Good Friends, Overcoming Fear and Soap

Hey Peeps!  Okay so today was challenging and a lil scarey but I did it!  🙂  I have been wanting to make soap now for five years.  Yes, you read that right, FIVE YEARS.  LOL!  I fell in love with spa soaps about six years ago.  Well, five years ago I decided that I wanted to learn to make soap.  So, in my typical “jump in with both feet” fashion, I began to study making soap.  I learned all I could about the process and then decided it wasn’t for me.  I made this decision mostly because I was terrified of the whole “lye” thing.  Back then, most of the soapers that were teaching, were doing the hot process method.  Which, by the way, STILL freaks me out.  So what I have done for the past few years is make melt and pour soaps.  I love them too but I so longed for the spa soaps that I had used. 

This year I decided that I was going to make soap for gifts and try to sell some as well.  I began by talking to my friends, my hairdresser, the girls at the bank and grocery store etc.  Everyone was excited!  I couldn’t believe the feedback I was getting.  It seems like I’m not the only one that notices how the grocery store “beauty bars” dry my skin out. 

I was actually shocked to learn during my research that you can’t find a bar of “soap” at the grocery store.  You cant, go on and look.  I dare ya.  LOL  There is no soap there because they can’t legally call it “soap”.  They remove most or all of the glycerine (the part of soap that moisturizes the skin naturally) so that the bars will be ultra mega hard.  This aids them in production and shipping.  It does not aid the skin.  Sorry, got side tracked there. 

Anyway, I have been studying the cold process way of making handmade soaps.  I was scared because of the lye that goes into these soaps.  LYE???!!!!!  Yep, lye or sodium hydroxide, is the chemical needed to make soap.  Now before you freak out, let me explain as it was explained to me.  When you mix lye water with oils (or lard from decades ago) there is a chemical reaction which occurs.  It’s called saponification.  All of the little lye water particles combine with the oils and fats and turns the oils into soap!  Once this happens, there is NO LYE left.  What you are left with is the most beautiful, wonderful, skin soothing and luxurious soap you can dream of! 

Well today I made my first batch of cold process soap!  Yay me!  I have been scared of this because the whole lye thing is pretty dangerous if you do not suit up and wear eye protection.  The thing is, this only lasts for a few minutes and then the fun part starts!   I think I was also a bit scared because the soap I made today was my own recipe, not one I copied from another soaper.  Kinda risky to say the least. 

The good news is that so far it looks like everything went perfectly.  I mixed the lye water in with the oils and used my stick blender in short spurts to mix everything together.  I”m so glad that I have done all of this research.  Do you know that without the stick blender that some soaps can take up to TWO HOURS to come together?  OMG!  I would lose my mind!  LOL  Mine came together or “traced” as they call it in about 15 minutes. 

I added the scent and ground oatmeal and a tiny touch of color.  I didnt’ want to add too much because I love the natural look of handmade soaps that have oatmeal in them.  I poured the soap into two silicone loaf molds.  Now it has to cure for 24-48 hours.  After then I will unmold it and cut it into bars.  You can’t believe how good my apt. smells right now.  YUMMMY!

So I’ve been finding things to do and not making soap for the last couple of days out of fear.  One of my good friends reminded me that “fear never takes anyone to the correct destination”.  Man, that’s soooo true.  So I took a deep breath, felt the fear and did it anyway.  I’m so glad I did!  I am already thinking up new recipes for the next few batches.  I bought several scents and I can’t wait to see how they come out.  I’ll post some pics as soon as they are finished.  Oh yeah, and those women I talked to about the soaps.  They all want to order some when it’s ready. 

It’s funny, after I finished making the soap today and got the kitchen cleaned up again I logged on to check emails.  There was an article about all of these people who have lost over a hundred pounds.  (Side note here…..YOU PEOPLE RULE!!!!!!!  Congratulations!!!)  There was a woman in this article who had lost over 200 pounds.  She said that she did it with eating right and exercising….and telling herself….Failure is not an option, so pick something else.   That really resonated with me.  I think it’s going to be a good Christmas afterall.  🙂   Peace and love to you all.  More pics soon!

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Published in: on October 9, 2008 at 11:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

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