Peachy Keen Bath Bombs

Peachy Keen Final

Spring is finally here! While the weather is warming up, it’s still just so nice to relax with a warm bath and a glass of wine in the evening time. This week we were inspired to make adorable peach bath bombs that smell wonderful, look adorable, and help to soften your bath water. Hello relaxation time!

**This recipe yields about 4 peach bath bombs**

What You’ll Need:

Ingredients:

2/3 cups Citric Acid
1 & 1/3 cups Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate)
4 mL Southern Peach FO
Cantaloupe la Bomb
Witch Hazel

**If you are not local, you can get all of this and more at Bramble Berry! They will ship directly to you!**

Hardware:

Leaves
Glass Bowl
Gloves
Plastic Bath Bomb Molds (4)
Clean-Up Tool
1/3 measuring cup
Dropper

Directions:

Combine 2/3 cups citric acid and 1 & 1/3 cups baking soda (sodium bicarbonate).

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Mix well, making sure to break up any clumps.

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Add 4 mL Southern Peach Fragrance Oil. Mix well, making sure the fragrance is fully incorporated and all clumps are broken down.

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Add 11 drops of Cantaloupe la bomb. Mix well with gloved hands to ensure color is fully incorporated. Using gloves is important otherwise you will dye your hands!

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Now the tricky part. Begin spraying witch hazel into the concoction. Continue spraying and mixing until you reach a consistency in which it keeps its shape after clumping into a ball in your hands. We sprayed 16 sprays. This is a very finicky amount, and can vary due to humidity and other factors.

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Begin pressing your bath bomb mixture into the plastic bath bombs. Be sure to pack tightly.

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Try to avoid having the bath bomb mixture packed into the crevices where the halves meet. This will make it easier to unmold.

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Wait an hour or so for the bath bombs to set up. Then, using a clean-up tool, wedge the square side in between the two halves of the mold. Go around the circumference of the mold a few times to help loosen the mold.

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Then begin prying the halves apart. Take your time gently pulling them apart. Be careful as to not apply too much pressure and send the bath bomb flying across the room and exploding everywhere.

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Gently push the leaves into the bath bomb.

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Allow the bath bombs to harden for another hour or so.

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Enjoy your adorably wonderful bath bombs with a relaxing bath and/or shower!

Did you like this blog? Then check out our Tuxedo Bath Bomb tutorial!

Or if you’re looking for something a little more advanced, Soap Queen’s Tie-Dye Bath Bombs may interest you.

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Don’t forget, take 15% off flavor oils here in-store at Otion for the month of March!

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Sparkling Lime

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Who doesn’t love toasting to a special occasion with some good champagne? We just love the smell of Bramble Berry’s Champagne fragrance oil so much, and combined with the simple yet zesty smell of Limes we were able to create this masterpiece. Oh yeah, I said masterpiece. This refreshingly zingy soap scent is sure to help put some zip into your hand-washing regime. We also added Kokum Butter, one of Bramble Berry’s newer items, to create a wonderfully moisturizing as well as great-smelling soap.

What You’ll Need

**This recipe yields about 3 pounds of soap**

Ingredients

 13 oz Distilled Water
4.95 oz Lye
1 oz Castor Oil
10 oz Coconut Oil
3 oz Kokum Butter
5 oz Olive Oil
9 oz Palm Oil
7 oz Rice Bran Oil
1.5 mL Polysorbate 80

1 oz Champagne Fragrance Oil
1 oz Lime Fragrance Oil
1/2 tsp Sparkle Gold Mica
1/2 tsp Titanium Dioxide
1/4 tsp Kermit Green Mica
1/4 tsp Titanium Dioxide
Sprinkle Kelly Green Mica
99% Isopropyl Alcohol

4 oz Large Bath Crystals
1 oz Medium Dead Sea Salt

Hardware:

Stick Blender
Glass Pyrex (2)
Whisk
Silicone Spatula
Wooden Spoon
Fork (4)
Ramekin (4)
Easy Pour (3)
Small Bowl (2)
Thermometer
Mini Mixer
Microwave
12″ Tall Silicone Loaf Mold

**If you are not local, you can get all of this and more at Bramble Berry! They will ship directly to you!**

If you’ve never made Cold Process soap before, stop here! I highly recommend checking out Brambleberry’s FREE four part SoapQueen.tv series on Cold Process Soapmaking, especially the episode on lye safety. And if you’d rather do some reading, Bramble Berry carries a wide range of books on the topic, including Anne-Marie’s newest book, Pure Soapmaking. You can also checkout the digital downloads for that instant gratification factor.

