IS #78: Good Clean Fun

Today’s Inspiration Saturday post veers away from the realm of yarn and knitting, and towards a newer obsession that’s been piquing my interest lately thanks to Sweet Sheep: handmade personal care products. Specifically, handmade soap.

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Champagne soap by Calise Soapworks & Such. Click for Etsy shop.

Soap is made by an interesting chemical reaction (called “saponification“) that occurs when you mix together fats/tallows/oils and lye in certain quantities. There are a few benefits to using handmade soap. Firstly, handmade soap retains all the natural glycerin that is produced during the saponification process so it is extra moisturizing.

IS #78: Good Clean Fun | Woolen Diversions

Salt soap by e.l.m tree suds. Click for Etsy shop.

Secondly, one can custom blend the types of oils used to produce specific results (such as using olive oil for a harder bar, sea salt for extra minerals, or shea butter for additional moisturizing properties). Of course this also means one can control whether they use soap made with organic ingredients or particular fragrances and colorants.

IS #78: Good Clean Fun | Woolen Diversions

Sweet Lemon Creme soap by Royalty Soaps. Click for Etsy shop.

Thirdly, they’re really beautiful! The prettiness factor can’t be ignored. You will never find a mass-produced bar of soap that looks so delicious. You likely won’t find any that feel or smell nearly as good, either.

IS #78: Good Clean Fun | Woolen Diversions

Peach Pie Soap by Toil and Trouble Bath. Click for Etsy shop.

Finally, and most importantly, I love the creative aspect of handmade soaps. Some soaps (as proven above) seem practically edible! I think there’s something really special about taking a humble and unassuming bar of soap and turning it into something delightful and extraordinary. Why not add a little whimsy to your day, amIright? Speaking of extraordinary: that pie soap was made by an 11 year old kid, and he donates half his proceeds to a supportive housing coalition! You can check out his story on the Soap Queen blog. If that’s not inspiring, I don’t know what is!

Within the last 6 months or so, I’ve gone from a plastic-poof-and-body-wash kinda gal to an artisan bar soap user, all the way. I’m not sure yet whether I’ll venture into cold process soapmaking territory quite yet (there’s a fair bit of equipment involved and lye is pretty nasty stuff to work with) but there are some amazingly creative things you can do with pre-made soap bases, which I’m hoping to explore soon. What kind of soap do you use? Had you ever thought about handmade soaps before? What’s been inspiring you, lately? Share with us and link up you post in the comments!

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11 thoughts on “IS #78: Good Clean Fun

  1. We have been using handmade soaps for a long time now but they have been of the murky useful but plain variety. Then I discovered that an old friend was making artisan soap…Shanghai Lil and the Scarlett Fez and it took me to a different place of considering the actual ingredients and scents. It has been a revelation.

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  2. I LOVE homemade soaps and actually do my own cold process. 🙂 I don’t do anything fancy, just pour it in the mold and let it set, but I’ve used essential oils, made calendula infused oils, made coffee soap (great for gardening!). For me it was a necessity as I’ve got a lot of allergies, so this way I know I’ll be itch free. 🙂

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  3. Oh wow! I’ve never used handmade soaps before, but now I’m strongly tempted to start. I can’t believe that luscious-looking peach pie soap was made by an 11-ear-old!

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  4. Those soaps are both beautiful and cute! I’ve always wanted to try soapmaking but the investment in the materials has always made me support the people who make the finished product rather than try on my own.

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  5. That explains all the soap pins on your pinterest Alicia! But anyways, I have a couple of bars that have been gifted to me, I just can’t bring myself to use them. I really should – maybe I can make a felted bar !

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  6. I’ve been using handmade soaps ever since I found this Oatmeal Almond soap in a yarn shop. The owner made the soap herself. I have dry skin, but never feel dry after using that soap. No body washes and poofs in my shower! My husband is still old-school; thinks all soap dries up your skin.

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  7. Pingback: IS #82: Small Business Saturday Edition | Woolen Diversions

  8. Pingback: On Competition and Community | Woolen Diversions

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