Friday, November 13, 2009

Soapy Update

You may recall that about a month ago, I tentatively ventured into the realm of saponification - or soap making. You can read my previous post here.

Today, I took one of my cream colored bars for a test run. I gingerly lathered up the bar in my hands and was surprisingly reluctant to slather the suds over my body. All I could think of was the essential ingredient LYE and the skull and crossbones and warning - caustic! labels plastered all over that can. And the fact that lye is a precursor to every bar of soap around the world. Did I get the ratio right? Did I saponify each and every molecule of that nasty stuff?

I'm happy to report that, yes, I did. Aside from the absence of fragrance and the strange shape of the bar (um, yes, I need to work on making the bars pretty) had I not remembered that I actually produced it, I wouldn't have thought there was anything unusual about that chunk of bathing stuff.

It lathered quickly, rinsed off cleanly, was soap. I was amazed.

I decided to take the experiment one step further and use it as shampoo. But how to do that? I decided to just close my eyes and rub the bar over my wet head. I suppose there's no other way to do that....  It produced gratifyingly shampoo - like sudsy lather and rinsed off leaving my hair squeaky clean, maybe a bit too squeaky compared with the moisturizing shampoo that I usually use. I may experiment with soap recipes formulated to use as a shampoo bar. Who knew they were out there?

So I'm sitting here blogging away, feeling clean, smug, and strangely chemical-free. Ahhh.

Of course immediately after my shower, I toweled off and put on clothing that had all been laundered with commercial laundry detergent, brushed my teeth with toothpaste from a container listing at least ten ingredients of dubious origin, put on makeup - don't even want to know what is in that - and spritzed on a commercially made perfume.

I poured myself a cup of organic coffee BUT opened a plastic container of liquid coffee creamer with ingredients taking up a full 1/3 of the product label. I walked across my new area rug that is made from polypropylene fibers and is treated with chemicals to make the rug low-static and stain-releasing. I'm snuggling with my doggies who were recently treated with an oil-based complete body-covering pesticide to kill fleas and considering making myself a nitrite-laced ham sandwich for lunch.


At some level I am cognizant of my chemical laden life, but on the other hand, it sure feels good to consciously make a real effort to reduce my exposure to some of these products. My little bar of home made soap is just one little step in that direction.

Power to the soapies!

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