Directions:

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SALT PREP:

In a small bowl, measure out 4 oz of Large Bath Crystals. Add 1 mL of Polysorbate 80. Sprinkle Kelly Green Mica and mix well with hands until you reach the desired color.
In a separate small bowl, measure out 1 oz of Medium Dead Sea Salt. Add .5 mL of Polysorbate 80. Sprinkle Kelly Green Mica and mix well with hands until you reach the desired color.

COLOR/FRAGRANCE PREP:

In small ramekins or dixie cups, measure out each mica combo (except the sprinkle of Kelly Green) and add 1 tbsp. of any fixed oil. We used avocado oil. Then mix using Bramble Berry’s mini mixer. You should end up with two ramekins of white, one of gold and one of green.

Weigh out 1 oz Champagne FO and 1 oz Lime FO and combine into a small container. Set aside.

Draw a line on each easy pour container to indicate how much soap needed for each color. This will make it easier to separate out the soap batter. On two of the easy pour containers draw a line at 16 oz. On the other one draw a line at 8oz. There will be 8 oz left in your original container.

LYE PREP:

Make sure you have gloves, goggles and long sleeves on before beginning to process the lye. Measure the distilled water into one glass container, and the lye into another. Carefully add the lye to the water and gently stir with a stainless steel whisk until solution is clear. Allow the lye to cool to around 115 degrees by either labeling and setting aside, or by placing into a designated freezer. We recommend using Brambleberry’s Infrared Thermometer. These are amazing because they are so easy to use and you don’t have to worry about getting your thermometer covered in lye water!

While the lye is cooling, weigh out all the fixed oils in a large glass Pyrex bowl and heat in the microwave until the oils are around 115 degrees.

Once both the lye solution and the fixed oil solution are around 115 degrees (between 10 degrees of each other) you can begin soaping!

Directions:

Begin by organizing your area so that everything is ready to go. Place the Ramekin (or dixie cup) filled with color next to the corresponding easy pour container. Have your fragrance, mold, and salts ready to go.

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Place the stick blender into the oils at an angle and burp the blender by gently knocking the stick blender on the bottom of the Pyrex to avoid mixing in any air bubbles. Pour the lye solution down the arm of the stick blender and start mixing until you have reached a medium trace.

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Once you have reached a medium trace, separate the soap batter into the designated easy pour containers.

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In one of the easy pour containers that has 16 oz add the Sparkling Gold Mica and mix with a fork until it is fully incorporated.
In the other easy pour container that has 16 oz add 1/2 tsp of Titanium Dioxide and mix with a fork until it is fully incorporated.
In the easy pour container with 8 oz add the Kermit Green Mica and mix with a fork until it is fully incorporated.
In the pyrex with the remaining soap, add 1/4 tsp of Titanium Dioxide and mix with a fork until it is fully incorporated.

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Just eyeballing it, add the fragrance to each of the containers of soap batter.

Pour the Sparkling Gold Layer into the 12″ Tall Silicone Loaf Mold.

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Now for the in-the-pot swirl for the middle layer. Add the Kermit Green Mica soap batter to the pyrex with the white soap at 12 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, & 9 o’clock until all of the soap is gone. Be sure it breaks the surface of the white soap.

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When all of the green soap batter has been poured into the white batter, take a utensil (we used the handle of a wooden spoon) and make one pass through the colors to create the swirl.

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Using a silicone spatula to help prevent breakthrough, pour the swirled soap over the gold layer.

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Using a silicone spatula to help prevent breakthrough, pour the white soap over the swirled layer. You need this soap to be at a thick trace so you can manipulate the top. If it hasn’t thickened up by sitting out, grab your stick blender and give it a few good mixes to create a thicker trace.

