Blonde moment

And the silver spoon.

Friday, July 08, 2005

My neat little hobby

I'm going to start working on my neat little hobby again in the next couple of weeks now that we're getting settled in the new place. I have a lot of little hobbies, but only one that I call neat. I make soap. This is my neat little hobby.

Now, before I continue, let me explain so we are all on the same page:
1. To be called "soap" by the FDA, it has to be made with lye; and furthermore, you cannot extract the glycerine by-product that is part of the process. The only thing that is real soap that is sold outside of farmers markets these days is Ivory. The rest is considered detergent.
2. All real soap has glycerine. Here's how the equation works: fatty acid + water + lye = soap + glycerine. So, asking if I make glycerine soap is somewhat redundant.
3. When people ask if I make glycerine soap, they usually mean by the melt and pour method. This isn't really making soap. It's taking soap, melting it, and adding things. I make soap from scratch using the cold process method.

So, why is this such a neat hobby? Well, working with lye gets my need for chemical reactions out of my system in a productive manner, first off. Second, I probably spend less on better soap then what most people do. And it doesn't take a great deal of time, just a great deal of room.

Plus, isn't it neat to get a gift that is home-made? I think so. I generally keep upwards of 40 bars for Josh and my personal use; and we probably go through a bar or so a month. Plus, with these 40 or so bars, I have great last minute gifts. I generally give the rest away at Christmas.

So, I'm going to start planning my fatty acid intake, whether or not I'm going to scent my soap, and to whom I'm going to give it to. I'll post regarding my choice of acids and whether or not I scent.

Today, I am going through the animal debate. Do I, or don't I use animal products like lard or beef tallow? The animal testing has already been answered. I do not intentionally test. But, my sister's pet rats and also her dog have gotten into soap that I've given her, eaten it, and didn't get sick. I test on myself and Josh, but Josh doesn't know it, so don't tell.

Until recently, lard has not been available to me. I suppose I could go to the ranch when they slaughter, but I've just never asked when they do it. But, my grocery store now carries lard. My primary question is cost and not so much ethics. And I like having a semi-solid acid in my soap. Generally, I've been using Crisco, so I've been claiming unintentional animal friendly soap. But, now I have a choice. So, do I, or don't I?


  • At 3:48 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


    For the man its Pine scent....or bay rum.

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