Yesterday morning I dragged a friend to a soap-making workshop. It was a two hour demonstration on how to make cold process soap. I've probably been researching soap-making since early December. I've read everything I could find on the Internet and in books about the soap making process. Even though I felt very prepared to dive in and make my first batch, I was really happy to have had the chance to see someone else do it before trying it for myself.
I was so excited when I got home from the demonstration yesterday. I gave Joe the dimensions of the mold that I wanted him to make for me. I had NO IDEA that he would make me the most beautiful soap mold I've ever seen. I must have told him a zillion times how beautiful it is and that he did NOT NEED to bevel the edges!!!!!!!
Anyways, here's the beautiful box he made for me.
So this morning, before the sun was even up, I gathered all my supplies together so I could try my first batch. After I did that I threw a load of laundry in the washer, changed kitty litter and did a little tidying up. I was very scared to actually start soap making.
Once I got started, it was fun!! The first thing I noticed though (and it made me a little scared) was that the lye seemed almost electrically charged and was jumping out of the container.
The process went quite smoothly. Thank goodness it's absolutely freezing here because when I needed to cool off my oil quickly, I just took the pot outside and left it there for a few minutes.
The only other mishap I had was with the stick blender. After I added the lye to the oil, at one point I think I lifted the blender a little too close to the surface and splashed the soap everywhere.
I used a recipe I found online for chocolate mint soap. I decided to get a little creative which was probably a big mistake for my first batch. I added the fragrance oil (peppermint), all the time keeping my fingers crossed that I added enough. And then I scooped out some of the mixture before I added the cocoa. I poured the mixture into the (beautiful) mold and then poured in the reserved uncoloured soap. I attempted to make swirls, but that didn't work out too well.
I covered the soap with plastic wrap and put the lid on the mold.
The mold is now wrapped in two towels and a blanket and the soap inside is hopefully "doing it's thing". I have to wait 24-48 hours before I can remove the bar from the mold. I'll do that tomorrow evening after work. Once the bar is removed, I have to cut it into 1" pieces and let the bars dry for 3-4 weeks before they can be used.
If you're interested in making soap, my advice is to educate yourself. Once you think you know what it's all about, read some more. I have been reading and asking questions for almost two months now and I was still very afraid to do it.
I have NO IDEA what I'm going to discover tomorrow evening when I get home from work and open up the mold. Now I'm scared about that. :)