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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Keeping A Journal For Soapmaking


I know better and yet, I'm compulsive and think I have a great memory, IN THE MOMENT. But I don't. I have the worst memory of all about certain things. One of the things I think I am really swell at is remembering what formula I used for which batch of soap instead of just jotting it down. You know, just taking one measly moment to mark a scent and color down.

You should know I don't make one or two basic recipes like a lot of people who make soap. That would make things soooo much easier. I have about twenty standards that I use because I like to play around with new formulas all the time. I enjoy seeing what new formulas do, how they perform and my customers especially like to see what ingredients I'm going to try next. Keeps things interesting for everyone. ;)

I have a book that holds my soap recipes that I've printed out, but I don't have a composition book explaining what scents I've blended, when I've added the goat's milk or shea butter, how much ultramarine oxide I added to the second layer of soap....etc. The DETAILS. If I get all of those nitty gritty details and I want to recreate the soap, I can instead of guessing.

I'm sure I am the last soaper on Earth who has" snapped to"and decided this is critical and it can't wait any longer. It's not that I've just thought about this. It's that I just never got to it.

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14 comments:

innerearthsoaps said...

Oh dear, I am guilty of this as well! I am pretty good with scent combinations, but when it comes to colours I just mix until I'm happy ... I never write down how much of what I use.

Cathy Winsby said...

I never used to either but I do now. For every batch, I print off the recipe using SoapCalc and place notes on the sheet. I then put the sheet in a binder that has been alphabetized. Sounds like such a bother but you wouldn't believe how much I use it for reference. It's well worth the effort.

Daniela Maldonado said...

I have a book absolutely FILLED with recipes and formulas - it's where I would even jot ideas before making anything. I went through my "I'm going to try every oil ever in soap" phase and I'm pretty sure that accounts for about 75% of the recipes in there.

But let me tell you, I thought I lost THE BOOK just once - and I flipped! My most important recipes are entirely memorized, but still. I don't know what I would do without that thing.

egassner said...

Well, you 'aint the last one honey! I doubt I could ever recreate a batch of soap other than the recipe. I never measure how much colorant or additives I plop into the bowl. Lol! Maybe I should join the band wagon?

Soap Kitten said...

I know what you mean. My memory is terrible, so I HAVE to keep a journal around, at least for the ingredients. It makes things so much easier when trying to recreate it again.

Erica said...

I keep journals as well. Like Daniela, I write everything in it - recipes, ideas, things to do, even smiley or sad faces for how things turned out, etc. My problems is I have to search through the journal for what I need. I wised up yesterday and purchased a journal with different colored pages so I can put each thing I write down in a proper section. I hope that makes things easier. By the way, we're neighbors. I live in Boca. We'll have to meet up sometime. Maybe I'll pop in your store when school is over. Love your blog by the way. :-)

FuturePrimitive said...

well, aint you the lucky ones! In the UK, we can't legally sell any product without a PIF (product info file) for each and every soap or whatever...
I must admit though, rather than keep files on my computer (like I'm supposed to) I have a book (ahem - bits of paper strewn all over the place) that I have all recipes in incl. all weights of each and every ingredient.
Headache - you betcha bottom dollar!

Michelle said...

I write down everything in my soap journal. I even write what the temp is outside and in the house since I learned some batches can fail if the basement is toooooooo cold (long story). Soap Journals are great! So far I've filled 3-3 ring binders full of recipes. I need to work on taking more pictures.

Ruth said...

Like Cathy, I print out a sheet (from Soapmaker) for every batch I make and put them in a binder chronologically. It's the scientist in me. If something weird ever happens to a batch I feel like I MUST KNOW what happened. And the key to the scientific method is being able to replicate anything that you do: hence the details. It does put a cramp on creativity sometimes.

Lomond Soap said...

Me 3! I have a couple of books now, I write down everything! Sometimes when I've too much time on my hands I even write out all the INCI names and allergens too, saves a lot of time when it comes to putting it on the website.
Computers are ok, but soap books rule :)

Amber said...

I have several little pads going that are filled with recipes and ratios of scents for everything I make. BUT they are all mixed together, so not that effective when I want to find something. I might have to sift through three batches of balm and a lotion or two just to find a recent soap. Not the best, but I keep figuring, at least I have it written down...

Nuria said...

hahahaha, you make me laugh Joanna, I am the same, well... I think even worse , How many times I make soap and I don´t even write the formula down, sometimes when I am making soap, I am in another world, where nothing matters, not even writting down the formula hahahaha and when I finish and I am back to this world again I am too lazy to do it and I keep on thinking I will do it later, that never happens of course ...

Joanna said...

I would like to say that I print out my formulas from a lye calculator every time...since that flop of a soap I made way back when. But I forget to write: "Almond Biscotti scent with cream colored swirl"so that I can remember what the formula was. When I use the soap and think to myself how much I love how it feels, I'd like to be able to go back to it and replicate the recipe, instead of guessing....

Molly said...

I keep all my notes, pictures, descriptions, etc. in a 3 ring binder. All the pages and clippings are in sheet protectors so I can still read them when I dribble a little FO or OO across it. :)