So, this past Friday I gathered my courage and tried something new and a bit intimidating…
I made soap. Cold-process soap, to be exact.
Intimidating, ’cause handling lye takes extreme caution; it will burn the heck out of you if any touches your skin.
Plus, I’d never even watched anybody make soap, so I was completely at the mercy of the directions.
I’ve been dying to learn how to make soap for a long time now, but have had a hard time trying to gather all of the right ingredients. There are so many different recipes, oils, and fragrances to choose from, frankly I was a bit overwhelmed.
Fortunately for me, the extremely generous ladies with Urban Homestead Supply sent me one of their Botanie All Natural Soap Making Kits to review. That was just the motivation I needed to get this skill under my belt!
(A side note: Urban Homestead Supply is run by the Dervaes family out of California. For those of you who are not familiar with the Dervaes’. Their family is such a huge inspiration to me!!)
What I love about this kit is that it comes with everything you need to make soap (well, except for a few tools); base oils, organic herbs, and pure essential oils. It even comes with lye, which I noticed was not included in many other soap making “kits” on the market. All of the ingredients are pre-measured for you, and step-by-step instructions are printed out for you to follow. So there’s no guess work, there’s no trying to figure out which oils you should buy and all that, everything is all put together in one neat box. All you have to do is dump and pour and mix.
If you are new to making soap, this kit is the way to go!
The few tools I did need to gather before hand were:
- Safety goggles
- Rubber dishwashing gloves
- A heavy duty rubber spatula
- A steel whisk
- A measuring cup (for water)
- A metal thermometer (make sure it shows 95*F)
- Towels and a cooler
- A medium stainless steel pot
- A plastic, white 2 gallon bucket
- And 3 one-quart milk cartons (I didn’t have any, so I improvised.)
Once I had everything I needed to get started I was ready to go! The instructions advised setting aside 3 hours of uninterrupted time to make the soap, so I waited until the three youngest were down for their naps before beginning.
Jada was my little helper. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much she could help me with once the oils were poured. She hung out in the kitchen with me anyways though, and manned the timer when I needed her to. As always, I enjoyed her company and it was fun at least explaining to her what I was doing.
I didn’t take pictures of every step, so I’m not gonna do a step-by-step “how to” type of post. (I was too busy reading directions and trying not to get hurt!) But I’ll tell you, making soap is a lot of WORK! Whew! I’ve read it many places, and can now confirm, if you are going to get into soap making, GET A STICK BLENDER! Your arm muscles will thank you.
Getting everything mixed and poured didn’t take very long at all, and overall it was quite simple. The house smelled wonderful too! The stirring, however, took about 45 minutes. As I worked, I was suddenly extremely grateful for every bar of homemade soap I’ve ever been given! Let me tell you, if anybody ever gives you homemade soap, thank them profusely and acknowledge the hard work that went into that little bar. It was no small task to make it!
Since we didn’t have any one-quart milk cartons, I used a cardboard orange juice container, and an empty sanitizing wipes tube. As I type, the soap is curing in these.
Tomorrow they will be ready to dump out and cut into bars, and then allowed to dry for 3 more weeks before we can use them. I’m SO anxious to see how they turned out!! I’ll have to let you know what I think in a few weeks after I’ve had a chance to try a bar.
I’m pretty proud of myself for finally making my own soap! Another notch on my “do-it-yourself” belt. Next on my list is using our goat’s milk to make a batch! After I get a stick blender, of course.
What about you? Do you make your own soap? Have you been wanting to make it, but just haven’t jumped in yet? I’d love to know where you’re at!
*UPDATE: The soap turned out really good! The wipes container (tube shaped) was NOT a good idea. I thought I’d never get the soap out! The cardboard container worked well though; it was easy to tear away from the soap block. I’m loving this homemade soap!