Monday, January 9, 2012

Happy New Year and Hot Process Soap

Well, it would seem I'm off to a bit of a slow start this year, but I think it's still early enough to wish everyone a Happy New Year.  Things have been a little difficult so far, but seem to be smoothing out, finally

Today, I finally got around to making a batch of hot process soap for the first time.  I didn't take pictures during the process since it went pretty fast, but I followed instructions that I found at Candletech, in conjunction with my own recipe.  I made a one pound batch which requires 16 oz of oil/fat (I used 8 oz lard, 4 oz coconut oil, and 4 oz olive oil), 2.3 oz lye, 7 oz water, and essential oils.  I used peppermint, tea tree, and pine needle oils.  The house now smells heavenly.  

Since the soap is hot processed, its ready for immediate use once it sets. I used some that I flaked out of the crockpot once I'd filled my molds, and fell in love with the rich lather.  It really beat my original lard/lye cold process soap, and left my hands feeling soft and clean.  The bars themselves didn't turn out as pretty as I'd hoped. I think I didn't quite mix it long enough to develop a good enough trace, so its a little crumbly in spots, and I took them out of their molds a little early for fear they would get stuck in the thin plastic mold.  But once they've been used a couple of times, no one will notice anyway, I'm thinking.  

So finally I'm off to a decent start of a self sufficient year.  It is time to start planning the garden, but I'm just not sure I'll get it in in time this year, with all the work I'll have to do on the garage, getting it ready to turn into my business.  I may have to refill my homeade self watering containers so they can be moved around during the construction.   Tomorrow it's back to work at Mom's shop, and I'm looking forward to it. 

What new things do you plan to learn this year to make yourself more self sufficient?


  1. I came by to return the blog visit and thank you for leaving a comment on mine. I've never heard of hot process soap! Thank you for the link, directions, and observations on your first batch. Sounds like something I will definitely try once I can get back to soapmaking!

  2. Your soap looks very nice. And it sounds wonderful! I haven't used quite that high of a ratio of coconut oil for fear it would be drying, but it sounds like it worked out really well. But, then, I have only made cold process soaps (unless you count those few failed batches that I dumped back in a pot and cooked into a new batch). Did you say you made it in your crock pot? I will have to go check out those instructions. Thanks for the link.

    I, too, am getting the itch to get a garden put in, but have so many other things demanding my attentions, too. But this year, I do plan to grow much more of what I eat, and even some of the livestock's foods. Not all, yet, but sure hoping to grow a good portion of it. Can't believe it is almost time to plant potatoes.
    Also this year I plan on trying to make new, useable, clothes and items from clothes that have flaws, stains, holes in them (no longer wearable)... basically, heavily play around with re-purposing things.

  3. Leigh- Thank you for visiting. I'd love to hear how your soap turns out!

    Anna - I love the hot process soap method. I've yet to fine tune it yet. I don't think I cooked it quite long enough because it came out kind of soft and spongy, but I'll try cooking a little longer next time. Sounds like you are going to be pretty busy. I sure hope you post pictures of your clothes. I would love to see them.

  4. Are you okay? Are you needing anything? Many blessings to you!

  5. We made goat's milk soap for the first time. Actually, it was my daughter who made it. We used a recipe from MJF's magazine and it turned out great.