Friday, November 10, 2017

Soap Cutting Day

Several people asked questions about the soap making process, and instead of answering individual questions, for once I'm addressing them here.


Kathy asked if the soap was in the 1/2 and 1/2 containers.  Yes, there are different batches in each of these and I will show them soon.

Yvonne asked about how long you had to wait to use the soap.  You can cut it after it has set for two days, but you must wait FOUR to SIX weeks to actually use the soap because the lye water has still not fully dissipated until then.  If you use it too soon, you could burn your skin, although both Scott and I handled the soap without gloves on when he cut it and I positioned it on the racks.

Sheila and Sandra asked why add the lye to the water, instead of water to lye.  Lye is what you pour down your clogged drains to release the clog.  By adding water after the lye has been poured into the drain, you release caustic fumes and bubbles that get rid of the clogs in the drain.  So, my guess is the water would bubble over the glass container and spill all over the table, floor, or ground.  Another reason to prepare the soap outside.

Scott managed to get the soap out of the container I picked out for it.

Due to circumstances beyond our control, these soaps sat a bit longer than they should have before getting them out of the mold.  You can see my "Stress Free" soap didn't come out easily, but I'm still quite happy with it.

The first soap Scott cut was the lavender.  Using my herb grinder, I had ground the lavender into manageable bits.

You can see the cutter he used.  I picked this up years ago in a kitchen boutique.

This is all the lavender we made.  It even smells wonderful. 

Most of the soap is now cut.

I couldn't stop taking photos of our soaps.

Leftovers and tops were placed here.

If you use milk or 1/2 and 1/2 containers, you will get these extras.  I'm going to wrap them in gossamer bags and throw them in my unmentionables drawers.  I might even give a few away like that, since I don't need that many to scent my drawers.

Here are all the types of soap we made.  There are seven different types and scents that don't include my Stress Free bar.

This is rose and it set uneven, but it still smelled wonderful.

This was Scott's hand soap he made using bio-char.

This is cinnamon made from ground cinnamon sticks (whole sticks ground in my herb grinder) and some added cinnamon oil.  It appears the cinnamon drifted to the bottom of the container.

It's still lovely.

I'm not sure why Scott chose to cut these in squares, but he must have had a reason.  They are orange bergamot.

These are grapefruit swirl.

Here is an example of the lavender.

For the final soap we made, peppermint swirl, I decided to get a bit fancy.  I got out my metal sealing wax stamp, but I didn't have a lot of luck.

You can just barely see the fleur de lis (some call it fleur de lys) stamp I used.  I simply didn't have the strength to push it hard enough and when I did, the stamp often slipped.  Sealing wax is so much easier to stamp into than set soap.  I believe if I'd done this within a couple of hours of making the soap, it would have been much easier and deeper.

After Scott and friend left, it was time to clean these bars up a bit.  The bars must be rotated every two to four days so air can get to all sides of them, even though they are sitting on bakers racks.

Like Susi, I am a gel or liquid soap person, but I'm going to see if I get lather on my bath pouf with the Stress Free bar once it has set the proper amount of time and is safe to use.  I'll let you know if the bar is as good as the liquid in a bottle.

Thank you for sharing this experience with me.

This is Day 10 of AEDM and my friend and I cut soap today.   Again, I appreciate your visits.

19 thoughtful remarks:

Helen said...

doesn't look that stress free to me! however, I hope you enjoy your soap and it will make some pretty and fragrant gifts.

Valerie-Jael said...

The soap looks like candy now, and I am sure it was a lot of hard work. Have fun using it! Well done on a great job! Hugs, Valerie

froebelsternchen Susi said...

Oh my gosh - so much work and the bars look all really AMAZING now. With this cut they are wonderful special! I think you and Scott could make more and sell them as the best organic handmade-soap on markets! I nearly can smell the rose, cinnamon, grapefruit and lavender! Divine!
I am sure you get lather on your bath pouf and I bet you have enough soap for the next 10 years then. I used up some soap bars years ago that a friend gifted me - and I used it on a bath pouf, what worked really fine and the 5 or 6 bars were good for at least 2 years for me. Much more frugal than using shower gel.
Happy showering with this wonderful fragrancies.
Thank you for sharing the process and photos with us -
really much work and thinking about the process in this yummie soap bars!
Have a good start of the weekend my friend!

sheila 77 said...

Thanks for answering these questions, Elizabeth, especially about the lye.
Gosh these soaps look fantastic and I was wishing I could pick them up and smell them. Grapefruit swirl, orange bergamot, cinnamon, rose - they sound marvellous and look good too. And yes, the extra bits will be very nice in your unmentionables drawers, haha!

My name is Erika. said...

Wow, those soaps look beautiful. If I didn't know they were soap I might even think they were some type of fudge at the candy counter. Thanks for answering everyone's questions too. It looks like a fascinating process, with useful results!!! I like how you can make different scents, but also color them to match a plac if you were really into that. And, i looks like you had a fun time with Scott and it was a good way to spend a day. I think that is the most important of them all. :) Happy Friday. Hope you are warmer than we are here in NH.The wind is whipping up the leaves (feel like I am in the middle of a mixing bowl while prepping a bake) and we even had some snow flurries. Oh my. Hugs-Erika

CJ Kennedy said...

the soaps look beautiful and I wish I could sniff them.

Dortesjs said...

fantastic and gorgeous soaps, I did soaps once, loved it..yours look awsome

Maron said...

looks like quite an ambitious endeavor!! The peppermint soap is especially pretty and wouldn't it make a nice Christmas gift?

Lowcarb team member said...

They look good and I'm sure the smell is just wonderful.
Thanks for sharing this with us.

All the best Jan

nanskidrewski said...

Wow! They are awesome. I love handmade soap, but well beyond my wheelhouse! So impressed!

TammyVitale said...

how exciting - terrible to have wait that long to use tho. That would be hard for me. that cutter looks like a roller for metal for making jewelry.

Corrine at said...

Lavender looks fab, love soaps with ground up bits! I love the smell of begamot, so that would be another fave. Hand soaps are great too so that bio char is a good mix. xox

Divers and Sundry said...

Such pretty soaps! They'll make thoughtful gifts. And even if you don't use them as soap, you're right that the scent will be nice in a drawer.

Meggymay said...

Oh Wow, your soaps all look awesome,I can imagine the wonderful aroma coming from your laid out soap bars.
Thank you for answering the questions and for all these great photos to bring us up to date with with the making process.
I used to have a cutter like the one you used, we used to chip potatoes with it for deep frying. I think it parted company with its handle and my OH threw it out.
Yvonne xx

pearshapedcrafting said...

Oh I can imagine the aroma was wonderful with all the fabulous ingredients you used! Not only scented but they look beautiful too! The peppermint swirl looks edible!!! Well done you two!Hugs,Chrisx

Rita said...

Oh wow! Something I have never tried but always wanted to. These look great and I can imagine they smell delightful. Great job!! :)

Nancy said...

Well done! You achieved so many varieties and have lots of pieces for your efforts. I'm impressed!

Kate said...

I am so glad you shared this! So many beautiful bars of handmade soap. Your hard work certainly paid off! My favorite to look at is the grapefruit and peppermint because of the swirls but the cinnamon and the lavender sound and I bet smell amazing. These are works of art. I hope you enjoy some in the tub and don't toss all of them into your unmentionables drawer ;)
Happy Weekend,

NatureFootstep said...

wow, never seen anything like this. Of course I know people makes soap but these are gorgeous. :)