I experimented outside of my "safety zone" today and made a bar of soap.
No, not the real difficult kind which uses lye and assorted oils -- I only used the 'melt and pour' kind -- and although I would like to make the difficult kind of homemade soap some day, my experience with this so called "simple" method proves that I should in no way be anywhere close to dangerous chemicals such as Lye.
The melt and pour method is supposed to be so incredibly simple: melt the soap base in the microwave, stir in the fragrance, coloring and any other additives, pour it into a mold and let it sit for about an hour.
Is it really possible to screw something that simple up?
The answer to that is...yes. I followed the instructions on the soap base packaging to a "t", but ran into some difficulties when putting in coloring and additives. You see, I decided to make the soap a slight pinkish-red color, and was going to add some fresh diced cranberries to it as well. The fragrance oil smelled spicy like cloves and allspice, so I figured the cranberries would be a perfect match for the oil. I melted just enough soap base to make one bar of soap, but when I went to add the red coloring, I mistakenly picked up a bottle of blue instead. Placing a drop into the soap, I cringed; and now racing into the next room to grab the bottle of red dye, decided to add a few drops of it anyway, which turned the soap a slight grayish-purple. I added the diced cranberries and thought all was going to be ok...until I remembered reading somewhere that if you add a couple of drops of coloring on top of the soap and use a toothpick, you can achieve a marbled effect.
Yeah, RIGHT. Here's my first attempt at soap making:
Now if I can just remember not to light a cigarette anywhere near a gas filling station...I might just survive long enough to make a bar of soap turn out right.
~ Mzz Thang