Wednesday, June 29, 2011

scary soapmaking

Two things scare me about soapmakers. (novice soapmakers)

1. when they tell me their recipe calls for 1/2 cup of lye

2. when they want to start a business and sell soap but they haven't actually MADE any soap yet.

I'm not trying to say that soapmaking is hard....but it does take a bit of practice to get it right and make a product worth selling.
AND if you don't know that all ingredients for accurate soapmaking have to be measured by WEIGHT...on a GOOD SCALE...they you shouldn't be making soap.

A customer once called me to ask why her soap was coming out crumbly and dry. (A sure sign of too much lye) She said she had taken a soapmaking class and the instructor taught them to measure ingredients using tablespoons and cups. Uh Oh....not good! I told here she needed a scale...and fast.

Today a potential customer called to ask about our molds. She was starting a business and as we talked told me that she dissolved her lye in oils. LYE dissolved in OIL? I don't think so. Ever.
Lye dissolves in water. COLD water. Actually I don't think she had ever made soap, because you can't dissolve lye in oil.

So...lets face it. There is lots of misinformation out there on the 'internets'
And, a lot of folks making and teaching about soap who don't have their facts straight.

I've been making soap for about 15 years. You're welcome to ask questions in the comment section here and I'll post the answer....or email me.

And, while you're browsing the net, here's a reliable site about soapmaking!

Kathy Miller's Soap Pages

And if you really want to learn about all aspects of soapmaking, join the Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild and attend one of their annual conferences! This is the best way yet!!

Remember...there is no soap without lye...but you need to be very careful with that lye. It's caustic until you turn it into SOAP!

1 comment:

Pat Armstrong said...

Hi Susan,

I am enjoying your blog - especially - the things that scare you about soapmakers. I had to laugh - 1/2 cup of lye? and the best - dissolving lye in oil. Classics if I must say so.. Oh.. I play Mah Jong..and enjoy it...but on the computer:) Never played it as pictured in your blog..

Thanks for sharing,

Pat Armstrong