I love to make soap. I don't know what it is, but chemistry was not fun until I started making good old fashioned lye soap. I have developed many recipes, but basically I take granulated lye--the type that unclogs your sink--and dissolve it in water.
Then I combine it, when everything is the correct temperature, with liquid fats, butters and oils. And this is the part I love. When the lye water and oils have a chemical reaction called saponification, they are no longer two things, but now it is soap. I always feel a rush when this happens, when I see the reaction take place. Then I have to work fast to add any enriching butters and essential oils.
I pour it into molds and then the next day, unmold my soap. It has to cure for 2-3 weeks. Here you see Coconut Lime and Comforting Comfrey. My soap cures in plastic trays in my walk in closet and it makes my bedroom smell fabulous.
After curing, I wrap it and it is ready to use. The problem is, I never do anything in a small way. So, in no time we were over run with soap. I mean, at 18 bars to a batch, and I usually make two batches at a time, well you can see how quickly we were over-run. We like to be clean, but no family can use the amount the soap I was turning out. That is why I had to start selling it.
I love to develop new recipes and especially like making goat milk and coconut milk soap. They are harder to make, but give me more satisfaction.
If you are interested in making soap, I highly recommend you check out Millers Soap . She has lots of great information, better than I could find when I searched a whole host of books. Her recipes are easy to follow. And, of course, if you have questions about making soap, feel free to ask me. I am always glad to help.