9/27/11

Homemade Soap


I made two batches of homemade soap on 9/19/11. I used recipes from Delores Boone's book, Handcrafted Soap, The first batch Down Home & Broke Soap uses readily available ingredients:
32 oz lard or tallow, 24 oz canola, corn, sunflower, safflower or any combination of these four vegetable oils (I used canola), 21 oz distilled water, 7.2 oz lye.
I added quite a bit of fragrance oil....and the large block of soap was taking forever to harden. I had some individual bars that did air dry to a suitable hardness. After 1 week (I know I should have been patient and I have one mushy bar left to see if it will eventually harden) I rebatched the soap in the microwave. I put a couple bars at a time in the microwave for 5 minute  intervals, at 30% power, stirring when it volcanoed. When it looked all gel and rather transparent, I glopped into individual molds. It hardened within hours.
The second recipe, from the same book: Green Tea Soap, hardened upon cooling. This bar is a carmel brown color because of the green tea water used in the recipe. In this recipe, I substituted the 8 oz almond oil and 8 oz avocado oil with 16 oz of canola oil. :
Green Tea Soap: 8 oz almond oil, 8 oz avocado oil, 12 oz coconut oil, 24 oz olive oil, 16 oz cold green tea brewed with distilled water, 7.2 oz lye, Optional: 1 tsp green color, 2.5 oz green tea fragrance oil.
So, I am not sure what happened to the first batch.  Did the essential and fragrance oils (about 2 oz liquid) make it unstable?  Did it need to cook and be stirred longer?  Not sure.  I still am not happy with the fragrance (too weak) of these soaps.  I thought the hot process, which makes them useable within 6-8 hours, would solve the escaping fragrance problem.  I read somewhere that you could put the soap in a closed container with oils and it will absorb it.  That just doesn't seem like the solution to me.  I want the fragrance IN the soap.  Maybe I am not using the right oils.