Soap Batch #1 = Success!
Dex and I made a batch of soap about a month back and it has been curing all this time. I finally pulled it out this morning, took it to the sink, turned on the water and….voila! Bubbles! It lathered up really nicely and rinsed (mostly) cleanly. It took a bit more rinsing than soap I’m used to, but its a start. For our first batch, I am very proud. The ingredients for this soap were recovered glycerin from our biodiesel reactor, chinese tallow oil, sunflower oil, potassium hydroxide and a bit of tea tree oil. You can’t really smell the tea tree in the final product (maybe we didn’t use enough or maybe it evaporated). But it does leave your skin feeling clean and not drying at all. It isn’t the prettiest soap, and looks more like butterscotch brownies or some kind of peanut butter bar, and isn’t super homogenous, but its functional and that is what we were going for! Next up, we have purchased some new soap making materials, including French Green clay, coconut oil, some citric acid (to experiment with neutralizing the glycerin), lime oil for scent, and buckwheat hulls which we will grind up to use as an abrasive for those really dirty jobs. The agricultural mechanic lab is right next to ours (read: working on tractor engines) so we can deliver some to them :) I think the issue with the current batch was that we did not mix it thouroughly enough after adding the base to the oils. We used a wire whisk and may experiment in the future with an emersion blender. Stay tuned for more soap tales from the biodiesel lab!!