Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Making Your Own Laundry Soap!

Making laundry soap from scratch is better for you, better for your family, better for your wallet and, better for the environment! I've heard it over and over through the years, I can't make soap but I am here to say, you can make soap! It's easy, just follow the proper safety measures and you will be in love with the process and making more right away! Its fun and gratifying to be able to make something you use nearly every day!

Making soap for laundry follows the same process and making soap for cleansing your body but there are some differences. In making regular soap, you want some excess oils, to condition the skin. With making laundry soap, you don't want excess oils as the oils will spot the laundry or could. I also don't color laundry soap. I am pretty sure my laundry doesn't want or need pretty colors and swirls and in fact, they may stain white or light colors. I also use one of two oils for making laundry soap, lard as I have here or 100% coconut oil which we sell but is also readily available at most grocery stores now. You can choose to make it scented as I have or, if you have a family member with allergies or sensitivities you can leave it unscented.

To make laundry soap, you will need the following:
Sodium Hydroxide (lye)
Distilled Water (ICE COLD!)
A Plastic, or non-aluminum pan for mixing the soap and a plastic pitcher for mixing the lye

Fragrance Oil (I used the BNL Clean Cotton)
Lard or Coconut Oil 1 lb (by weight)

Stick Blender or Wire Whisk and a Spatula to scrape the bowl
A mold for the soap. Silicone baking molds work great for this since shape won't matter!
Digital Scale

To make the soap with lard, you will need 16 weight ounces of lard. To mix the lye, you will need 2.25 weight ounces of lye which you will SLOWLY mix into 4-6 weight ounces of ICE COLD distilled water.
To make the soap with coconut oil, you will need 16 weight ounces of lard. To mix the lye, you will need 2.95 weight ounces of lye which you will SLOWLY mix into 4-6 weight ounces of ICE COLD distilled water.

  • Mix your lye and water first. To do this be sure to have everything you need where you can reach it. Measure and pour your ICE COLD distilled water into a plastic pitcher or measure cup. 
    • Weigh your lye into a glass container (do not use plastic, static causes the lye beads to catch and jump!). 
    • Wear long sleeves, gloves, eye protection and a respirator mask for this step. 
    • Be sure that all children and pets are away from your location and can not reach the solution as it cools! 
    • SLOWLY add the lye to the water while mixing. Mix until the solution becomes clear, this will take a few minutes. The solution will become VERY hot, I recommend using a vent of some sort or opening a window during this process. The fumes can be very strong.
    • If you spill lye on a surface, douse with vinegar to neutralize before cleaning it up. If you should spill lye on yourself. IMMEDIATELY rinse well with cold water! Lye is dangerous, so taking these measures for safety are imperative. ON that note, I've never had an accident in my 15 years making soap!
    • Allow to cool to room temp.  
  • Now heat your oil just until it is melted. Add the fragrance to the oil (1 weight ounce).
  • Next slowly pour your lye solution into the oil while stirring with the stick blender or the whisk. Once they are blended, you can now blend until it reaches the consistency of cooked pudding. 

  • Pour into molds and let set for 24 hours then shred using a grater.
This can be used right away. Keep a small slice for stain removal. Wet the cloth and rub with the soap for a stain pre-treat. Use about 1-2 tablespoons of soap per load of laundry. This is a VERY cost effective laundry soap that you can customize to your liking!

Have fun making this amazing and simple soap!

Happy Soap Making!

Monday, June 15, 2015

24 Carat Sugar Scrub!

Being outside in the sun all day sure gives the skin that perfect summer glow but it can be extremely drying too! After that long weekend camping trip or trip to the beach, between the water and the sun, your skin needs some attention! This scrub is the perfect solution! Use salt or sugar (some areas may be more prone to ants, keep this in mind when choosing the exfoliate) and oil to slough off rough dry skin and to moisturize too! 

