Friday, 6 May 2011

How not to make soap

In the spirit of sharing things that go wrong as well as things that go right, I have just made some cold-process soap (which I have made before perfectly successfully) and managed to crack the dish I was stirring the lye in. So now I am down one salad dish and have lye all over my draining board. (This is bad).
What am I going to put my salad in now?!! Tell me that!
Luckily I had enough lye left to redo the solution in something robust and plastic, but I also got lye all over my hands (this is very bad) so now my hands feel like when you have got bleach on them by mistake.

On the plus side, I did manage to get some semblance of soap out of it, so we will see what it is like when I unmould it tomorrow (I used turmeric in it to make it a different colour! And a blend of cedarwood, rosemary and ylang-ylang essential oils. It smells DELICIOUS. It is worth making soap just for the way it makes your house smell). And now I am a living example that you can have a Lye Disaster and live to tell the tale, so let that be a lesson to you all.
Note use of exciting natural colourant. I wish you could smell it! It's amazing
I wonder if anybody else has noticed, though, when you learn a new thing, sometimes the first few times you do it absolutely perfectly and then you go through a phase where everything goes wrong? I think the everything-going-wrong phase is actually the most important learning bit which sorts the women from the girls, at least that is what I am going to tell myself.

I am going off now to have a nice cup of tea and watch something mindless before cleaning the kitchen from top to bottom, because otherwise I will probably manage to drink water from the glass I measured the lye in or something really dim. So if you see a warning item on News At Ten regarding home soap making and the potentially tragic consequences, you will be able to say, hey, look! I read her blog!

(Or at least I used to…).


Anonymous said...

Yes! - I have definitely noticed that - I think it's where I stop taking extra care because I've done it a couple of times, yet obviously not enough to make the process second nature. On the positive side though sometimes this phase is where you make fortuitus errors as well and find out it sets better actually if you forget to add the thingy - or double the amount of lemon is even nicer. Can't think of a good spin on a lye spill though - are you still there Susie?...Susie?

J.G. said...

Unfortunately you are sooo right: can't master a skill without messing up a few times. It sounds worth it though, as I'm imagining the delicious smell.

Vivianne said...

LOL you have the goggles, gloves etc ...right ??

Cassandra said...

What a coincidence..I went to a soap-making workshop this weekend. My finished product looks much like yours! I wrote about the experience just this morning...