Sunday, January 29, 2012

frugal living: cold-process soap

So, one of my goals is to live more frugally this year. I am happy to say that I have done well in January. I cleaned out clutter, have not bothered buying anything and focused on doing some of the new things I wanted to learn. This week it was cold-processed soap.  Making your own soap is less expensive than buying commercially made soap and you know exactly what is in it. I took a class, which I think is the best way to go because you get advice and learn basic techniques that you can expand on later as you get more into soap-making. I can see how this might become rather addictive. Homemade soap makes wonderful, personal gifts for any occasion.

Something I am becoming more aware of is the chemicals in cosmetics and products we use on our body. Some of these are cancer-causing.  I have learned how to make my own cream and lotion and so it makes sense to learn how to make soap. My particular recipe has palm oil, olive oil, shea butter and one batch has goat's milk in it the other does not.  I love the fact that I know every ingredient that is in there.  In order to make soap, you need to use lye.  Lye is what causes saponification to take place. All soap, homemade and commercial, has lye in it.  Lye is not hard to work with at all - you just need to respect it. Wear gloves and safety eye wear and work in a well ventilated room.  My soap is scented with lavender for the one batch and peppermint/rosemary for the other batch. I also added some calendula flowers to give the soap soothing properties.

Peeps, this was SO much fun!