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Using a spoon, manipulate the top until you get your desired texture.

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Sprinkle the medium dead sea salt on the top of the soap. Add the bath crystals, keeping in mind where you will be cutting your soap, as you will not be able to cut through them.

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Be careful when you go to cut the soap, as the sea salt can scratch the soap. We laid the loaf on its side before cutting it as opposed to cutting from the top as we normally would.

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Enjoy your refreshingly clean-smelling soap!

Did you like this blog? Then you might like Soap Queen’s Rose Quartz Cold Process Tutorial.

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Don’t forget, for the month of March take 15% off Flavor Oils here at Otion!

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Pink Grapefruit Wax Tarts

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Continuing on with fruit month, we decided to freshen up our spaces with these adorably delicious wax tarts! We fragranced them with Pink Grapefruit fragrance oil, a refreshing and clean-smelling choice. This fun and easy blog is perfect for this seemingly endless winter. It’ll warm up your home, especially once paired with Bramble Berry’s White Leaves Tealight Warmer, pictured above. Keep reading to find out more!

**This recipe yields about 10 tarts**

What You’ll Need:

Ingredients:

5.5 oz Ecosoya Pillar Blend.
0.4 oz Pink Grapefruit E.O.
Red Color Block

**If you’re not local, you can get all of this and more at Bramble Berry! They will ship directly to you!**

Hardware:

Citrus Wax Tart Mold
Scale
Easy Pour Measuring Cup
Mixing utensil (we used a fork)
Butter Knife (2)
Freezer
Microwave
Box

Directions:

Melt 5.5 oz Eco Soya Pillar Blend in 30 second bursts until fully melted.

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Add 0.4 oz Pink Grapefruit F.O. to the melted wax. Stir well.

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Shave a few pieces of Red Color Block using one of the butter knives until you reach your desired color. The color will appear much darker while the wax is melted. To get an idea of what the wax will look like once it has hardened, place a butter knife into the freezer until it is very cold. Then dip the knife into the wax. The wax should immediately harden, giving you a good idea of what the wax will look like once it has cooled.

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Carefully Pour the wax into the Citrus Wax Tart Mold.

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Insulate the wax overnight by placing a box over the mold. This lengthens the cooling process, helping to prevent the wax from cooling too quickly and cracking.

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Now you can remove the wax tarts from the mold. Be careful when unmolding. Pillar blend is specifically designed to pull away from the mold as it hardens. The wax should easily pop out.

Final Pic

We used Bramble Berry’s White Leaves Tealight Warmer to melt the wax. One of the best parts of these wax tarts is once the fragrance completely burns out, you can just melt down the wax and add more fragrance!

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Bunch O’Grape Melt & Pour

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March is Fruit Month! This month we will be chomping down on some delicious fruit-themed blog projects. This first grape-tastic blog definitely looks good enough to eat! We used a combination of Plum Dusk Mica and Queen’s Purple Mica to make the perfect purple for our grapes, and scented the bunch with one of Bramble Berry’s newest fragrance oils, Sugared Grape. Keep reading to learn more on how to make this tasty-looking soap treat!

What You’ll Need

Ingredients
20 oz Clear Melt & Pour
1/4 tsp Plum Dusk Mica
1/4 tsp Queen’s Purple Mica
3 mL Sugared Grape FO
3 drops Liquid Green
99% Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol

Hardware

Easy Pour (or Pyrex Measuring Cup)
Scale
Empty Paper Towel Roll
9 Ball Medium Silicone Mold
Hot Glue Gun
Clean Up Tool
Droppers
12″ Silicone Loaf Mold

**If you’re not local, you can get all of this and more at Bramble Berry! They will ship directly to you!**

Directions

Weigh out 12 oz clear melt & pour soap and melt in microwave in 30 second bursts. Add 3 mL Sugared Grape FO, 1/4 tsp Plum Dusk Mica, and 1/4 tsp Queen’s Purple Mica. Stir well until color is fully incorporated.

