Simply Great Soap

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Friday, January 12, 2007

simply soap

FIG SOFT SOAP is a combination of oils, principally olive oil of the commonest kind, with potash.

NAPLES SOFT SOAP is a fish oil (mixed with Lucca oil) and potash, colored brown for the London shavers, retaining, when pure, its unsophisticated "fishy" odor.

The above soaps constitute the real body or base of all the fancy scented soaps as made by the perfumers, which are mixed and remelted according to the following formula:

The remelting process is exceedingly simple. The bar soap is first cut up into thin slabs, by pressing them against a wire fixed upon the working bench. This cutting wire (piano wire is the kind) is made taut upon the bench, by being attached to two screws.

These screws regulate the height of the wire from the bench, and hence the thickness of the slabs from the bars. The soap is cut up into thin slabs, because it would be next to impossible to melt a bar whole, on account of soap being one of the worst conductors of heat.

The melting pan is an iron vessel, of various sizes, capable of holding from 28 lbs. to 3 cwt., heated by a steam jacket, or by a water-bath. The soap is put into the pan by degrees, or what is in the vernacular called "'rounds," that is, the thin slabs are placed perpendicularly all round the side of the pan; a few ounces of water are at the same time introduced, the steam of which assists the melting.

The pan being covered up, in about half an hour the soap will have "run down." Another round is then introduced, and so continued every half hour until the whole "melting" is finished. The more water a soap contains, the easier is it melted; hence a round of marine soap, or of new yellow soap, will run down in half the time that it requires for old soap.

When different soaps are being remelted to form one kind when finished, the various sorts are to be inserted into the pan in alternate rounds, but each round must consist only of one kind, to insure uniformity of condition.

As the soap melts, in order to mix it, and to break up lumps, etc., it is from time to time "crutched." The " crutch" is an instrument or tool for stirring up the soap; its name is indicative of its form, a long handle with a short cross-an inverted T, curved to fit the curve of the pan.

When the soaps are all melted it is then colored, if so required, and then the perfume is added the whole being thoroughly incorporated with the crutch.

The soap is then turned into the "frame." The frame is a box made in sections, in order that it can be taken to pieces, so that the soap can be cut up when cold; the sections or "lifts" are frequently made of the width of the intended bar of soap.

Two or three days after the soap has been in the frame, it is cool enough to cut into slabs of the size of the lifts or sections of the frame; these slabs are set -up edgeways to cool for a day or two more; it is then barred by means of a wire.

The lifts of the frame regulate the widths of the bars; the gauge regulates their breadth. The density of the soap being pretty well known, the gauges are made so that the soap-cutter can cut up the bars either into fours, sixes, or eights; that is, either into squares of four, six, or eight to the pound weight.

Latterly, various mechanical arrangements have been introduced for soap cutting, which in very large establishments, such as those at Marseilles in France, are great economisers of labor; but in England the "wire" is still used.

For making tablet shapes the soap is first cut into 16 squares, and is then put into a mould, and finally under a press-a modification of an ordinary die or coin press.

Balls are cut by hand, with the aid of a little tool called a "scoop," made of brass or ivory, being, in fact, a ring-shaped knife.

Balls are also made in the press with a mould of appropriate form. The press and appropriate moulds also obtain the grotesque form and fruit shape.

The fruit shaped soaps, after leaving the mould, are dipped into melted wax, and are then colored according to artificial fruit-makers' rules.

The "variegated" colored soaps are produced by adding the various colors, such as smalt and vermilion, previously mixed with water, to the soap in a melted state; these colors are but slightly crutched in, hence the streaky appearance or party color of the soap; this kind is also termed " marbled" soap.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

simply soap


PALM SOAP is a soda soap of palm oil, retaining the peculiar odor and color of the oil unchanged.
The odoriferous principle of palm oil resembling that from orris root, can be dissolved out of it by tincturation with alcohol; like ottos generally, it remains intact in the presence of an alkali, hence, soap made of palm oil retains the odor of the oil.

The public requires a soap that will not shrink and change shape after they purchase it. It must make a profuse lather during the act of washing. It must not leave the skin rough after using it. It must be either quite inodorous or have a pleasant aroma.

None of the above soaps possess all these qualities in union and, therefore, to produce such an article is the object of the perfumer in his remelting process.

