It’s Soap!

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!

Soap in mold ready to open
It’s soap!
Dave scoring the soap block before slicing
Slicing the soap
Our soap resting for the next 4 – 6 weeks