Thursday, January 15, 2015

Week 154 : Soap making

Only showing one craft attempt this week. There is some gift-knitting but I can't show the items until they are received by the recipients.

Soap making.
I was inspired to try something new. I mostly avoid buying liquid hand soap. All that packaging waste! And I like the idea of a handcrafted soap bar. 

I read up on the method (it really doesn't sound that hard. A few safety precautions for handling the lye (sodium hydroxide) but really nothing more than I would have done if I was paintstripping a piece of furniture (protect the eyes, wear old covering clothing, rubber gloves etc. )

So I assembled the ingredients:

 Most of which I got online from Aussie Soap Supplies. Plus safety glasses, gloves from the hardware store.

The oils I used were a combination of coconut and castor oil. I added goats milk (powdered in the kit which was easier to handle).

The process was very straightforward. The only expensive part was getting a stick blender as it can't be used for food afterwards. I compromised and upgraded the kitchen one to relieve the duty on the one I had.

Maybe my oil, cocoa butter, goats milk mixture was too complex for my first try. I think I over mixed it.. just as I was wondering if I had reached the stage of 'thin trace' than it went very lumpy.

I poured it into my mould. It has set, it is supposedly curing for some weeks. It is not the prettiest bar of soap by a long shot.

I am hoping my next attempt will be a bit better. I'm going to try a simple olive oil soap and pay more attention to the combining.

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