Sunday, January 4, 2009

{ my 1st batch of soap }

Over the last few weeks I have been attempting to conquer a new craft! Soap making, which is new to me; I have so many wonderful herbs in my garden such as lavender, chamomile and mint. I wanted to incorporate them into something that I could make and use at home. First after exploring Michael’s craft shop, I came home with some new soap molds and pre-made glycerin soap cubes. The first soaps that I made came out nice and I wrapped them in scrapbook pattern paper and ribbon. I gave them as gifts at Ashley’s Baby Shower. I did find them a bit difficult to remove from the molds and after researching the web found out that I needed to spray the molds with Pam or wipe them with Vaseline for easy removal from the molds. Then I drove full speed into the idea of making soap with lard, olive oil and lye. With recipe in hand I stood in the kitchen wearing safety glasses, an extra shirt and gloves mixing up the ingredients. My hubby came in the kitchen asking what I was doing. He asked if anything was going to explode. I said no but I may be blind tomorrow and smiled! I wait 24 hours for my homemade soap to harden and well it never did and I poured the sludge into the trash can, yuck! My 3rd attempt of soap I found a new recipe with detailed instructions about the entire process of soap making and new ingredients. Going into this process again I now understand that the milk and lye mixture must be the same temperature as the oil mixture before combining the two together. The new recipe included the following:
Lightly Lavender Soap Recipe:
11.3 oz. of Coconut Oil
11.7 oz. of Palm Oil
6.1 oz. of Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
15.5 oz. of Whole Milk
2 ½ T Lavender Essential Oil
Dried Lavender Herbs
1 T Olive Oil
Here is a photo of my soap bars; they do have to cure for 4 weeks. So I will let you know how they work out. Yes, so happy to have some homemade soap bars. The soap making craft is appealing to me because the commercial soaps that are on the market are so drying and many are actually synthetic detergents. Hand crafted soaps are said to work better and provide a moisturizing luxury feel.
Smiles, Paula

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