Tuesday, June 7, 2011

New Letter from our Women for Women Sister!

You all know that Shower Treat Soap uses five percent of our profits to sponsor two women and their families each year through Women for Women International. So far with your love and support we've sponsored 14 women from all around the world! I thought you might enjoy reading this latest letter from Florida, our sister in Rwanda. It was sent around Christmas time, but every letter must be sent then translated, so it often takes a long time to arrive.

"Dear beloved sponsor, how are you doing over their and how is life? The reason for this letter is to send my greetings and sincere thanks for your support. Your actions have been very supportive. I have been leading a very bad life made of poverty and loneliness, and ignorance. So because of this program, I am making forward steps in order to reduce poverty. For loneliness, it is no longer there because I work with a big number of women with different ideas. For literacy, I get knowledge and skills from school. So you can see how my problems have gone. All these are important issues in our day to day life. We aquired knowledge of AIDS prevention and family planning. Also sanitation and hygiene, be it on your body or the environment. Fight for human rights. So this is all I can say, God bless you. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.


Great job, everyone!!


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Letter from Beatrice in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

We received a letter from Beatrice, one of our sisters in the Democratic Republic of the Congo! So excited to receive a letter, this one is dated October 15, 2010. It takes some time to send or receive letters, they must be translated first and there are many letters to do!

Hello to my friend, I am doing well. Thanks a lot for the financial support you are sending me through Women for Women International, I am really glad to get it.

My name is Beatrice *** *** . I have not a husband. I am 22 years old and have three children, they are not going to school. The first born is 3 years old, the second born is 2 years old, the third born is 1 year old.

I bought a chicken with the money you gave me. May God bless you.

With your help we've been supporting Beatrice, and another sister Florida (has never written, some of the ladies don't.) for the last year. Thank you all for your generosity and love! Interested in supporting your own sister? Visit http://www.womenforwomen.org


Sunday, February 13, 2011

HE Machines & Cloth Diapers- What You Should Know

We get feedback from folks who buy our laundry soap- here's a recent one from our Etsy shop:

"Garden scent smells lovely. Works great on everything but urine (potty training toddlers is messy business)."

When we get this kind of feedback I know that the person has an HE machine, a high efficiency model that uses less water than traditional top loading machines. The problem isn't the soap, it's the small amount of water! Quite often HE machines just don't use enough water to do a thorough job.

I wrote back to our customer:

"Thanks for your feedback! If you're still getting a urine smell after washing, try running the clothes through a cold water wash with no soap first, then washing as usual with detergent. Just like you would with cloth diapers. There can be a lot of urine in training pants, and one run through, especially in an HE washer with the low water level, may not dilute the urine enough to get everything out."

She tried it, here's what she had to say:

"That's a good point. I hadn't thought about the HE machine making a difference. You were right. I ran a comparison test using Method just to be sure. And it was the same result with both detergents. It turns out that just adding an extra rinse or tweaking the soil level setting on the HE machine did the trick and got the smells out; both urine and work smells."

The cloth diapers of today are super absorbent. With the small amount of water in an HE machine, much of that water is simply absorbed by the diapers, right along with a LOT of urine. To get diapers really clean, a rinse is needed first before the wash.

The same can be true for other heavily soiled laundry, people will write to me trying to get body odor smells out of clothing. Try the extra rinse, or simply add an extra bucket of water in the washer along with the clothing before running the cycle. You have to have water to clean thoroughly, try this and see for yourself. =0)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Soap Soap Soap!

Ever wonder how soap is made? Here we're weighing our solid oils.

Next we weigh out our lye. It will be mixed with distilled water, then into the warm oils.

Melting our solid oils here, olive oil will be added after these melt.

While the oils are melting, measure out your fragrance. Fragrances must be formulated for skin contact, we use pure essential oils or cosmetic grade, phlalate free fragrance oils.

Stirring the lye/water solution into the melted oils. Fragrances and any extra goodies like oatmeal are added here. We grow most of the herbs used in our soap, including lavender, rosemary, peppermint & spearmint leaves, rose petals and calendula. Our goat milk and honey come from local farms.

Soap poured into the molds. We'll be putting the molds into a warm oven, it's 10 degrees outside and my workshop is a little cold for soap.

You can see the soap in the tray mold, starting it's gel phase:

After the gel phase, the soap is left in the mold for 24 hours or so. Once out of the mold, we cut it into bars then let the bars dry or "cure" for 3 or 4 weeks. Curing helps the bar last longer and ensures mildness. Here's some rose soap, about a week into curing time:

Some Lavender Oatmeal soap, all wrapped up and ready for our fabulous customers!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Jessie's Girl

Had so much fun this weekend at our son's final performance of the year! Here's Jessie's Girl by Simply Men at Vicksburg High School. Our son is third from the left, enjoy!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Journey of the Body Butter

December 2008- finally have extra time on my hands, decide to play with a body butter recipe. People have been asking us for a lotion to match their soap for years. Research recipes and ingredients with giddy anticipation....

Later that day- Order ingredients needed then impatiently start a test batch with oils and butters already on hand. Whip like crazy, getting butter on my hands, apron and more. Hands are slippery, I've got butter in my hair now, what was I thinking?

The supplies arrive- I can't wait to start a "real" batch. Follow the recipe exactly, the butter looks great- so excited! Wait, why is it so greasy? More research...

January 2009- Try again. This batch is less greasy, but feels like I have chalk dust on my hands after I use it. Shoot! What do I do with all this body butter? Take a break to regroup.

February 2009- Better! Put batch aside and bask in the victory. Go back a week later and the oil has separated out of the butter....another failure, more research, more ingredients....

So goes every new product- try and fail, try and fail, try and fail not so badly, adjust, try and better, keep trying and finally- perfect! The body butter is in our shop after almost a year of tweaking, we love it and hope you do too!