Friday, January 15, 2010

Got Soap? Maybe . . .

When I checked my soap mixture 24 hours after making it last weekend (see previous post), I was convinced I did something wrong. According to my soap mentor, Ann Marie Craig of Century Farmhouse, I should have been able to actually feel heat generating from my make-shift shoe box mold. Even though I covered it with blankets and towels, the box was cold and the mixture not thicker than when I first poured it. I waited another 24 hours and noticed that the mixture was getting firmer, but still too soft to attempt removing from the mold. My impulse was to discard the batch, but I decided to keep it covered and wait until the following weekend to see if I actually made soap or if I would have to figure out how to get rid of nothing more than a lye and oil concoction.

I'm glad I didn't follow through on my impulse, because when I arrived at the house today, I discovered that the soap did turn out and was firm enough to remove from its mold. I have cut the block into bars and have arranged them about two inches apart so that they can air dry and cure. That will take anywhere from two to four weeks. Regardless of whether or not the bars will prove soap-worthy, the smell of cedar and sage is divine.

Anyone interested in a soap sample? You'll have to wait, just like me.