So, you’re a soap maker. You have your favorite methods, recipes, and ingredients to make a batch of soap that will fill you with joy with each and every time it lathers in your hands. I set out to make such a batch tonight, but made a turn somewhere along the way, leaving me on a path unfamiliar to me. It is during these moments of uncertainty, we find our greatest adventures.
I began as usual, measuring my oils and setting them into a large pot to slowly melt on the stove top. Then the water and lye, just like usual. Normally I would bring both of my mixtures to the same temperature before mixing the two together, but this time, perhaps due to the impatience of the children awaiting dinner, I strayed from my rituals and mixed my water/lye mixture to my oils. They were no where near the temperature I have always used as my guide before, but I figured hey, through caution to the wind every now and then and maybe, just maybe, it will lead you to something amazing. I pulled out my mixer and went to town, mixing for about 5 minutes, which was just enough time to get my oven preheated to its lowest setting. Leaving the soap mixture in the pot, I put it into the oven and set the timer for 30 minutes, after which I took it out and stirred it. The mixture was slightly thicker, but no where near trace, so back in the oven it went while I sat eagerly waiting and hoping for a thicker mixture the next time around. My prayers paid off and when the next 30 minutes was over, I pulled it out once again to find a thicker mix, almost tracing! How awesome is this?! It was like I’d never made soap before, decided to wing it, and got the results I had hoped for! I turned off the oven and hand mixed the soap for another 3 minutes or so and it became the consistency of mashed potatoes. I added my essential oils, scraped the mix into my mold, and covered it with blankets, setting it back in the oven (remember, its off) with the door open slightly. Let me tell you, I cannot wait to unwrap my soap tomorrow! I expect it will have set just as well as my prior cold process method, but I’m curious to see if it will be significantly harder right away without the long curing time.
I rest my head tonight eagerly awaiting the prospects of tomorrow and the excitement of new discoveries. Check back for updates and pictures as I will surely be posting:)