Well, we changed all that! It took us the better part of a Sunday, but now we have about 10 lbs of beautiful, creamy, woovy-groovy homemade soap curing upstairs in my house. Yay!
Since we only make one batch and only do it every other year, we always use the same recipe out of this book:
|I made a cheat sheet there on the left for quick reference.|
- Get all of your supplies together (this is important, unless you like running up and down the stairs 20 times to grab the things you forgot- which, apparently, I do...)
- Mix the lye with water. This heats up to 200 degrees F, so my first suggestion is to do this EARLY! Like even the night before. It needs to cool down to 80 degrees before you mix it with the fats/oils. ***Lye is VERY caustic, it will burn you if you get it on your skin. You must be very careful when working with this ingredient***
Measuring the temperature of the lye water. For safety's sake- either gloves, a smaller jar or a longer thermometer is really recommended! I tend to live life on the edge ( a little)
- We use coconut, palm and olive oil for the fats. Coconut and palm oils are solid at room temperature, so you need to melt them. They need to cool to 80 degrees also, so plan accordingly.
It's always fun to work with someone who is good at measuring!
- When both solutions are 80 degrees, mix together. For us this meant putting the lye water out in a snow bank and then bringing it back in because we were afraid one of the four wild animals (aka dogs) would knock it over. Then bringing snow in and filling the sink with snow and water. Then heating the oils up again. Making them too hot, having to wait for them to cool- You get the picture. This is the most important step and (for us anyway) the most difficult!
- Then stir-briskly. The soap is supposed to trace (leave a small pattern on top of the solution before sinking back in when you drip some on top) after about 40 minutes. We stirred for about 2 hours...
|Yes, those are lavender blossoms in the bottom of that mold. and yes, they are from my garden.|
|See how I dressed up in my finest for this job?|
|It's ok if you spill a little, this spill made a little heart!|
|All the beautiful shapes...|
|We mixed calendula petals into the soap, which you can kind of see here.|
|Some with lavender buds too|
|Calendula flowers fresh from the garden (obviously, this photo was taken during summer time, not in February...)|