Dominoes soap


IMG_0536IMG_0556A variation of the same theme of the polka dots soaps, here’s the dominoes soaps.  Soaps are basic formulation with palm oil / babassu oil / olive oil / castor oil – 35/30/30/5, SF 5%, lye concentration of 30% and titanium dioxide (1% o/o) and bamboo charcoal (1.5% o/o) to give, respectively, the white and black.  Has been used for aroma essential oil of petitgrain / patchouli – 2/1, 3.5% o/o.  It is the complete set of domino game with 28 soaps approx. 100g (8 x 5 cm).

IMG_0451First are drawn every 28 domino game stones, sized for two molds, a 300 x 270 mm and one 300 x 180 mm, left a surplus in both molds. This generates a template for positioning on the modeling clay positioned at the bottom of the mold and marking.


The 8 mm straws are placed over the modeling clay according to the marking made with the template.


The total was 195 milkshake straws, 132 in the largest mold and the smallest 63.

IMG_0462The soap is prepared with light trace and poured in molds. Had a problem caused by the acceleration of the trace due to the essential oil of lemon and the sudden increase in viscosity at the time of placing in the mold, the mold straws thrown down lower. I had to redo the two soap mold and prepare the small mold again.

IMG_0466IMG_0467After 12 hours, the straws were removed.

IMG_0472IMG_0473The black soap bamboo charcoal is prepared and 195 cavities are filled with this soap.

IMG_0479IMG_0480After 12 hours, the soap is removed from the molds and cut following the drawing of the template.




Luso Soap – a tribute to Portugal

This is my last semester soap. I will be absent for a long time, a long journey! I leave here my thanks to this incredible people of Portugal. Thank you for being part of the Saboaria group.

This grid soap is made from mode shown in the figure below.

Was used quite simple basic formulation. The important thing is to always work with very light trace to allow a good leveling between layers and is essential in accurate alignment of colors.



Shampoo bar for oily hair and body

In this formulation all oils were kept as the shampoo bar for hair and body that is most suitable for normal hair and thin. Was added 15% coconut oil or palm kernel or babassu, which is quite suitable for oily hair because the cleaning action of these oils. For the low amount, the cleaning action is very smooth emollient keeping this kind of shampoo.

For a light pink color was added calamine, a mineral zinc oxide with a small amount of iron oxide which has a pale pink  and therapeutic effect on skin conditioning. The color usually is accentuated somewhat as dry soap.

click here to download formula


Sulfur soap – a trial

For many years the sulfur containing soap is recognized as effective in treating a variety of skin conditions, particularly in the reduction of acne. Here in Brazil the best known brand is the Granado, Confiânça in Portugal and Dr. Kauffman in the USA.

Usually offered with two doses of sulfur, typically 10% and 4% and with addition of salicylic acid. Has testimonials from people with very oily skin that usually take daily bath with 10% sulfur. The recommendation for the treatment of severe acne is to develop foam and pass that foam in the affected area and leave for a few minutes.

I decided to try to make this type of product in soap manufacture craft. In research that I did not find nothing anywhere that had a reference of how to make sulfur soap in the handmade scope. I imagine that the commercial products is a basic mass of soap is added sulfur and normal extrusion.

One caveat, as the post title says, this is a trial and did so many points are still in the realm of experience and are not fully understood. If you want to duplicate, is at your own risk.

Cold Process

I opted for the cold start process using the two doses of sulfur, 4 and 10%.The first question, how to add sulfur. Two modes, or mix in oils or add the trace. The sulfur is absolutely insoluble in water and an aggravation, or even can be dispersed in water simply do not mix and do not wetted by water, it is always supernatant. It is also not soluble in oils, it is more tolerant of wettability, but not dispersed well in oils.I chose to add the trace because it is already difficult to disperse in oils, imagine mixing the mass swelling in the trace.

After 24 hours, the time of demolding, the soap with 4% sulfur was completely soft it was not possible to handle and had to wait 48 hours, but even so the soap was still soft and so remained until the end of 20 days. At first I could not understand what happened in this soap that was too soft and greasy, a sign that not all oils saponification.The soap was 10% normal with a reasonable hardness and it was then possible to cut.


This soap with 10% sulfur as drying  began to develop marks on the surface of the soap. These patches is sulfur powder that had migrated to the surface of the soap.

These stains can be removed with scraping and they have no tendency to return.

This soap with 10% sulfur, made by cold process has good characteristic has hardness makes a good foam and cleansing property is extremely high, very suitable for oily skin, typical of a sulfur soap.