Prior to the removal of the excise duty upon soap, in 1853, it was a commercial impossibility for a perfumer to manufacture soap, because the law did not allow less than one ton of soap to be made at a time.

This law, which, with certain modifications had been in force since the reign of Charles I, confined the actual manufacture of that article to the hands of a few capitalists.

Such law, however, was but of little importance to the perfumer, as a soap-boiling plant and apparatus is not very compatible with a laboratory of flowers; yet, in some exceptional instances, these excise regulations interfered with him; such, for instance, as that in making soft soap of lard and potash, known, when perfumed, as Creme d'Amande; or unscented, as a Saponaceous Cream, which has, in consequence of that law, been entirely thrown into the hands of our continental neighbors.

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

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CURD SOAP is a nearly neutral soap, of pure soda and fine tallow.

OIL SOAP, as made in England, is an uncolored combination of olive oil and soda, hard, close grain, and contains but little water in combination.

CASTILE SOAP, as imported from Spain, is a similar combination, but is colored by protosulphate of iron. The solution of the salt being added to the soap after it is manufactured, from the presence of alkali, decomposition of the salt takes place, and protoxide of iron is diffused thlrough the soap of its well known black color, giving the familiar marbled appearance to it.

When the soap is cut up into bars, and exposed to the air, the protoxide passes by absorption of oxygen into peroxide; hence a section of a bar of Castile soap shows the outer edge red-marbled, while the interior is black-marbled.

Some Castile soap is not artificially colored but a similar appearance is produced by the use of a barilla or soda containing sulphuret of the alkaline base, and at other times from the presence of an iron salt.

MARINE SOAP is a cocoanut-oil soap, of soda, containing a great excess of alkali, and much water combination.

YELLOW SOAP is a soda soap, of tallow, resin, of lard, etc

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simply soap

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

simply soap

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Sunday, September 17, 2006

simply soap

I have started a new series, which I hope you will find interesting.


The word soap, or sope, from the Greek sapo, first occurs in the works of Pliny and Galen. Pliny informs us that the Gauls, that it was composed of tallow and ashes, and that the German soap was reckoned the best, first discovered soap.

According to Sismondi, the French historian, a soapmaker was included in the retinue of Charlemagne. At Pompeii (overwhelmed by an eruption of Vesuvius A. D. 79), a soap-boiler's shop with soap in it was discovered during some excavations made there not many years ago. (Starke's Letters from Italy.)

From these statements it is evident that the manufacture of soap is of very ancient origin; indeed, Jeremiah figuratively mentions it - "For though thou wash thee with natron, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me." (Jer. 2 22.)

Mr. Wilson says that the earliest record of the soap trade in England is to be found in a pamphlet in the British Museum, printed in 1641, entitled "A short Account of the Soap Business."

It speaks more particularly about the duty, which was then levied for the first time, and concerning certain patents which were granted to persons, chiefly Popish recusants, for some pretended new invention of white soap, "which in truth was not so."

Sufficient is said here to prove that at that time soap-making was no inconsiderable art. It would be out of place here to enter into the details of soap-making, because perfumers do not manufacture that substance, but are merely -" remelters," to use a trade term.

The dyer purchases his dye-stuffs from the drysalters already fabricated, and these are merely modified under his hands to the various purposes he requires; so with the perfumer, he purchases the various soaps in their raw state from the soap-makers, these he mixes by remelting, scents and colors according to the article to be produced.
The primary soaps are divided into hard and soft soaps: the hard soaps contain soda as the base; those, which are soft, are prepared with potash. These are again divisible into varieties, according to the fatty matter employed in their manufacture, also according to the proportion of alkali.

The most important of these to the perfumer is what is termed curd soap, as it forms the basis of all the highly scented soaps.

This will be continued on the next posting.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

simply soap

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Your Own Soap Butcher Shop

Maybe you have decided to turn your soap-making hobby into a full time business, and have decided to rent a storefront.

If this is the case, then you may find that selling soap by the slice is a wonderful way to sell your soaps while providing wonderful entertainment for your customers.

In old-fashioned butcher shops, meat was sold by the pound as the butcher cut it directly from the carcass in the freezer. The butcher would cut the meat, weigh it then package it quickly in wax-paper for the customer.

You can also use this method to sell your soaps! This not only saves time and money in packaging, but is also an attractive method that customers love.

