Monday, November 29, 2010

Soap Moulds - How should you look after them?

Basic Soap Mould Care

Cleaning the Moulds:

Use warm tap water and soap (if the molds have been used for soapmaking, simply soak in warm water for a half hour or so). Hot water, including dishwasher water, may warp the plastic.

Pour Temperatures:

The moulds can tolerate wax and transparent soap temperatures of 135-145ºF. If you're concerned about warping, set the molds in a shallow cold-water bath for hot-temperature pours.


Please don't manhandle the moulds when releasing contents! If you have any difficulties with soap or chocolate, place the moulds in your freezer. For chocolate, a few minutes of freezer time will allow for easy unmoulding. For soap, 1 hour should be sufficient.

Opaque Cold-Process Soap Considerations:

Because opaque cold-process soap undergoes a chemical reaction in the moulds, there are a few extra considerations to keep in mind:
  • Soap needs a certain amount of heat to saponify properly.
  • Most cold-process soap books call for pour temperatures of 80-100ºF. These temperatures are fine if you're pouring several pounds into one large mold, but when soap is poured into individual 3 or 4 ounce moulds, heat is more easily lost regardless of how much insulation you use. If you've measured your ingredients correctly but your finished soap is soft and/or grainy, raise the soap's temperature to between 115-125ºF next time you pour.
Transparent Soap Note:
Opaque Cold-Process Soap Considerations don't apply to transparent soap since it's neutral when poured. Transparents also lack "stickiness," so there shouldn't be any problem unmoulding them.

Pour Time:

When filling many cavities, realistically consider just how much working time you have before your soap begins to thicken beyond the "easy-pour" state. Dividing soap up into smaller portions for different colors and fragrances will slow you down; some artificial fragrances will speed the thickening. If this is the case, think about making smaller batches. If your soap does thicken before all the cavities are filled, spoon the soap in and tap the moulds lightly on the counter top. The clear plastic will allow you to see if any air bubbles remain on the mould's detail surface.

Super fattened Soap Problems:

Super fatted soap and/or soap high in soft oils such as canola, avocado, safflower, etc. are a bit sticky, and therefore may unmould with more difficulty than firmer soaps high in palm oil or tallow. These softer soaps will unmould if placed in the freezer for 1 hour.

One Great Soap Mould Recipe:

For a firm, easy-release soap with a good lather try: 22 ounces palm oil or tallow 3 ounces coconut oil 2 ounces olive, canola or any other soft oil 4 ounces sodium hydroxide 8 ounces water Heat oils to 115-125ºF. then add 115-125 degree lye solution. Stir until traced.
If temperature has dropped much below 115-125 prior to pouring, reheat on stove top. Makes 2 pounds, or enough soap to fill approximately 9-10 cavities.
Mould designs show up clearer and "crisper" in hard soap than in soft soap.

More on unmoulding soap:

If the soap is allowed to remain in the moulds for 12-24 hours after cooling down, it releases much more easily than unmoulding it immediately upon cooling. (During this extra time the soap is both shrinking and crystallizing.)

One final option:

If you'd like to experiment with a fairly effective mould release, melt one part paraffin wax then stir into 3 parts mineral or baby oil. Best used when it is hot and liquid, but if applied to the molds when cold (as a soft paste) use a stiff brush to insure thin and even application, otherwise inconsistencies can mar the smoothness of the finished soap. Plain mineral or baby oil can also be used to lightly coat the moulds (vegetable oils or PAM may possibly saponify if used as a mold release).

Monday, November 22, 2010

Lately I have been getting a few enquiries from people who are unsure about the beeswax they should be using for their product, and what the difference is between them. It is time to solve the mystery.

Here at Heirloom we have 4 different types of beeswax - natural block, natural beeswax sheets, golden pellets and white. All of these are interchangeable (except for rolled beeswax candles), so if you have one type already you should be able to use it for your application. However, if you need to purchase beeswax for the item you would like to make why not get the one
most suitable for your needs.