Ingredients List (this recipe is for exactly one 8 oz. Mason Jar):
1.5 oz. Brown Sugar
4 oz. Granulated White Sugar
.5 oz. Cyclomethicone
3.5 oz. Rice Bran Oil
.05 oz. Vitamin E
.10 oz. 24 Carat Fragrance Oil
Jars. I used an 8 oz Mason Jar but we also sell awesome plastic jars/lids that will be perfect for this item, especially if you plan to sell them for safety sake!

First blend your sugars together. As I mentioned before you can also use salt. I like a mildly abrasive scrub, so I use mostly white with some brown sugar. You can also add raw, Turbinado Sugar. This is too gritty for me. Jojoba Meal can also be added as can jojoba beads, apricot meal etc. just adjust per your likings. Salts also come in a variety of grains. See what you like best!

Now blend together your oil (I like a light oil like Rice Bran), Vitamin E, Fragrance and Cyclomethicone. I pour the sugar back into the jar and mix using stainless steel utensils until blended, right in the jar. Once it's blended it's ready to use.

This is actually equally good in the winter as in the summer. Dry skin happens year round! Sun and cold both cause it. After using in the shower be sure to rinse well as it can cause it to become slippery. Some people find that this takes the place of lotion for them while others use it every week to slough off the dry skin and use lotion between. scrubs.

Enjoy your perfect summer ready glow with our sugar scrubs!

Happy Crafting!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Custom Car Fresheners!

I've been asked before if you can place a logo on an air freshener blank and the answer is YES! This blog will show you how simple this project is to complete. Simple, and good looking, it's a win/win!

Here is what you will need to complete this simple and easy to make project:

Supplies List: Air Freshener Blanks
String or Elastic Cord
Fragrance Oil
Iron On Transfer Paper
Cello Bags 

Using a print program like the Avery Design Pro, a FREE program, print using the Avery or other brand Iron On Transfer Paper for tee shirts. Be sure to figure out how many you can print and how large before you begin to avoid wasting paper and ink. Print on the paper, it will print mirror image if you are using the correct settings. 

Cut the transfer out, place printed side down on the blank and position it. Now with your iron, iron on using a medium to medium high setting without steam. Once printed, fragrance as usual, tie with the string or cord and place in a cello bag and use a topper or label for retail sales. 

These make great promotional items or items that simply get your name out there!

Happy Crafting!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Citrus Layered Melts

I absolutely LOVE the smell of citrus fruits all year round! If you have not smelled the Fruit Slices from BCN, you truly are missing out on one of the BEST fragrances ever! Fruit Slices is the perfect medley of Sweet Oranges with accents of Juicy Limes and Tart Lemons. This scent is great in Wax Melts, Candles, Body Products and CP soaps like a dream come true. 

This is positively one of the best fragrances to offer your customers this spring and summer. it is many of our customers go-to scents!

Supplies List:
EZ Parasoy Wax
Fruit Slices 

Dye (I used orange, kelly and yellow liquids)
Molds or clamshells

Instructions: Heat wax to 180°. Once wax reaches desired temp, add your dye, blend well then add fragrance and again blend well. When using this wax in the metal molds you can pour at 175°, if you are using it in the clamshells, be sure to cool to around 150°  to pour so that you do not melt the molds.

For these particular melts, I layered them. I split my batch of wax into three equal parts based
on what I planned to make. I scented at 9%. I poured each layer into the mold and allowed them to cool until they were still a bit warm but fully set then poured the next layer. People love the layered look. You can also layer different fragrances for a unique look/smell. Try Bacon, Vermont Maple Syrup and Buttermilk Pancakes or how about layers of Gooey Caramel and Macintosh Apple. The possibilities are endless!

If you have not tested the Ez Parasoy, this is a great time to do so. This wax is incredible for melts and jar candles alike! The scent throw is amazing. I am sure your customers will agree!

Happy Candle Making!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Labeling Your Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetics

We are once again coming up on a busy time of year, one where many of you will be doing craft shows and a considerable amount more retail! It’s also a time of year when many of you will sell more body care than all other items combined! This is the perfect time to give you an overview on proper product labeling and send you to the right places for more information regarding this process!

