Thursday, May 13, 2010

Making Homemade Bar Soap.....

Last fall I attempted to made home made lye bar soap. It was a failed attempted, which was very disappointing because of the time and the supplies I had invested. I have come to the conclusion that the failure was a result of a bad recipe I had acquired. So it was no surprise to my Hubby, that I jumped at the chance to go to a soap making class when a girlfriend asked me if I was interested. I went and then felt inspired to give it another try! This process of soap making was somewhat different from what I tried in my first go around. This process involved cooking the soap in a crockpot! I won't go into total detail of how every step is done (because I realize some of you could care less), but here is an over view for those who wonder how it works.

~~Not shown in this picture~The first thing I did was mix the lye solution with the distilled water. In this step you have to be so careful. When the lye is mixed with the water is gives a chemical reaction that actually heats the solution to somewhere around 120 degrees F. I did this step outside where there was plenty of ventilation, and no kids present. Then I left the mixture to cool off while I continued on with the process. (You are wanting the solution to cool to 80 degrees F.
~~In this picture~ The next step is to carefully measure each ingredient and put it into the crockpot. Once all the ingredients are all melted check your temp on the lye solution.
 You can see in this picture that it is a nice creamy color once all the ingredients are combined. Now it's time to stir. Your aiming for a consistency that resembles thick vanilla pudding. The term they use in "soap talk" is trace. You have reached that when you can remove the spoon and move it across the mixture leaving a "trail" that in only a few seconds sinks into the mix....Make sense? After reaching that point you "cook" the soap in the crockpot until it reaches roll over. The soap will cook from the outside inward in the pot, and when it collapses on itself it is done cooking.
 The gal I took the class from recommended two mini loaf pans to use as molds for the soap. I have been unable to find metal ones at the point. Instead I decided to use yogurt cups from my stockpile. I poured the soap into the cups and then put them inside my biggest roasting pan. I then covered the cups with one big sheet of wax paper, and put an old bath towel on top, finally the lid. Then two more blankets were placed on top.
 It will look something like this! The point of all that is so the soap will cool slowly and set up properly. You then let this set for 24 hours. Then I removed all the towels and took out the cups and ran scissors down the side to cut them open and then removed the soap from the molds. Then I sliced them into individual pieces of soap. At the end of process mine looked like this!
 I was able to get 29 bars of soap from one batch. I added a strawberry fragrance to the soap, and it smells pretty good, but not overwhelming. After cutting the bars of soap you place them on brown paper and turn them once a day for one week. When you use it is up to you, but the gal that taught the class said the longer you wait to use it the harder the soap will be....because the more it drys the better and long lasting the soap will be.

I am just thrilled that is turned out like it was suppose to. Feels like redemption to me!! I am very excited to provide my family with a soap that is all natural and something I was able to make. HOW FUN!!! I was able to complete the whole process of making the soap in 2 hours. Then I had a little extra time in cutting the soap. Over all I feel it was worth the time and effort.

If you want more details and the recipe I used you can leave me a comment with an email and I will do my best to get it to you in a timely manner.

I am linking up with Good, Beautiful and True (Just for the JOY of it!) and 8 Muddy Boots (From Scratch) to share my homemade soap adventure. Stop in and say Hi to them...tell them I sent!



Mominin said...

Danielle~ It looks great! This is on my list of things I want to learn to do. I would love your recipe. Where do you buy the lye? I had looked into it a few months ago online and it was so expensive to ship. Have you found someplace local to get it? Thanks for all the info!

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

I am stopping by again...oh, my..I have wanted to make soap for years. I have read and read about it, but haven't done it with our home school year coming to a close I will just have to do this...I am marking this page.
My season of life is allowing me to do these type of things again...things I did when my first four were small...what an encouragement to try it.

Our Lives said...

What a great post on soap making! I'd love to see the recipe. Would you please post it when you have a chance? I have been putting off making my own soap because I have a toddler but I thought it would be a good idea to collect the recipe that works! :)

Sarah said...

Awesome! I have been wanting to make soap. I was hoping to make goat milk soap, but alas, I have no goat's milk! So I will have to try to learn without!

Thanks for linking up!

Jamie~ said...

That is fantastic! I love learning how to do things like that for my family. I cannot imagine the sense of accomplishment you must have had when you were all done. Good for you!

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