Thursday, July 1, 2010

Homemade Soap!

Ok, I've been wanting to make soap for about 3 years now.  Every year I think about it.  One year I actually sat down and watched a few videos on the art of soap making.  Whenever I pass a vender who is selling home made soaps, I stop and look, smell, and wonder if I could do it.  I usually wind up talking to the soap maker and they always encourage me that it's really not that hard.  So this summer, when I was putting together a summer schedule for the kids and I, I included my long time dream of soap making.  Inside I was really wondering if I would get around to it.
 So after doing a bunch of research, AJ and finally picked a recipe and gathered our supplies. I tried to use things I had already so that my first batch didn't cost too much.  I already had palm oil, peppermint essential oil and lavender flowers.  I also had a silicon bread pan that would be a perfect mold.  After all, I didn't know if I'd ever do this again, so why get all the fancy supplies.  I decided to go ahead and get Lye from Lowe's and pay the $12 even though it's $6 each on the web plus shipping when you buy 5 jars of it!  I found out that you can buy special soap colorants which would add to the cost too.  Then I found out that you can use natural items like spices to create color and even melted crayons!  I've got those too! :)

So this is my bar above.  It is scented with lavender flowers, dried rosemary and I threw in a message oil that I happened to have that is a wintermint/lemongrass scent.  I used turmeric (spice) in hopes of a yellow color.  In the end, I discovered that dried lavender are quite potent and that is what it smells like mostly now that it's done.  The yellow, turned to peach, which turned to beige.  It's not the prettiest but definitely has a homemade look to it that many soaps have.
AJ helped me a lot and was most interested in soap making.  We printed off our directions from the web and watched endless videos about each step trying to make sure we understood how it all works. AJ wanted red swirls in his soap so we chose to try red crayons.  He added peppermint essential oil to scent his soap.  His turned out really cool looking!

AJ got about 8 bars out of his chunk.  It sliced like butter.  We had to wait 24 hours for it to set up before slicing it and I thought AJ was going to pass out from waiting!  He wanted to slice his bar at the exact moment the clock reached the 24 hr. mark! 

Measuring and slicing intently. 

It almost looks like candy!  This is when it's ok to say that it looks better than it tastes!

So we plan to make another batch soon. Our batch made 20 bars.  You just might receive soap for Christmas this year or possibly your birthday (although I'm horrible at remembering birthdays), or maybe for no reason at all. 

The last test was to see if it lathered.  It does, it does!  I was so very excited that our experiment with soap making was a success.  My soap making dream came to fruition and it was a total blast.  Now I can say I'm a soap maker!

Last night I made a gallon of liquid soap with 4 oz. of this bar soap!  So cool!  More on that later if your interested. :)  


Elicia said...

so cool!

Dorinda said...

"...if you're interested." - ARE YOU SERIOUS? Bring it on! :)

Dave, Krysten, Andrew, and Kira said...

that is so awesome!! I have always wanted to make it too!! Can't wait to get there so you can teach me ;)

Porter Family said...

AJ's soap looks yummy like a sundried tomato pesto concoction. But I know, NOT SO GOOD for eating! Very cool idea.