To do this, first figure the cost per ounce that you will need to make a profit from your soaps. This cost will probably need to be calculated per loaf of soap, as we all know some recipes cost more to make and will cost the consumer more.

Once you have your cost per once calculated, you will know what to charge per “cut” soap.

There are many different ways to display your soap loaves in your store. You can set up an old fashioned table decorated with old crocheted doilies. Then arrange your loaves on several meat cutting boards, with a sharp knife provided for each individual loaf.

You can use overturned old wooden barrels as individual tables per loaf, or you can create a setup using old kitchen counters lined along your walls. You may even want to display some other antique items there as well.

Once you have your loaves displayed in an attractive manner, you are ready for business. You can cut the soap slices yourself or let your customers cut their own slices to the thickness that they like (check to be sure this is covered by your insurance policy first).

Once the slices are cut, weigh them, package them in plain wax paper…then put your business label on the wrapper.

By using this method, you cut and wrap as your soap is sold and save a lot of time and money because you do not have to worry about purchasing decorative boxes and bags. Nor do you have to worry about perfect cuts. Your customers will not care about packaging nor soap that may be cut a bit off, they are instead
excited that they can come in, tell you how much they want and pay by the ounce instead of the bar.

Some customers want larger bars, whereas some would like a lot of smaller bars in different fragrances and designs possibly as gifts.

The fact that they can pick and choose the sizes they like is much more appreciated than a decorative box that costs them an extra 50 cents.

You can even go a few steps further by offering cake shaped loaves scented with fruits (use plastic Tupperware cake lid to make round cake soaps), clear wrapped candy soaps scented with peppermint or root beer (use small PVC pipes and melt and pour to make clear candies, then wrap them in clear cellophane) and you can even offer bath soaks by the scoop.

To offer the bath soaks by the scoop, just mix up your favorite bath soak recipe, or bath tea recipes, and place a large amount in a covered attractive container, then scoop into paper bags as the customer orders.

Using these methods, you can easily create a storefront that is not only exciting for your customers to shop from..but that also will save you time and money. Just be sure that if you use knives, they are kept out of reach of little hands when children come into your store. You may be more comfortable providing the knife when the customer is ready to order, instead of just keeping them by the loaves.


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

simply soap

Click Here to learn how you can quickly and easily make soap without wasting hours of time, or money.

There are many ways to market your soaps and homemade bath
products. I have found that giving free samples is one of the
best methods for getting new customers for my soaps.

You can cut 16 samples from one basic 4 oz. bar of soap by
cutting the bar into 8 pieces, then cutting those pieces in half.
Next, place a piece of the soap in a small craft Ziploc bag (you
can get these at Wal-Mart in the Crafts section) and label it
with your business information using regular Avery mailing

To distribute your samples, place them in attractive baskets and
visit a few non-competing stores to see if they will let you
leave your baskets on their counters.

You can also staple these to your business cards, and hand them
out as you normally would a business card.

Yet another method I have found that works better than the above
two would be to make what are called “fish bowls” and leave these
at area businesses. To make a fish bowl, first print out some
cards for customer’s information such as name, address and phone
number. Next, purchase a few containers that are clear, and
that has a secure lid on them, that are about the size of a
regular fish bowl. Some people actually use fish bowls, but I
have found this causes problems because the fish bowls break
easily, and cannot be closed to prevent theft of your customer’s

Now take the lid of your container, and cut a slot that is big
enough for your slips of paper that you printed off earlier to
slip into when they are folded in half. Secure your lid onto
your container with tape and then cover the tape with attractive

Next, make a sign stating that anyone that enters your drawing
for a free “whatever” will receive a free soap sample in the
mail. The “whatever” can be a gift certificate from the store
that lets you place your fish bowls on their counters (this helps
promote the store, thus making the store owner more agreeable to
letting you use their counter space), or it can be a few bars of
soap from your inventory or both.

Next, locate stores that do not mind sharing some of their
counter space with you. This is where you'll place your fish

Although this method costs a bit more because you are offering a
prize, and because you will need to mail your samples, it also
produces better results than by just handing out samples.

You will get potential customers addresses and phone numbers,
when you mail your sample you can also include information about
your products, and you can also send them a follow up mailing
asking for their input on how well they liked your sample. This
information can be very valuable towards the growth of your

You can also package samples of your bath salts and scrubs in the
small zip lock bags as well, and use these instead if you do not
make soap.