I took a soap making class from @Josh_Melnick. Brought back memories of chem class and all of the associated amazement at mixing chemicals to produce something very useful. Found this soap calculator online: http://soapcalc.net/calc/SoapCalcWP.asp. Decided I needed every kind of oil on the planet that you can make soap with. Just wanted to try different mixes. Didn’t know what GHEE was before making soap with it. (It makes a beautiful bar by the way! See the yellow ones below.)
I used the recipe below for the yellow bars. A couple of things I’ve already discovered.
- There are a million permutations of oil combinations you can use to make soap.
- Commercial soap pales in comparison to homemade soap because of the LACK of glycerin in commercial soap
- Buttermilk, goats milk or any kind of high fat milk makes for a very smooth and silky soap
- Honey and beeswax are great additives for soap. They give it a great smell and add other desirable qualities to the soap
- I now know what humectant and superfatting mean and finally
- that you can make soap with a cold process, hot process or hand milling process all of which have their various characteristics and purposes.
Here are some of the soaps I’ve made from several batches. My son, who assisted with the chemistry, is taking some of them to the office for his friends. He designed the dark brown bars. They are scented with a chocolate scent and made entirely of NUT oils, like walnut, almond, peanut and others. (Actually, they also contain coconut oil, too.)
The most frustrating part of the cold process is allowing the saponification process to complete which can take several weeks. Then drying the soap another couple to harden it. When it rains and the humidity is very high the soap weeps, too. This is a NATURAL event with high glycerin soap because glycerin is a humectant.
The roses are an eczema recipe which contains aloe vera gel, buttermilk, carrots (pureed) for vitamin A and olive oil, exclusively. Soap made entirely with olive oil is called Castille soap and is supposed to be great for the skin. The soap also contains the pumpkin spice mix so they smell like pumpkin pie!
Thank you Josh for introducing me to a very interesting and gratifying hobby. I’m now investigating some of the more interesting techniques for soap making like swirls, multi-mix multi-layer bars, floral additives, various other additives like oatmeal and the decorative packaging of bars. I suspect I’ll give most of them away, but they are a load of fun to make so I’m sure I’ll have plenty to use around the house.
If you’ve never made a bar yourself consider taking Josh’s class.