>Soap Making

>As I continue to learn how to grow, prepare, and preserve food for a self-sustaining life, I naturally have developed a desire to master ALL aspects to homesteading. This is why soap making has been on my long list of do-it-yourselfers. Finally I can knock this one off.

I spent last Sunday making soap with my Mom and cousin-scratch that-my sisssta Avis. My mom and I couldn’t stop laughing at how ridiculous we looked with our goggles & gear to protect us from the lye. Being as caustic as it is-we were scared to even take the cap off the darn bottle. We got over it… or I should say SHE got over it. I made her do the dirty work. I’m too much of a hypochondriac, especially around foreign chemicals that have poison written all over it.

The oils we used were coconut, vegetable, and olive. Here is my lovely mother measuring our oils before melting on low.

In the meantime, you must mix the lye and water. This is the only part of the process that gets sketchy and you have to be extremely careful. The reaction between the two will produce heat… lots of heat… and a nasty smell so don’t go sniffin’.
Once the lye dissolves completely, you need to cool it back down between 95-125 degrees F. The goal is to get the lye/water mixture and oil mixtures to be within 3 degrees of one another (anywhere in the 95-125 range). Once you reach this, you can add the two and beginning stirring or with an electric mixer-we used a hand held smoothie mixer- it makes the process a wholeeee lot faster. Once the soap “trails” you can add essential oils/dyes/food grade products to beautify your creation. We added patchouli essential oil and dried lavender flowers into the entire batch. Once we laid it in the containers to age, we sprinkled crushed lavender and oatmeal on top.

The soap takes a full month to age, so for now it is tucked away doing just that. Come early May we will be able to enjoy our patchouli lavender soap.

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