I have wanted to make soap for a while now. At first it was a fleeting hobby-ish thing like candle making. I went to Michael's and was not satisfied with the melt and pour supplies there. I am smart enough to understand that making soap and melt-and-pour are not the same. Then this Christmas, I was gifted a wonderful bar of soap made locally by Smells Like A Monkey. It was delightful and after several weeks of using it, I had the best skin of my life. I've always had sensitive skin and just chalked it up to hard well water, and chemical laced municipal water, and too much sunscreen, or not enough exfoliation. Until this soap, it never occurred to me that my issue was chemical laced soaps and body washes. In case I wasn't already sold on the homemade soap, I went back to the old faithful commercial soap and within days I was so broken out all over my whole body I was going mad. Back to the store for more monkey soap... for $7 a bar. Ouch. Thus, Amanda the soap maker was born.
For starters, I want to thank Rachel at Small Notebook for the best basic tutorial. This really helped me commit to the idea and see how plain and easy it is. I purchased coconut, palm and olive oils for the job, and found the lye as "drain opener" at my local Tractor Supply Company. (Though if you call and ask if they have lye, they will say "no.")
MMS Lye Calculator, a wonderful tool for non-chemistry folks like me.
troubleshooter. I looked up 'crumbly but soft and greasy soap' and learned about false trace and that I could save my soap by remelting. So, I remelted in the crock pot (which made my previously "cold process soap" into "hot process soap"), adding a teensy bit of water to the mix. It took a few hours and a lot of stirring. The texture is not the same as cold process soap but as soon as this cooled and hardened it was usable soap, bubbly and soft, without the 4 weeks of cure time. Ugly, but soap.
This post was linked up to the Homestead Barn Hop #62 :