Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Making Soap

Hello, my name is Mandykatt and I’m a serial crafter. I have a large Expedit case full of banker’s boxes labelled with a different craft. Stamp carving, fabric painting, soap making, embroidery, paper crafts, fine arts drawing… I can’t stop myself! I want to do it all. I even learned to weld in high school, though I was never very good at it.

I found a recipe for coconut milk soap online that seemed really straight forward and used only a few inexpensive ingredients, which seemed perfect to start with. I headed to Voyageur soap and candle and purchased my supplies, then to Dollarama for my tools. Dollarama is a crafter’s best friend.  You can get anything and everything there for $3 or less.

Aki helped me make the soap at the beginning of March.  He helped measure everything except the lye, and then I went outside and mixed it all up.  My recipe failed to mention anything about temperature control so I ended up soaping too hot.  It worked, but not the best results.  Trace (the thickening of the liquid mixture) was accelerated and it nearly ceased up (turned solid and unworkable) on me.  I glopped it into my tray mold and called it good.  I'm pretty sure it went through a complete gel phase it was so hot. Whoops!

Cut bar on the laundry sink. It's a little soft so I've stacked soap dishes to help drain it.
Aki insisted on colouring it green. I tried to convince him that coconut soap would be better white, but he didn't buy it.  It took on a snot green colour that gets a sort of theme going with the embedded coconut shreds. Spart is less than happy to use it.

That's been left to cure for 6 weeks, minus the above pictured bar that I couldn't wait any longer for. I'll parade the rest out at the end of April.

Next, we tried some melt and pour glycerin soaps.

In the beginning, I had overlooked melt and pour because I thought it would be boring.  It's true that if I were to keep this hobby to myself I probably wouldn't bother with it, but since the kids want to help me and it seems a wonderfully useful thing to make together, I decided to go this route.

I wanted to test my colours, so we did one of each colour.  We're going to try rainbow stripes over Easter, I can hardly wait!

Who's a cute little bunny rainbow?

You are!  You're a cute little bunny rainbow!

They're bubblegum scented! I used the LabColours to colour them, and I'm really happy with how vibrant they are!

I tried some cold process again because I like the mad scientist feeling I get when working with it.  I did up a castile soap, which is just olive oil and lye.  No scents, no colours, no other oils.  I used a pomice olive oil, so it reached trace pretty quickly.  I had read it could take hours, but it was under 10 minutes.

It looks like a partial gel to me. I forgot to wrap it in a blanket to conserve heat.  One day I will remember every single step and it will all come together perfectly.  I'm looking at larger loaf molds so I can make this to then melt down and make fancier milled soaps with.  This way I don't have to do a whole batch of soap using expensive ingredients, I can just do a bar or two.

I then did a lavender slab.  This was at Spart's request as he likes lavender a lot.

Looking good! I even think this could be unmolded after a 24 hour sit.

I may have a problem....

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