Thursday, 6 March 2014

Botanical Bleed and Soap Sweat

I have watched my soaps 'evolve' over the last few weeks.  I was quite impressed that making soap went without a hitch apart from tiny bubbles appearing on the surface.  About a week after un-moulding my soaps I noticed a brown colour around the mint leaves.  After doing a bit of investigation, I found out that it is known as botanical bleed, where the oils from the plant material leach out into the soap.  It is totally harmless but does kind of spoil the look.  Then a couple of days ago I was surprised to see my bars of soap sweating!  Yes!  Soaps do sweat when they have a high quantity of glycerin or are exposed to humidity.

4 things I have learnt about making melt and mould soap

  • To prevent air bubbles, avoid overheating or over stirring the mixture and gently pour into mould popping any visible bubbles that remain on the surface.

  • When using dried botanicals, make a tea with them first to draw out the oils and discard the liquid.  Some therapeutic properties of the plant will be lost but it will make for a more attractive bar of soap.

  • Once the soaps have set, shrink wrap in plastic using cling film and a heat gun to provide a tight seal.  This should prevent the soap from sweating.

  • Perseverance (my word of the year) is much needed!


  1. Well I have learnt about soap making too now. I have always wanted to have a go, so now I have learnt a few lessons too.
    You could always drink the tea..... ONLY the ones that are not poisonous.
    Julie xxxxxxx

  2. No point in trying something new if you aren't going to learn something from it, you obviously are Simone!
    V xxx

  3. Perseverance is paying off. The first time of doing anything is a proof of concept... an experiment that shows you how to do it for real next time.

  4. They still look gorgeous and next time you will be able to improve on this time.

  5. Perseverance is certainly needed but what a lot you have learned through trial and error. I'm sure that your next soaps will be perfect. I feel that I have learned something about soap making too:)


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