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  • Writer's pictureSuitman

Early March 2017 - Aesthetic Qualities / Products


I bought arrowroot to make some deodorant, some citric acid (to lower PH in soap and make it sudsier – good for shampoo bar), and I ordered some isopropyl alcohol (to spray on top of moulded soap before insulating to prevent the formation of soda ash)

I made some deodorant by melting some cocoa butter, shea butter, and coconut oil, and adding bi-carb soda, arrowroot powder, and tee tree essential oil. I mixed it well and put it into a jar to cool. I’ll see how it goes tomorrow


The deodorant went better than expected. I had thought it would solidify because I had used 2 butters and coconut oil, which are all solid at room temperature (unless it’s really hot). However, the mixture didn’t solidify, which I’m assuming is because of the bi-carb and arrowroot powder.

This was a bonus in the end because, the recipe I was using required beeswax as a hardener, but I used a second butter instead (making it vegan friendly). I was thinking I would end up with a hard deodorant stick that would work in a wind up dispenser (like a lipstick/shaving stick). I didn’t actually have an empty dispenser like this, so I put the mixture into a small glass jar. The mixture did not harden in the jar so I poured it into a glass bottle with a plastic roll-on dispenser that I had saved after it had finished. This works wonderfully well. Also, the chocolate smell of the raw organic cocoa butter mixed with the tee tree oil has produced a smell a bit like a peppermint chocolate biscuit.

Empty roll-on filled with DIY deodorant


I was very happy with the effectiveness of my home made deodorant. Yesterday was a humid day that brought me out in a total body sweat. Thankfully, the deodorant made me smell fresher all day. It also seemed to work well to help keep me dry without clogging my sweat glands with aluminium as the commercial deodorants do. The bi-carb and arrowroot were supposed to help with ‘wicking’ away moisture and I’d give it the thumbs up.

Not all of the mixture I made would fit into the 30gm dispenser (used a little over half) so I gave the rest away to be tested by someone else. They don’t have a dispenser and will be applying the deodorant by sticking their fingers in the jar to get a small amount for wiping into the armpits.

Last night I went to the first official meeting of the newly formed Wollongong branch of the Alternative Technology Association (ATA). Jason is gaining NFP (not for profit) experience as Secretary on the executive. There was lots of discussion about the electricity grid. A guest speaker was promoting a product aimed at homeowners installing a charge station for electric vehicles. It is worth noting that everyone attending was past retirement age. These are people with money, looking for ways to invest in a cleaner future.

I’ve also been talking to various people about making a penis mould for ‘sex soap’ as a novelty item. At this stage I can get access to a D.I.Y plaster moulding kit that I should be able to make a silicone mould from (if I can get anyone interested in being the model… I don’t want to). It may be better for a couple to have fun with this part of the project. The other option is to get a dildo to make my mould from. The idea of going into a sex shop to buy one doesn’t appeal to me either, so we’ll have to see how this idea develops.


The weather is much cooler and the deodorant has gone solid. I’ll remove it from the roll-on dispenser into a jar to be applied by fingers. I’ll try to make a more liquid batch and try that in the roll-on dispenser. To do this I’ll only use one type of butter and I’ll add some olive oil instead.

The Soap Nuts I ordered have arrived.

Soap Nuts are a berry grown in the Himalayas and the shell can be used as a laundry detergent and fabric softener or can also be made into a liquid soap.

It is raining heavily at the moment so I can’t try them out yet. I can’t believe how keen I am to do a load of washing. All that is needed is to place from two to six in a net bag (provided with the order – stockings or a lingerie-bag could also be used) and then put this into the washing machine with the load of washing.

More shells are needed for larger loads and less for smaller loads. They don’t need to be removed for the rinse cycle and can be reused from four to six times (or longer in cold water – which I use). Once the soap nuts have been sufficiently reused, it is possible to boil them in two cups of water to extract the last of the saponins (surfactant) to make a cleaning solution, before throwing them into the garden to compost. A stronger cleaning solution / liquid soap / conditioning shampoo / pet wash / carpet and upholstery cleaner etc. is made by simmering about 100 grams of soap nuts for an hour or leaving them to soak overnight. Fragrance can be added if desired using essential oils.

They do smell a bit unusual but according to the information sheet, they leave clothes ‘clean, soft and scent free’.

Soapnuts – unfortunately, they’re packed in plastic

I researched making bath bombs and need to get some Epsom salt and Corn-starch.

I made another batch of deodorant with the aim of making it more liquid to work in a roll-on container. The first batch was intended to be solid so I replaced beeswax with solid oil (cocoa butter). To make it thinner I will replace the cocoa butter with castor oil. This should also add some excellent skin nourishing and moisturising qualities.

Deodorant is too firm for use in a roll-on

I used castor oil instead of cocoa butter to make the mixture runnier


The latest deodorant batch is still liquid (but so was the last lot the morning after making) so I’m hoping it stays that way. The weather (and therefore room temperature) is still fairly cool so I’m hoping it’s a good sign that it hasn’t solidified. It looks like the castor oil is sitting on top but a shake or stir is all that’s needed to remix the blend. I have some in the roll-on container and the remainder is in a jar that I will give to someone else to test.

