Since 2016 rolled in, I’ve been busy in The Log Home Kitchen whipping up a storm. And it’s not food! Sans the fat, sugar, and calories, I’ve become passionate about making handmade soap. It’s good for me and my family, and good for you and yours as well.
When was the last time you went to the store and actually saw the word “soap” on a bar? Those highly concentrated detergents have been masked with irritating fragrances that finally sent me over the edge. Yes, detergent bars. Unless you purchase soap that’s handmade with real ingredients that are kind to your skin and sense of smell, that’s what you’re getting.
Here’s what you get with the handmade soap I’m proudly producing. Pure oils, butters, and essential oils. With a little character built in. Mocha Mint Latte anyone?
There are so many products being mass marketed and produced that I’ve become soooo disillusioned with. You can read about my frustrations with household cleaners here. Soap also being one of them. I’ve grown weary of the chemicals and synthetic ingredients, which I can’t even pronounce (can you?). It was all smelling like Tide. Being tired of itchy skin after taking a shower, I decided to take matters into my own hands.
I’m so glad I did.
So here’s the deal. Making soap at home isn’t for everyone. It can be quite complicated. It can actually be quite dangerous, too. Taking safety precautions is a given. We’re working with sodium hydroxide, otherwise known as lye. It’s poisonous. Very. The good news is that once it’s mixed with oils and fats, the chemical reaction is a process called saponification. Oils/fats + lye = SOAP. Without going into scientific details (yawn), this is the method I use, otherwise known as the cold process soap making method.
This is a loaf of soap I made using olive, coconut, palm and castor oils, along with shea butter and pure essential oils of Frankincense and Myrrh.
Here’s a batch I made with Lemongrass and Tea Tree oils. Based on initial reactions, it seems to be everyone’s favorite!
The curing process takes much more time making handmade soap this way. In other words, the bars, once sliced, have to breathe and release moisture in order to result in a hard bar. The harder the bar, the longer it lasts.
It’s difficult to exercise restraint. The waiting. And waiting. It’s so tempting to grab a bar and run with it to the shower or tub. As they say, patience is a virtue. Something I continue to strive for and exercise to this day.
It’s been especially tempting smelling the intoxicating white rose fragrance from this loaf I made for Valentine’s Day gifts. It should be ready in time. Fingers crossed.
Here’s one I named Lemon Meringue, for the fresh, bright lemon fragrance it holds.
As you can see, the tops in all of my soaps resemble whipped cake icing. It’s actually quite fun to design swirls and curly q’s. Coloring soap is another skill to master. That’s where the artistic part of soap making comes in. It’s an exhilarating balance of right brain/left brain activity. The best of both worlds.
By now you’re all probably wondering, “What on earth is she going to do with all of this soap?”
The answer is, I’m going to sell it! So stay tuned. When the soaps are ready for packaging, I’ll be providing a convenient link for ordering your very own stash.
So while we wait for the bars to harden, do you have a personal favorite scent you enjoy when taking a bath or shower? Or perhaps you prefer a natural, unscented soap? The Log Home Kitchen would love to hear about what you like so I can plan accordingly.
I hope the New Year has started out in a great way for everyone. It certainly has here. As always, thanks for stopping in!