I made another batch of lye soap over the weekend, and it’s looking good. This is the same basic recipe as the last batch, with one added ingredient. I put citronella essential oils into the mix right before I poured it. This will give the soap a citronella fragrance that will make it useful in the late spring & summer for warding off biting insects.
I also did one other thing that I’m rather proud of – I used some small ice cube trays to make “sample size” bars of this batch of soap. I thought that if people could try it and liked it, I might have more regular customers.
Speaking of which, I found out that I do have 2 regular customers of the soap I’ve been selling through a local shop. One is a mother who’s son has a serious skin condition, and can’t use commercial “soap” at all. I was told that she raves about my base soap, and reports that his skin condition is actually improving since they started using the lye soap I make. Yes, that is a huge grin you’d see on my face if you were looking at me right now. The other customer is the proprietor of the store who is selling the soaps, who has serious allergies and can’t tolerate most commercial fragrances (that are based on chemicals, not essential oils).
Who’d have thought you could make a difference in the quality of other people’s lives by making lye soap?
I ordered a new wire-guillotine cheese slicer yesterday, but it won’t be used for cheese. I am getting this one because it was big enough to handle cutting the soap when I make bar soap in our new molds. I’m expecting this to make the finished bars look more uniform in size and shape – a bit of a more professional product. Anyhow, I needed something that would handle making an 8 1/2″ cut across the soap, so I needed the largest cheese slicer I could find on eBay. It cost me $29 with free standard shipping, and should arrive by midweek next week.
Just an update on the recent batch of bar soap I made. The bars are now out of the molds – and turned out to be the best batch I’ve made yet. The new molds work wonderfully.
As I said before, this batch has no special fats or scents, it’s just old-fashioned lye-and-lard soap. The yield was 29 bars that are roughly equal size. I have to set some aside for our own use, but I can make 20 of them available for sale to anyone who is interested. I’ll sell them for $6 each and I’ll cover the postage. They will make excellent gifts – especially if you have someone close to you with dye or perfume allergies!
Leave a message in the comments if you want any, and I’ll work out the payment arrangements with you.
I made another batch of home-made lye soap yesterday. There were two reasons for this:
1. We were running low on soap for showers, and it takes a month for the soap to cure before it is ready to use.
2. We got some new soap molds and I wanted to see how well they work with my soap recipe, since I don’t do melt-and-pour soaps.
This was a rushed batch, so I didn’t take the time to measure out some of the “extras” that I usually use, like the coconut oil or other natural additives. Instead, this is straight lard-and-lye, the oldest and purest form of soap known to man. So far, it’s looking good, even with the new molds. I’ll know more in a week when it’s time to pop the bars out of the molds.