Archive | Welcome to my blog where I post about my soap making adventures!

Clear Conscience Soap Co. is now The Artisan Soap Maker

Why the name change?

Hello everyone!

I have something new and exciting and very important to share with you today so please read on.

I started making soap more than four years ago as Clear Conscience Soap Co., but over the years it has transformed and that name no longer reflects the business accurately! Therefore I’ve chosen a more suitable new name and will now simply be known as The Artisan Soap Maker.

To reflect the new name, I am updating the current website. I’m committed to making sure this transition goes smoothly. I’m available via email if you have any questions or need any help with the new site or placing an order. I would also love to hear your feedback on the new site so that I can continue to improve it for you.

I will be making changes to the Website, Etsy Store and Facebook Page over the following week but these changes should not affect the buying process whatsoever. I wanted to give you a ‘heads up’ though, because things could look a little unusual and I didn’t want anyone to be confused.

Thank you all for your continued support – see you on the other side!

Kind regards
Katie Grech

A few very important details to note:

  • The new website is now www.artisansoapmaker.com.au. You will still be able to use the old Clear Conscience url, but you will automatically be redirected to the new Artisan Soap Maker site.
  • I will continue to make the range of natural soaps and solid shampoos that made Clear Conscience Soap Co. so special and they will be available for purchase at the same price from Artisan Soap Maker.
  • Your accounts and reward points should be working as normal. If they are not, please email me and I will fix.
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Coming Clean: The Truth About Soap

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What Is Soap?

Soap is the oldest cleanser around. It is created by a chemical reaction between oils, water and lye. Although lye is used to make soap there is no lye left after saponification (the chemical reaction that makes soap) is complete. There is no such thing as a bar of soap that was made without the use of lye. Different kinds of soap are made using a variety of different oils. Both animal & plant oils can be used in the soap making process, each adding different qualities to the soap.

Conventional Bar Soaps
Much of the soap available in the store today is not really soap at all, but a detergent. Detergents are a petroleum based product, like gasoline and kerosene. Have you ever noticed how regular soap leaves your skin feeling dry, itchy and tight? Alkali, the most common irritant in soap is often the culprit. Others ingredients in mass-marketed soap have been proven harmful to human health and can cause severe skin irritations in some people. These include ingredients such as DEA, Isopropyl Alcohol, BHT and Triclosan (commonly found in anti-bacterial soap). The most common ingredient in conventional bar soaps is sodium tallowate. It is the natural product of combining tallow, or beef fat, with lye. The attractiveness for tallow for mass producing soap is that it processes quickly, produces a hard bar of soap and is cheap and plentiful.
The New Bar On The Block
While there is nothing new about handmade soap, its popularity is growing rapidly. The sales of handmade soap continue to grow as part of society’s movement toward buying products that are healthy and good for the environment. With the ever increasing use of synthetic chemicals and studies about their dangerous effects, consumers are on the lookout for more “green” alternatives.
Benefits Of Handmade Soap
Evidence abounds of the healing properties of a handmade bar of soap. Those who suffer from skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, as well as people that have sensitive skin or are hypoallergenic often find immediate relief by switching to handmade soap. Compared to store bought soap, handmade soap is very mild. They are often made from vegetable-based oils, such as olive, coconut, and palm and do not contain the potentially harmful chemicals found in conventional bar soap. One of the biggest differences between commercial soap and handmade soap is glycerine. Glycerine is a clear liquid that absorbs water from the air and is a key factor in keeping skin soft and healthy. Glycerin soap is especially good for sensitive and delicate skin, and for children. Because it is a high quality by-product in the soap making process, many mass commercial soap manufacturers often extract the glycerine and sell it as a by-product to be used in higher priced products like lotions and skin creams.

Handmade Soap Is Good For Your Body
For adults, the skin covers approximately 20 square feet of the human body. It is the largest human organ and is the bodies first line of defense against dehydration, temperature, infection and harmful substances. Handmade soaps give your skin the care it deserves and make bathing a gentle, soothing experience.

Handmade Soap Is Good For Your Mind
For many of us today, life seems to move at an often hectic pace. While the stress of everyday life increases, personal time is at minimum. A fragrantHealth Fitness Articles, handmade bar of soap is a simple indulgence that fosters a feeling of relaxation and being pampered. Treat yourself or someone you love to the benefits of handmade soap!

