One of the things I did at the start of 2013 was to begin making my own soap. I took baby steps, starting with the melt and pour style a few years and then finally, taking the step using lye and fats to make real soap like Grandma used to make. (I'm currently trying to make my own lye from wood ashes, but so far I'm not happy with the results so I continue to purchase Food Grade Sodium Hydroxide Lye from soap making websites!). It is far more fun and easy than I ever thought, and I am kicking myself for not having the guts to jump into real soap making earlier.
Although I am pretty happy with the results I get now, I had two batches earlier that I wasn't really happy with. There is one recipe I love (love love love) and will use and continue to use because I feel it's not only the best one I've found, but it's easy and I love how creamy it is as well as the lather properties. It also allows me to add things I want like scent or herbs as I wish. I call it "Marsha's Soap" and you can find it here (youtube link).
One of the batches I wasn't happy with was my own fault for not investing in a digital scale sooner and measuring things as close as I could in ounces. It still turned out, but was just a little bit harder and more crumbly than I wanted. I could have grated it and used it as laundry soap, but thanks to being harassed by wasps while making my next batch, I was not concentrating properly and ended up with a batch I thought was too soft. No problem! I decided to re-batch them!
I had never done this before, but it ended up being very, very easy and I LOVE THE SOAP I ENDED UP WITH. Yes, I kind of yelled that. Funny how things happen. Two "mistake" batches of soap turn out to be the one I love the most as I decided to also add crushed raw almonds to it... and I have the best 'loofa' soap now. A very light scrub from the almonds means I can use it on my face, my arms, legs... and the loofa stays hanging unused in the shower.
Do you have soap you are not happy with and want to try to re-batch? Here is what I did after seeing many people do it this way online.
|Grate your soap into small pieces and place it in a heavy duty freezer ziploc baggy. Then place it in another. (double bagged)|
|Let the double bagged soap melt slowly in hot, just simmering water for a couple hours until completely melted. Squish it with your fingers to get it all melted evenly. Mine turned orange in the bag but the final product is a nice beige.|
|After the soap pieces are melted pour them into your molds. I placed mine in a soap pot first so I could add crushed raw almonds.|
|I stirred in the almonds until it was mixed completely.|
|Pour your melted soap into your box or mold. I used a box lined with a garbage bag. You don't have to be fancy.|
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