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After much research, reading several books, and travelling all the way to Rapidan, Virginia to train with a soap maker, I finally made cold process soap all by myself!  Once I wrote and rewrote my own soap recipe and ran it through a soap calculator online (google soap calc to find one), I finally have my recipe written so yesterday I set aside 2 hours to make my very first soap!  I began by combining the liquid oils into a huge stainless steel pot.  I added all the solid oils such as coconut oil and cocoa butter, into a double boiler to melt them.  I headed out to the garage with my distilled water, suited up in my rubber gloves, apron, and goggles, and fetched the proper amount of Sodium Hydroxide (lye) to add to the water.  Never shall I add the lye to the water indoors, for the fumes are extensive and they burn your lungs should you breathe them.  So outdoors is the place to incorporate the lye into the water.  The cold, distilled water rapidly within mere seconds will turn up to about 200 degrees fahrenheit from the chemical reaction between the water and lye.  It is intense, and it warrants repeating – don’t do this inside your home unless you want lung damage.  I looked like a soap astronaut all suited up in my goggles, apron, and rubber gloves up past my elbows.  But I was READY for this! 

After the lye water cools down to about lukewarm, it is a good time to add it to the oils, and so I did.  I used my new favorite appliance, a stick blender, to quickly bring the soap “to trace.”  Trace, is a wonderful phenonenon when your soap becomes just thick enough to add the essential oils, superfat it with shea and vitamin E oil, and to then pour it into the mold.  I decided on a massive loaf shaped mold, about 15 inches long.  It yields 15 soap bars assuming you slice them 1 inch thick as is customary.  After pouring them into the mold, you must let them sit in the mold for about 18 hours minimum.  I couldn’t wait, to be honest.  I pryed and pulled my soap out of the mold at hour 17.  Admittedly, it was still a bit soft, and some of it broke off from sticking to the mold too well.  Next time, I think I will line my mold even though the maker of the mold says it is a liner-free mold.  I think the one place it really stuck was the bottom or floor of the mold.  The rest was wonderful and didn’t stick.

This morning I awoke as if it were the best Christmas morning ever.  It was the morning to slice my soap into bars after carefully pulling it out from the mold.  I was in seventh heaven slicing my very own soap with the soap miter box slicer I picked up online.  All in all, my very first soap making went extraordinarily wonderful and I think I can barely contain my eagerness and excitement to make my next batch!

This first batch is a lovely Lemon Poppyseed, using only all natural ingredients that are vegan-friendly and scented with only pure,  essential oils of Lemon and Litsea  Litsea is a lovely plant that has a very citrus forward scent with notes of evergreen in the background.  It is the freshest of all citrus scents in my opinion and a very welcome addition to Lemon.

These and more soaps will be available for sale after their curing time which is between 4 to 6 weeks.  

logs of soap in the molds
 

Slicin' Soap!

 

here are my first soap bars!

 
 

soap bars drying on the drying rack!

 
 
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