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Pour soap into the 9 Ball Medium Silicone Mold and spray with rubbing alcohol to remove bubbles. Note: 12 oz will fill two of the 9 Ball Medium Silicone Mold. If you don’t have two of the molds, you can wait for the first set to harden and popped out before pouring the rest.

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While waiting for your soap to set, prepare your empty paper towel roll. This is what we will be “gluing” the soap grapes to. Cut the paper towel roll open as shown below. Roll the cardboard as tight as you can and hot glue it in place so it doesn’t unravel. Now cut to desired length.

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Now to prepare the stems. Weigh out 8oz of clear melt and pour soap and melt in microwave in 30 second bursts. Add three drops of liquid green colorant. Pour a very thin layer into the 12″ silicone loaf mold. Color the remaining soap purple and use as the “glue” for the grapes.

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Start “gluing” the soap grapes to the paper towel roll. Do so by using a dropper to squeeze soap onto grapes. Place in desired location, add pressure, and wait until the grapes have set. Repeat until you are satisfied with the amount of grapes.

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If need be, you can cut the grapes in half, or carve out some of the bottom to better fit the grape in the desired location.

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At this point you will be able to curl your stems. Remove the green melt and pour soap from the 12″ silicone loaf mold and cut into thin slices. You want them to be long and thin, about 1 cm across.

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Wrap the slices around a clean-up tool (or a pen or pencil) to curl.

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“Glue” to the underside of the grapes.

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Clean up the excess melt and pour “glue” with a clean up tool.

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Bingaling Bees Interview

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Wrapping up Bee month we have decided to interview one of our very own customers, Brad Raspet. Brad learned to make soap with us a few years back and has been able to incorporate soapmaking into his business ventures. Brad owns Bingaling Bees, located in Mount Vernon, Washington, and currently has 26 hives. They follow natural beekeeping methods, which means never putting anything into the hives that could be harmful to the bees or to the environment.  They sell delicious honey, as well as integrate their beeswax into their soap and lip balm.

How long have you been a beekeeper and how did you get started?

                This my 7th year of being a natural beekeeper. I was approaching retirement after 29 years with the Renton Fire Department and I knew I would need something to do to keep me out of trouble. I had been interested in bees, I started reading some books, signed up for apprentice beekeeping classes, and started building the hives. I thought it would be a fun and interesting hobby to pursue.

Firetruck

When did you start making soap? Is that the only product you make?

                I had been keeping bees for about a year when my wife and I visited New Orleans and met a soap maker at a crafts fair. The funny thing was it was after midnight and this crafts fair was open in the parking lot next door to the Spotted Cat Music Club with all kinds of venders selling their wares on Frenchman street. I bought some handmade soap and talked a little about soap making. I thought it would be fun and make a great addition to my selling honey at the farmers market. We got home after New Year’s Day and I signed up (along with my wife & daughter) for one of Otion’s basic soapmaking classes. The next year I started making lip balm too. I put a beekeeper spin on things by putting a little beeswax and honey from my hives in all my handmade soap & lip balm. 

How did you come up with the name for your business?

                In the fire department sometimes guys are given nicknames, mine was “Bing”; something about my energy levels and bouncing off the walls? Anyway, over time the nickname evolved into “Bingaling” to those closest to me, and when I started my business I thought that might be a good name for people to remember and stand out a bit. BingalingBees.com

Bingaling Bee

What sort of advice would you give to those soapers just starting their businesses?

                My advice, learn the basics well; then you can experiment. Always keep good records of what recipe you used, the supplies used, and the time taken (labor must be included in your final price). I did product surveys when I first started out – passed out sample soaps to family and friends with a questionnaire included.  Adjusted my recipes, scents used, etc. based on results of those surveys and of course continue to respond to customer input even now.

What are some of your other hobbies and interests?

                Well besides beekeeping and soapmaking, I enjoy wildlife photography, birding, kayaking, hiking, and a few ipad apps?

 Beekeeping

What’s your favorite Bramble Berry/Otion product?

                I think my favorite part of Bramble Berry/Otion is the service, and the classes. I appreciate the advice and help…

Tell us something unusual or unique about yourself!

