 minutes, but not more than 10, which is a long time to stick blend to trace, but I can get it to medium trace in that time. This
creates an awesome, the most awesome, soap anywhere.

I have learned that some soapers use grade A olive oil, pomace olive oil, or a mix of the two with some extra olive oil thrown in. Pomace oil traces rather quickly for an olive oil. I've learned since that some soapers call their soaps olive oil soaps and there is not even a majority of olive oil in the soap! Another reason these soaps are a no-no, they are considered non-lathering. Well, grate a few pinches and put it in your dishwater - bubbles galore.Then, I've learn that my attitude toward olive oil soaps makes me a soaper snob. So be it!

I will tell you I've tried them all, even the olive oil soaps with other oils used to make the soap. I have read that some think that soap is soap no matter what is used to get there. That may be true - I've not discovered a chemical breakdown in differently made soaps...still looking, though. If you have tried more than one recipe of soap in the bath/shower, I think you will also think that different oils makes different types soap; whether it be more lathering, longer-lasting, less drying, more creamy, or any other adjective used well with soap.

I think olive oil soaps using any olive oil is a good soap, most especially if it is all olive oil. This is my experience. I also think the extra virgin olive oil soap is a superior soap for acne, eczema, rashes, babies, sensitive skin, and other conditions. This seems to be the experience of my customers.

So, run (don't walk - because your personal soaper may change her mind about making this soap with the expense and little known information about this type of soap) to your personal soaper and buy a bar from her or him right now. You will be so glad you did! :D

Sweet Creek Herbal Soaps