The Joy of learning a Simple Life-Skill


Soap-making is such a simple pleasure.  I bought a couple of bars and just loved it, so decided to try it for myself.  I found a simple recipe and got my resident handyman, Bud, to build me a couple of devices from scrap lumber.  The only purchases were the clamps and soap cutter.

I followed the simple soap recipe and have been making various types, scents, and textures.  I use it for bath, face, and shampoo.  It is wonderful for dry skin and a Godsend for psoriasis sufferers since it is so rich.

I am always so pleased when I learn a new craft, especially if it is an old one.  I would caution anyone who is interested to use caution with the lye.  Be sure to mix outdoors or in an extremely well-ventilated area, wearing long sleeves, eye protection, gloves, and a mask.  The fumes are horrible.  Also, add lye gradually to water, not water to lye!  It mix gets very hot, so have pot holder handy.  Flaked lye dissolves much more easily than gables.  I had to order lye off Internet.  It goes without saying, store lye careful and mix only what you need.  Be sure to weigh all ingredients, not measure.  You will need a GOOD mixer when mixing.  I burned up two hand-held cheaper models before I found that out.  I wouldn’t try stirring, since it might take more than an hour of hand stirring to reach right consistency.  A good electric mixer has it ready n five or six minutes.  Be sure to ms lye n glass, not metal.  It will ruin metal.

Soap has to cure 3-4 weeks, so don’t get in a hurry if you are making gifts.  It won’t hurt to use sooner.  It will just feel slimy instead of nice and soapy.