Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Q and A time

Mamere Knits Too Much asked , in regard to soapmaking, where'd you start?
Good question. I originally started making soap about a hundred years ago with the recipe on the back of the Red Devil Lye can, using lard or tallow. Well, actually it was the 1970's, but it feels like a hundred years ago. LOL After a few years, I found a book and used a more 'modern' recipe that included coconut oil and olive oil. Ooooh, that was a big improvement. Those 2 oils make a wonderfully conditioning soap.
After I don't know how many years, life changed and work and teenagers took up more of my time and I quit making soap. Until Dec. 18, 2007, that is when I began making soap again. Soapmaking has certainly changed in the intervening years. Now there is soap cooked on top of the stove, soap cooked in the oven, soap whipped in the kitchenaid, soap, soap, and more soap. I still prefer the old way called cold process. But, now I have learned that by putting the cold processed soap, in its mold, in a warm oven for a couple hours and then leaving it in there overnight I can have usable soap much sooner. I love that, I'm really a patient person. But, I want my soap NOW! This process is called CP/OP or cold process /oven process.
Now, we aren't limited to just lard, tallow, coconut oil and olive oil either. Now we can use cocoa butter, shea butter, castor oil, babbasu oil, mango butter, aloe butter.....and on and on. The soaps we make now are so much nicer than soap has ever been before. And there is so much more scientific info around. There are several internet lye calculators that tell us how much lye and water we need to use for the specific types and amounts of oils that we are using. And now there are colorants, and we aren't limited in the number of scents that we can use, well only by our imagination and a little common sense. And living in a rural area no longer limits what we put in our soap. With the internet there is no end to the number of things we can have with just the click of a mouse. The only thing that limits us now is our.....budget. It's Not Fair Hmmm, budget I think that should be a 4-letter word.
Now after all that, the way I got started this time around was that I joined several yahoo groups that are soapmaking related. I read all the posts and followed links to info and suppliers and just generally lurked for a couple months before I got all my supplies gathered and also gathered up the nerve to start again. This ain't your great grannies soapmaking anymore. Now, it's way kewl!
Ta, DJ


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