The new soaps curing next to the last of the previous batch.
After a long while using the soaps I last made, I decided that it was time to make some more so that it had time to harden into better bars before I needed it.
A casual browse on the internet brought up a website in the UK selling loads of fancy moulds for soap and bath bomb making. Hah – watch the last sentence trigger the security services…
I was a bit unsure about justifying spending a lot of money on silicone moulds, and almost as unsure about how easy the cheaper plastic moulds would prove to be when it came to getting the soaps out.
However I can attest that a light smudge of cooking oil applied to the moulds first gets the soaps out easily without making them feel greasy. Or at least, within a few hours they were no different to soaps that I have made without greasing the moulds. The patterns are beautiful!
I have to admit that I was too impatient to make two batches of the solid soap to put the colours in. All I did was half-fill the moulds, dye the second half, then drizzle it on top of the still fairly liquid first layer. At least the layers should not separate in use.
The minute he saw them, Tim said that they looked professional and pretty enough to sell. High praise indeed. I have loads of ideas for making scent and colour patterns with new batches.
I also tried a liquid soap based on the same oils and butters but using potassium hydroxide lye instead of sodium hydroxide (as for solid soaps). It made WAY more soap than I had expected, necessitating an emergency trip to Ikea for more soap containers! It is very foamy too. It works beautifully as hand soap, but isn’t the consistency I wanted to achieve. Not yet pretty enough to sell, for definite.