Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Adventures with the Crock Pot

I had originally planned on sharing an awesome chicken braise recipe today but then I decided to share something a little different.

Crock Pot Soap.

I recently started making soap after a good friend of mine agreed to teach me. She soaps with the Cold Process (CP) method and she creates amazing soaps. After some careful bribery, she showed me how and I've been hooked ever since. It's so much fun to choose what scents I want to use and the I love the satisfaction of knowing I've made something from scratch.
Soap making seems to be a lost art, I think because of they many myths that surround it
A few common misconceptions about home soap making are:
        Lye is dangerous- Yes, when handled incorrectly, lye can be very harmful to one's health. If handled correctly and if a person takes all necessary precautions, lye can be used safely.
       Lye doesn't have to be used to make soap-    No lye=no soap. If soap is made correctly then there should be no excess lye. Lye combines with fats/oils to create soap; it is a chemical reaction, like hydrogen and oxygen to make water.
        There's lard/oil/fat in your soap and I don't want to wash with fats- See above. Lye reacts with these oils to create soap and glycerin (a natural byproduct), nothing more.
       I prefer *brand name commercial soap*- I did too until I used homemade soap. It's the only soap I can wash with without breaking out in dry patches and itching. Plus, after doing some research, I found out what was in commercial soaps: detergents with synthetic chemicals to enhance lather. Not exactly what I want to be washing with. Commercial soaps are often stripped of the natual glycerin, which is then sold for profit to other companies for use in other applications.

Please note that I encourage all readers to read up on safe soap making procedures before attempting to make soap. Also, it is important to wear protective clothing when handling lye and making soap.

Also, note that there any many different website that can provide a much more in depth look at soap making than I have here.
Since soap making can be so in-depth, check back tomorrow for Part Two of Crock Pot Soap. In the meantime, I highly recommend that the beginner soapmaker check out these helpful links.
http://www.soap-making-essentials.com/hot-process.html  HP tutorialhttp://www.mommamuse.com/2006/02/17/instructions-for-making-crock-pot-handmade-soap/
http://www.orthogonalthought.com/blog/index.php/2008/05/homemade-natural-soap-basic-recipe/ Very in-depth and thorough explaination on how to make CP soap. There is a link at the bottom for a very excellent HP tutorial as well
http://www.soapmakingforum.com/  an excellent soap making community.

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