Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Experiments in Soap Making

   Long has there been a dream in my heart of beautiful bars of home made soap lined up in rows to cure on the pantry shelf. Natural, nourishing, and made from pure ingredients I was sure home made soap was a divine call. Years of reading about the horror of lye and the delicate chemistry of soponification stayed my dabbling. The reality is, it terrified me.
   Time settles things; my fears abated giving way to creative experimentation. Supplies were purchased, pans and scales designated, and the kitchen cleared for a day of discovery. Just over a year ago the first batch of Simply Soap came off the mold to cure on those pantry shelves. The results were wonderful. Creamy hand made soap with gentle lather and just a hint of rosemary graced the sink and became a household favorite.
   From the first batch of simple soap my heart desired natural results. As our experimentation continued, a commitment developed in us to keep it basic and as natural as possible. Home harvested herbs, luffa, and fats made their way along side purchased healthy oils and oats. No dyes were to be used in our soaps and any scent additions would come from essential oils instead of synthetic fragrance. Favorable results kept coming as the variety varied from batch to batch.
   Recently our hand made booths held baskets of our simple soap experiments with free samples for any interested in testing the varieties. Some questioned their subtlety yet appreciated the realization the soaps would not compete with their perfume choices or other fragrant products. We sold more soap than quilts last time. Strange where experiments can lead.
   I have no intentions of 'going into the soap business' or developing beauty products for the public. It is, and still remains, experimenting. Along with soap I have made lotion bars, essential fragrance bars, and beeswax lip balms; we love them and use them regularly. Wholesome products are often pricy and in short supply; having the skill to make my own is a gift to be cherished and used.
   Yes, our soaps are available in our shop..free samples are always offered when requested, but no plans are in action to leave the needle and frame for the beauty market. For now, the soap making remains and exercise in simplicity and a creative experimentation. 


Dolly Sarrio said...

I have been telling my girls for years that I want to make soap. They tell me it is dangerous mama. I still want to make soap and yours sound and look so good. I just might have to try it myself. Good post.

Anonymous said...

Years ago I was given a recipe for pumpkin soap. Someone else had made numerous batches of it and I loved it, but I have never made it myself because the recipe contains lye. Which also scares me. ;) It would be interesting to convert the recipe, but I have zero experience in this area.

I am always on the hunt for a good lip balm. Even the highest quality "natural" lip balms have made my lips crack. One great, allergy friendly brand of lip balm contained rosemary-which made my lips crack. :(

I enjoyed reading about your adventure with soap, Michele. While it may not be your plan to continuously make and sell, I don't think I'd rule out the idea. I love smelling homemade soaps in shops and reading their ingredient labels.


Simply Scaife Family said...

Dolly, I recommend trying it. Friday I plan to post my 'starter' soap recipe- the first one I ever tried.
Andrea, Tomorrow I am sharing the recipe for my lip balm- any essential oil you are comfortable with can be used- or none at all. Rosemary seems rather harsh for lips, but, who knows. We use peppermint, honey, or orange essential oils for ours. As for soap selling, I will keep it on the shop and at my booths..actually sold several bars today while out and about:)