Colored and Swirled Soap

Making cold process soap is a combination of art and science. Making swirled soap is particularly tricky. It’s quite a skill to get the colors to swirl in together and still keep them distinct. Every swirled bar is different – not only different from soapmaker to soapmaker, but different from batch to batch and every bar within a batch will … Read More

Grandma’s Lye Soap (1952)

In 1952, soap made it into the hit song parade! Johnny Standly had a mega hit song called “It’s In The Book”. The first part of it is a parody of Little Bo Peep in the form of a Southern Revival sermon, the second part is a song, called “Grandma’s Lye Soap” I’ve edited out the first part (since this … Read More

Adult Film Star and Ivory Soap

I don’t follow the news much, so I missed the fact that Marilyn Chambers, star of Behind the Green Door, one of the first “main-stream” porn films, died earlier this month. I only found out when it was briefly mentioned in People magazine. What I found interesting was the note that before Marilyn made her move into sexually explicit films, … Read More

More EO blends from 1904

Here are some more EO blends from The Manual of Toilet Soap-Making by Dr. C. Deite. The amounts given in the book are for scenting a soap batch using 50 kilos of oil; I’ve adjusted them down so the amounts shown below are for a soap batch containing 5 kilos (11 pounds) of oil. The names of the soaps are … Read More

Promote the Benefits of Soap and Water

As we all know, washing with soap and water is one of the very best ways to prevent the spread of disease, including colds, flu, and other illnesses. The CDC has long been promoting the benefits of washing with soap and water. But a survey by the The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA) and the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) showed … Read More

EO Blends for Soap from 1904

Back around the turn of the (last) century, synthetic fragrances were just making their debuts. Soapmaking manuals and books for the time still gave recipes for scent blending based on essential oils. My Manual of Toilet Soap-Making by Dr. C. Deite lists a number of scent blends for what were “traditional” toilet soaps at the time.

Wool and Soap

I found a reference in The Art of Soap-Making by Alexander Watt (1918) which describes “fulling soaps”. Being unsure of what, exactly, “fulling” really was, I wasn’t sure if the soap described would be suitable for washing woolens as well. Turns out not, but I did make some interesting discoveries along the way. And I learned how to wash and … Read More

Manhattan Garbage & Soap

Imagine New York City and the island of Manhattan in the 1840’s. The city was rapidly expanding with an influx of immigrants from all over the world. Industry was expanding with the rise of the Industrial Revolution. The northern part of the island, was still providing the city with dairy products and meat. Sewage disposal was non-existent and garbage was … Read More