Saturday, July 9, 2011

Making Soap

About a year ago I went to a friends to make soap. It was fun! It was easy! And I knew I'd be making soap again. Well, the time finally arrived. I was almost out and another friend wanted to learn to make soap. I'll admit I was a little nervous to make soap. If you google soap making some of the warnings about working with lye are a little scary. This was the reason I went to make it with my experienced friend first. Well my friend who joined me this time had those same first time nerves. But trust me. Soap making is fun and easy! Being prepared and knowing what to expect make working with lye doable.

First off is an simple recipe. I like the Homesteader's Soap found in The Complete Soapmaker by Norma Coney. This is a simple, I'd say fool proof, recipe that uses only three ingredients: tallow, lye and water.

Second,you need to gather your ingredients and tools. You really should have some items dedicated to making soap. And you should have a scale as it is important to weigh rather than measure your ingredients.

Now that you've gathered your supplies make sure you have some time when you wont be interrupted or have too many kids or animals passing through your work area.

Soap making isn't hard, but getting the right proportion of ingredients is essential. Weighing the ingredients is the way to go.

Making your lye mixture is the dangerous part, but with a few precautions such a gloves and goggles, it really isn't hard. there are a few fumes so don't put your face over the container. The chemical reaction that occurs is really cool. The mixture quickly heats up to about 200 degrees! Don't touch it and don't spill it! chemical burns are no fun.

Add your lye mixture to your tallow. Once again be careful not to splash.

Mixing with a stick blending makes the process move along quite quickly. Yard sales, freecyle, and Craig's list are great places to pick up stick blenders and containers for soap making.

Once your mixture reaches the trace stage it is time to pour it into your molds. Lucky for me my friend has beautiful soap molds, but you can use just about any container.

Now we have to wait. First the soap sits in the mold wrapped in a towel for 48 hours.

After the 48 hours is up, pop your soap out of the molds. The soap needs to sure and it is best that air can circulate around it. If not you will have to turn it. This takes a few more weeks and then your soap is ready to go.

Making soap is a lot of fun. It really isn't hard. It's frugal! And homemade soap is sooo good and doesn't have any junk that you don't want. There is tons of information on line and many great soap making books. I urge you to give it a try.

Next up for us, we will be taking some of our Homesteader Soap and milling it to add herbs and essential oils. Yep! We're going to try our hands at making some fancy soap. I'll let you know how it turns out.

1 comment:

Thanks for stopping by for a visit! I look forward to your thoughts.