Wednesday, November 26, 2008

No Lye

Christmas is coming. And that means it's time to make my annual chocolate-mint soap.

On Thursday and Friday nights (after the children were in bed), I made soap. It's really a quick process and took about an hour from start to finish, including clean up. And it looks so yummy (like chocolate pudding) and smells so yummy (think Peppermint Patties and Junior Mints) that the effort seems minimal.

However, on Thursday night, I skipped a step in mixing the cocoa powder to some oil to blend it before adding it to the lye mixture and rest of the oils. I tried to blend out the lumps, but I noticed a few as I poured it into the mold. Drats! I knew I'd need another batch anyway, so I made soap on Friday night as well. When that turned out nicely, I figured I would make some more on Saturday night (Joe was out of town for part of the week and all of the weekend, so I had plenty of time on my hands), but I needed more lye.

I usually buy my lye at Lowe's. It's the only local source that I know. I ran into Lowe's on Saturday and they no longer carry lye, thanks to all the people who use it to make illegal drugs. I ran into Home Depot. They don't carry it. I called a few other places, and they didn't have it. I searched online and saw the outrageous prices. Because of the nature of lye, there is usually a $20 Hazmat service fee attached to shipments. I was so bummed. Soooo bummed.

Thankfully, yesterday I accidentally came across a source with reasonable prices, without the added Hazmat fees. Even if I had to buy twelve pounds of it. Whew! Soaping crisis averted.

And, while this soap will take four weeks to cure, there is another longer way to make soap that doesn't require curing time. I might be making that as soon as my lye comes. However, there might be a silver lining in the cloud. I checked both batches of soap this morning and I can't tell them apart. Maybe the cocoa powder lumps were absorbed into the soap. That first screwy batch may be saved after all. Only time will tell.

9 comments:

julie said...

I'd loooove to know your online source for lye--I haven't had to buy more yet, but I go to Lowe's for it, too.

Do you ever do hot process?

Karyn said...

Ohhhh!!! Let's hope the other batch is okay!!!!

It looks really good!

Liz said...

It looks amazing. I can almost smell it. Soap is a great gift idea!

Kim said...

That looks amazing. Makes me hungry. And the thought of actually washing with it. Might be a great way to wake up in the morning. I may need to find out how to do this....

maya said...

Wow, that looks easy. They're gorgeous.

Selina said...

I would love the recipe (is that right) for this soap. Sounds so yummy!!

hooli said...

I love your soap. You are so talented.

I've noticed a shortage of Alexander Henry prints, lately. What is going on?

amandajean said...

your soap looks great! I hope that both of the batches are lump free. and I'm glad to hear that you found another source of lye. I hate it when things are no longer carried or discontinued...it's the pits.

utmommy said...

I've never made soap before. I'd love to learn. I'm afraid if I made chocolate mint soap, I might want to eat it.