Thursday, 5 May 2011

My First Attempt At Soap Making!

Hi everyone!

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?


  1. That looks great! I love Kirsty too, and saw the program with the soap making. I've even got a soap recipe book and keep meaning to have a go, I'll have to find it out and get the ingredients - I presume you can find them on-line? Anyway, yours turned out very well :o)

  2. I've got no idea about how to make it less squishy as I've never tried soap making but wow, doesn't it look great? I'm well impressed!

  3. I would love to try - i am so impressed - i may try now because of you. squishy soap sounds lush! verity x

  4. Well done you, they look great. One thing I've neve tried making. Think you may have inspired me to have a go.

    X x

  5. I've wanted to have a go at this since watching the show. I think yu can still watch it on 4 on demand, it shows when to add colour etc. I think there was also a hints and tips bit too. Last time I looked was Christmas, but I'd left it too late to make any as it needed the 4 week minimum to neutralise and make safe the soda. x

  6. Hi there. I also make soap a la Kirsty/Froogs, and you add the colouring (not water based) and the scent once it is at trace, before you pop it into the moulds.
    I have used essential oils, and even organic honey and oatmeal (which makes a lovely rich scrub bar). Have fun!
    Fostermummy X

  7. Well Done!

    I've never tried soap making, but I may have to have a go now.


  8. Well done - fabulous! Ive never been brave enough to try soap making :o) Scarlett x

  9. Hello there! Thank you soooooo much for your lovely, kind comment x. And for popping over to my blog! Lovely to find you! I'm off to have a good read now :D

    Jo x

  10. Hi - I've just found your blog! I'm feeling a bit inspired to try making soaps myself now! I'll have to add it to the long list of craft ideas to try! :o)

  11. Wow this looks amazing! I'm going to have to try this myself at one point :)

    I'm a new follower & love your blog!
    Jade By The Sea



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