My mom use to make her own laundry soap all the time when I was growing up. Then, when I had kids of my own, I bought a book on making my own soap by Ann Bramson. The laundry soap would be made in 5 gallon pails with a long wooden spoon to stir. Tracing of the soap could be quick or it could take an hour or more. The same went for the hand soaps and hair soap I made from the recipes in Ann's book. It all depended on the type of oil and the temperature of the lye mixture.
When I came across soap recipes with a blender (not a stick blender, ever, by the way), I printed everything I could find on the internet including recipes. The recipes were a lot smaller. The how tos had photos which helped a lot.
So today, I decided to try the hair soap recipe. I followed the directions I got off of this website: Blender soap (recipes)
Directions (to make the soap) I had all my protective gear on and proceeded to follow the directions step by step. Tracing of the first batch took 10 seconds flat, if that long. I had to hurry to put the soap mixture into the molds before it set. I have never ever had the reaction happen that quickly. The website was correct on that point. Then I tried the Gentle Baby Soap recipe. It took a bit longer to trace, 30 seconds, because it's all oils. This one poured nicely into the molds. I had so much fun that I made another batch of each.
You can tell that the soap is starting to trace because the blender starts to work harder. That was my sign that it was time to pour. Now I have to wait for 24 hours before cutting and then I set the cut bars out to cure for three weeks before using. I can't wait!
I worked in my garage with the door open because the lye fumes are very strong. To make soap I prefer to be outside or in the garage with the large door open. I am always clothed from head to toe with rubber gloves and safety glasses. Lye burns badly, one must take all the safety precautions and make sure not to breathe in the fumes. I also always have a pail of fresh water right beside my working area just in case there's a spill or splash.
If one takes all the precautions, soap making is really fun and enjoyable!
The above photo is of the Gentle Baby Soap Recipe.
The soap in the molds, is the hair soap recipe.
All my soap batches are currently covered with a sheet of wax paper and then covered by several layers of a blanket. This helps the soap continue to progress. Keeping it warm by slowing down the heat loss prevents the soap from separating.
I am also going to head to the Good Will tomorrow to buy some used glass square casseroles to use as molds the next time I make soap. I don't like using metal or aluminum, I prefer glass.
Anyways, this is how I spent my Mother's Day! I loved every minute of it! Have a great one!