Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Handmade Lavender Soap

I enjoyed the first attempt at soap-making so much that the boys and I made a second batch the very next day.
Lavender is one of my favourite scents so we used some lavender flowers with some lavender essential oils in this batch.  This time we made an all olive oil soap (the first batch was olive and coconut oil).
The longest part really is waiting for the lye to cool.  We waited...and waited...and put it outside to hasten cooling and waited some more.
Then it was ready to mix.  We used a stick blender and it quickly came to "trace".  We added the essential oil and mixed a bit more.
We poured some into our mold (a cardboard box lined with a plastic bag), added some lavender flowers then poured the rest of the soap mixture on.  The next day it was ready to cut.
I think that soap making may very well become an addiction for me. This seems to be an issue for me...although I have overcome my edging addiction (only by selling that home, mind, so I'm not sure that counts but still...). When my soap-making-guru friend emailed me yesterday to let me know that soap has a shelf life and that I might not want to make more than a year's supply I felt quite robbed - I'd just been enjoying sniffing this latest batch and was contemplating my next batch. What to do?  How many pounds of soap could my family actually use in a year?!?
I may have a plan that will support this new addiction  love, I think I might just sell any excess at the farm stand next year (big plans in the works for this!)...that way I can keep making new batches to my heart's content this winter and not have to worry about overwhelming my family by urging them constantly to "use more soap!!".


The Finicky Farmer said...

Oh my. Heather, those bars are positively gorgeous! And they'd made lovely holiday gifts as well.

AMOffenwanger said...

Ah, young grasshopper, you have found a solution. Go forth and make soap to your heart's content!

Jain said...

Oh, how I wish this post were scratch-n-sniff!
Beautiful bars. I've been afraid of lye but you've almost convinced me to give it a go.

cathy@home said...

The looks lovely with the lavender I have a friend who is an Addict for making soap so I have not bought soap in a long time i wouldn't dare.

Jacinda said...

Mmm, i can almost smell it. We make olive oil soap but we leave it for 3 weeks before we cut it so that the lye can fully ...i don't know the word..you know not be corrosive. How does this work for you? Thanks for the inspiration..we are almost out and I've been waiting for some inspiration to getting cracking on a new batch.

Leigh said...

Hi Heather, I wanted to return the blog visit and as usual, discover all kinds of interesting things going on here. Great tutorial; I haven't made soap in years! I would think handcrafted soaps would sell very well at a farm stand. Great for gifts or barter too.

From what I remember, soaps with botanicals in them have the shortest shelf life. You should date and keep a bar from each batch to see exactly how long it does stay "good." I'd be interested to know the results!

daisy g said...

It's absolutley lovely. Glad you found a solution for your addiction! Enjoy it!

Alison said...

They look fab! My first and second attempt at soap making have not been great, first time the soap was great at removing dirt and it was only when I read up about what can go wrong that I realised there were still crystal of lye in it, no wonder it was great at cleaning dirty hands!!
You have inspired me to try again though!

SG said...

Wow that soap looks lovely. Looks so creamy. I'd love to have a go at making some, where did you get the instructions from?

Andrea said...

Heather, I make 3 batches every fall and that is enough for our family (currently 4 of us living at home) for a year with enough to give away as Christmas gifts, etc. We don't use any liquid soap and I also use it to make my own laundry soap.

Heather said...

Hi SG,
For the lavender soap we used this recipe and instructions. We halved the recipe though.


Then when it was at trace we added the essential oil. It is a nice simple recipe with (I thought) good instructions.

Hi Andrea,
Good to hear from you! Thanks for the info. So, based on that I can easily make one more batch. ;-) I want to make a plain shortening one (just to try it) and I will use that one for laundry. Hope you are well.

Heather said...

Hello Watching Kereru,

Angelika warned me to wear gloves before cutting it so I didn't worry about it being corrosive. That said, I have touched it several times since and haven't had any reaction so it must be fine (at least to touch with dry hands but we won't use it to wash with for a month or so). I was under the impression that you couldn't wait too long to cut it or it might have set so hard that it would sort of chip and crack instead of cutting?!?

Anonymous said...

I am loving reading about your soap making adventures! I can see it would be very addicting. I just made some homemade lip balm this weekend and I have an urge to make more again, lol. But I am already dabbing into so many different crafts right now, I think it's best to leave soap making to others... for now anyways ;)

Ach Ach said...

Hi, I discovered this just now and thought it's amazing. But about how long do this kind of soap last?
Thanks! :D