The soap containing 4% sulfur remains soft after 20 days and formed an interesting is that the outer layer and the inner yellowish acquired a very dark brown color. This layer of yellowish oil that is probably not saponificated. This may be due to lack of lye that may have been consumed in some interaction with sulfur, as strange as it may seem. This soap did not work and will be discarded

click here to download formula

Hot Process

I changed the formulation to save the expensive oils and did a simple formula by removing the avocado oil and shea butter and increasing olive and castor oils. The process used was a conventional hot process using the slow-cooker (crock pot). The phase translucent gel was obtained within 2 hours of cooking. Divide the dough, a part in a water bath and the other remained in the slow-cooker. This water bath was added 10% sulfur and other 4%.

In both cases it was very difficult to incorporate the sulfur into the bulk of the hot process. Form is difficult to disperse clumps, even adding more hot water to the dough.

This 4% sulfur was added into the mixture remained in the pan at the bottom of the pan where the temperature is higher, the sulfur melted and formed dark brown lumps, typical of molten sulfur. Sulfur has a melting point around 112 ° C and forms a high viscosity liquid and dark brown. The white dots are mass with soap has not been mixed with the sulfur.

The two sulfur soap by hot process has good properties in general despite not looking very uniform due to the mass of white dots not mixed with sulfur and dark spots due to the fusion of sulfur.

click here to download formula


Comparing the color of the soap made with both methods it is possible to infer that there is an interaction between the soda and sulfur in cold process. The dark color is the result of this interaction, which does not occur in hot saponification process as already occurred when adding the sulfur and the color remained the natural color of the soap somewhat lighter due to the inherent color of sulfur. Soap 4% by hot process color is darker compared to 10% for the same procedure there was little fusion sulfur dyed a little soap.

This interaction of sulfur with lye is only possible if there is a reductor agent which enhances the reaction of soda with liquid sulfur. There may be a penalty in the blend of oils that enables this reaction. It is only a hypothesis that lacks a proof.

The greatest difficulty is the incorporation of sulfur into the soap mass so that it is smooth. As the solubility of the sulfur and the dispersion is zero in both water and oils and very difficult to obtain good mixing. The aggravating factor is that sulfur has a strong tendency to form lumps difficult to disperse. A method for screening to minimize the sulfur is in a fine mesh before entering added slowly and stirring the process allows. Another difficulty is the melting of the sulfur that generates a viscous dark brown to eventually contaminate the soap when done by hot process temperature to rise too much. The soap containing 4% sulfur by cold process needs to be repeated to determine the cause softening and excess oils without saponification. I may have made an error that eludes me to perception, it is very strange happened that made me drop the soap. Also pending is the effectiveness of this handmade soap sulfur with respect to the treatment of acne because it was not possible until now to do the tests.




Neem shampoo bars

Neem oil is known for its antibacterial and antifungal properties, but also has beneficial action on some skin conditions such as acne, dandruff, ringworm, psoriasis and eczema.

This is a standard formulation of a shampoo for hair and also to the body, predominantly olive oil and avocado oil rich in oleic for soft conditioning the skin, palm kernel in small amounts to an medium cleansing action, palm for hardness , castor oil for creaminess and neem oil with action against bacteria and fungi.

Neem oil has a characteristic pungent odor that was minimized by mixing essential oils of lavandin, litsea cubeba, tea tree, rosemary and lemon.

clck here to download formula


Castile Soap 100% Olive by cold process – myth or reality?

Today packing up my mess I found a box full of soap, soaps made in 2009 and 2010, all in perfect condition, packed in cellophane.

Among the various soaps there was a Castile Soap 100% Olive, a pure, with nothing and another with green clay, both odorless. It was a great find because it is difficult to have a soap with such longevity!

Immediately remembered the discussion about the 100% olive oil soap that somehow got me positioned as a critic of such mono-oil soap by cold process handmade.

Immediately remembered the discussion about the 100% olive oil soap that somehow got me positioned as a critic of such mono-oil soap by cold process handmade.

This Castile soap as it is called, has nothing of the old Castile soap led to the Mediterranean lands of Spain by the Moors in the 11th century, who knew the techniques of Aleppo soap.

In the absence of fruit bay oil, soap made only with the olive in the hot boiling process and with the use of soda ash (barilla) as alkali for saponification and salt solution to precipitate the soap, which removes glycerol.

Two centuries later this soap was taken to Marseille in the 13th century and began production of the famous and traditional Marseille Soap, which unfortunately the company producing today are in dire straits.

Obviously today we can not witness the performance of the original Castile soap but can be a base soap from Marseille who inherited much of Castilla. This type of soap has a peculiar characteristic and easily noticed to do a little foam and small foam.

