Friday, April 17, 2009

Soapy Science

My new favorite thing to do is make cold process soap. I have a number of motivations for learning this new skill. I like knowing how to do everything the old fashioned way. I don't like using body care products with harsh, dangerous, or toxic chemicals in them. It's the perfect homeschool science experiment. Step one: Carefully and precisely measure the lye and combine with water. Once combined the mixture reaches temperatures of up to 185 degrees. Crazy!

We all especially love the safety goggles. Their awesome!



While the lye/water is cooling we combine whatever mix of oils we're going to use and get them to a nice liquid state.
After the lye/water has cooled to somewhere around 100 degrees it's time to combine the fat with the lye.

Hand blenders are an amazing invention for this job. It used to take hours of stirring to get the oils saponified but with the blender it takes only minutes. I would never have the patience to do this otherwise. It looks a lot like pudding.


Once it's nice and blended we pour it into our mold. We haven't gotten a real soap mold yet. So an empty milk carton works nicely.



Here's a sampling of the different kinds of soap we have tried. We've made an avacado oil bar, a sweet almond oil bar, a coconut/palm oil with goat's milk and honey, and a shampoo bar with herb infused olive oil and jojoba oil.
I have also made some wonderful lip gloss that I love and just the other day I made a facial cream that turned out thick and luxurious and feels very nice on my dry skin.
There are so many fun things to learn and do!

6 comments:

Pure Mommy Extract said...

All three recipes need to be shared. That's an order.

...I mean...PLEEEEAAAASE =)

Helena said...

Very cool!

Portraits by Rebecca said...

Im with Pure Mommy!

Kjrsten said...

you never cease to amaze me Bronwyn!

jameyr said...

Sara has been sending me a batch of her soap every year for I can't even remember how long...but now I know where to go if I run out! It was good seeing you, even if only for a moment.

Laura Call said...

How fun... what a great experiment to do with the kids! And your kids are getting so grown up... we haven't seen you in so long.