Monday, February 15, 2010

Tools of the Trade

It's amazing how much space all my soap-making tools require! It's not just a matter of storing the goggles, apron, and rubber gloves, but also the various types of oils (solid and liquid), lye, and distilled water. Then there are the different sizes and types of molds, stainless steel pans, towels, knives, thermometers, and plastic scrapers.

I love stirring in the botanicals I've dried and the essential oils. The whole house smells wonderful as this caustic (yes, caustic) mix gets poured into a lined wood mold. There it will stay for 24 hours, after which time I will unmold the soap and cut it into bars.

The soap loses its caustic property as a chemical reaction between the lye water and oils takes place over the next 6 to 8 weeks. That curing process renders a fine-grained, fragrant, and luxurious bar of soap. What's so lovely about handcrafted soaps is that they contain none of the common chemical additives and preservatives that are found in most big name-brand soaps, so they're kinder to your skin.

5 comments:

linda said...

Hi Judy...Loved your soap story today. Love seeing pictures of them. I gave the 2 bars away that I brought from you..worth every penny by the way, and my daughter and my best friend just loved them. I also loved mine. They smell good and lather up so nice. And so pretty to look at. Great job!! Heck I love seeing all your pictures as I am a picture kind of girl. Have camera will travel. ha

Deborah said...

I too love your soaps my friend. They smell so good and I know how wonderful they are for my skin. I look forward to buying some of your new fragrances. :D

linda said...

Yes coffee and peppermint please

Cranberry Morning said...

Comin' right up, ladies! :-)

And I love taking the photos. Just wish I could get more natural light, rather than artificial.

Thanks for the soap compliments. Originally I was going to name my blog, 'Latherings and Blatherings.' :-)

linda said...

I think the pictures look just fine. I told my best friend that got one of your soaps to come and read your blog and look at pictures. She lives in In. And the name you were going to use? I like it..but also like the one you picked too. More pictures please.

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