I hope this works….

If you don't experiment, you don't learn.

Shampoo bar

I don’t know whether to say a “bar of shampoo” or  “hair soap”, but either way, I made some today. I scented it it with Rosemary and Lavender.  This time I added enough smelly bits and at the right time. I finished it around 4 and it still smells good.  I got the recipe from the Mommypotamus site/blog (link is on the left) and it was really easy. It is a Hot Process Soap (HPS) as compared to the Cold Process Soap (CPS) I made earlier.  The main difference is that that you heat up the mixed oils/fats/lye in your crockpot for an hour.  An added step, but it cuts the curing time from a month to a week. It also looks different…more chunky.

I accidentally bought Lanolin oil instead of Castor oil, so had to go back to Whole Foods to make the exchange. Lanolin and Castor oil do not do the same thing in soap making, even tho they sit right next to each other in the store….   I lost the receipt in the two short hours I was home, and was all apologetic to the checker, but he didn’t even flinch and made the exchange with no problem.  That was the only hiccup. Everything else proceeded according to plan and now the soap is sitting in it’s little mold and getting hard enough to pull out and cut.  Should be ready tomorrow afternoon.  I might even post pictures.  This is a boring post. I am tired.





Cake, Corn-pone or……….Soap?

I am not going to post pics because you really can’t tell if they are 12 little yellow squares of cake, corn-pone or soap.  I didn’t add enough scent (geranium rose) so they don’t smell like flowers at all.  However, all that aside, The saponification process took place and they are now cut and curing. I just have to remember to turn them over once a week for the next 4 weeks.

When I was making them, I was short about 4 oz of coconut oil, so made it up with Shea butter and a little bit of olive oil.  Why? because it was what I had on hand.  I know nothing of the different properties of each oil, other than coconut and palm are the ones of which you need the most. (see what I did there? I’m an old, unused English major) I guess I will find out if it worked in about a month when they get done curing.

I want to make more, experiment, before I forget what I learned this time, but don’t want to have a soap glut in our house. I doubt anyone will want to buy these or even take them off my hands for free…They are really pathetic looking little things.  People nowadays like snap and pizazz. They like color and smell and adorableness.  These soaps have none of that.  I’m sure they will do the job they were made to do, but without that élan that makes everything fun. Do I want ugly soap around the house for a year?   That is the question.

Maybe I can shave them up into little pieces and make soap balls.  Dip them in something herbish and/or leafish so they don’t look so yellow.  Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm…….


Soapmaking – the first attempt.

I have heard soap-making can be forgiving.  I sure hope that is true.

I took a class a couple of months ago. Waited until it wasn’t snowing or blowing or just plain too darn cold outside. The oils were too hot (150 degrees) and the lye/milk/water was too cold (85 degrees) when it came time to mixing them together, so I put the lye mixture in a hot water bath in the sink and put the too hot oil/fats in the fridge until both were within the 100-120 degree range.  Then I mixed them together and apparently achieved “trace” without realizing it as the mix suddenly started to get solid. I quickly poured it into one mold and part of another.  Then wrapped them in a towel and stuck them in a box on the floor. They have to stay warm for at least 24 hours.  Maybe I should have put them in an insulated cooler.

I hope this works.