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5 of the Best Soap Recipes You Can Make at Home

May 27th, 2015

As the DIY movement has grown, so has the appeal of homemade soap. More and more people are discovering the benefits of making soap at home. Much like cooking, it allows people to express themselves and show off their creative and artistic abilities. It allows for customization, making unique types of soaps that appeal to an individual’s specific tastes, or tailored to meet specific skin needs. Here are five of the best homemade soap recipes from around the web.

DISCLAIMER: Soap-making requires the use of lye, which is a corrosive chemical and must be handled safely. If this is your first time making soap be sure to inform yourself on all the necessary precautions. We are not responsible for misuse, misunderstanding, or injury resulting from instructions listed or linked to on this website. It is each person’s responsibility to inform themselves of proper soap-making procedures, and to observe all appropriate safety precautions to prevent accidents and/or injury.

Shaving Soap Recipe

(5% Super-fat, measurements are weight measurements, not liquid measurements)

Distilled Water = 20 ounces
Lye = 7.269 ounces (206 grams)
Olive Oil = 23.9 ounces (45% of total oils)
Cocunut Oil = 10.6 ounces (20% of total oils)
Castor Oil = 10.6 ounces (20% of total oils)
Palm Oil, RBD = 4.2 ounces (8% of total oils)
Almond Oil, Sweet = 3.7 ounces (7% of total oils)
Bentonite Clay = 3 tablespoons
Calloidal Oatmeal = 4 tablespoons

Step-by-step instructions for shaving soap recipe

Chai Latte Bar Recipe

(be sure to use exact measurements)

Palm Oil = 90 grams
Coconut Oil = 90 grams
Olive Oil = 90 grams
Cocoa Butter = 30 grams
Castor Oil = 30 grams
Lye = 46 grams
Water = 100 grams

Step-by-step instructions for Chai Latte Bar

Mango Butter Lotion Bar Recipe

(All measurements are in weight ounces)

Beeswax = 27 ounces (33.75% of total oils)
Mango Butter (refined) = 27 ounces (33.75% of total oils)
Apricot Kernel Oil = 15 ounces (18.75% of total oils)
Coconut Oil = 10 ounces (12.5% of total oils)
Jojoba Oil = (golden) = 1 ounce (1.25% of total oils)
Rosemary Oleoresin = 3 grams (.106 ounces)
Lavender (Premium) Essential Oil = 30 grams (1.058 Ounces)
Cedar Wood Essential Oil = 15 grams (.529 ounces)

Step-by-step instructions for Mango Butter Lotion Bar

Lemon Poppy Seed Bar

Coconut Oil = 9.9 oz.
Olive Oil = 9.9 oz.
Palm Oil = 9.9 oz.
Rice Bran Oil = 3.3 oz.
Sodium hydroxide = 4.6 oz.
Distilled Water = 10.8 oz.
Titanium Dioxide
Fizzy Lemonade Colorant
Luster Black Mica
Poppy Seeds = 1 tbsp.
Lemon Verbena Yankee Type Fragrance Oil = .5 oz.
Champagne Fragrance Oil = 1 oz.
optional – sodium lactate

Step-by-step instructions for Lemon Poppy Seed Bar

Creamy Cow Milk Bar

Sweet Almond Oil = 3.5 oz.
Coconut Oil = 8.8 oz.
Olive Oil = 10.5 oz.
Palm Oil = 8.7 oz.
Shea Butter = 3.5 oz.
Sodium Hydroxide Lye = 4.9 oz.
Whole Milk = 11.6 oz.
Vanilla Rosewood Fragrance Oil = 1 oz.
Grass Stain Fragrance Oil = 1 oz
Titanium Dioxide Pigmen
Activated Charcoal

Step-by-step instructions for Creamy Cow Milk Bar

Making soap at home is a wonderful way to express your creativity and make something you can use. These recipes should get those creative juices flowing and inspire to create unique bars nobody has ever seen before. Don’t be intimidated if this is your first time. Just be sure to educate yourself fully on all the appropriate safety precautions.

A sleek and stylish modern bath tub would be a great place to test out these recipes. Or check out our selection of standing showers and panels available online in our store.

Here are some useful tools for soap-making:

Soap Making FAQ
Soap Calculator
Lye Calculator

Sources

Soap Making Resource
SoapQueen.com

About The Author

Cheryl Khan is a contributing author to the Trade Winds Imports Blog. She is passionate about the interior design industry and loves to express her creative side.

