Sunday, November 26, 2006

Soap on Etsy

Yes, I knit. And tat. And love my Pug. And I bead. But for more than twenty years I've also made soap. Not the melt & pour & scent to high heaven variety. Ooh no, I'm much more of a purist than that. It is made completely from scratch, from oils in various combinations and lye and some kind of liquid to dissolve the lye. Yes, it is caustic soda. If you don't use caustic soda/lye, you don't have soap, it is as simple as that.

The liquid used to dissolve this nasty stuff can be water, or you can fuss with it. I've used goat's milk, but boy, that is a hassle. It goes bright yellow when it comes into contact with the lye, and heats up very quickly and curdles if you add it too quickly. So you have to ooch it in ever so slowly. These days I more likely to use green tea or just plain water.

The oils are the interesting bit. My recipe now is about half emu oil. Forgive these measurements, but ounces are what I work in. My last batch was 83 oz emu, 40 oz olive, 20 oz coconut, 12 of grapeseed, and 5 of avocado. Yes, I make big batches. The emu oil is the key to this soap. It is fabulous stuff.

Sometimes I stick stuff into it, like ground pumice or almond meal for scrubby soaps, sometimes essential oils. But really, I like pure unscented soap. I said I was a purist.

I use it exclusively no bought soap for me! I also sell it, or give it away to special friends. I have a couple of regular customers who say that there is no going back once you start using it (thank you Helen.) Parents of children with eczema swear by it.

I had a helper for the last batch and she has been urging me to sell it on Etsy. This is a kind of ebay for ONLY hand made things and there is lots of interesting stuff there. And now the soap is there too. If you are curious you will find it here.

Will it sell? My fingers are crossed. Postage is so expensive. I will keep you posted on my success/failure. A new career?

1 comment:

  1. About using goat's milk- you should cool your oils to about 100F.

    Freeze the GM into cubes and place them in your stainless bowl in a sink full of ice.

    Add lye slowly, a little at a time, stirring all the time with your whisk or whatever you use.

    The ice will melt as the lye starts to heat up, and if you keep stirring you should keep the temp down enough so the GM won't cook and turn orange.

    Keep stirring this mix until it too is about 100F. Then you can mix both.