We knew that that in our move to the Paleo lifestyle, that we were going to be make our own cleaners and soaps. We also thought that giving some of our homemade soap would probably make a really nice favour to give our wedding guests. But, with the wedding day coming as fast as it was, and the other tasks taking priority, we just never seemed to have the time or energy to "get it done"... until today.
I should also confess that playing with lye wasn't something I was rushing too, and in the end my sweetie took that part of the job off my hands which was great! The only finicky thing I can say about working with the lye was that it seemed to be very staticy... so it clung to our plastic container and would literally jump out towards you when you'd move your (glove covered) hand near the top of the container. We had our sprayer of vinegar handy and even used it a couple time to be sure anything we put in the garbage was neutralized.
In the pictures below, the first two show all of the tools we used to make the soap. The stock pot we found at costco made a great soaping pot with its height; catching any flyaway's that the emulsion blender tossed about. We even put a stainless steel cookie sheet under the scale and working area, which greatly helped to catch lye granules and made cleanup much easier. We also made sure we had two thermometers so that we could easily coordinate bringing the lye solution and oils together in the magic 100F-110F range.
The first soap picture is when it was first poured into the mold... or should I say scooped. I think our first lesson was that we let our trace get way too thick; which was why we needed to use a knife to smooth off the lumpy tops. The second thing we learned is that our molds are huge! This ended up being a great blessing only 4 days before the wedding, because we got away with only making the one batch (of two molds) and cut the bars in half after 24 hours. The second soap picture is after cutting and placing on the shoe rack we picked up at costco as our curing rack. Hurray for making all the soap in one day!
Our third lesson is that the two shades of purple oxides that we tried to use to colour our soap didn't create a middle purple. Initially, we thought our bars were going to turn out a grey mud-like colour, but were very please when they started looking more like tan after 24 hours. Obviously the colour the soap is at trace and the colour it is cured/curing are two different things.
We could sure get a good sense of the soap while we were cleaning up the area and tools. Not sure if we can wait the full 3 weeks to let the bars harden before we try it out in the shower!