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Natural home remedies for Dandruff

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Nowadays dandruff is a common problem for all. To get rid of dandruff naturally there are plenty of natural home remedies that you can find in the comfort of your own home. Natural home remedies are safe, cheap, simple and easy to use with no side effects.

Dandruff is a common problem in all age groups. To get rid of dandruff naturally there are plenty of effective home remedies that you can find in the comfort of your own home. Home remedies are safe, cheap, simple and easy to use with no side effects, so why not try some of the following home remedies treatments for dandruff? These home remedies will surly help you to cure your dandruff naturally.

Olive Oil: Take ¼ cup of pure olive oil and warm at low temperature for two minutes. When it is heated, massage your scalp with your fingers. Leave the oil in your hair for about 15-20 minutes then brush your hair with natural bristle hairbrush to loosen the dandruff scales. Thereafter wash your hair with quality herbal shampoo. There are so many medicated shampoos available in the market for the treatment of dandruff. Beware of selecting the shampoo for your hair. Most of the branded shampoos can cause irreparable damage to the hair roots in the process of curing the dandruff because of their synthetic ingredients. Always use herbal shampoo, which can offer a satisfactory cure to dandruff. Fenugreek (Methi)

Seeds: Soak two tablespoons of fenugreek seeds overnight in a bowl of water. Grind the soaked seeds into a paste. The paste should be massaged all over the scalp and left it there for about an hour. Thereafter wash your hair with herbal shampoo.

Tea Tree Oil: This is a natural form of antiseptic, it works great for dandruff. Add 2-3 tablespoons of tea tree oil into your regular shampoo. Then mix well before using your shampoo as normal. Most importantly, you will have to shake your shampoo bottle before each use if the oil does not fully mix.

Fresh Lime Juice: This is one of the great home remedies for treating dandruff. A teaspoon of fresh lime juice can be applied into your scalp and thereafter hair should be washed. Fresh lime juice removes excessive oil and dirt from the scalp thereby preventing the formation of flakes and also gives a good shine to hair.

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to provide health advice and is for general information only. Always seek the insights of a qualified health professional before embarking on any health program.

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Home remedies for eczema

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Home remedies for eczema are helpful in relieving the condition. Read this article to find simple and effective home remedies and natural treatments for eczema.

Eczema is a skin condition where there is inflammation of the skin resulting in the formation of pustules, sometimes from which there is a fluid discharge. This skin condition may be a result of allergy or intolerance to certain dietary substances such as eggs, milk, as well as from contact allergies such as laundry detergents, perfumes and dyes. Finding the exact cause of eczema is perhaps the best remedies for this condition that any other treatment.

The major symptoms of eczema are extreme itching and erythematic papules or small vesicles, which start from the cheeks and extend to the other part of the body. The vesicles break and the fluid oozes out leaving behind crusts that further dry out and residual pigmentation remains. Home remedies for eczema are useful in relieving the condition. Below are some of the common eczema remedies and natural treatments –

Home Remedies for Eczema

Wheatgrass – Apply wheatgrass juice to the affected area and also drink 50 ml of the juice two times a day. Wheatgrass acts as a natural antiseptic and is used as a home remedy for eczema.

Coconut Oil – Boil some coconut oil along with few garlic cloves. Sieve it and allow it to cool down. Now apply this oil on the affected region 2 or 3 times daily.

Margosa – Margosa, also known as neem has antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Prepare a decoction of by boiling a few leaves of neem in some water. Now wash the affected area with this solution.

Mustard – Mustard seeds are also used as a home remedy for eczema. Pound mustard seeds to form a paste. Now cut and fill the stem of Euphoria neriefolia (snuhi) with this paste, and cover with clay and cook. Take away from the fire and allow it to cool. Mix it in mustard oil and apply locally on the affected area.

Three Myrobalans – Prepare a decoction by boiling the powder of the three myrobalans i.e. amla, harad and baheda. Now wash the eczema affected area with this decoction as a natural remedy. The three myrobalans are quite useful in treating skin conditions along with other health benefits.

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to provide health advice and is for general information only. Always seek the insights of a qualified health professional before embarking on any health program.

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Home Remedies

honey,garlic and lemon as natural medicine

honey,garlic and lemon as natural medicine

People are now avoiding putting chemicals into their bodies and are turning to natural home remedies to cure illnesses. Try the home remedies for illness given in this article and get relief naturally.

