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Saturday, September 15, 2012

I'm experimenting--with homemade liquid soap!

So, blogging friends, I'm embarking on a new homemaking, home-made adventure: making liquid soap!  I've been wanting to do this for a while, ever since I happened on this recipe.  My mom gave me a couple bars of nice Yardley's soap for my birthday, and I bought a $7, six-ounce bottle of glycerin at the drugstore the other today, and today I decided to go for it!  I also referred to this post , and I read somewhere else (forgot to bookmark that one) that including isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol added antibacterial qualities, so I mixed in that too.  Here's the final recipe that I used:

10 1/2 cups water
1 cup grated soap flakes
1 tablespoon glycerin
2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol

I sanitized my grater, measuring spoons, cutting board, whisk, and glass measuring cup with boiling water.  Set the 10+ cups of water to boil while I grated the soap.  (If I do this again, I'll use a food processor--it was tiring and I think I breathed in some soap dust.)  The soap melted almost instantly, and the mixture foamed a bit when I poured in the alcohol.  The fumes were a bit strong, but now the entire apartment smells nicely of lavender soap!  I'm going to let the mixture cool in the pot until it reaches the consistency I want.  If it turns out too runny or too "snotty" (that's a word a lot of commenters on both those posts used to describe their soap), I'm going to try whisking it or using a hand beater to incorporate air.  We'll see if that works.

If it's too thick (which I doubt will happen) I'll probably heat it up again and add some more water.

A lot of people were complaining that the soap didn't lather.  Plenty of others explained that lather doesn't equal cleaning.  I know it's soap, and I know it'll do the job whether it lathers or not!

Others were concerned about bacteria growing in the soap if purified water wasn't used to make it.  I'm not worried about that, for these reasons:  I boiled my water, for several minutes, before I added the soap, and boiled it some more after the soap flakes were mixed in.  I sanitized all my utensils, and I'm going to sanitize my storage containers before I put the finished soap in them.  Also, again-- it's soap.  It already contains ingredients that kill germs.  Plus, that's why I added the rubbing alcohol.  If the boiling didn't already kill off any bacteria, the alcohol will!

Finally, if this experiment turns out to be a complete flop, I'm not going to fuss.  The soap didn't cost me anything since it was a gift, and I wrapped the leftover bits in a piece of cotton fabric and tightly rubber-banded it shut, and I plan to use that in the shower.  And I still have most of a bottle of glycerin, which I can use as a skin moisturizer mixed with water.  So even if I decide that I can't use my homemade liquid soap, it's still not a loss--and maybe I'll try again with a different technique!

In the meantime, I'm baking bread (a combination of white and whole wheat flours), and I finally figured out how to get the loaves to rise properly and avoid having the dough stick to the towel covering it.  Cover the dough first with a well-greased piece of plastic wrap, and then put the wet towel over that.  Also, the second and third risings were on top of the warming-up oven, not in it, so that I wouldn't collapse the dough by taking it out of a very warm oven into a less-warm kitchen.

I'm so proud of myself.  And feeling so very domestic. :)

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