First, ALL cosmetics must be properly labeled per the FDA. The FDA is regulated by Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN). CFSAN is responsible for assuring that not only are all cosmetics are safe but also that they are properly labeled. Being a small business does not exempt you from the same rules as the big boys.

If you are making Cold Process Soap (or hot process, true
liquid soap but in general those made only using a lye solution and fats) you are exempt from product labeling through FDA guidelines but I would still recommend it for peace of mind. What if you used peanut oil and a customer with a peanut allergy used that product? Exactly! Soap labeling which is governed by the CPSC, the Consumer Product Safety Commission: Over the years there has been a lot of debate in the world of hand crafted soaps and cosmetics. Melt & Pour soaps typically are considered a cosmetic as they are made using chemical surfactant ingredients and are not considered true soap. I received confirmation on what IS needed on a soap label and what truly defines it as soap directly from the CPSC. This is copied and pasted from a response they emailed to me:

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regulates true soaps that are made primarily of fats and alkalis and that are manufactured for consumer use. The CPSC has no specific labeling requirements for such soaps. However, if the product meets the definition of a hazardous substance, under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA) it may require cautionary labeling as specified under the statute.
Section 2(p)(1) of the FHSA, 15 U.S.C. § 1261(p)(1), requires that hazardous substances bear certain cautionary statements on their labels. These statements include: signal words; affirmative statements of the principal hazard(s) associated with a hazardous substance: the common or usual name, or chemical name of the hazardous substance; the name and place of business of the manufacturer, packer, distributor, or seller; statements of precautionary measure to follow; instructions when appropriate, for special handling and storage; the statement “Keep out of the reach of children” or its practical equivalent; and, when appropriate, first aid instructions.
A product is determined to be a hazardous substance if the substance or a mixture of substances is toxic, corrosive, an irritant, a strong sensitizer, is flammable or combustible, or generates pressure through decomposition, heat or other means, and if the substance or mixture of substances may cause substantial personal injury or substantial illness during customary or reasonably foreseeable handling or use, including reasonably foreseeable ingestion by children. A determination that a product is toxic may be based on the results of animal tests or on human experience.
It is the responsibility of a manufacturer or importer of a product to determine whether its product meets the definition of a hazardous substance and, if so, to fulfill its obligations under the FHSA for appropriate precautionary labeling. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission does not perform pre-market clearance for household products containing hazardous substances nor does it certify those products.
The Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act specifically excludes soap because soap is not defined in the act. In administering the act, the Food & Drug Administration interprets the term “soap” to apply only to articles that meet the following conditions:
1) The bulk of the nonvolatile matter in the product consists of an alkali salt of fatty acids and the detergent properties of the article are due to the alkali-fatty acid compounds; and
2) The product is labeled, sold and represented only as soap.
The interpretation goes on to state that products intended to cleanse the body and which are not “soap” as defined above are considered “cosmetics” regulated by FDA.
If your product meets the definition above (1 & 2) then it would be subject to the Federal Hazardous Substances Act. If the product meets the definition of a hazardous substance it is required to be labeled for the hazards it presents to the consumer during reasonable and foreseeable use.

Cosmetic labeling requires quite a bit of information. I strongly suggest that anyone making cosmetics of any kind familiarize themselves with the FDA website. There is a vast amount of information which is all current and lists all of the information necessary to be sure you are making a product that fits into the scope of the law. Their website is

