Friday, September 18, 2009

Homemade Lye Soap

Rick and I are back from our trip,and had an awesome time! It was very pretty and peaceful,and helped to put things into perspective.
Now we are back,and I have a renewed sense of purpose and spirit.
A few weeks ago, my Dear Friend Michelle emailed me and told me that I had to come over and make some lye soap with her. She is always ahead of me in everything,and she had already made lye soap during the summer. As with anything I have never tried, I think about doing it,but it takes me a while to actually do it.
So last week, I went to her house,had tea and an english muffin with her homemade strawberry jam,chatted,then then got down to business.
This is recipe we used from and her notes. We actually cut it half,which filled two Pringles cans we used for molds.

24 oz Crisco

9 oz coconut oil

10.5 oz canola oil

14 oz cold water

6 oz lye crystals

stick mixer

non metallic pot

non metallic spoon or spatula

bowl for lye water

measuring cup

digital scale

Sprinkle lye crystals on cold water. Stir gently.
Melt Crisco and coconut oil together over low heat. Add canola when Crisco and coconut oil are melted. Add color and scent to melted oils. We used 2 oz Hayride and A Bonfire scent,and 45 drops of red color. ( We could have used more coloring-it came out rather pinkish as opposed to red. While it was hot,it was mauve! We jokingly called it our "80's soap.")
Put the melted oils in a cold water bath to bring the temp down. When both the oil and lye water containers are touchable,carefully pour the lye water into the oils and begin mixing with the stick beater using short bursts of power-not continuously running the mixer. We achieved trace in about 5 minutes. Pour the soap into the molds. Let set for 24 hours.
We filled the molds too much- the soap started to rise,causing a "muffin top" effect,but once the soap started to cool,that came down. Next time it should only be filled 2/3 of the way.

Now,today Michelle emailed me and told me that she thought she had let her soap sit in the mold too long,because she actually didn't peel off the mold until several days after we made it. She commented that the soap was pox marked,and had formed what looked like a turkey neck towards the top of the mold,with a mushroom type top ( she didn't say mushroom,but I can't remember her exact wording. It basically meant that). Hmmm. I don't think time made a difference,because I took mine out of the mold about two days later,and this is what it looked like.

Pretty funky,huh? I think maybe we didn't get all the air bubbles out when it was poured into the mold,which might have caused this weird result. That and we filled it too high to start with.

It did cut nicely,though. The Hayride and A Bonfire scent initially smelled somewhat like citrus,but now has a strong cinnamon scent. However, it is very mild on the skin,not overpowering like I thought it would be. It leaves skin nice and soft as well.

Anybody else have some funky soap results out there?

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