Olive Soap 100% handcrafted from cold process inherited this trait or “defect” of Marseille Soap and probably the original Castile. Also with one aggravating the soap has hardness in use, its dissolution is too large in contact with water, becomes sticky and forms a residual mass dissolved and the soap scum on the surface.

However inherited the fabulous feature of conditioning, providing hydration and softness to the skin, without equal.

As contact is in verse and prose that 100% olive soap made by cold process goes along the extensive drying time, some recommend 6-9 months, acquiring the best properties as a whole and I was now in hands of Castile Soap 100% olive with 3-year-old just said I needed to confirm this.

The online calculators give an estimate of the performance of soap in five properties, which are: hardness, cleanliness, conditioning, lather and creaminess / persistence.

The calculators are the most used and Soapcalc Mendrulandia. The Soapcalc, more critical, pointing to the Castile soap the following deficiencies: zero cleaning , zero bubbly and 17 for hardness and 17 for creaminess.

The Mendrulandia the less critical, points out the shortcomings of foam and persistence at the lower limit and hardness and cleanliness halfway from ideal.


The Mendrulandia the less critical, points out the shortcomings of foam and persistence at the lower limit and hardness and cleanliness halfway from ideal.

This three years soap has a good hardness but not enough to be a stone-like hardness, pressing hard enough to sell, but gives no breaks. The hardness is somewhat lower than conventional soap with olive, coconut and palm with the same drying time.

The foam remains difficult development and small and very easy soap dissolves on contact with water leaving some cream on the surface of the soap.

Compared with a conventional soap with olive, coconut and palm notice the big difference in the type of foam, large, abundant and easy development.

How is the soap after use.

What we can conclude is that, despite the long drying time and storage, the soap Castlla 100% olive made by cold process there is an improvement in the properties hearing over time.

Despite these shortcomings Castile Soap 100% Oliva by cold process, this soap is still unbeatable for sensitive skin and is widely used for bathing babies and children, for their high power conditioner.


Analysis of palm free soap formula

It has been commented on in soap group of Portugal, relevant issues of the negative impacts of cultivation and extraction of palm oil, made from a non-sustainable, socially incorrect by the world’s largest producers, Indonesia and Malaysia.

I had already commented on this issue post – “Palm oil can be sustainable?”:

People more mobilized want to ban the use of palm oil in handmade soap and both seek alternative formulations that do not contain the palm. It is perfectly possible to make a formulation without palm, palm remembering that is rich in palmitic acid and stearic acid rather than the acids are saturated giving the required hardness to the soap. The rule then is to seek butters and oils that are high in palmitic and stearic.
There are no many options and usually expensive compared to the palm. They are, cocoa butter, shea butter and rice bran oil.

Ana Caseiro Duarte Costa  soaper from Saboaria group soap posted a link from the site of  Amanda Griffin soaper, where she explains very well the issue of palm and also presents five alternative formulation of palm free.

I was curious to know what would be the impact on costs of replacing palm for these more expensive raw materials.

I contacted Amanda Griffin and she kindly gave me permission to publish these formulas here on the site.

Amanda’s website is: Http:// # comment-3816

I did the analysis and the result shows a large impact on costs. Reaches almost double the cost and the best of the alternatives, the cost increase is 57%.

This same analysis done for the conditions of Portugal and there is also a strong impact in general.

Our luck is that Brazil is the 7th producer of palm oil and different other giants of Asia, our production is done in a sustainable and responsible through the serious work done by the largest company headquartered in the state of Pará

If someone wants the complete spreadsheet, please contact me.



Simple soap mold

Many already has its mold they use and are satisfied with it.
However people who are starting have some difficulty getting or make them.
I designed this simple mold whose dimensions are 300 x 90 x 100 mm that allows 12 bars of soap 130g in standard size of 90 x 60 x 25 mm. For this standard size 12 bars the soap mass required is 1560g. As has a height of 100mm, allows taller bars, limited to 85 mm.

If want to make a cutting guide for cutting the soap with a knife or blade or a stainless steel wire stretched, has a drawing of how the grooves in the mold.
If you want a smaller mold, just resize the horizontal parts, for example, for 6 bar measurements are by half.

The photo posted above is a old model, has only one difference in the side piece.

You can download pdf document on downloads page – click here


Soap mold lining

This reusable mold lining I used for a long time, is made of plastic sheets in A4 size they use for wrapping papers. Can be used for the acetate or polypropylene, these being the most resistant. Can be found at stationery stores or making photocopies and binding. It has a small mass problem sometimes stick a little jacket, but nothing that compromises the finish of the soap bar. To reuse simply wash and dry.

