The first thing I had to do was to clear out the top shelf of my airing cupboards, which has slatted shelves so I had somewhere to leave the soap to cure for the next four week. Memo to self – soap may be ready on the 7th September.
I then checked the soap and it had solidified and it looks soapish, so I must have done something right. I was careful, I used gloves and made sure I cleaned up any soap that I dropped as it is still caustic at this stage and can still burn. The condensation on the top of the lids smelt like pure hydrochloric acid (brilliant! my second use for my O level Chemistry!) and I was careful to ensure I didn’t burn myself, the dogs or anyone else.
I tipped the soap out onto my chopping board
And then proceeded to cut the soap into bars, big enough to use.
It’s interesting to see that it has already started to cure and some of it has changed colour and texture where it has dried out.
The darker section of the soap is nearer the surface and already has soap like texture. Notice the extra thick rubber gloves, I’m still very nervous of harming me or anyone else.
I piled it all on a tray covered with an old tea-towel. The soap stripped the cloth of colour where it touched it, but it’s old and it didn’t matter. It was interesting afterwards when I rinsed the cloth out in warm water, that it smelt like Ecover washing up soap powder that I was my clothes with! So Ecover, I have your secret!!! You just make ordinary plain old natural soap, grind it into little bits and put it in a box! Gotcha!
I then carried the soap upstairs to the airing cupboard (now you all know even more about me and that my bedding is not ironed!)
I brushed the loose bits off first, so not to drop any onto the towels below and placed them on the shelves to cure for a month. There they all are. I made 40 bars of soap, with only natural ingredients for 14p per bar. I think I’ve made a year’s supply too. I’m going to wait until September to see if it turned out alright, if so I’ll make a load more that I hope to use for gifts for Christmas. Any suggestions for fragrance from the soap makers out there?