I was looking at old pictures recently, and it occurred to me that,
if motivated, you can learn a lot about something in a very short time.
Looking back, it’s easier to see how I’ve grown as a soap-maker!
Its only been three years since I began, but it feels like I’ve been doing it forever.
Like most soap-makers I know, I think about it all the time.
I daydream about what I’d like to make next.
Something seasonal? A classic, like Lavender & Oatmeal?
A beer soap? A milk soap? It’s always exciting,
and being passionate about something is food for the soul.
My mind wonders on soapy creations during my day. While I’m cooking,
while I’m rushing about, and of course, when I’m in the shower.
I talk to my dog about ideas, (I’m not sure, but I think I she looks bored)
and then I wonder when I’ll have the time to get soaping.
I’ve gathered that for many soapers’, it’s not the math,
(for me, its the math..but give me a calculator, and I’m a formulating Ninja)
and it’s not the risk of handling the *potentially dangerous lye water
that makes ‘em sweat- it’s the labeling!
While I’m naturally horrid at math, I do enjoy labeling.
I liked it right from the start.
When I first starting making labels, I hand wrote them on hang-tags.
Then I decided I wanted something more professional looking,
so I learned how to make simple cigar-band labels.
I give thanks for the good things in my life; my family and friends,
my furry children, and my job.
And, as strange as it is, making soap feeds my soul.
If a man does not keep pace with his companions,
perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.
Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. ~ Thoreau
Or, To Each His Own. Amen.
*Disclaimer: ALL bar soap is made with lye, sodium hydroxide, or NaOH.
If you’ve read different, it’s a lie, really. ;)
Lye water is a caustic base solution, and it is potentially dangerous-
but only to the person making the soap!
Adding lye water to fatty acids (your chosen oils) produces
the chemical change which results in soap.
As soap-makers, we are well aware of the risk of handling lye water,
and wear full protective gear during the process.
All that being said..
there is no lye in the finished product of a properly formulated soap!
On the contrary, as a general rule, soap-makers ‘super-fat’ their soaps.
This simply means that there is enough lye molecules to turn most of the
fatty acid molecules into soap, but not quite enough to change them all.
This results in a small percentage of free-floating oils in the
finished product, which ensures a mild and conditioning bar.