I told you guys last month that I would share some pictures of my adventures in soap making from the holidays. Since this was my first time making soap, I decided that it would be prudent to make it with a friend. My friend, Andrea, and I have been planning on making homemade soap for an entire year and the holidays seemed like a good reason to prod us to get into action. I did not take pictures during the process, but the next time I make soap, I will try to be more diligent in doing so.
I did however, take pictures during the cooling process of the soap and when I was cutting it. Here is the finished product first.
This is the soap after I cut it into bars. It is a really dark yellow color in the pictures. Kinda gross looking, but in 4 weeks these bars dry out into a nice creamy white color.
This is a close up of the soap after it was poured into my mold. This photo was probably taken 24 hours after the soap was poured. You can see that the top layer is a nice creamy white color. This is what it looked like closer to when all of the bars had dried out. You can think of it like a cheese rind. The outer layer is hard, but the inside still is soft and pliable.
Since this was my first attempt at making soap, I decided to go cheap with the mold. My molds were repurposed heavy whipping cream containers, which are conveniently made from a waxed paper-like substance. I tore off the paper and here is what I got. I then cut the soap into about 1 inch thick bars.
My bars came out all crooked because I couldn't cut through the soap straight. Next time, I will mark lines on all sides of the mold to cut a straighter bar. I will also cut the bars while they are still in the paper mold.
Can you see that the inside of the soap is much darker than the outer sides? This is what I mean by it having a cheese like rind. When it is done curing, the entire bar will be an ivory color because I did not add any fragrances or color.
If you are interested in making your own soap, here is an amazing tutorial on soapmaking. Remember that when making soap, lye is involved and it is important to take safety precautions such as wearing rubber gloves and safety goggles. Also, always do your own research regarding the soap making process. There is a lot of information on the web, but you can also find soapmaking books at your local library.