There is a PSST meeting today at my place to prepare for Clubs Day at the University on Wednesday the 9th of March. We will so some admin, complete our triangular-flag sign, and make some bath bombs in both silicone and plastic ‘cup-cake’ moulds, which (if suitable after testing ) we can offer for sale along with some soaps.

Doing admin and making a PSST banner.


Had a very productive day completing administrative tasks and finished by having a first attempt at making bath bombs. This was the first use of colour, as well as fragrance. We made three red bombs scented with lavender essential oil and 2 green bombs scented with lemon essential oil. Preliminary costing on these is not very encouraging as they cost nearly $2 each to make. This is mainly because of the small quantities of raw materials purchased. If ingredients were bought in 20-25kg containers the cost could be reduced to around $0.75. This would be viable, but I need to decide whether purchasing these sorts of quantities is worthwhile in terms of turnover / usage. As an additional product and kit that could be provided, these are looking promising.

Mixing dry ingredients

Putting the mixture into the mould

Unmoulded red bath bombs and green ones still in the mould

The recipe I used was in volumes also, so these need to be converted to weight to be more consistent. It is difficult to know how tightly packed a cup of dry ingredients is, so the actual quantity can vary greatly. After seeing how inconsistent the red and green batches are, I converted the quantities to weight. This helped me see how inadequate the quantities were. For example, the amount of citric acid required (1/4 cup) is 85 grams when converted to weight, yet the container I had was only 70 grams and we got nearly 2 batches out of it. We must have used about 40-45 grams in the first lot and 25-30 grams in the second. This means the recipe has been put together inconsistently and the way the bombs work cannot be relied upon, especially because the fizzy reaction is a result of activation from bi-carb soda and citric acid, at a 2:1 ratio.

The second batch of deodorant has remained liquid but I have a feeling it will be solid in winter as the temperature drops. I will therefore develop a third recipe with even less solid oil. I will reduce the coconut oil and shea butter next time, replacing with castor oil.


I finished the soap labels last night. They needed to be resized to fit correctly onto the soaps that have been cut at twelve / block instead of ten / block as they were originally. I glued them onto the respective soaps and packed into boxes ready for taking to clubs day tomorrow. I also created an information sheet to display indicating the types of soaps with their ingredients and prices.

Today I will need to organise things like brown paper sandwich bags (to put the soaps into for people to be able to transport them home), and some change (gold coins, 50c pieces and some smaller denomination silver coins).

I will be attending a research seminar in the morning so Nic and Noah will be setting up the UOW Post-Situationist Society (PSST) table. SOAC will essentially be wholesaling soaps and bath bombs to PSST so that some fundraising can be done for PSST whilst returning some much needed R&D money to SOAC.

I checked the website and it is no longer active. I had thought it was checked to renew automatically, but I guess that it was not checked and therefore expired. Therefore, I will need to contact the host (Go Daddy) to reactivate the site so that I can use it for blogging to while I get everything organised for SOAC, including eventually its own dedicated website.


It was a rainy day for clubs day yesterday. Unfortunately it wasn’t rainy enough. The event was moved indoors because of the inclement weather, but it didn’t actually rain much so not many students came into the building. Compared to last year, which also got moved indoors, there would have been less than half the number of people wandering around.

As a result we only signed five new members (we normally average about 20), and only sold one soap. It was a disappointing day.

I had a day of tidying and organising today (first time I’ve seen parts of my bedroom floor in a while).

Nic manning the PSST stand


I have a meeting with my supervisors today to establish our working relationship (mutual responsibilities).


I made some liquid soap solution with the soap nuts and diluted some of this for use as a shampoo. The solution can be diluted in various strengths to be used as a dishwashing detergent, pet shampoo, and multi-purpose cleaner. It seems possible to replace all cleaning products, both personal and home care.

Boil 2 shells / cup of water for ½ hour

(I used 10 shells in 5 cups of water)

Strain to get liquid soap / detergent solution

(Use shells and cloth for a load of laundry)

Undiluted solution and diluted shampoo at 20:1 water to solution

I also made a third batch of deodorant, which I designed to be more liquid so that it works in a roll-on container. The first batch had coconut oil, shea butter and coco butter as the oil component and was intended for use in solid form as a wind up stick, similar to a glue stick. In the second batch I substituted castor oil for cocoa butter and this created a creamy consistency which is good for wiping on with finger but which is still too solid for use as a roll-on. In this third batch, I reduced the amount of coconut oil and shea butter and doubled the amount of castor oil.

Let’s hope this batch remains liquid enough for use in a roll-on container

Tomorrow I’ll be heading to an Emergency General Meeting of the UOW Post-Situationist Society. We will be re-establishing the executive for 2017, and I will be stepping back into the president’s role.

I will also contact the host of the website to see about re-activating the site so I can start uploading my blog notes (which I think didn’t renew because of my credit card expiry date and the fact I had a new card issued in the last 12 months).

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