Wednesday, April 24, 2013

adventures in soap making

A long time ago (at least 2 to 3 years ago) I took a soap making class with a local store here that specializes in soap (from supplies, classes, and finished products). Slowly afterwards, I started collecting soap making supplies but just never got around to making soap.

I'll be honest, I was always a little daunted by the chemicals and mess that it felt like it would be. I always felt confused by how to really understand trace.

Looking back, 4 batches of soap made at home later, I have no idea why I let myself feel so nervous or avoidant of the task.

Don't get me wrong, I royally mucked up my first batch by using potassium hydroxide instead of sodium hydroxide and even though I spent hours trying to salvage it into liquid soap, I eventually decided that enough was enough. Blame google search and wikipedia (and crafter error) for said blunder.

But hey, now I know, in principle and somewhat in practice, a lot more about hot processed soaps and liquid soaps. (Enough to know that I won't be going there again any time soon).

The other 3 batches worked like a charm though!


This one is for the baby. I'll share how I made it in another post. The plan is to let it set and cut it into 4 quarters to use on Baby Faye. It is an olive based (castille) soap, superfatted and meant to be luxuriously gentle on a baby's skin. If it turns out (and it looks like it will), I should have enough from this batch to last me a while. 

Added bonus: the only supplies I purchased were dried chamomile flowers and castor oil. I had everything else already in the house. Woo hoo... using up more of my stash. Sweet! So far Baby Faye has been great in terms of me working my way through stashed crafting supplies!

And then, since I had everything out already, I made soap for Mr Faye and myself:


The soap on the left is for Mr Faye. I actually made it using Palm Oil (which I just found out was bad, but I had it in my stash already and guess what... the Palm Oil I have is not only eco, but ethically produced and certified sustainable, phew... I feel much better now)! Don't you just hate it when you find out something you've purchased is so rotten, but love it even more when you realize... WAIT, no it isn't... Yay for purchasing from suppliers who care and are informed!

So Mr Faye's soap was scented with a Cedar based essential oil. Note that I always use eco essential oil and not fragrance because perfumes are quite toxic. What would be the point of buying all the eco, sustainable supplies if I was going to them fudge it up with chemical perfumes?

The smell was strong as I was mixing it, but manly in an earthy kind of way. Fingers crossed that he'll like it. I'm a little nervous that he'll find it too earthy. But with a month to cure and only a tablespoon of oil in the batch, it should be fairly mellow by the time it's ready for him to use it.

Only new product: the castor oil that I bought for Baby Faye's soap.

The bars on on the right (which look blah but are actually in a mold that says handmade on the top), are for me. Same soap base as Mr Faye's soap but with Ylang Ylang, Bergamot, and Lavender essential oils. More stash used up from the days that I was really into Aromatherapy.

I should really get back into that.

And, I really have too much stuff in my house! It's good to realize that I'm finally getting more use out of them but man, crafting can be dangerous, not only for your pocket book, but also your living space. Thankfully I'm not feeling daunted by soap making anymore so I foresee more of it in my future!



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