Soap Scene

5 Reasons to Use That Gorgeous Handmade Soap

Quite often I hear from customers that they don't want to use their soap because it is too beautiful. Wow! I am truly flattered, but the soap you have in your possession was carefully formulated to do amazing things for your skin and that little bar desperately wants the chance to do its thing! Don't be a soap hoarder!

Here are five reasons you should actually use that gorgeous River Bend Soap Company soap:

1. I gave this away in the intro, but our soap really is carefully formulated to do great things for your skin. We blend completely natural and environmentally responsible oils and butters with unique properties that all work together to create specific types of lathers, moisturize your skin, deliver nutrients, and have pleasing aromas that evoke a sense of clarity and well-being. Soap is a whole-body experience and you should absolutely use handmade soap that was crafted carefully and lovingly to be the best soap ever.

2. Creating a unique and beautiful looking soap is an art and it entertains we soap makers endlessly; it makes our craft a whole lot of fun. Don't be fooled into thinking that handmade bar of soap is something to be treasured without actually using. We love to make soap and will gladly make as much of it as you can use. Lather up, people, I am desperate to make my next swirly soap sensation!

3. Behind every great bar of soap is another great bar of soap. Aren't you curious about what is next? You won't find out until you use what you have and then buy some more! Of course I want to sell you as much soap as I can, but I want you to love it, too! I want you to enjoy each delightful bubble, to get a jump start on your day because you used something infused with good-will and happiness, to feel great about knowing your soap wasn't mass produced by chemists maximizing profit for a corporate monolith. (The CEO of which probably uses handmade soap!)

4. You can make special requests for changes or other formulations, but you won't know what changes to ask for until you try that lovely little hunk of soapilicious goodness. Maybe you love the soap itself but aren't wild about the scent, maybe you prefer mango butter over shea butter, or you loved the scent so much you tried to eat the soap and want to know if I can make an edible version. I can't, for the record, and you should never eat soap!. Aside from the eating part, you won't know if you don't try.

5. It hurts to think you are missing out on treating yourself with that gorgeous, swirled, layered, heavenly scented, nutrient packed bar of true soap in favor of a factory-produced "beauty bar" that doesn't reflect the care you should take on your own gorgeous skin. Don't skimp when it comes to soap. Yes, handmade soap does cost more than the family 12-pack of "beauty bars", but it isn't because it looks fancy, it is because it is made from top quality, food grade oils and butters that are safe for use on your skin because before they turned into soap, it was perfectly okay to eat them.

I am done writing this now because there is a new bar of an amazing soap waiting in the shower. I am going to try it out before I share it with you; every batch is personally tested by me before a single bar of the batch is sold. I think it is going to be my best yet, but I think that with every single batch!

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Why We Love Handmade Soap (And You Should, Too)!


Let me start by stating the obvious.  I make and sell soap; of course I want you to love it.  But why I want you to love it is what matters.

If you think about it, soap is a very intimate consumable good.  You lather it up on every part of your beautiful body and you should always be very selective about what you use. Whatever comes in contact with your naked skin has the likely potential to be absorbed and circulated in your bloodstream.  What gets to touch your sensitive bits matters!

On that note, loving handmade soap is partially about what is not in it.  Typically, if your handmade soap provider truly practices the craft with care, you will not find detergent additives to induce lather or chemical additives that make the bars harder.  Have you ever noticed that the vast majority of “soap” in the grocery store isn’t labeled as soap at all?  That’s because they can’t legally do so; if it isn’t soap, they can’t call it soap.

Our fondness is also about what is in handmade soap.  Handcrafters of soap spend a tremendous amount of effort on critical trials to ensure they have it right.  They use carefully calculated combinations of different oils and butters to create a soap base that exploits the natural benefits of each of those ingredients.  The chemical makeup of the natural oils determines the characteristics of the finished soap following saponification (process that turns fat and lye into soap) and you can bet that you are getting the best blends a soap maker has to offer!

Did you know that most handmade soap makers enjoy special requests and challenges?  If you have sensitive skin or are crazy about a blend of essential oils, reach out to a soap craftsperson and ask if he or she would formulate a soap for you.  Do you have a friend who would love a care package full of amazing, handmade soaps and bath fizzies?  Chances are good that your favorite soap maker will create a beautiful arrangement and ship it for you.