You can download the pdf document on downloads page – clik here 


Vegetable oils for soap – refined or unrefined … Myth!

The most common vegetable oils that are used to make soap and handmade soaps are the same that are used in your kitchen or in the kitchens of the food industries. They are used in cooking and frying. The soybean, canola, sunflower and olive oils are most commonly used in homes, coconut in the regional cuisine and palm and palm kernel oil and in confectionery, sweets and in industrial frying.

All these oils are edible high consumption, used in domestic kitchen, are found in supermarkets. For marketing reasons must meet rigid standards of product presentation. Are standardized to be completely non-toxic and edible and shown as transparent and clear liquids, free from particles, without odor and high shelf life.

To achieve this patterning, oils and fats of vegetable origin require a specific processing. The processing that gives the generic name of refining. Vegetable oils are extracted from a variety of seeds, fruits and nuts. The preparation of the raw material starts with the washing and cleaning, followed by peeling, grinding and conditioning.
The extraction is generally done by mechanical means, and for fruit, distillation and seeds and nuts, the pressing  with mechanical press. or the use of solvents such as hexane which is then distilled to separate the oil and is reused.

After extraction, to remove free fatty acids (FFA) that are responsible for the rapid deterioration of the oil and phospholipids (gum) which leaves the oil sticky,  you need the refining process itself. There are two types of refining, physical refining when is used distillation (p ex. Palm oil) and chemical refining (most oils) when is used an alkali, usually sodium hydroxide, to neutralize free fatty acid.

The traditional method of refining is where the chemical diluted alkali saponified free fatty acids and is eliminated as soapy water. Besides the FFA is also eliminated phospholipids, metals, oxidized products, etc. In the physical method is required a step of degumming with acid, phosphoric acid or citric (p ex. Palm) to remove phospholipids. Below is a very simplified diagram of the process of solvent extraction and chemical refining.

The refined oil, where applicable, undergoes a process of bleaching with absorbing material (clay or activated charcoal) and deodorization process with steam.
In the final process has been called RDB oil (refined, bleached and deodorized).

The whole refining process of oil does not change the triglyceride composition, i.e. the composition of fatty acids. Thus the properties of the oil remains the same and the soap made of refined oil is the same, if applicable, ex p. olive oil or unrefined. Refining removes contaminants from oils dirds as FFA and phospholipids and some unrefined vegetable oils is even impossible to make a soap case of canola and soybean and palm.

It’s one of the myths of handmade soap manufacture, no problems with the soap made from refined oil, there is no restriction on the quantity and type, does not affect the properties of soap. Another urban legend is, in which oil extraction solvent was used, this solvent will be present in the soap! Another, in chemical refining using chemicals (NaOH) the lye that will be in the oil and hence will ruin the soap! The absurdity is that after the lye is used to make soap!

Below a relationship with key oils and butters used in soap manufacture craft and the type of processing for their purification. The numbering refers to the process of the previous diagram.

As you can see, some oils have the option of virgin and extra virgin means that the oil is no refining suffers, especially is the olive, and other options are organic, which means it is not used chemical refining, for ex. organic palm. Obviously these special types are much more expensive and difficult to find.

I emphasize again, there is no reason to choose virgin oils, extra virgin and organic to make soap. There is no difference between soap made with these types of oils and common refined.



Homemade laundry soap powder

Discussion group Saboaria – Portugal

I did this formula for homemade laundry soap to post at Facebook group to discuss the soapmaking in Portugal.
This group is fabulous in its spirit of sharing knowledge in a transparent and unpretentious, all learn and exchange knowledge.
Those interested in accessing the group, is closed and need to request membership, the address is:

In Portugal ecological awareness and sustainability is rapidly developing. People worry about the economy and preservation of natural resources, recycling and using environmentally friendly products.They are always looking for products that can replace industrialized products derived from petrochemicals.

In the soapmaking group someone requested a recipe for laundry soap. I suggested a vegetable coconut soap that usually I do: coconut / palm – 75/25, but as the coconut oil is expensive in Portugal, made a modification to match costs and availability, without sacrificing too much in the performance of soap. The common extra virgin olive oil in Portugal is cheap, around $ 7.40 a gallon. The formula of the original coconut soap and modification are on the download page.
From this soap bar was derived the soap powder because many have the custom to grate the soap and dissolve in water and use the washing machine. The liquid soap thus prepared is very thin and needs to be shaken before use.

Because I not have the coconut soap bars, I make a successfully process using a lavender soap bar whose composition is the closest to the my formula of coconut soap bars. The composition of my basic soap is: olive / coconut / palm / castor: 30/30/35/5. If everything went right with this formula, sure will look better with the original or modified formula of coconut soap bars.


