I came to the realization today that I am in a time warp. Truly. I have absolutely no concept of time since the beginning of 2015.
I have issues sleeping at night and don’t wake up until mid morning.
It throws off my entire existence.
I could swear that I just made my last batch of Candy Cane Soap, and I never got to try any of it before we gave it all away for gifts.
I got into the shower today only discover there was no soap.
Time to make a new batch!
This time I made Glycerin Soap. It’s all new to me as I have not used glycerin before.
Our 14 year old son had an excellent question: “What exactly is glycerin made from?”
I had to look it up, I had no idea.
Glycerin is made from animal and vegetable fats. It is edible and is commonly found in drugs and foods as a filler and thickening agent. You can make glycerin soap completely from scratch with sodium salts of fatty acids, and glycerin.
Frankly, I really don’t know why anyone would do that. It sounds like a recipe for disaster to me.
There are lots of affordable soap bases on the market that already have these ingredients. They are easy to use and very cost effective.
Leave the chemistry up to the chemists.
For this batch, I used a 5 lb. block of clear glycerin that I purchased from a local craft store for 40% off with the weekly coupon.
I figure it costs me less than a .70 cents per bar to make, and we will have soap for months.
I love the beautiful colors in this batch. I spent a few dollars on some soap dye rather than using my usual food coloring. I can honestly say it was worth every penny, and I won’t be using food coloring again. I also read that the food coloring fades easily.
I hope this batch will keep us in soap for a while, so I am glad I used the real dye instead.
Here’s how it works:
I cut this 5 lb. block into chunks with a sharp knife, then melted it over medium heat on the stove. You can also use a microwave if you prefer. I made two colored batches and left one that was clear without any coloring.
When the soap was completely liquid, I removed it from the heat and added the color. I used 6-8 drops of blue for the left batch, and the same amount of the red dye for the batch on the right.
As the glycerin cools quickly, I added the essential oils while it was still warm, then immediately poured it into the molds. I also added the essential oils at this time. I used Wintergreen oil for the blue batch, with rosemary, basil and cypress for the red bars.
They smell wonderfully like toothpaste and licorice.
Once in the molds, I put it outside into the cold air until solid. It took about 10 minutes with our zero degree temperatures we are having. You can also put it in your refrigerator freezer.
Molds come in all different shapes and sizes. I have been collecting them for some time, and I have recently discovered the benefits of using silicone. They are so much easier to work with! I used some silicone ice cube trays to make the small fish and heart shaped soaps, you can find similar ones at the Dollar Store.
I felt compelled to try to add some lavender buds to one of the wintergreen batches. I will say I don’t really like how that batch turned out. The glycerin seems to be more dense than other soap bases and the flowers didn’t blend into the soap, but floated to the top and didn’t stick to the surface as well as I would have liked. I don’t think I would use them with the glycerin again.
Once I had the little hearts and fishes made, I melted the last bit of soap base for the two toned soaps.
I used an old bread pan for this large soap “loaf”. Tip: don’t forget to oil the pan! I forgot to rub the inside with olive oil before I started and it was a bit more difficult to remove than it should have been.
Pour the warm liquid into the pan and let it sit in a cold area for at least 5 minutes to partially set.
Meanwhile, spray the little soaps with a bit of rubbing alcohol and let them dry. The alcohol allows two soaps to adhere together.
Push the little soaps down into the clear liquid with a toothpick or wooden skewer. You may have to do this more than once as the glycerin cools and hardens.
When completely solid ( I waited 30 minutes), invert the loaf and cut into bars with a sharp knife.
My boys grabbed a bar and headed for the shower the minute they got home.
I must be doing something right, how many teenage boys actually like to shower?
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