Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Soapmaking for the First Time


I was first interested in soap making about 15 years ago when I was pregnant with my first baby.
I bought "The Complete Soapmaker," which I still own and refer to often. The recipes are old-fashioned yet original.After reading and rereading the book I decided to try my hand at the soapmakers craft.

I went from store to store trying to locate tallow and sodium hydroxide. Remember this was pre internet shopping. I finally found Red Devil Lye in the drain cleaner section of the hardware store and fat from the grocery store that I would then render into tallow.

I took these items home and stared at them for about 3 years. Yes, I was convinced that there was a terrible error in the book or my judgment. I'm not sure why I finally decided to brave the corrosive, highly toxic, Red Devil Lye with a new baby and toddler, but "The Complete Soapmaker" was beckoning me. So armed with elbow length gloves,long sleeves,a face mask,goggles, and a willing husband to watch my two children I decided to make soap for the first time.

I was pleased with the results and have been making homemade soap ever since. I no longer dress in an astronaut's suit to make soap but I do have a healthy respect for Lye.

In the next couple of posts I will cover step by step how to make old-fashioned Lye soap.
Don't be intimidated. I will help you to save time and effort so it won't take you three years to get started on this fun and rewarding hobby.