Adventures in Soapmaking

Hush.  Bush.  Cush.  Lots of words end with ush, I’m sure, but only one of them is the reason I started making my own soap.  Piles and baskets of glorious smelling soap and bath bombs in colors that  range from soft heather and fresh honey to glittery Disney princesses.  And holy smokes, the price.

All soap is a salt of fat.  It is made by taking some fats and mixing them with a strong base.  Lye is the common name for a whole bunch of metal hydroxides.  In our case, lye can be either sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide , used for hard and soft soaps, respectively.  Either of those is pretty cheap.  Some oils are pretty expensive, admittedly, but no commercial soap maker is making tiny batches of truffle oil soap from truffles found only by the finest of French truffle hogs.  This, I thought, staring at a fourteen dollar slab of soap slightly larger than a regular bar of Dial, is some kind of racket.

I went home and had a long, serious YouTube binge.  There are a lot of people on YouTube who will be happy to teach you all about soap making.

The resulting spree of soap making with every free few hours produced a great deal of soap and a collection of notes that are basically illegible.  This, then, is the real reason I have a blog.

Where does one end and the other begin?  Why do I have temperature notes on this, and only this, recipe?  Why did I spell “lye” as “ly”?  What would my second grade teacher say if she could see my handwriting?

There are two distinct soap recipes on that page.  One of them is my coworker, Veronica’s, favorite soap.  The other one, who knows.  Could have been anything.  So, even if you can read the notes, we’ve had no real way to follow the batches.  With every passing week, though, these scribbled down ad hoc recipes become more unreadable, even to me.

I’m happy to share my soap recipes and results with other people who want to make their own amazing soap.  This isn’t hard and basically anybody can do it.  If you take my soap recipes and start charging fourteen dollars a bar for them, I hope you know karma will surely bite you in the Tush.

Labor Day Soap

Fall Flowers Soap

Black Walnut Soap

Veggie Black Walnut and Coffee Soap

Linda’s Soap

Red Palm Oil Soap

A Good Moisurizing Bar

Using Sugar in Soap