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Personal blatherings, living simply, gardening, cooking, canning, dehydrating, knitting, spinning and more.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Busy week and Shampoo Bar Soap making

Woof! What a week! We got all the garden beds ready for this season. They still need a bit of "bloody bone" and the like, but we got the hardest part done. I need to get photos of the surprise spinach and kale that popped up in the snow that is thriving. Cool, spring salad on the way. The strawberries are happy and getting bushy. I hope this year is as productive as the last.

The weather was lovely- warm and sunny. I got a little color to my face. It felt really nice. The rains have come in, giving me a break for a while. A good thing, too. I was pulling up some mint. I pulled and it would not give, of course I pulled harder, smacking my left hand against the house's foundation. Ow. My salve came to the rescue for the bruising. (standard disclaimers apply to health claims that are only my personal opinion.) I am pretty sure I did not crack any bones.

I have switched to using a shampoo bar. Every 3 days, I rinse first with a mixture of 2 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar mixed into 16 oz. of water (in an old lotion bottle), then use the shampoo bar. We have hard-ish water. Sometimes I do the same rinse afterwards. That has kept my hair from feeling like a grease-pit and other problems some others are having. I also found if I wet my hair well, rub the bar in my hands and apply it that way, I also do not seem to have the problems some have with their hair feeling icky. As much as I love the bars, the price! Woof!

After a lot of reading, topped with more reading, two good books (1 had a DVD to go along with it), I got the supplies and made shampoo bars yesterday, using the HP (hot process) method. This uses a crock pot. I found a small 4.5 quart pot that has a "warm" setting, the ideal temp because the newer crock pots go much higher in temps than the other ones. (That is why people come home to a pot of mush these days.) The recipe is from Frugally Sustainable at:

Shampoo Bar Soap Recipe

I modified it, of course. I exchanged the 1 oz. beeswax (why is that in there?) with 1 oz. beef tallow, and the 3 oz. of jojoba oil (my reserve is dangerously low of this wonderful oil) for: 1 oz. jojoba oil, 1 oz. grapeseed oil, and 1 oz. apricot kernel oil. I ran it through a lye calculator to adjust the water and lye amounts and went for it. The first photo is the soap "resting" in my oven to slowly cool down.

The soap did not pop out the way it was stated, with a greasing of coconut oil, I should of lined the pan. Next time, yes? I put it in the freezer for a bit, then set the pan in warm water to loosen. I still had to use a spatula to loosen it a bit to pop it out. I left it unscented so Himself can use it too. I can always drop some essential oils on the bars themselves and let them permeate the soap that way. I did not photograph them after cutting the slices in half. The bars are too big to comfortably fit in my hand as first cut. They are now on a rack, tucked away in a closet to harden. We shall see how they work if later weeks. At the worse, they will be great body bars if they leave my hair icky.

I was amazed at what I had read as I learned to make soap. People freak over lye, refusing to accept that all soap is a mixture of lye, water, fats, and oils. The oils and fats chemically react to the lye (saponfication), turning it into soap. No lye remains once the bars cure. With the Hot Process method, that is done by time it is put into the mold. Worse is those who freak over lard or tallow being used. "Cows are murdered just for their fat!" (eye rolling...) It reminds me of those who say that sheep are killed for their wool. The lack of  reading comprehension and common sense is still stunning to me. They throw around the latest marketing terms and PC verbiage, without doing any research at all, or worse, believe everything online is true and "perfect". sigh....  That is not nice to say, but it is "my" truth as I see things.

I will attempt my next soap bars this weekend. I found a lovely blog, written by a nice young woman. She is vegan, yet uses tallow or lard in her recipes. She believes in not wasting anything and knows the many benefits animal fats add to soap. She explains it (and gives out some lovely recipes) at her blog: Humblebee and Me

That is it for now, not that I have much to say. Time for class!

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