On Thursday my BFF, my mom and my kids met at my grandmother's house to make soap! My grandmother has made homemade soap for the family for years and it's starting to get a little tired of doing it so it's time for someone else i.e. me to take over the reins. We all met to make a bunch of batches and go over how to make it. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera. :( But, when I went back over the next day I brought it and got a few pics. First off, the recipe for everyone:
Grandma's Basic Lye Soap
1 Cup Lye Flakes (Sodium Hydroxide)
3 Cups COLD water
8 Cups Fats (lard, vegetable shortening, etc)
Mix Lye Flakes with cold water outdoors (due to fumes). Melt fats. Let both cool. (Lye to 90-95 and lard to close to the same, can be slightly more). Mix in large bowl (not metal. Glass is best, the lye can ruin a plastic bowl) and stir with a wooden or plastic spoon until thick enough that it "traces", the soap should lay on the top for a moment before sinking back in. When soap is consistency of pudding you can add any essential oils, colors, etc. Line soap molds with plastic wrap and pour into molds. Leave soap in molds 24 hours. Turn out onto towels and cut into blocks. Leave in an out of the way place for 2 weeks, turning occasionally. Then ready to use!
Some quick tips:
#1 Wear Gloves!!! Lye burns if it touches your skin, keep vinegar on hand if it does.
#2 Instead of using a spoon to mix it (which feels like forever) pick up a cheap hand held blender. Makes it MUCH quicker!
#3 You can get the lye at Lowe's or any hardware store but make sure it's Sodium Hydroxide. If you get Potassium Hydroxide the soap ends up too soft. My grandmother says she usually orders it online from a chemical company.
#4 Drawer organizers make great soap molds.
We had a lot of fun! Pictures of ingredients:
The Hand Blender we used. It really helped!
Ready to take out and cut.
Doesn't that look pretty?
Nice even pieces ...
The fruits of our labor! We made a lot!
The Girl and Little Man were so good playing at Grandma's house and not being in the middle of everything. And it was fun to have bonding time with my Mom and Grandma! It was so great that Anna (my BFF) was able to make it. We plan on trying to make a batch or two at her house together so we're both more comfortable at it. I really am turning into a hippie! ;)