Care of Hand-Made Soap
Handmade soap is not like store-bought soap for several reasons.
Made with a large portion of pure olive oil, it contains no artificial hardeners, sulfates (lather enhancers) or preservatives. Properly formulated, handmade soap is mild and conditioning to the skin.
Unlike commercially made soap, handmade soap retains its high glycerin content. Glycerin is a humectant, a natural by-product produced by the chemical change that creates soap.
Although great for your skin, glycerin's extremely water soluble. This means your soap will melt away quickly if left in a puddle of water. Your handmade soap will last for a long time, if you take some simple precautions:
- Before use, store them away from heat & humidity. Before they hit the shower, storing them in a pretty basket on your bedroom dresser is much better than a steamy bathroom.
- Always use a draining soap dish while in the shower or bath. High olive oil and glycerin content will allow your natural soaps to melt away quickly if left to sit in a puddle of water.
- Don't hoard your soap! Use that lovely stuff within 6 months to a year. Although not truly perishable, they are best when used within this time-frame. After about 6 months or so, the scent may begin to fade.
Care of Hand-Poured Candles
Our soy wax candles are hand-poured, and carefully tested until they burn clean and slow. Simple candle care makes a huge difference in how well your candle performs, and how long it will last. There are just a few things you have to do, to ensure your candle burns like new, every-time.
Always let your container candle burn long enough so that the melted wax, or 'wax pool', touches all edges of the glass. If you've burned the candle for 4 hours, and the wax pool still doesn't reach, it will 'catch-up', and reach all edges of the glass by the second burn. This will ensure your candle burns evenly, and uses up all the wax, right down to the bottom of the candle.
- Each time you re-light your candle, trim your wick to 1/4". You're looking for a short, compact flame, without a lot of flickering.
- If your flame is tall, flickering a lot or making soot, extinguish the candle, trim the wick and re-light. If you're re-burning an untrimmed wick, you're burning already combusted material. This can cause sooting and an uneven flame.
- Keep your candle away from breezes.
- Burn your candle no longer than 4 hours at a time.
- Extinguish your candle when there's still 1/2" to an inch of wax left in the bottom of the jar.
- And of course, never leave a candle burning when you're not in the room.
Clean & Re-Use Your Candle Jar
Soy wax cleans up easily with hot soapy water, and the jars are great to use for office, kitchen or bathroom organization.
I clean my candle jars by setting them in a pot of warm water on the stove. I fill the pot with 2" of water, and put the burner on the lowest setting. When the wax is melted, I dump it into the garbage, and wipe out the jar with a paper towel. Then I pull out the wick with needle nosed pliers, and wash it out with hot soapy water.