Monday, October 19, 2009

SOAPMAKING 101

Table set up in Jen's garage
Distilled water in pitchers, 6.1oz lye in baggie

CONQUERED.....fear of lye!!!

I have wanted to make my own soap for over 7 years now, but was always hesitant because of the lye factor. The stuff just plain scared me!

My friend Jen, also wanted to make soap.

Two people, working together to make soap, was perhaps the way to go!

So...with some research online, the book I have had for over 7 years dug out, and a bit of planning, we were underway!

Jen, stirring her lye/water mixture

The stuff is caustic, so you need to stand back as your stir the lye into the water and cover your nose and mouth.

My stick blender, mixing the oils with the lye mixture.

We found a local gal who had written an article for our city newspaper last year, so downloaded her instructions and pretty much followed them to a T.
We had a few questions, so I looked her up in the phone book and she graciously answered everything I asked and offered additional help if needed.

Soap poured into wax-paper lined shoe box

So, yesterday, armed with all the ingredients, we made our 1st two batches...one for me, one for Jen.
Cut soap air-drying for the next 4-6 weeks.

I went back to Jen's this morning for the soap-cutting ceremony and to make another two batches.
We figured while it was still fresh in our minds we'd better do it again!

I can honestly say it was not bad at all.

In fact, it is ALMOST easy peasy!
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27 comments:

Faith said...

YAY!

Great job!!! I need to make my soap for Christmas, but I've not had the time yet. EEEEEK!

I'm going to have to do it. Maybe this week.... aye-yi-yi....

New t-shirt:

"I don't fear no lye". OK, maybe that one's not so great.

~Faith

Renata said...

That looks great!
I think it's the lye thing that I'm a bit afraid of as well! Well done for conquering it!

Sandra said...

The first time I made soap I thought, "Is that ALL there is to it??" I too was afraid of the lye, but now I just know to be careful of it. Your soap looks like mine.

Vickie's Michigan Garden (my backyard) said...

Sounds like a great idea-looks perfect too! Did you put a scent in it of some sort?
vickie

Lola Nova said...

Good for you! I haven't made soap in years, it looks great. Such a satisfying thing too.

I responded to your question about the plant in my comments section on my blog.

Have a great afternoon!

Melodie said...

Looks like you all did a good job.I was scared at first too.I think everyone is a little.
Homemade soaps make wonderful Christmas presents!

Kay-The Rustic Cottage said...

Yeah for you!! You conquered the fear! I wanted to make soap for 10 years but was always afraid of the lye. One day my daughter said we were just going to do it. I actually broke out in a cold sweat when I was pouring the lye into the water. That was 5 years ago and now it's second nature - except that I will always have a healthy respect for the lye. What scents did you use?? Now you'll be hooked and making soap all the time!

Hugs,
Kay

Holly said...

You and Jen will love the soap and the best part is you conquered one of your fears. I'm so proud of you.

Her Preppiness said...

Looks great.

Dawn said...

Soapmaking has long been on my someday list. The lye has been an issue for me. Hmmm...easy peasy you say?

Parisienne Farmgirl said...

AHHHH - you beat me to it!!!

Did you get the lye online??? Cant find it around here - IL took it off the shelves - people making meth out if it...
Do you think I should wait for Joel to help me cause of the smell?? And , I don't have a hand mixer like that but every website says I need one.
I want to do this so bad - I am doing homemade goody baskets for Christmas and want to include soap so badly!!!!
Did you add essential oils or anything? Goats milk??

Maria said...

Hi Cyn!
Who would have known soap takes so long to dry! wow!
I absolutely LOVE the goats milk soap I buy from a nice farmgirl in PA. The homemade quality of it makes it even more special...
You're awesome for trying this yourself... You always amaze me!
Hope you have a great week! ~Maria

Catherine Anne said...

Thank you for this!

KathyB. said...

I was afraid of lye too, but made soap anyway. Just being very, very careful with the lye. The soap I made was wonderful and like you said, I found out it was easy to make soap. I made it with my goat's milk and home-grown lavender.I still have a few bars of soap I have saved 'just because' , the rest of my soap was in great demand from my family and I bet yours' will be too. Aren't you glad you went ahead and just did it? Great post!

Donna said...

Way to go! I am scared of the lye mixture too, so I've stuck with making the melt and pour soap. Did you an anything for frangrance?

Beautiful pear tree lane said...

Hi Cyn,
Great job, I have always wanted to try this but like you the lye was a little intimidating. I am now more motivated. I also enjoyed your apron making story, just adorable. My mother and I started making aprons and we had a hoot, even had some disasters. It is so great to be able to visit again as I have had a busy summer, I always enjoy visiting you.
Blessings,
Sue

Pink Slippers said...

Your comment on my blog made me laugh out loud. I loved ---
'Homeschooling Gym Class'
PERFECT!
Wendy

50s Housewife said...

Yeah for homemade soap!:) Looks beautiful!

My mom and I made some together a few years ago. I definitely thing working with someone else is the way to go.

Jane said...

Way to go for it!! You guys proved that 2 heads (or soapmakers) are better than one!!
Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm going to follow you and see what you do with the burlap webbing.
Jane

Janie B said...

Hello! Your blog looks like a fun one. I love crafting but rarely do it anymore. I need to get my "crafty" going again, so I'm following you for inspiration.

PlantSomeRoots@Lakewood said...

Ahhh...making soap. It's on my bucket list! LOL! I have had a fear of lye also. I keep saying this is the year!
Living it up at Lakewood,
Cindy

Mrs. P. said...

Congratulations on your first (and second) batches of soap..did anyone warn you it is addictive :)

Blessings!
Gail

Jane (Frugal Fine Living) said...

Great post! I have always wanted to try this. Thanks for sharing it.

Jane

Heather said...

Good job! I've never attempted soap and have to admit that I'm not sure I'm up for it. I've been the happy getter of a few bars from different people. It is always extra special since I know effort went into it. I won't tell them you say it is 'easy peasy!' :) Way to go!

Heather

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

This is something I've always wanted to do. When my kids get older, I'm really am going to do this! Thanks for posting this.

God Bless,
Jackie

A Big Bowl Of Cherries said...

Yes, two people making soap was definitely the way to go. Otherwise it would still be on my to-do list, and you could still be a lye-phobia sufferer;)
So what shall we take on next? LOL!
Love ya,
Jen

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