It sure has been a long 24-hours waiting to see our soap!
First, let me tell you how this all came about – making the soap, that is. I’ve always liked the idea of making our own stuff – back to when I had the first three Foxfire books. But with working and all, I abandoned all of that until the last couple of years. Now retired, I can pursue some of those interests I only dreamed about years ago.
In November, I went to a craft fair where I ended up spending most of my time at the soap maker’s booth. I touched and smelled all of her soaps, and then listened to other customers rave about their benefits. Well, I was sold on her soap and bought several bars, including a few for Christmas presents.
We started using her soap and agreed it was much better than the liquid soap we’ve been using for years. While in Florida we stopped in Tarpon Springs at the Sponge Dock area where we found more homemade soap. We bought several bars from the shops, for you know, research. Also during one of those cold vacation days we stopped at a bookstore where I purchased The Natural Soap Book. I read the whole book from cover-to-cover before we returned home. I had bought Soap Naturally before we left and had read much of it before the trip.
So since that trip – for the last month – I have been researching everything I could find about soap. Both books included great recipes, but they made so many bars and I really wanted to ease into this project. I found this website that has, in addition to lots of great soap making information, formulas for small batches. Now to buy my supplies. I agonized (as I do about spending money on anything) about the mold, and even though we have a lot of stuff around here to use – milk cartons, plastic trays, and cardboard boxes, I wanted this first try to be in a wood soap mold. If we were successful, we could use this mold over and over again. If not, I could sell it on ebay! This mold would be easy to make, but with so many other projects around here, an already-made mold was the way to go to get this project done.
Yesterday we spread out our newspapers over the kitchen counter and then started the Cold Process. From what I’ve read, measuring accurately is a major key to successful soap making. Our kitchen digital scale makes that so easy. Getting the oils and the lye water at the same temperature was a challenge, but it worked. It really helped having an two sets of hands and eyes. I’m looking forward to our next batch.
Well, here it is!
Cool! I’ll be there in July–hope you have some left by then!
Oh, I’m sure we will!! Can’t wait for you to try this – no scents. Thanks for dropping by and looking foward to your visit!
What fun! I’ve never made my own soap. Although my husband’s grandmother used to tell us about when she made soap on the back porch, and how much she hated using lye…I suppose that’s why I’ve never tried. Would be lovely to pair soap-making with fragrant herbs and flowers from the garden. Homemade lavender soap! Do you think you’ll try adding fragrance to your next batch?
How cool! I want to try making soap some time, but I’m probably where you were a few years ago: no time. 🙁 Still, very inspiring post. 🙂
Yes, we do plan to include herbs and flowers from the garden. We wanted this first batch to be the basic coconut, olive and palm oil soap. Our next batch will probably be Oatmeal Honey, but I definitely want to experiment with our lavender. Coloring with plants and spices and adding fragrances will be exciting. As far as the time, really it only took us a little over an hour to make the actual soap. Like you, the only thing that has stopped me was dealing with the lye and it’s really not that bad as long as you take precautions (goggles, gloves and long sleeves) and treat it with respect like any other chemical. That website link really gave me the confidence to proceed. Thanks for dropping by and commenting.
Meredith, Thanks for dropping by and your nice comment. It really didn’t take as much time as I thought it would – around an hour. It’s just getting all of the stuff together and making sure to follow directions. Thanks again for stopping by.
Very cool and how exciting! The lye has always stopped me and the fact that I can be clumsy! I’m not even sure where lye can be purchased – I saw an online source but a certificate had to be filled out, etc. I am sure this will be very very fun and exciting for you both … Great job!
RG, I know, the lye is scary, but you just need to be careful as it as you are with any chemical. I purchased it from Bramble Berry online since they carry a lot of soap making supplies, instead of a lye dealer. You download the waiver, fill it out and sign, scan it and email it. If you don’t have a scanner, fax it or mail it. It’s just like your cooking or crafting. You follow a recipe and that’s all it is. Thanks for dropping by!
Awesome! Sure beats making it in a big black kettle outside over a fire!