                Well, before I went to work for Renton Fire – I worked at Boeing helping build ICBM’s and Patrol Hydrofoil Missleships for our Nation’s Defenses; and before that I was a glasscutter engraving names and designs on wedding goblets, beer mugs and other crystal ware.

Ship

Glasswear

Thank you for your interview Brad!

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For the month of February, take 15% off Beeswax!

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Black Oval Bee Soap

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Continuing on with bee month, this adorably simple bar of soap is a fun and easy project for beginners and experts alike! Activated charcoal helps to pull out impurities while the combination of jojoba and rice bran oil leave your skin feeling extra hydrated for these blustery winter months. Read on to learn how to create this BEE-utiful soap!

Yields about 5 pounds (about three 6 Bar Oval Silicone Molds)

What You’ll Need:

Ingredients:

20 oz Distilled Water
8.52 oz Lye
0.3 oz Apricot Kernel Oil
3.5 oz Castor Oil
18 oz Coconut Oil
1.4 oz Jojoba Oil
9.5 oz Olive Oil Pure
16 oz Palm Oil
11.3 oz Rice Bran Oil

3.5 oz Sultry Black Jasmine Fragrance Oil
1 tbsp. Activated Charcoal (dispersed in olive oil)
99% Isopropyl Alcohol

Hardware:

6 Bar Oval Silicone Mold (3)
Small Ramekin
Measuring Spoons
Mini Mixer
Thermometer
Glass Pyrex (3)
Stainless Steel Whisk (2)
Stick Blender
Gloves
Goggles
Toy Bees

**If you are not local, you can get all of this and more at Bramble Berry! They will ship directly to you!**

If you’ve never made Cold Process soap before, stop here! I highly recommend checking out Brambleberry’s FREE four part SoapQueen.tv series on Cold Process Soapmaking, especially the episode on lye safety. And if you’d rather do some reading, Bramble Berry carries a wide range of books on the topic, including Anne-Marie’s newest book, Pure Soapmaking. You can also checkout the digital downloads for that instant gratification factor.

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COLOR PREP:

In small ramekin or dixie cup, measure out 1 tbsp activated charcoal and add to a small amount of any fixed oil (we chose olive oil). Use just enough oil to saturate the charcoal.  Then combine using Bramble Berry’s mini mixer.

Weigh out 3.5 oz Sultry Black Jasmine FO into a small container and set aside.

LYE PREP:

Measure the distilled water into one glass container, and the lye into another. Carefully add the lye to the water and gently stir with a stainless steel whisk until solution is clear. Allow the lye to cool to around 115 degrees by either labeling and setting aside, or by placing into a designated freezer. We recommend using Brambleberry’s Infrared Thermometer. These are amazing because they are so easy to use and you don’t have to worry about getting your thermometer covered in lye water!

While the lye is cooling, weigh out all the fixed oils in a large glass Pyrex bowl and heat in the microwave until the oils are around 115 degrees.

Once both the lye solution and the fixed oil solution are around 115 degrees (between 10 degrees of each other) you can begin soaping! Make sure you have gloves, goggles and long sleeves for protection.

Place the stick blender into the oils at an angle and burp the blender by gently knocking the stick blender on the bottom of the Pyrex to avoid mixing in any air bubbles. Pour the lye solution down the arm of the stick blender and start mixing until you have reached a thin trace. The fragrance oil we will be using accelerates trace, so beginning with a light trace will help us when we add that fragrance oil.

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Once you have reached trace, add the activated charcoal and mix with a whisk until fully incorporated.

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Add the fragrance oil and whisk until fully incorporated.

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As this fragrance accelerates trace, you will want to work quickly when pouring the soap into the mold.

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As soon as you have poured the soap into the oval silicone mold, place one of Brambleberry’s toy bees in the center of each cavity just enough for the bee to stick to the soap.

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Spray with 99% rubbing alcohol to reduce soda ash and cover to encourage gel phase.

After a few days, unmold and let sit for 4-6 weeks to fully cure.

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Do you LOVE activated charcoal as much as we do? If so, check out this awesome Soap Queen tutorial on Charcoal Facial Soap!

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For the month of February, take 15% off white and yellow beeswax.

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