As if you need more reasons, it is about the pride of craftsmanship that goes into handmade goods.  Being a soap maker, I can tell you that every single batch is made with love, care, and positive energy.  It is a laborious process to create those beautiful bars with intricate swirls or a pure, solid-colored cake of soapy goodness.  Every time you use handmade soap on your body, know that it was not produced in a cold, heartless, factory, but in someone’s home, or soap room, or personal shop.  It was made where love, laughter, and good times abound. 

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Falling in Love with Soaping!

Have you ever gone overboard with purchases for a great new hobby?  I have, and my basement is full of totes with labels such as: Ornament Making Supplies, Scrapbooking Supplies, Knitting Supplies, and Candle Making Tote 1 of 2.  1 of 2?? Yep. I have a problem (they are huge totes).

  Luckily for me (and my husband) I have really, truly, fallen in love and can’t stop soaping.  Check out some of my latest and greatest creations here at River Bend Soap Company.

  I encourage you to try making soap at least once in your life.  There is nothing quite like showering in the morning using your very own handcrafted soap.  If soaping isn’t for you, then I encourage you to do the next best thing: use my soap!

  In all sincerity, make sure you enjoy making your own soap before you invest in fancy equipment. I tried making soap many years ago and it wasn't very satisfying because I was planning to triple mill. I got through the first cycle and threw in the towel; I couldn’t stand grating my beautiful slab of soap even one more time.

 11 years later, during a conversation with a friend, I discovered that she is an expert soap maker and LOVES doing it. She directed me to Susan Miller Cavitch's books and instructed me to read them cover to cover several times. She told me to resist the temptation of buying an expensive soap mold and to instead get a 3 1/2" pvc pipe and some freezer paper to line it. Life altering event, that conversation, and I am so happy I listened!

   I laid out the money for some base ingredients, chose an inexpensive, but pleasant essential oil combo (ylang-ylang & lemongrass) and set to work. Luckily for me, I had the stainless steel pot from my initial failed attempt so I didn't lay out the cash for that. I would have hit garage sales and thrift stores if I didn't!

  I followed the recipe carefully and did not lose heart with the 45 minute trace time. Just by chance, (I got really busy with my children's activities) I let the soap sit overly long in the mold (over a week). If I hadn't, I would have been discouraged trying to get it out, but I didn't figure that out until I had a few more batches under my belt. I carefully cut 1" wide slices and was tickled to see how many cakes of soaps I had made!

  I was not all that crazy about the scent, however, and decided I had made a bad decision with my selection (be patient, this isn’t about instant gratification). The next five weeks were agonizing as I waited to try my first soap. I would wander by and gently handle the creamy, ivory pucks, hoping that they would yield a lovely lather and scent.  On the morning that my soap was ready to try, I practically skipped to the shower and squealed with delight when it not only lathered right up, but smelled heavenly and rinsed cleaner than I can ever remember any soap rinsing (Tarlac, btw). It was at that moment, naked, with only me and my soap, that I fell in love and decided that this is the life for me.  

 Stay tuned for more adventures on the Soap Scene from River Bend Soap Company!

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Love this Soap Mold!

Welcome to River Bend Soap Company.  We are so excited to have you as a visitor.

I'd like to call attention to our wooden soap mold. This mold accommodates a 5lb batch of cold process soap and produces darling bars that are 3 1/2" wide and about 2 1/2" tall; I usually cut mine at 1" thick.  We went through several prototypes, experimenting with hinges, latches, bungees, sizes, shapes, different types of wood.  We ultimately settled on using a plywood.  It may not be as pretty as a solid piece of wood, but it is manufactured to be consistent and resist warping, which is critical if you want a uniform, quality product. 

The feature I like the most about this mold is the ability to disassemble it; flat storage is critical for me, as well as easy removal of my soap once it is ready. 

The addition of a lid for this mold has saved me a great deal of time and effort in my own soap making.  I've discovered that the added insulation helps with saponification as well as keeping the soap pristine and undisturbed.

I am overjoyed with our final product!!  I find myself soaping more than ever before just to use the mold!  The design is simple, yet admirably effective and produces gorgeous soap loaves, ready for cutting and curing!  You can see several examples of beautiful bars produced in these molds by visiting River Bend Soap Company.

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