As much as we would like to believe that we or our loved ones will live a healthy and long life, at some point or another we will be affected by illness. As long as they are not severe, there’s nothing to panic about because illnesses are something normal in everybody’s life. People used to rely on medication, be it over the counter or prescribed, in order to cure different medical conditions. In recent years, home remedies for illnesses have gained a lot in popularity. People are trying to avoid introducing chemicals in their bodies and turn to home remedies for illnesses. They are also cheaper and have no side effects.

There is at least one home remedy for every illness, but you need to be careful when using such methods. Although they don’t have side effects, you should stop using home remedies for illnesses if your condition gets worse or if you are not feeling well. You should also use common sense when deciding what to use. You should stay away of home remedies for illnesses that don’t sound safe or that might imply any danger. It is best to check if what you intend to use has ever been used by someone else and what were the effects.

The best part in using natural remedies for illnesses is that you can find most of them in your kitchen. A variety of medical problems can be solved with ordinary ingredients you have in your kitchen. Gastrointestinal problems are usually solved like this, not to mention that your fridge can provide a lot of beauty remedies. Skin problems can also be dealt with at home. Oatmeal, for example is an excellent home remedy in case of rash or irritation. Olive oil and apple cider vinegar are other examples of substances that can be used to treat or to relieve various illnesses.

Herbs also make perfect home remedies for illnesses. Before using them, make sure that you are not allergic. This precaution also needs to be taken when using other ingredients.

However, home remedies for illnesses, although they might do wonders on minor ailmentsFree Articles, can’t replace traditional medication in case of chronic diseases. They can be taken together with the classical medication the doctor prescribed in order to alleviate the symptoms. Also keep in mind that home remedies for illnesses might not work for everybody in the same manner. What is effective for one individual might not be as effective for another.

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How black soap is made

There are many ways to buy black soap. The best kind is handmade, made with activated charcoal. This is because handmade soap is more nourishing. Activated charcoal is special because it literally draws dirt and other impurities from your pores. Handmade black charcoal soap is a deep cleansing, high moisture soap. It is most famous for reducing break outs and acne.

Soap ingredients

Mixing ingredients

I add peppermint oil to my black charcoal soap for it’s soothing, anti-inflammatory values. Additionally, I superfat my soap by 10%. This means that I put 10% more nourishing plant oils in than I need to, so you get the most moisturising cleanser possible! That’s 10% extra nourishing plant oils of coconut, olive, castor and cocoa butter.

Pouring soap batter into mould

Soap batter in the mould

After I have mixed all of the ingredients together, the soap batter is hot and custard-like. I need to work quickly to pour it into the mould before it finishes saponification and hardens up! I leave the soap batter to saponify for at least 10 hours before unmoulding, usually I leave it overnight.

Stamping soaps

The next day, the soap is hard and I pull neat little soap bars out of the mould. Every soap is stamped by hand with the logo!

Black Charcoal Soap

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African Black Soap

Do not confuse my black soap with African Black Soap. African black soap is actually brown, and typically made from palm oil. It has a lumpy appearance because it is made with potash instead of sodium hydroxide. This gives the soap its lumpy looks and crumbly texture. My black soap is called black soap, because it is really black in colour – containing lots of amazing activated charcoal.

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Cold Process Soap Making With Essential Oils

Cold process soap is a tricky way to make soap; especially if you are using essential oils.

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The following essential oils are low cost and safe to use in your cold process soap making:

Lavender
Peppermint
Lemongrass
May Chang
Pine

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The following essential oils are medium cost and safe to use in your cold process soap making:

Basil
Grapefruit
Lime
Orange
Rosemary
Spearmint
Tea Tree

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The following essential oils are high cost and safe to use in your cold process soap making:

Patchouli
Bergamot
Black Spruce
Cedarwood Atlas
Geranium
Palmarosa

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The following essential oils can cause problems in your cold process soap making, but can still work if you keep the usage down to 1% or less:

Cinnamon Leaf
Wintergreen
Lemon Myrtle

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Types of Soap Making

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Cold process, hot process, melt and pour … You know they have something to do with soap making but you don’t know what they mean?

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Cold process is made by mixing lye and fats. It’s called ‘cold’ process because it’s just mixed and poured straight into the mould to set without heating. Without heating, it’s quicker to make and results in a nice smooth soap finish.

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Hot process is made by mixing lye and fats, then heated until it becomes a sticky paste before going into the mould. This takes longer and results in a lumpy soap.