135 Ways Californians Can Start Saving Water Every Day

May 6th, 2015

Water conservation in California is more important than ever. During a historic drought, Governor Brown issued an executive order mandating substantial water reductions across our state. Everyone should know how to save water, whether at  home, on the lawn, or at work. No matter what time or place, there is always an opportunity to be water efficient. To help everyone out, we found the best advice and tips from official sources and around the web. Share them with friends and neighbors!

To understand how bad the problem is, check out these pictures of drought impacted areas.

How to Save Water in the Kitchen

  • Wait for a full load before running a dishwasher cycle.
  • Use a dishwasher instead of washing by hand.
  • Program dishwashers to skip the pre-rinse and extra-rinse cycles.
  • Save even more water by converting to a water and energy efficient model of dishwasher.
  • Soak dishes with baked on food in hot soapy water. After a few minutes, wipe the food off with a sponge.
  • When washing by hand, try filling one side of the sink with soapy water for washing and the other side with clean water for rinsing.
  • Use a single glass or water bottle for water consumption throughout the day. This will reduce the number of glasses to wash at the end of the day.
  • An instant water heater reduces energy costs and water waste. No more having to run the water and waiting for it to get hot. Check out the video below to learn about instant/tankless water heaters.
  • Save the running water when waiting for hot water and use it for other things such as watering plants or cooking.
  • Make compost from food waste and plant matter. Once it breaks down into humus, it can be used to in the garden to add nutrients to depleted soil.
  • Get more information on composting.
  • Use refrigerators and appliances that use air-cooling instead of water-cooling. Not only are they more efficient, they can save money in the long-term.
  • Get more information on saving money with air-cooled systems.
  • When preparing fruits and vegetables, wash them in a pan or bowl instead of using running water. Once finished, use the water for houseplants.
  • Give frozen meats time to thaw out in the refrigerator instead of placing them under running water.
  • Don’t throw away those ice cubes! If they fall on the floor or are leftover from an ice cold drink, toss them into a houseplant and put them to use.
  • For that matter, get rid of superfluous, decorative house plants!
  • Place the lid on your pots and pans to prevent water loss from evaporation. Most lids have an escape valve to release steam pressure.
  • Use a pressure cooker to make the most of even just a small amount of water.
  • Get tasty pressure cooker recipes. More recipes here.
  • Make sure a pan is the right size for the job when cooking. Cooking with less water also helps retain nutrients.
  • Don’t throw away water left over from steaming vegetables. Use it as a base for a nutritious soup. Water from cooked foods can also be an option.
  • Check the sink faucet regularly for leaks.
  • Consider contracting a GreenPlumber. They go through an international training and accreditation program that focuses on the use of energy efficient and water saving technologies. Find the nearest GreenPlumber in your area.

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Photography 101: Tips to Capture Your Bathroom’s Good Side

December 31st, 2014

Whether you’re prepping your house for sale or just taking pictures of your bathroom for memories sake, the bathroom presents several obstacles that make it very difficult to photograph. Not only can size be an inhibiting factor, the many reflective surfaces in your bathroom can make it a frustrating process all together.

These tips can be helpful for Real Estate Agents, Interior Designers, and Home Stagers. Try using some of these tricks and see how well the photographs of your bathroom come out in your next project. It’s guaranteed that your bathroom will look ten times better. Lights, camera, action!

Custom Residential Bathroom

Wilson Residence Custom Home by © Alair Homes.

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Bathroom Trends to Look Out for in 2015

December 29th, 2014

With the holiday season in full swing, 2015 is just a few weeks around the corner. So what types of trends can we expect to see in the bathroom this year? Last year we saw a handful of trends that focused on functional use. This year, the emphasis is going to be placed on designing a fully personalized bathroom experience. How do you do this? Feature floor tiles, natural elements, sustainable materials, and of course technology. Keep your bathroom up to date with the latest fashions and trends. Here are the 15 bathroom trends that every designer, home stager, real estate agent, and home remodeler needs to be aware of in 2015.

Bathroom Trends in 2015

Recent bath remodeling project by Remodel Works.

Aside from the fact that bathrooms are getting bigger and bigger (even having multiple toilets), there are many new trends that are expected to be popular next year. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Prevent Plumbing Pipes from Freezing

December 22nd, 2014

Keeping your plumbing pipes from freezing during the winter can seem like an impossible task in some of the coldest areas of the country. Needless to say, there are a few steps you can take to winterize your bathroom to make sure that your plumbing doesn’t freeze up.

To do this, you want to make sure that your home is well insulated. For pipes that are running through the attic, you want to make sure that your pipes are running underneath the insulation so that they stay warm. Here are some more tricks to keep your water pipes from freezing. But first.

