Saturday, December 3, 2011


Last year we ran out of the home made cold processed soaps that I had made a couple years previously. Cold processed are soaps that are made with lye and not the melt and pour stuff that you can get in the craft stores. I had bought the oils from Liberty Naturals along with various essential oil scents. I'm out of Sweet Almond Oil, I think it might have turned a bit rancid. We picked up some shortening and lard at the grocery store and I was set to get started.

My original thought was I would do a little soap making class with some SCA friends. I got one person interested in doing it, our new Baron, Ref.  With his new responsibilities trying to get a Saturday that worked for him was not happening, so I went ahead and jumped into getting batches going.

Castile soap is made with olive oil and is considered a luxury soap. Well yes, olive oil can be pretty spendy, unless you're buying it by the gallon from the Cash n Carry store. I had two tins of it in my pantry just for soap making. Two big batches were made along with variations on them with milk and shortening added.

Then the following weekend there were the soaps with more scents - lemon and lavender and again milk. Making up a batch of massage bars. Bars that melt with body heat and have honey in them. Andrea helped me with these, so she'll get some for her business use. I used one on a massage and the person seemed to really enjoy.

You can see the honey kind of sank to the bottom but smooths into the skin nicely. With the dryer winter weather don't forget to use a daily moisturizer, your skin will thank you for it!

I added calendula flowers to one set of the bars and then with some of the last batches the oatmeal soap had a bottle of beer as well as milk added in - all great moisturizers. It looks really organic too. I've been enjoying the smell of the hops of the drying soaps.  I mentioned the lack of Sweet Almond oil earlier but I also wanted to do a Cinnamon soap and it called for it. I researched it out and found that Canola oil is a good substitution and made up a batch. It also smells really yummy.

The Castile soap takes four weeks for it to cure (use up the lye in the mix), since it was done early enough, it will totally be ready for Christmas giving. Even the last batches are done early enough that there won't be issues with people using it upon receiving at Christmas. I have some soap sacks I need to knit up along with some face/dish cloths to go along with them.

There is an event on Saturday, a Yule Feast, we'll be attending that I'll make a soap sack and give a bar also. I'll need to include a note about waiting to use.

Here's what the soaps look like:

I have some plastic and tin molds. The very dark brown is the cinnamon and the lighter brown the oatmeal. ;-) I also used some silicone molds that I recently received. The massage bars were in a chocolate mold I purchased.

There is a plan to do kind of an informal soap making class locally at the grange on a Saturday. I have a bunch of people interested. If you're local and interested, do please let me know so I can include you in the group. I'm not sure how much I'll charge yet for the class. Everyone will get to leave with some soap at the end of the class.

First thing will be finding some lye.  I've heard that the Red Devil has been pulled from grocery stores because its use in making methamphetamine. I used up the last this weekend, so next grocery shopping trip will keep an eye out for it. Hope its not a problem!  I'll show driver's license or whatever to get some.


  1. I'm interested in learning how to make cold-processed soap - I've done melt and pour soap, but am curious about using lye. And I forgot you do massages - have been thinking I need one!

  2. Gorgeous! Soapmaking is something I've never done, but always been a bit curious about. You may have just pushed me over the edge! I'm in Portland and would definitely be interested if you go forward with the class.

  3. Camille & Amanda - you'll both need to send me your email address so that I can let you know when the class is. I'm planning for a Saturday in January. Still need to find lye of course! ;-)