Sunday, January 6, 2013

Making Clove Soap

Happy New Year, Everyone!
I don’t know where 2012 went.
Some parts of it are just a blur.
The year was full of blessings.
For that I am thankful.
Best wishes to you all
For a blessed year in 2013.
I finally soaped again on Friday.
That is, I made soap from scratch.
It had been too long since the last time.
Here are the first soaps of 2013!
Now comes the hard part –
Waiting for them to cure.
In 3-4 weeks they will be ready to go.
Today I'll tell you about the clove soap.
Future posts will focus on the others. 
I made a five pound batch of clove soap.
I wanted to make double that amount.
But clove essential oil tends to accelerate trace.
I thought I better play it safe with my first batch of the year.
 After mixing the batch and bringing it to a light trace,
I separated it into two equal parts.
I added ground cloves to one part.
I like using a wire whip to mix in the cloves.
See the little patterns in the soap?
Those indicate trace.
That means the process of saponification has started.
Saponification per WordWeb:
"A chemical reaction in which an ester is heated with an alkali
(especially the alkaline hydrolysis of a fat or oil to make soap)"
This chemistry is part of why I love making soap.
Ingredients are measured by weight in making soap.
Here the essential oil for one part is weighed out.
I like to use Clove Leaf Essential Oil from Bramble Berry.
Here the clove essential oil is being mixed into the plain base.
Now the clove EO is mixed into the base with the ground cloves in it.
I used a technique called in the pot swirl.
It involves pouring one part into the other.
Here it is all together in one pot.
For this batch, I didn't combine them any further before pouring.
As I poured, some of the base with cloves went into the mold.
And some of the base without the cloves also went into the mold.
No two batches come out exactly the same.
No two bars are identical.
I love that each bar is a unique creation.
All the base is now in the molds.
The finished loaves.
I decided to make little peaks on the top.
Just for fun.
This soap is a good seller.
It is also my go-to soap.
I won't say it's my favorite soap.
That would be like choosing a favorite child.
It just can't be done.
I usually keep a dozen or more bars of clove soap on hand.
And I always keep one in the shower.
Thanks for reading!


  1. Jean, I love how you share what you create. Your clove soap sounds amazing! I hope one day to create soaps from scratch. :-)

    1. Once you do make some soap from scratch, you'll be hooked.

  2. It looks amazing, I can't wait to see it cut! :)

  3. In case that did not post the first time: I am trying to do a rebatch with a plain soap base that had no fragrance. It was my first batch and I wanted it plain in case I got up the funds to start adding fragrances and the like.
    Did you find that you had enough scent from the ground cloves that it would come through without the EO? I am having difficulty getting my hands on the EO but have ground cloves aplenty.

    1. Hi, Silver Smile! Great idea to make a plain soap as you start out. I haven't ever made the Clove Soap without using ground cloves plus Clove Essential Oil. It would sure be worth a try, I would think. If you do give just cloves a try, you'll have to let us know how it goes! Happy Soaping!