My adventures in Making Homemade Soap

So keeping with my nature them, I've started an adventure into making homemade soap.  I was a bit leary as it required me to use sodium hydroxide, which is know as lye.  I did my research and in I jumped.  Not wanting to wait for my new soap to cure, I decided to try what they call Hot Processed (HP) soap first.  It requires the use of a double boiler, which by the way is almost impossible to find locally, or you can use a crockpot. Ooooh I have one of those.  Plus you need some sort of mold.  I chose to not invest in something expensive till I get the process down a bit, so I used an empty, clean pringles container.  I infused some olive oil with calendula petals (thats marigold flowers).  I also used crisco, coconut oil and castor oil.  A pretty simple recipe.  Plus lye and water and off I went.   Here is a picture of my first batch of HP soap. 

It really turned out great.  I was able to try my soap the next day and I absolutely love it.  It has a nice lather and it doesn't dry out my skin.  I have sensitive skin so this made me really happy.  This batch is unscented.  I made a second batch the next weekend and got a bit more ambitious.  I used crushed lavender and used a lavender essential oil.  It smells lovely.  I'm not big on scents so I kept this one real mild.  Here is a picture of the lavender HP soap.

After 2 sucessful attempts at HP soaps I decided it was time to go for it and try Cold Processed (CP) soap.  What is the difference you ask?  Well with HP soap you speed up the process where the lye and the oils react with each other called Saponification.   This makes the soap usable immediately after cutting.  The heat from the HP process helps the water to evaporate. However, if you let it air dry for a week or so it will last longer as the bar hardens. With CP soap the soap needs more time to get the water to evaporate.  This type of soap needs to cure (sit) for longer 4-6 weeks before use if you want a harder bar of soap.  It can be used sooner but will not last nearly as long as it would if you wait.  I decided to really be adventurous with this batch.  I figured if I was going to mess it up, I'd like to go big.  I used the same recipe as with the other two batches but this time I added alkanet root to half the batch to add a purple color.  I also added a red apple fragrance that I got as a sample from and order I placed with  Well I'm happy to say, I was pleased with the results.  I forgot to pack the mold so I had some air pockets but it was mostly all good.  Now to wait before using, but it smells and looks delicious. 

Now the only question is what am I going to make next.

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About Me

I've always been interested in arts and crafts all my life. I've dabbled in a little bit of everything, from drawing, painting, woodcrafting, metalworking, beading, papercrafting. I love all types of medium.

Welcome to Midwest Greenworks

I've created this blog as a way to share the different crafts and arts I've created. I use a variety of material and styles. If you have any questions about the items I share, feel free to send my a message and I would be happy to answer.


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