Saturday, January 16, 2016

Where to Start?

I'm not sure quite where to start, to be honest. Ok, the Andalusian Castile soap..... gone. When I lifted the glass pan with some of the soap batter in it, I found it had separated into a semi firm layer of soap batter and a layer of very zappy lye water. Even after a week, the soap was still fairly soft so I made the decision to scrap it. I don't have the patience or the room to wait and see if it would turn into a usable soap some time down the road; I still have a full batch of castile soap that I made way back in August that won't be optimal until this coming summer. Sometimes, it's best to cut your losses and move on.

The green soap is a thing of beauty. I'm not sure the real formula is as simple as two oils and KOH dissolved in glycerin but the soap paste works. One of the things I like about it is the fact that it doesn't lather much. Yes, you read that right; it's one of the things I like!

You see, when you're cleaning something that you don't want to have to rinse with copious amounts of water, the green soap paste is perfect! I used a bit on a damp wash cloth this morning to clean my bathroom mirror. A quick wipe with a dry soft cloth and my mirror is sparkling!

I also made a batch of Sweater Weather beer soap last weekend (did I write about that one?). I think I have enough of the beer left to make one, perhaps two, more batches (nope, just one.... just checked). I think I'll use the last of the Sweater Weather to make a batch for myself, family, and friends, without the swirls and additives as I have three batches curing right now. We took the grandkids to BNA for dinner last night (my daughter broke her wrist the night before and wasn't feeling up to going out for dinner) and I refilled my growler with their newest offering, the Pantry. Apparently, they raided the pantry and used whatever they had on hand to make this one. I'll try it later today to see if I get inspired.

I also did a little more experimenting with liquid soap last weekend. One of the ladies on the Soap Making Forum has put together a marvelous tutorial on making a luxurious creamy glycerin liquid soap. After reading through it a couple of times, I checked my supplies and found I had all the ingredients necessary except sodium lactate and EDTA. I asked if both were necessary and was told that, no, they weren't really needed to make the soap. On reading that, I started making my Creamy Coconut Shea liquid soap!

It had its moments, I'll be honest, but it was fun and educational. And best of all? I LOVE this soap! It's thick and rich and so very silky. I almost don't need hand cream after washing my hands. Almost.

Speaking of hand cream, I made some of that this past week, too. I used to make all my own creams and lotions. I really enjoy making it and love knowing exactly what I'm putting on my skin. Trinity (my 11 year old granddaughter) and I even made lip balm this week, her mom's favourite lip balm, made with emu oil and mango butter (and a few other ingredients).

I received a lovely compliment from my daughter this week. She told me that, because of the products I've made and given her, this is the first winter that her hands aren't cracked and bleeding. She's always used commercial products to protect her hands from winter but they never really did anything at all. Now, using my creams, lotions, and soaps, her hands are doing so much better. That feels good!

Today, it's Saturday and just barely 10:00 a.m. John's out clearing snow at the college and I've already put together another batch of liquid soap base. I'll even have time to make a batch of soap before Kristen (my daughter) and I have to do some shopping (she can't drive at the moment).

This time, I made what should be a clear liquid soap, with the intention of using it in my foaming pumps. The formula is as follows:

25% coconut oil
10% castor oil
65% olive oil

3% superfat

25% lye concentration using glycerin as water

It goes together SO quickly! Right now, the mixture is cooling, turning into a lovely clear, thick soap paste. I'll post pictures when it's done. I wish I'd known about this method a long time ago; it's so easy, so quick, almost fool proof. Perfect!

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