Our fresh, new, sudsy, moisturizing, refreshing, yummy bar soaps are in the shop… and now available!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
In case you don’t know, bar soap was always in my business plan. From the very beginning of the business (five years ago)! But after researching recipes, equipment, safety concerns, and real dangers of making soap, I put it on the back burner while the kids were young.
But as of this summer, what was holding me back? My teenager got his learner’s permit. And my little turned 10. They weren’t little any more.
So, we sat and watched safety video after video. I did all of my material calculations. Purchased all of my safety equipment, containers, a new scale, and ingredients. And did two little test batches.
Seemed like success. Seemed easy enough. And then I was supposed to wait four to six weeks for it to cure. Ugh!
Somewhere in the middle of that cure, I got impatient…
I made a 10-pound batch of soothing lavender, with lavender buds sprinkled on top. Aaaaah!
Then a 10-pound batch of lemon drop, with marigold petals sprinkled on top. Mmmmh!
And a 10-pound batch of sweet peppermint, with rose petals. Yum!
Plus a 10-pound batch of refreshing grapefruit, with jasmine buds sprinkled on top. Ooooh!
Then a 10-pound batch of tangerine dream, with chamomile. Mmmmh!
And last, a 10-pound batch of spicy cinnamon, with safflower petals sprinkles on top. Ugh, yuck! What the? The fluid, creamy mixture seized. It wanted to lump. It was definitely hard to pour.
So I try another 10-pound batch of spicy cinnamon, with safflower petals on top. Nope. Exact same results, even with me tweaking the mixing time.
So I waited a couple of weeks…..
In the meantime, I’m moving on with other errands, chores, work, cooking, cleaning, and more. Was doing some research. Even started making our new room/linen sprays. What was really interesting in making these new sprays was that each of my essential oils floated on the top of the distilled water and witch hazel. But not the cinnamon bark! It sunk to the bottom. It has a different density. It acts differently. It reacts differently. Voila!
Back to soap-making!
My third try at making the 10-pound batch of spicy cinnamon with safflower petals? Success!
So, at this point, all 60 pounds of our 6 signature scents are made. Evan has helped me cut most of the bars. And it’s all sitting on our dining room table. They’re all gorgeous. And our house smells amazing. And we’re waiting… until I can finally get them on our shop’s shelves.
I guess you’re wondering what’s so scary about making soap? And why in the world did you have to wait so long for it to be on our shelves?
- I decided on the simplest recipe that I could come up with. A huge chunk of the recipe is coconut oil (the same high-quality coconut oil that I use in just about every other product that we produce). The recipe also contains a bunch of distilled water and essential oils. The last ingredient is lye (sodium hydroxide). Lye is very explosive and dangerous if you add it to water in the incorrect way. It’s also very corrosive and caustic. You don’t want to get it on your skin or breathe it in. That’s why I didn’t want to make it with young kids in the house. That’s why safety gear and a well-ventilated area is SO important.
- Since that lye is such a dangerous chemical, it needs rest. It needs to react. It needs to meld with the coconut oil and water, to be safe. In addition, the bar also becomes harder (a longer-lasting bar), the longer it sits. So I’m sticking to that 4-6 weeks, and will never rush it.
Why not use recipes without lye?
Another good question!
But lye is the whole reason a bar of soap gets us super clean. It’s also the reason soap creates that beautiful suds. Lye is what makes soap soap. Without it, you’d just have a puddle of lumpy oils.
Honestly, in the end product, the lye has completely reacted. It’s not present any more. No worries!
My big worry actually turned out to be how I was going to price them fairly, with Evan cutting the soaps in all different sizes! Ha ha!
You’ll be happy to know that I purchased another scale! It sits in the shop, to weigh each and every soap at checkout. And pricing is per ounce. Fair and easy!
So come in. Give them a sniff. Fall in love. And take some home. You’ll love them for yourself… and as gifts!
Or, want to try ordering online? https://from-scratch-farm.myshopify.com/collections/our-signature-handmade-products