When I was off work recently (seems an age ago!) with my hand injury, I had plenty of time to read up on my favorite blogs. This particular post on Frugal Queen was Soap Making, which really caught my eye, so I decided to have a go myself, with visions of making something like these to give as presents, or sell on my upcoming stall in Otley!
I decided to go completely from scratch rather than do melt and pour soap making, mainly as this recipe was the same one featured on channel 4's, Kirstie's Homemade Home series (I think!) and as I ADORE that show, (and Froogs' tutorial seemed relatively easy) it appealed to me and to my little sister and so we got stuck in!
I forgot to take pictures, :( but it involved mixing caustic soda, oils etc (click the above link for the tutorial) and stirring for quite literally, HOURS until the soap reached trace (where it thickens up, see pic below).
My hand blender actually conked out due to being overheated, I was stirring that long!
I followed all the steps in the tutorial, which advised to store the soap in towels overnight in the airing cupboard, and turn the soap out of the tubs/moulds the following day when they have hardened up a bit, then leave them for a month until they are safe to use (as the soap is still caustic and harmful until then) and after chopping the soap into usable sized blocks, it looked like this:
I didn't use any colours or patterned moulds, I just followed the basic tutorial and for a first attempt, I think It looks soapish, smells nice (I used lavender essential oil) its very moisturising due to the olive oil content, and it gives a nice gentle lather, but even after a few months, although the soap holds its shape well, it is quite squishy to touch. :(
Does anyone have any ideas on why this is or what I can do to avoid this in any further batches I make? Or what stage to add any colouring to my soap (would mineral mica colouring work?)
All in all though, I'm pretty pleased with my first ever attempt at soap making 'from scratch' and I'm enjoying using it up :)
Have you tried your hand at soap making?