Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact Hannah Jane Soaps! 

 

426 e 650 s
LaPorte, IN, 46350
USA

Blog

Behind The Scenes of HJS Soapmaking

Hannah Weeks

Hi, Guys!! First of all, thank you all for sticking with me & checking out my brand new blog! I asked you to let me know what kind of posts you would like to see & a lot of you wanted some insight on how I make my soaps…and that's totally something I can handle! I took some photos this past week during the soap making process, so here goes..

Here are some of the basic tools I use! I use the plastic containers to measure out different oils, lye, water, etc. The big pot is what I mix everything in once the oils and lye/water mixture are at the right temperatures. Obviously, the scale is crucial to making sure all the weights are correct and the hand mixer is super important unless you want a major arm workout mixing by hand..and want to add another 20 minutes on to the process ;).  **Not pictured are gloves and safety goggles…I have a great story on learning my lesson there that I may share in the future. 

Here are some of the basic tools I use! I use the plastic containers to measure out different oils, lye, water, etc. The big pot is what I mix everything in once the oils and lye/water mixture are at the right temperatures. Obviously, the scale is crucial to making sure all the weights are correct and the hand mixer is super important unless you want a major arm workout mixing by hand..and want to add another 20 minutes on to the process ;). 

**Not pictured are gloves and safety goggles…I have a great story on learning my lesson there that I may share in the future. 

I start out by measuring the lye and water. Once those are measured out I combine the lye with the water and put the combo into the sink to cool down. (The lye makes the water extremely hot so in order to cool it down I put it in a sink surrounded by cool water.)

Next up I measure out all of the base oils and heat them up in the large pot. They need to be heated up to mix all of the oils together and to be within 10 degrees of the water/lye combination. I set the oils aside to cool while the lye/water is also cooling. 

The base oils heating up 

The base oils heating up 

Once the lye/water combo and the base oils are both within 10 degrees of one another (about 120 degrees) I combine them together and use the hand mixer to speed up the saponification process. At trace, (when the mixture starts to look like pudding) I then add whatever natural colorants or beneficial skin additions such as the activated charcoal, olive leaf powder, ground oatmeal, etc. Lastly I add the essential oils or fragrance oils. 

The base oils and water/lye combo before they have been mixed together.

The base oils and water/lye combo before they have been mixed together.

This is right at the beginning of mixing the oils and lye/water together. I had to snap a quick photo and then get right back to mixing!

This is right at the beginning of mixing the oils and lye/water together. I had to snap a quick photo and then get right back to mixing!

I was making a Grapefruit batch of soap so here's a photo of the oxide and essential oil before I added them at trace during the mixing process.

I was making a Grapefruit batch of soap so here's a photo of the oxide and essential oil before I added them at trace during the mixing process.

Once the soap is all mixed and ready the next step is to pour it into the mold. I use a 5 lb wooden loaf mold because I prefer to have a more rustic look to my soaps. I have to line the wooden mold with parchment paper so the soap can easily come out after it has hardened and won't stick to the wood.

This is the wooden mold lined with parchment paper before the soap is poured in.

This is the wooden mold lined with parchment paper before the soap is poured in.

One of the main questions I get all the time is about how I make the tops of the soaps rigid and rocky. Once I pour the soap into the mold and it is at a nice consistency I can whip up the top however I'd like. (I'm sorry I couldn't snap a photo of this, but check out my other social media outlets and I have posted videos of this part of the process. )

Once I have the top of the soap looking how I'd like it, I cover the mold (I made a special cover that leaves extra room so the tops don't get crushed) and insulate it. The soap gets very hot and sits in the mold/insulation for at least a day. The following day I'm able to uncover the mold and take the soap out so it can be cut into bars.

Here's the cutter that I put the freshly made soap into.

Here's the cutter that I put the freshly made soap into.

At this point the soap is formed enough to hold together but it is still very easy to cut into for cleaner lines. This is also where I cut the full bars into Minis. 

After I cut the soap into bars they have to cure and harden for 6-8 weeks. This is the long waiting game, but it's totally worth it when you get a natural, amazing smelling bar of soap that is super great for your skin in the end. SO, I move the bars onto a curing rack to sit until they are ready to be bought up. (Seriously guys, my husband thinks I'm crazy sometimes because I'll go into my soap curing room and just sit and look at the soaps. Haha! AM I crazy?! Probably. But, I like to visually see all the soap batches so I can decide which kind of bars need to be made next. ..And I constantly smell the soaps, even though I've smelled all the scents a million times. But, when they smell that good…

So there you have it! I tried to give a brief overview, so let me know if you all still want to know or see more! Like I said, make sure to check out my Instagram and Facebook pages to see actual videos or some of the soap making process! 

Please comment & let me know what else you would like to see me post about… packaging, local fun, marketing, Target runs (I'm really pulling for that so I have a "reason", ha!), the La Porte Farmer's Market, hosted parties, etc… Shout it out, girlfriend..