Boy was that a busy Christmas season. Of course we decided to renovate the manufacturing facility during our busiest time of year. When it rains it pours.

Since we’ve revved up our batch size, we have seen a real need to reconfigure our production space. We’ve made a dedicated place for extracting the soap from the soap molds, and we now have three large sinks in place solely for washing molds (having dedicated sinks makes it easier to avoid contamination). We’ve also added a much bigger counter for cutting the soap and stacking it in the drying trays. Because of the increased batch size, the pots of oils and milk have become unmanageable. To remedy this we’ve turned to the use of simple machines to make our production easier and safer. We’ve created a winching mechanism to lift the heavy pot for us, and we’ve also built a pot tipper to make it easier and safer to pour.

Although the new production space isn’t complete yet, I’ve used it several times to make soap and it is a very nice setup. Not having to spend so much energy on lifting pots and pouring and aiming (yes, we’ve developed a new mold system that is much easier to pour into) enables me to concentrate even more on heating my oils, mixing the ingredients evenly, and the chemical reaction that is going on inside my soap pot. Another nice feature of the large batch size is that the chemical reaction happens more quickly (this is because it retains heat better than a smaller batch heat expedites the chemical reaction). This just means I spend less time mixing the batch, which I think helps me pay more attention to what I’m doing.

I’m pretty excited about the new production space. I’ll keep you posted and I’ll have pictures available when everything is finished.



  1. Thanks for the friendly comments! I’m glad to see you are following my posts. I love to hear what our Alabu “family” has to say : )


  2. Lynn Campbell

    Hi Hal!

    I have been reading your blog posts and am all caught up now. You’re a good writer and it’s very interesting reading your perspective on the 10 years of Alabu soapmaking! Washing with milk DOES seem sorta weird, huh! But I have been using your soaps this past year and really do like them a lot! I’m out right now but since we are about to move in the next several days, I’ll wait to place my next order from the new address.

    Just wanted to say how much I enjoy the products but also enjoy the “family” atmosphere and nature of the newsletters. I feel drawn right in and made a part of your wonderful family and I love the family “news” and pictures in each newsletter – the seasons of life and how each is celebrated and special. I live on the Gulf Coast of Florida – another beautiful and special place in God’s creation.

    You guys keep up the good work and have a great 2008! I’ll be over to place my order as soon as we get moved! : )

    Bless your whole family! (and that includes the critters as well!)
    From a Happy Alabu customer and FRIEND!


  3. Cindy McCaffrey

    I am so happy to hear you have been able to have machine help. I know myself, I cannot do things anymore and any help is appreciated. I cannot wait to see the new pictures. Every month I live for your newsletters. I love the pictures.
    I remember when I was about 12 my grandparents took me out to visit someone who taught me how to milk a goat. I had a blast that day. I doubt I could milk a goat these days. 🙂
    Your soap has helped me very much. I did try your tea tree lotion, but I was unable to deal with the fragrance. The soap is not that strong. I have migraine problems with strong smells. So my hubby made out better than I that time. Besides he has eczema and he loves it.
    Next order I will get unscented soap and try that.
    Thank you. Don’t give up the ship.
    Your adoring customer

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