J is allergic to something in some brands of commercial soap, so he either has to buy the $6/homemade-style bar soap from Whole Foods or we get to MAKE soap. Guess which choice I picked.
This weekend the soap is finally ready! It's pretty exciting. We made it a month ago. J told me to pick a recipe and we would get the stuff. So I did.
We made the soap here, because it's called easy homemade soap, and having never made soap before I wanted to make a kind that was simple. For the scent, I chose lavender, because that's pretty much my favorite. I also like oatmeal vanilla soaps, and J said mint ones are nice as
well. This recipe called for olive oil (which he had, but we needed to get the cheap kind so we got more at Walmart), grapeseed oil (Amazon!), coconut oil (J already had this), and lye (which J also had).
We got some soap tools from DI-- an immersion blender ($3!), a glass bowl to mix the lye in (which ended up being wayyyy too small), a thermometer for comparing temperatures of oils (although, we were never really sure if it actually worked right or not. We did eventually get the lye and water mixture to match the mixed oils temperature).
We were both a little concerned that it was going to be a way harder project than it ended up being. I think we expected the lye and water to crackle and have terrible fumes. J stirred it out on the back porch with a wooden skewer and I think it did burn the wood, but that was really it.
And then all of the recipes warn us to DEFINITELY, FOR SURE, CERTAINLY wear safety goggles, or you would most likely go blind because it would splash into your eyes and lye is used to clean drains, not eyes. Buuut we didn't have safety goggles so we improvised by having J wear my sunglasses while he slowly combined the stuff, and I backed far away so that it wouldn't splash into my eyes...yeah. Totally nothing happened.
We used the immersion blender to mix the oils and lye to "trace", which is a special time where it's the right consistency and could harden at any moment, but that was uneventful also.
We poured the soap into our mould (a plastic box), put the lid on, and left it in a cooler for a day (because the site said to wrap it in blankets but J didn't want to accidentally ruin any of his blankets). The cooler worked out. It kept the mixture warm longer, so that the reaction could occur. The next day we used dental floss to cut it into bars, just like cinnamon rolls (but less tasty). I wrapped them in paper because they were supposed to sit somewhere cool, on brown paper, separated nicely. And then we piled them back into the plastic box and put them in a cool closet for two weeks. At two weeks we flipped all of the bars. And now that it's been a month, we can start using them. For fun, for fun!