Picture of Frozen Pipes

Photography by Goran Zec

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Beautiful Bathroom Vanity Ideas to Jump Start Your Remodel

December 19th, 2014

Picking a bathroom vanity sounds like such an easy thing to do but when you look at all of your options, you may be overwhelmed to think of how many different styles, color combinations, and features you have to choose from.

Well, today we’re going to round up some unique bathroom vanity ideas that you can use to jump start your bathroom remodeling project. Whether you’re aiming for a modern bathroom makeover or a cozy rustic escape, there’s a vanity that will fit perfectly into the design and layout of the bathroom of your dreams.

Modern Bathroom Vanities

Modern vanities are characterized by sharp lines, black and white color combinations, and simple drawer pulls. Modern design seeks to create something that is visually pleasing and equally functional. Smooth surfaces make it easy to keep your bathroom clean with a simple wipe down.

Scorpio Reversible Vanity

33.5″ to 57″ Scorpio Single Vessel Sink Vanity. $899.00.

View more modern bath vanities.

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5 Tips for Creating a Radiant Master Bathroom Remodel

December 17th, 2014

By Stephanie Cernivec

Remodeling projects require time, money and effort, which is why many homeowners choose their renovation after some careful thought. They want a return on their investment when they sell the house as well as new home features that benefit them immediately. A good number of homeowners decide to upgrade their bathrooms because people spend a lot of time in these spaces, and they are an important feature for buyers. Of course, there’s still the question of: Which bathroom gets the new look? According to a survey conducted by Houzz, 60 percent of people who renovate a bathroom choose the master.

Heated Bathroom Flooring

Come up with a plan before you begin to renovate the master bathroom so that the finished product will reflect your personal tastes and meet your needs. Here are a few considerations to help you with the process:

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What is the Standard Depth of a Bathroom Vanity?

December 15th, 2014

Standard depth of a bathroom vanity is 21″. This measurement is taken from the front of the cabinet to the rear of the cabinet and does not include any overhang of the countertop. This addresses the question regarding standard depth of a vanity minus the countertop.  Standard measurement does not include the countertop so there is no need to subtract the countertop overhang. Bath vanities typically range between 20″-23″ with shallow depth vanities also available for narrow bathroom layouts.

Although the Standard Height of a Bathroom Vanity can vary, there is generally a higher consensus on the standard depth of a bathroom vanity. According to the National Kitchen & Bath Association, “The standard depth is 21” to the front of the box plus the thickness of doors and drawers. Some vanity cabinets used in small baths will be as little as 18” or 16”.”

Standard Depth of a Bathroom Vanity is 21 Inches

You can find a forum discussion on the topic at Do It Yourself and a confirmation on from Elaine Martin Petrowski from This Old House.

How to Shop for Bathroom Vanities by Depth

Follow the steps below to shop for vanities by depth:

  1. Visit this page to shop for vanities by size.
  2. Click on the width range you would like to shop for.
  3. On the next page, There will be a column on your left hand sidebar that will allow you to select the depth of the cabinet.

For further assistance with this feature, please call 1-888-900-0477 or send us an email.
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RTA Cabinets vs Assembled Cabinets

December 5th, 2014

Getting ready for a big bathroom remodel and you may be thinking to yourself, “I can handle this” but in the back of your mind you may be thinking, “Am I getting in over my head.” Ready-to-Assemble Cabinets or RTA Cabinets are an option to manufactured cabinets that arrive fully assembled.

Are they really that hard to assemble? Will I run into any problems? Is it really as easy as they say it is? Surely all of these sobering questions have run through your head. Here’s the run down on what you should know about RTA Cabinets.

RTA Cabinets vs Assembled Cabinets

Photography by Scott Lewis.

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Framed vs Frameless Bath Cabinets: What’s the Difference?

December 3rd, 2014

One of the main issues that you’re going to encounter when shopping for bath (and kitchen) cabinets is the debate between framed and frameless cabinets. Framed cabinets dominated the market in the past but frameless cabinets have become much more desirable in recent years. Frameless cabinets are characteristic of European style cabinetry and are sometimes even referred to as European Cabinets.

The difference between a framed cabinet and a frameless cabinet is the face frame. A face frame is a frame that is affixed to the front of the cabinet. Imagine a cabinet without doors attached. The face frame is added to the front of the box cabinet to create a lip. This face frame adds strength and style to the front of the cabinet.

Frameless Bathroom Cabinets

Frameless Bathroom Cabinets

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