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Melt and pour soap is made by mixing lye, fats and propylene glycol. It is not heated meaning it is quick to make, and has a nice smooth soap finish. It’s called ‘melt and pour’ because it can be remelted after it is set. It’s versatile but some people consider propylene glycol a toxin, even though both USA and Europe have evaluated it and confirmed it to be safe.

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Liquid soap is made by mixing lye and fats. It is heated for many, many hours and stirred once every 1/2 hour until it becomes a paste. Water and thickening agents are added to the past to make liquid soap. It is the most easiest to use by the consumer and in high demand, but takes the longest time to make. It also requires packaging with makes the product cost a lot more.

Let’s put all that in a table of positive’s and negative’s …

Type
Cold Process

Hot Process

Melt and Pour



Liquid

Positive
Quick to make
Smooth finish


Quick to make
Smooth finish
Can be remelted
Can be translucent
Easy to use
Can be translucent
Negative


Takes a long time to make
Lumpy finish




Takes a long time to make
Requires expensive packaging

 

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Activated Charcoal for clogged pores

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Just like activated charcoal is used in water filtration systems to remove impurities in water, it can do the same for your pores! Activated charcoal is used to treat acne. It’s special because it not only exfoliates, but literally draws the dirt and debris from your pores like a magnet.

Every day, your pores are becoming clogged with dirt, dead skin cells, makeup and other debris. When your pores get clogged, the oil from your skin gets trapped and forms pimples. So it’s important to keep your pores clear.

You will find activated charcoal at health stores in capsule form. You can put together a quick face mask at home by mixing one capsule of activated charcoal with 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel. This is going to unblock your pores by literally drawing out impurities like a magnet! Amazing.

Products containing Activated Charcoal …

 

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Your Greywater Could Be Killing Your Garden

 

Reuse of greywater on gardens can be a valuable resource in times of drought, but it can also be hazardous to plants and soils. Greywater is not as good for the garden as some people believe.  In fact, if the greywater contains too many chemicals, or if the mineral levels are off, the greywater will kill the plants. Luckily, there are ways to contradict these problems and sometimes avoid them altogether. 

People use greywater for many reasons. The main reason why people use greywater is for environmental purposes and water conservation. Reusing greywater reduces the amount of wastewater entering the sewer, therefore improving the town’s water treatment system. Reusing greywater reduces the demand on public water supply, benefiting the broader community. Are you reusing your greywater? About half of the water that your household uses can be recycled. The waste water from your shower, bath, spa, handbasin, laundry tub, and washing machine can be used as greywater. For people living in drought affected areas, a greywater system could help a lot.

People generally make use of greywater to water their gardens and lawns. Some people believe that greywater is good for their plants, but greywater is not a fertiliser. Most of the benefit we see from using greywater is from the water, not what is in it. Let’s think about what exactly is in that greywater. If the water that comes into the home is from the town water supply, it has already been treated with chemicals to remove solids, change the pH, amend the alkalinity and reduce water hardness, as well as adding chlorine and fluorine. So, there may already be an abundance of chemicals on top of those that will be added during its use within the home.

Most of the benefit we see from using greywater is from the water, not what is in it. – Lanfax Laboraties

By the time the greywater gets to the plants, it could contain harsh chemicals, bleaches, and disinfectants which can potentially kill them. Greywater users need to ensure that the soaps and detergents are greywater friendly. Firstly, they should choose cleaning products that don’t create such a concoction of chemicals that may be detrimental to plants or soil when the greywater is discharged to their gardens. Secondly, it’s important to note that many plants are intolerant of high salinity, and even more plants are sensitive to sodium. Too much sodium can stop the plants from absorbing nutrients from the soil. If the plants look burned and dry, like they need a drink, even though they are being watered regularly, they could be getting too much sodium.

Are your greywater sodium levels Low, Medium or High?

Low sodium = Less than 10g per wash
Medium sodium = 20-30g per wash
High sodium = More than 50g per wash

3 RULES TO AVOID GREYWATER KILLING YOUR PLANTS

  1. Use low sodium soaps and cleaners
  2. Water regularly
  3. Fertilise

 

For More Information:


“Reuse of Greywater on Gardens” by Lanfax Laboratories
http://www.lanfaxlabs.com.au/gardens.htm


“Making the most of used water” by Chris Barnes, published 27th August 2014
https://www.choice.com.au/home-improvement/water/saving-water/articles/guide-to-greywater-systems

 

 

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