All the forms of beeswax use the same INCI name of Cera Alba. The difference in their colour and nature comes from the way it is treated once it has been taken from the hives.
Natural Beeswax Block
Natural Beeswax Block   is cleaned only using fine seives and strainers to remove any foreign objects from the heated wax. This system is used by beekeepers to clean their wax to leave it as unadulterated as it can be. Natural beeswax differs in colour from near white through almost black depending on the season and the flowers the bees have been foraging to create their wax. The natural beeswax has a very defining aroma that may be used to enhance your products appeal. This aroma is sought by those wishing to make natural beeswax candles. We supply this beeswax in block or beeswax sheet form.
If you wish to use products that are as close to nature as possible then this is the one for you.

Beeswax Sheet
Natural Beeswax Sheets.  As previously mentioned these are predominantly used by people wishing to make rolled beeswax candles by incorporating a length of braided candle wick at the edge of a sheet of wax and simply (but carefully) rolling the wax sheet up.  It can be cut to different shapes and designs if desired to give different effects, heights and thicknesses.

The Golden beeswax pellets are put through additional clay filters to remove any colour inconsistencies and impurities in the wax. It is then  dripped onto moving conveyers for pellet manufacture.
Golden Beeswax Pellets
Golden beeswax pellets are excellent to use where consistency of colour is important to you, or you wish to create golden coloured beeswax candles. The pelleted form makes weighing out of small amounts a snap and would be highly recommended for those who only create small batches of product. The golden beeswax has very little odour as it is tied to the components that have been filtered out.
If colour, ease of use or lack of aroma is important to you then this is your product of choice.

White Beeswax Pellets
White beeswax pellets are naturally filtered and  bleached to remove all colour from the wax to ensure it does not discolour products that are required to remain white in appearance, such as creams, white lip balms, lotions or for products that require a consistant base colour to start from such as lipsticks. If you like your products a pristine white colour this will suit your needs.

All these beeswax types can be purchased from 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Coconut oils

There is much confusion amongst crafters regarding coconut oil.
There are several types available of which we have 4 - Extra virgin, virgin (both organic), RBD (Refined, bleached, deodorised) and fractionated.

Both virgin and extra virgin coconut oil are great organic products that have a very fresh, natural, coconut fragrance to them.  They can be consumed as they are a food grade product, but are also great for use in creams and lotions where the extra purity of a product that is going to sink into your skin is desired most.

RBD coconut oil is fabulous when used in soap manufacture. Dried coconut meat, or copra is  pressed to extract the oil.  Contaminants are then removed during the refining process which involves heating and filtering. The odour is extremely mild and will not compete with any added fragrances and the standardised colour does not morph any additional colourants that may be used.  This allows a very consistent end product time after time.  This product is still of food grade and is similar to copha found in supermarket refrigerators. 
Virgin, extra virgin and RBD coconut are all solid to around 24ºC and are liquid above this temperature which can make them awkward to work with for some applications.

Fractionated coconut oil has been manipulated to remove the long-chain fatty acids - the solidifying components of the oil.  This allows it to be liquid all year round adding a known viscosity to a recipe.  This quality means it can be used for creams and lotions ensuring a regular texture that does not fluctuate throughout the seasons, easily absorbed oil rubs and moisturising facial sprays etc.

Choose the right oil for your needs to get the best results possible.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Time to put something out there for all you wondeful people. Until next Friday 19th Nov) all orders placed on the website worth over $50 that have "lip balm pots please" in the message box will receive 10x10gm plastic pots for free.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mineral Makeup Foundation Recipe

At last!!  It is finished.  If you are interested in having a go at making your own mineral makeup at home but didnt know how here is the place to start your creations happening.
Heirloom Body Care Mineral Makeup Foundation Recipe

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Makeup Makers Take Note

We have had a request to get a clear makeup pot with a larger diameter.
This allows the brush to be tapped to remove excess with all product landing
back in the pot. It has great customer appeal, product visability, and label space.

I would like to introduce to you our new 25gm Flat pot