One Woman’s Experience
For those times when it might be somewhat unacceptable to drink a glass of wine in the shower -- we’re looking at you, busy mom at 6:00 AM trying to shower while making sure your kids aren’t starting a waffle revolution -- there’s always wine soap!
A Magical Combination
Wine is relaxing, and showering or a bath is relaxing, so why not have both? Wine soap is relatively easy to make with a bit of advanced preparation, and has a great consistency and lather. Plus, your customers will love being able to have their glass of wine and smell fantastic afterwards.
When you decide to make wine soap, there are many wines you can choose from and any of them will work. As a matter of fact, you can make soap with beer, wine, or any other alcoholic beverage! Just keep in mind that the higher the alcohol content, the higher the challenge in getting the alcohol out of your liquid before mixing it with your lye.
For my first time making wine soap, I used a 750 ml bottle of pinot noir that I received as a gift. I had researched a few methods for making wine soap, and settled on the hot process method since I haven’t made soap using CP, and didn’t want to try a more advanced process with a completely new method of soaping. That said, everything discussed in this article with the exception of the process itself can definitely be applied to cold process, too.
Boiling the Wine
First, I boiled the wine. There are several schools of thought on this—some people say that you don’t really need to boil it, others say that if you don’t, there’s no way remove all of the alcohol in the liquid. The boiling method worked for me in the past with beer, so I decided to stay on that course. You might want to do additional research on the subject to see if a different method would work better for you.
I boiled the wine at a rolling boil for about 15 minutes, and then took it off of the heat to cool. I let it sit in the pan for about an hour until it was room temperature.
After the wine was boiled and cooled, I put it in a freezer safe zip bag and laid it flat in my freezer. I left it for about twenty four hours. You don’t necessarily have to leave yours for that long, but to be honest, I completely forgot about it!
The next step once the wine was properly frozen was to measure out the amount I needed for my recipe. Somehow, I ended up with exactly enough to make my soap, which is very strange. I used a 750ml (25.36 oz) bottle and had only about 12.2oz after boiling. In other words, I lost approximately 13oz, almost half the amount I started out with, so keep that in mind when you are formulating. Don’t worry if you end up with too little; you can always add some distilled water to bring it up to the right amount of liquid.
Add the Lye
Once my wine was measured, the lye was added to it. This is very important: you must add the lye to the wine, not the other way around! It had a very...distinct...smell. Distinctly unpleasant, that is. But, you’ll be accustomed to wine smelling funky after having boiled it, trust me!
Mix to Trace and Pour
Once my oils were melted and my lye wine had cooled properly, I added the lye wine to my melted oils and began to emulsify.
The batter was so very dark.... I looked over at the pretty gold mica I had picked for an accent color and silently put the lid back on.
From my beer soap experience, I knew that the batter would lighten up a bit during curing, but definitely not enough for gold; the dark brownish maroon color would eat that right up! I decided to enhance the natural color with a deep burgundy I had instead.
From there, it was business as usual. I used my stick blender to bring it to trace, which happened in about half the normal time, and then replaced the lid on my crock pot to let it cook.
Once the cook was complete, I poured the soap into my molds.
A Note for CP Soapers
I have heard that sometimes when you put the soap in the mold, it can get a little messy when it’s starting to go through the gel phase. I can’t say whether this is true first-hand, but it might be wise to make sure your mold isn’t sitting unattended on something you might value.
The process for making wine soap is a little more detailed in the preparation department, but you will be richly rewarded with the creamy, amazing lather that comes from this type of soap. A unique color and a heady fragrance give this wine soap straight A’s!