Thursday, July 28, 2011

Making Soap for Reals

I finally got the opportunity to make soap from scratch today.

I used:

250 grams Coconut Oil
500 grams animal oil (didn't specify what it was, I'm guessing beef or lamb, but it's just a guess)
500 grams rice bran oil (bought a 4 litre tin for $12.99!)
172 grams Caustic Soda (confirmed both by SoapCalc and the MMS calculator).

I used the room temperature process - I spent half an hour preparing the hard oils, although it left a lot to be desired. I had planned to grate them, but that was a pain in the neck, so I tried cutting them up small, and that was a pain in the neck. Next time I'll just pre-melt the damn things.

After that I mixed the lye. Then I got all paranoid that they weren't mixing at room temperature. Then when it turned out there was no suitable pot to use as a double boiler I toughed it out, and it was fine. Paranoid Iddy is paranoid. Then I blended in the rice bran oil, and it reached trace pretty much straight away. I decided that couldn't possibly be right and mixed it for longer, but nothing really changed. Then I added my fragrance, poured it into my mould (Devondale UHT milk carton - 2 litre), wrapped the mould in a towel, and put it away.

An hour and a half later Mr. Iddy observed that he could 'smell soap'. I informed him that he was insane, but looked at my soap anyway - because I'm the highly suggestible type like that, and yay! my soap had hit the gel stage, and my fragrance oil was evaporating! My colouring for M&P soaps didn't work (just like the interwebs warned me). So I expect to have a plain yellow, mostly unscented soap.

But soap, yay!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Rosehip Soap

Today I worked with more melt and pour soap.

303grams white melt & pour, 3 drops red colouring, contents of 1 rosehip/hibiscus tea bag, 8 drops of coconut scent. The last lot of coconut scented soap didn't have much scent.

I bought some lye yesterday (2kg Caustic Soda from Bunnings, made sure it was suitable for making soap). I also picked up some PVC for a mould. Hope it works okay - I also finally got some isopropyl alcohol, so was able to use it on today's melt and pour soap. About the only thing I'm lacking now are the oils. Hubby was asking me while I was playing with the soap if I was playing with Lye, I assured him I was not. I think he was a bit worried about my total lack of lye appropriate caution!

I've put today's soap in the fridge, I think I'll play with some clear melt and pour before the day is out. Maybe use the lemon scent with it.

Edit to add - the Rosehip tea settled! FAIL. The soap's scratchy!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Second Soap

Well my second attempt at soap seemed to go somewhat better.

300 grams white melt and pour base, 2 drops blue colour, 1 drop of red, 4 drops of coconut fragrance oil.

The colour turned out a kinda lilacy grey - the 2nd drop of blue was an accident - I think next time I aim for purple, I also add a second drop of red. See how it goes. I had intended to add more coconut oil but after last night I was all OMG paranoid about the soap going hard in the jug. We'll see how it goes. I'd prefer unscented soap to uber-scented soap, so there's that. Yesterdays seems a little strong, but of course - it's still very fresh.

I've decided I'm going with room temperature process soap for my first real attempt at making soap. I'm thinking 40% coconut oil, 60% rice bran oil, and using a PVC mould. I'm planning on going to Bunnings on the weekend to buy some PVC pipe, and check out the Caustic Soda. Probably won't get to work on it until the following weekend though.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I resurrected this blog to track my soap making endeavours. I'm starting with melt and pour because I'm lazy like that, but have grand plans of playing with Lye etc.

First effort - Melt & Pour - white, 255 grams. 3 drops of blue colouring, two short 'pours' of jasmine fragrance. Time in microwave = 45 seconds x 2, 25 seconds x1, plus a reheat of 30 seconds for the second bar.

Happy with the colour, will have to wait and see about the fragrance. There's bubbles in it - it came out of the microwave with bubbles - not sure what to do about that. I guess I could always by the rubbing alcohol recommended.

I took too long to put the colours and fragrance in and mess around with the moulds - so I had to reheat it to pour the second bar.

I faithfully measured out how much the moulds would hold, and weighed out that amount of base, but it only made 1 and 2/3rds bars. I'm blaming this on a couple of things - first of all I still don't actually believe that Soap Base & Water = The same weight for volume. I was skeptical from the start. Also, I forgot to put glad wrap over it the first two bursts in the microwave. I'm pretty sure that didn't do me any favours.

Overall I'm a little disappointed. If only there had of been some way to predict I would be the best soap enhancer eva at my first attempt!