The coconut soap bars, as said above, can be the original whose composition is: coconut oil / palm oil – 75/25 or the modified (Portugal) version whose composition is: coconut oil / palm oil / olive oil – 60/10/30. Remember that the dynamic  of cleaning is soap solubility and power to make foams. Thus, the greater the amount of sodium palmitate, one of the more soluble soap salts and also the soap that makes more foam, the higher the cleaning power.
Soda washing softens the water and removes dirt and borax is a bleach and strip odors.

It takes a kitchen grater to grate the soap bar, scales, and a food processor.

Here the grated soap in the kitchen grater. Grating previously facilitates grinding in a food processor.

Sodium carbonate and borax is weight in kitchen scale.

In food processor, will gradually adding the grated soap together with small amounts of sodium carbonate and borax, and powering the processor to obtain a fine grinding. As it is a mixture of solid gradually make processor to preserve of the over-heating.

The colored facilitate observing the homogeneity of the mixture.  When the mixture is very fine and very homogeneous soap powder is ready.

The soap powder and dissolving in water. Obviously the dissolution of this soap can not be compared with synthetic industrial and petrochemical soap powder. This homemade soap takes longer to dissolve but the mechanical work of agitation in the washer is enough for a good dissolution and washing.

Measure the pH of homemade soap powder. Borax acts buffering the solution and maintaining the pH below 10.

clik here to download soap powder formulas


What to use to color the cold process soap?

Three features should be considered in the choice of materials to give color to soaps made by cold process. The coloring materials must first be inert to the skin, i.e. must not cause any adverse reactions in contact with the skin. Must be resistant to alkaline saponification reaction of the cold process and should be light resistant, must not fade and lose the color when the soap is exposed to light.

To meet the first requirement, the best option is to use materials approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) U.S. for use in cosmetics. Combining this with the others requirements, there are few alternatives and usually fall in the class of pigments, most inorganic and synthetic.

• Iron oxide – black, red, yellow, ocher
• Ultramarine – dark blue, light blue and violet
• Chrome oxide – light green and dark green
• Titanium dioxide – white
• Zinc oxide – white, light red (calamine)
• Ferric Ferrocyanide – Dark Blue
• Mica – pearlescent effect of various hues

These class of pigments are those approved by the FDA are resistant to cold process and will not fading with time.

These pigments are hard to be found in small quantities that are used in soapmaking. An alternative that I use is to buy these pigments in shops selling art materials  – the painters use to prepare their paints. They are sold in small packages, less than 100g, costly but yield much but you can buy sharing with other crafters. I use of trademarks Sennelier (French) and Mahler (fractionated in Brazil).

Besides these pigments can be used clays that have no tinting strenght as pigments but are easy to be found in the colors white, green, yellow and pink, these two latter mixed in its preparation, with iron oxide. For black color option you can use of bamboo charcoal that besides the strong tinting strength has its skin conditioning properties.

Another option is to do your own coloring, by maceration of certain plants with oils that are commonly used in cold process. An example is the macerating green tea or herbal mate to obtain a light green color. Some components of the formulation itself may give a slight color to your soap, as the honey will give you a cream or the use of goat milk that depending on the cold process temperature can give a cream or dark brown or ocher.

Important to emphasize that most dyes which are used in food and coloring candles are anilines (azo components) that are not resistant to alkali and also has not resistance to light and hence should not be used to impart color to the soap. In this case it is always good to test before.

A final observation concerns the question of natural versus synthetic pigments. If you are a nattural soapmaking and waives only use materials of natural origin, it is understandable that you will not use a synthetic pigment (man-made). Turns out the FDA approval only synthetic pigments because the natural may be contaminated with heavy metals (toxic) that can not be separated in their extraction and actually do some harm to health, such as lead and cadmium. The choice is yours!

On the download page I put files with a list of materials approved by the FDA for use in cosmetics and also the catalog of artistic Sennelier pigments. In both are marked pigments that can be used in cold process.

Lasting of cold process soap

An important property of a soap made by cold process is its durability in use. A good handmade soap formulated with a suitable balance of oils can be used for a long time, much more than an industrialized soap. Soaps spending fast, softens in contact with water, that are slimy, has not good acceptance. The main component which provides hardness and durability is palm oil (palmitic acid) and a lesser degree, coconut oil (lauric acid), which are so-called hard oils.

This lavender soap lasted 20 days with an average of three daily baths, used by two people. Remained full until the end, placed in a soap dish with good water drainage. In its formulation has the following composition: olive / castor oil / babassu / palm – 30/5/30/35 and superfatting of 5%.