Soap making redux

I’ve always maintained that a little bit of jealousy is instructive. Properly managed, those little twinges can provide a direct and easily traveled pathway to the back corners of the mind where interests and desires you didn’t even know you had yet are stirring. So, when I recognized that I was envying my friend Kim Instagramming and writing about learning to make soap, it was a helpful nudge that I wanted to be doing it myself.

I first got into soap making five or six years ago (or maybe longer) and really enjoyed it but then I moved into a tiny apartment with no ventilation in the kitchen and a  cat who didn’t belong to me and I stopped doing it. But now I have space to work near a window. I even had a lot of the supplies socked away in a corner of a difficult-to-reach cabinet, which now that I think about it, I must have moved with me two or possibly even three times. The only thing I didn’t have was a dedicated mold, and I made do with a long, narrow wooden box I found at work. It worked, but was a little too deep and narrow to easily line neatly, so I’ll look for something else before I make the next batch.

And there *will* be a next batch. My mind is already spinning with different oil combinations I want to try out and fragrance possibilities and various ground-up things to mix in (oatmeal! orange peel! coffee grounds! pine needles?). This is a very basic soap made with roughly equal amounts of coconut (for lather) and olive (for softness) oils. Even though I didn’t add any fragrance to it, the bars have a subtle scent that doesn’t smell like coconut or olive (or lye, for that matter), but just like clean.


  1. says

    I’ve had this same exact jealous feeling with regards to handmade lotion bars. I’ve been having lots of fun making my own. Soap seems a tad more complicated but it’s on my radar of things to try someday.

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