The Waiting Game

It has been two weeks since Puja, Brooke and I made our first bar of soap together.

Making the first bar together gives us confidence that soap making is not scary. The process, while complicated, and somewhat dangerous, can be strangely satisfying and extremely exciting. NaOH, while super duper caustic, can also be a wonderful, magical friend that transforms boring pantry items into bars and bars of creamy, luxurious soap.

We had so much fun that we met one day after work, looked at each other, and unanimously decide that yes, we would like to take this to the next level and we’ll like to make soap for the rest of our life! 🙂

The rest of the week is a whirlwind of activities – we each purchased a set of dedicated soap making equipment and created a little “soaping lab” in our house. Brooke got a cabinet dedicated to soap making stuff. I moved my items around and set up a “This is for soap, prepare food here at your own risk” kitchen counter zone and Puja is seriously contemplating if she should convert her garage into a soap lab and storage area.

We also made, for the first time, a bulk purchase of raw materials. Yes, bulk purchase can seem like a big commitment. There’s like 8 pounds of everything! But, there are some hobbies worth investing in. We figured that if it made our skins glow, and our kitchens smell nice, give us something to focus on and works as an excuse to drink wine and chill while doing something we really enjoyed, then yes, it is a great investment.

Our mission for the next couple of months (or however long it takes us to perfect it) is to create at one recipe for each type of soap:

  • Old school super sudsy, but still not too drying type of soap
  • Ultra moisturizing, hopefully no need to slather on lotion after shower type of soap
  • Gentle facial soap that conditions without stripping off all moisture soap.

With this driving force, we really looked forward to after work every night. Since the first bar of soap, we made 8 more soaps. Each recipe is created by us stemming from the need to study different properties of different oil ratio. There is a long story behind each bar of soap, some good, some sob, and some downright horrifying. But with each soap creation, we gained new experience and insights, and we formulated new strategies to handle unexpected curveballs. And this means that each soap here warrants a post of its own. But, like any proud parents, we couldn’t resist showing of pictures of our creations. Please bear with our excitement. This was pretty exciting for us.

  • Lavender Castile Soap20131209 - 2
  •  Rose Bastile Soap

20131209 - 7

  • Dreamy Coconut Cocoa Butter Soap 20131209 - 6 
  • Little Miss Flora Shea Butter Milk Soap20131209 - 1
  • Oatmeal Honey Almond Milk Soap20131209 - 3
  • Grapefruit Pear Soap20131209 - 4
  • Lavender Oatmeal Milk Soap20131209 - 5
  • Lemon Poppy Soap20131209 - 8

Though pretty, until the soaps are completely cured, we won’t be able to fully characterize its properties. All we can do now is to wait, pray for the best, research more, systematically design new recipes, execute it. Then it’s back to more waiting.

So, with each bar of new soap made, the waiting game commence.

But ready or not, every night, before I sleep, I find myself wandering into the kitchen, picking up pieces of soap, touching and smelling it and mentally making notes of what could be done differently for the next batch. And I bet you Puja and Brooke does that too.

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4 thoughts on “The Waiting Game

  1. Wow! These are awesome looking! I know what you mean by wanting to keep doing this- I went a bit crazy with building my inventory of oils/fragrances/colorants. If only I had a dedicated lab though- I would be so happy… I have to keep switching from soap lab to food prep/eating area and it is kind of a pain.

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