Posts Tagged ‘How To’

Making soap: How NOT to

I decided to try making my own soap so I could control the ingredients. An acquaintance pointed me at Miller’s Homemade Soap Pages, which has all the advice you could ever want on how to make your own soap. It’s not a fancy-schmancy site, but it is quite useful.

Unfortunately, it seemed all the soap recipes on the site were for huge batches, and I just wasn’t comfortable committing that much raw material on my first attempt. I search around on the Internet and found a recipe (and wouldn’t you know it, I forgot to bookmark it) for a batch size I thought I could handle.

I collected my ingredients.

  • Lye? Check.
  • Almond and coconut oil? Uh, no. Substitute canola, which is what I had in the cabinet.
  • Glycerine? Noooo, but I don’t think it’s necessary. Skip it.
  • Honey? YES! I have honey.
  • Flower oil? No, I don’t want this to give me a migraine. Skip.
  • Oatmeal? Yes! Woo!

Does it sound as if I were a bit cavalier in following the recipe? I paid the price for that cavalier…ness. I got a soap the consistency and color of grainy peanut butter. Looking at the Miller site’s troubleshooting page, I think I should have adjusted the amount of lye I used, since each oil has a different soponification value.

But do you know what the most amazing thing is? It’s still soap! It doesn’t lather well, but it does clean, so I know this is possible!

Onward to a bigger batch. I’ll keep you posted. And this time, I’ll even try to keep detailed notes.