09 January 2014

Cold process soap making - part one

I have mentioned before in this blog how I like to teach myself new things every year.  I get a feel for a project or process by looking up scads of information online.   I research until I think I have covered just about every angle, then I jump in a give it a go.   (This is my first attempt at cold process so I would appreciate any critique you may have along the way!  Please feel free to post comments so I can tell if I am doing something wrong. )

This year I have soap making at the top of my list.   The kids and I made melt and pour glycerin soaps before for teacher gifts but this time I wanted to step into cold process soaps. 

I ordered a kit from Bramble Berry Soap Making Supplies online and it came with all you see here, all the oils and a few fragrances, plus I ordered a bottle of their lye (which is not included in the kit)  This was the best way for me to get a feel for the process without having to figure out formulations on my own. 

The kit has a recipe included in it.

 So I measured out the ingredients.  Lye, water, and oils all in heat safe, non-reactive containers.  (which I bought just for soap making.   I will not be using them in my kitchen later, obviously)

 I had my pine box lined with wax paper and a spray bottle of rubbing alcohol ready for spraying on the top of the finished soap to reduce the white film that is supposed to develop.

I had the oils sitting on the warming section of my stove.   This is the best feature of my stove too, by the way.  I keep my teapot of water on there and I have hot tea all day.... but I digress.....

I took my lye and water plus supplies down to the landing in the stairwell to my basement to keep the fumes and kids separated.   Mixing them here and keeping the door closed gave me a good spot to not worry about someone getting into the mix and getting a chemical burn.   As you can see, it did get very hot.

Once both mixes were at the same relative temperatures (and because I was impatient to get started) I poured the lye mix into the oil mix and used my stick blender to combine them, trying not to create bubbles with the blender.

This is "trace" (I think)  When the soap dribbled along the top does not sink back into the mix right away.

So I poured it into my lined soap box and crossed my fingers that I did everything correctly!

Did it work? 

Stay tuned tomorrow to see!!

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