This information must show on the principal display panel of all cosmetic products, this is copied from
The following information must appear on the principal display panel:
  • An identity statement, indicating the nature and use of the product, by means of either the common or usual name, a descriptive name, a fanciful name understood by the public, or an illustration [21 CFR 701.11].
  • An accurate statement of the net quantity of contents, in terms of weight, measure, numerical count or a combination of numerical count and weight or measure [21 CFR 701.13].
The following information must appear on an information panel:
  • Name and place of business. This may be the manufacturer, packer, or distributor. This includes the street address, city, state, and ZIP Code. You may omit the street address if it is listed in a current phone directory or city directory [21 CFR 701.12(a)].
  • Distributor statement. If the name and address are not those of the manufacturer, the label must say "Manufactured for..." or "Distributed by...," or similar wording expressing the facts [21 CFR 701.12(c)].
  • Material facts. Failure to reveal material facts is one form of misleading labeling and therefore makes a product misbranded [21 CFR 1.21]. An example is directions for safe use, if a product could be unsafe if used incorrectly.
  • Warning and caution statements. These must be prominent and conspicuous. The FD&C Act and related regulations specify warning and caution statements related to specific products [21 CFR part 700]. In addition, cosmetics that may be hazardous to consumers must bear appropriate label warnings [21 CFR 740.1]. An example of such hazardous products is flammable cosmetics.
  • Ingredients. If the product is sold on a retail basis to consumers, even it it is labeled "For professional use only" or words to that effect, the ingredients must appear on an information panel, in descending order of predominance. [21 CFR 701.3]. Remember, if the product is also a drug, its labeling must comply with the regulations for both OTC drug and cosmetic ingredient labeling, as stated above. To learn more, see "Ingredient Names," "Color Additives and Cosmetics," "Fragrances in Cosmetics," and "'Trade Secret' Ingredients."

Declaration of Ingredients

Cosmetics produced or distributed for retail sale to consumers for their personal care are required to bear an ingredient declaration (21 CFR 701.3). Cosmetics not customarily distributed for retail sale, e.g., hair preparations or make-up products used by professionals on customers at their establishments and skin cleansing or emollient creams used by persons at their places of work, are exempt from this requirement provided these products are not also sold to consumers at professional establishments or workplaces for their consumption at home.
The ingredient declaration must be conspicuous so that it is likely to be read at the time of purchase. It may appear on any information panel of the package, i.e., the folding carton, box wrapping if the immediate container is so packaged, and may also appear on a firmly affixed tag, tape or card. The letters must not be less than 1/16 of an inch in height (21 CFR 701.3 (b)). If the total package surface available to bear labeling is less than 12 square inches, the letters must not be less than 1/32 of an inch in height (21 CFR 701.3(p)). Off-package ingredient labeling is permitted if the cosmetic is held in tightly compartmented trays or racks, it is not enclosed in a folding carton, and the package surface area is less than 12 square inches (21 CFR 701.3(i)).
The ingredients must be declared in descending order of predominance. Color additives (21 CFR 701.3(f)(3)) and ingredients present at one percent or less (21 CFR 701.3(f)(2)) may be declared without regard for predominance. The ingredients must be identified by the names established or adopted by regulation (21 CFR 701.3(c)); those accepted by the FDA as exempt from public disclosure may be stated as "and other ingredients" (21 CFR 701.3(a)).
Cosmetics which are also drugs must first identify the drug ingredient(s) as "active ingredient(s)" before listing the cosmetic ingredients (21 CFR 701.3(d)).
All label statements required by regulation must be in the English language and must be placed on the label or labeling with such prominence and conspicuousness that they are readily noticed and understood by consumers under customary conditions of purchase (21 CFR 701.2).
It is my recommendation that anyone making cosmetic products take the time to browse these pages for more information with regards to proper cosmetic labeling. Just being a small business does not exempt you from the law. The FDA fines small businesses as well as larger ones. The information contained within their website is informative and easy to follow. is the link to the entire FDA Cosmetics Labeling Guide. This is a MUST read for anyone making anything cosmetic. It includes the following: (this is hyperlinked right to the FDA site.)

Cosmetic Labeling Guide

Available in PDF (279KB)
The Cosmetics Labeling Guide provides step-by-step help with cosmetic labeling, with examples and answers to questions manufacturers often ask about labeling requirements under U.S. laws and related regulations.
On this page:
 Read the Cosmetics Labeling Guide fully. I can answer questions for you through our online chat, email or phone if there is something you can’t find or don’t understand as well. Bitter Creek and Bitter Creek South are committed to making sure you have the proper understanding when it comes to properly labeling your products!

Happy Cosmetics Making!