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The Slippery Slope


CandleFreak
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I have made 3 batches of soap so far....and I am wondering how am I gonna pay for another addiction! After making these 3 batches of soap I have more questions than BEFORE I made them!

How do you "test" your soaps???

How do you know if your recipe is good??? (most handmade soaps are better than commercial so that's not even a comparison...)

Do you offer one recipe with a ton of fragrance variations or do you sell multiple recipes???

How do you settle on a recipe??? (I've tried 3 so far and they are each good in their own respects and I'd like to try more...I don't know when to stop)

What are some key points for consistency in product???

How do you know when you are ready to sell??? (I know I'm not...gotta work on recipe, consisitency, etc)

Are there any seasoned soapers that would be willing to "test" for me or something???

ok...this is just the tip of the iceberg of my questions...but I'd love to see some responses...I need to think of this from a fresh perspective!!!

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Wow.. Lots of good questions!

How do you "test" your soaps??? - Use them of course!

How do you know if your recipe is good??? (most handmade soaps are better than commercial so that's not even a comparison...) If you are highly moisturized, lots of bubbles, low soap scum, smells, good, hard bar after a cure to keep it from "melting" in the bathtub.

Do you offer one recipe with a ton of fragrance variations or do you sell multiple recipes??? Yes. lol... I sold one recipe at first, then started offering luxery bars with hilighted ingredients. All depends on what you are comfortable with.

How do you settle on a recipe??? (I've tried 3 so far and they are each good in their own respects and I'd like to try more...I don't know when to stop) First and foremost - how good is the recipe. Second, cost. Third - ease of working time with the recipe. (you don't want a wonderful feeling bar that takes 30 seconds to trace that can be unworkable, you'll waste more than you'll ever sell!

What are some key points for consistency in product??? Not sure exactly what you mean.. Once your recipe perfected, accurate upscaling of recipies, and keeping good quality supplies and cleanliness.

How do you know when you are ready to sell??? (I know I'm not...gotta work on recipe, consisitency, etc) - After lots of swaps, lots of recipies, and once you are completely confident in your product and can explain why every single ingredient that you put in the bar is in there. :yay:

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hmmm...so I guess I'll be looking for some swapping action...and pass out bars to every family member and friend I have or send them to work with hubby...all his buds at work were my candle testers!!! See if I can get some feedback...

OK, not a pro here though not quite a newbie either. I'm a candlemaker who has long ago joined the cp dark side (just got bitten by the b&b bug pretty hard though, but we won't go there.)

I started out by making a batch for myself... after letting it sit for a month I gave almost every bar away to friends/family to try. My key phrase at that time was, "My soap soaps!" I was pretty excited. Friends & family still test for me and now so do fellow CTers :) While I get some pretty good feedback from friends/family, I know I can count on honest feedback from board members.

As for recipes, I'm STILL trying to tweak... I think I'm happy with my base, then decide to do something just a little different. Just recently discovered soaping with animal oils and am thinking, "oh boy, here we go again!"

And oh yea, what Bunny said ;)

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How do you "test" your soaps???

Try them yourself, give them to friends. Just like testing candles. Try to get people with different types of skin.

How do you know if your recipe is good??? (most handmade soaps are better than commercial so that's not even a comparison...)

People comment on how good their skin feels. You don't feel itchy after you take a shower. It feels hard and lasts quite a while (mine last a month). It bubbles nicely, doesn't feel slimy.

Do you offer one recipe with a ton of fragrance variations or do you sell multiple recipes???

I have one base recipe that I sell multiple fragrances. And a few variations w/ specialty oils - one has meadowfoam, one has hazelnut and cocoa butter...

How do you settle on a recipe??? (I've tried 3 so far and they are each good in their own respects and I'd like to try more...I don't know when to stop)

Stop? Why stop? :)

What are some key points for consistency in product??? Same texture, same look. Same level of scent, same feel/lather.

How do you know when you are ready to sell??? (I know I'm not...gotta work on recipe, consisitency, etc)

You got it. You've got to be able to produce a consistent product, over and over again. What will you do if a customer loves one of your soaps and you can't reproduce it? I loved my first logs, they weren't bad soaps, but I'm ashamed of them now after 3 years. You should also know something about your ingredients, like Bunny said. Why are the ingredients there? They've each got a reason.

You seem to have the right ideas. I think I started to sell after 40 batches, and people were telling me that was way too early. Batches came out the way I wanted, they didn't seize or separate, they looked the way I wanted them to look. I could do them a 2nd time...

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