SOAPING TIME July 21 2015, 0 Comments
Everywhere I look I see these gorgeous soaps: Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook. Some of them look like sculptures, I would just put them in my living room and look at it all day long.
But unfortunately I haven't seen many soaps made with the products I sell, which is understandable, as they are a lot more expensive than the regular ingredients most soap makers use: coconut oil, palm oil, cocoa butter, shea butter. And besides the fatty acids, I am not very sure the butters and oils properties survive the saponification process (if you know, please, send me a message.)
After spending many nights lurking on soap making sites and playing on Soapcalc's lye calculator (they have most of my products on their list of fats and promised to add the ones they still don't have). I bit the bullet and bought the basic tools needed for it - scale, stick blender and a thermometer, it all cost about $35 on eBay.
I bought a very expensive lye (Sodium Hydroxide) HERE - there are many cheaper ones everywhere, but for my first batch I decided to splurge. Besides I like the bottle, I don't trust me to buy lye, a poison, in a plastic bag. I will forever use them, great product!
I improvised for the rest, a milk carton for the mold, jars and spatulas I had in the house.
My first soap was a half batch with Ucuuba and Tucuma Butters, Pracaxi and Brazil Nut Oils.
It made a very dark soap, since my mold was too big for such a small batch, 2 days laters I decided to cut this one in small pieces and use it inside a new soap!
For my new soap I used: Cupuacu, Murumuru and Tucuma Butters, Buriti, Andiroba and Brazil Nut Oils.
Followed the instructions to a T (I think), even waited patiently for my fats and lye solution to get down to about 110°F.
The soap got a lot more orange than I thought it would be... I was aiming for a whiter soap, but in order to reach the right balance for my soap I had to use quite a lot of Buriti Oil. The saponification process started super fast which made me freak out. And the soap felt a bit oily to the touch at first, which also made me freak out, actually all I wanted was for an experienced soap maker to hold my hand and say it would be ok.
I couldn't wait to cut it, there were no pockets of lye or grease, the texture felt ok. Even the fine white layer on top of it seems to be normal (I Googled, thankfully soap makers are awesome sharing people).
This is it 4 days later.
I think the hardest thing about soap making it is the wait. Four weeks until I find out if it works, if it won't leave a yellow Buriti layer on everything, if it won't fall apart, and all the other things that can go wrong with a soap (actually I think that the worst has passed.)
So it isn't pretty, but it is mine and very unique! If it turns out good I will throw a party!
Sites that helped me: