A friend makes soap... with heavy machinery!

an ugly bar of lemon soap

I taught a workshop last week on soap making. I initially thought I might video it but two hours is a long presentation to record and was really too much to ask of my husband with everything else going on in our lives right. This remains one of the times "you just had to be there". I was exhausted from 2 hours of straight talking and question answering all while demonstrating how to make soap and lotion. But it was so much fun and the feedback I've received has been very positive.

My goal was to encourage others that they too can make soap. Anyone can do it really, as long as you have a few kitchen utensils, a scale, thermometer, oils, lye & water. By the end of the evening the women who came were excited about making soap for themselves. Their enthusiastic responses confirmed I accomplished my goal.

My friend Cori was not only enthusiastic but she got right to it. She made her first batch of soap this weekend and she blogged the whole process. First she talks about the melting and mixing (a paddle attachment for a drill - what a clever tool). And next she explains removing soap from the molds with an industrial bearing press?? At least it worked better than the ice cream scoop I had to use to remove my last batch from the circular PVC pipe mold. (I was trying to make a round bar of shaving soap to fit in a shaving mug) Note to self and others: long pieces of PVC pipe are difficult to push soap through.

I always thought that once you measured and mixed your basic ingredients soap making is more of an art than a science. But maybe in some case's, like Cori's (with a barn full of mechanical gear and an engineering husband) and my mishap with the PVC pipe, it's the other way around!

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  • Cori

    Cori on July 27, 2009, 9:27 p.m.

    Without some science, I think most art would fail. And I say that as a musician!

    Thanks for the inspiration and the workshop to go with it. I was afraid of the lye at first, but then I realized how many dangerous things I already do in the kitchen (carry pots of boiling water around cooking pasta, open the oven door with a 2 year old watching...) and then lye didn't seem so bad! Glad I took the plunge :-)

    Cori's last blog post... soap update


  • ~kristina~

    ~kristina~ on July 28, 2009, 11:02 p.m.

    awesome! I bet they were very thankful for your guidance!

    and I'm going to have to try that baked beans recipe - another meat-free fast is almost here in our Orthodox church calendar - although I would try it even if that weren't the case! ;-)


  • Andie

    Andie on Aug. 4, 2009, 3:07 p.m.

    Sigh, you always make me want to do MORE! Making soap...ok maybe i'll try it. I was actually going to head over here over the weekend to find your pickle recipe from last year and then I got distracted. If you see someone browsing your archives, it's me looking for pickles. xxoo, a.


  • Megan

    Megan on Sept. 24, 2013, 3:41 p.m.

    I just watched a youtube video about a couple that made soap in a 3" pvc pipe.  After the 24 hours of initial set time, they put it in the freezer for a couple of hours to shrink away from the wall of the pipe and then just tapped it on the table and the soap slid out.  Just fyi.


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