Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Time for More Soap

Vintage Ivory soap ad found here

A couple months ago, I sent John to the store to buy some bar soap.


Y'all may recall that I went on a make-my-own-soap rampage a few years ago which produced pounds and pounds of wonderful cold-process soap. I used organic oils and shea butter and just a hint of essential oils to add fragrance.

Not every batch was a winner, though. There was this one recipe that called for coffee and coffee grounds, which I thought sounded like a great hand soap for the kitchen.

The bars looked and smelled delightful. And then disintegrated into a unsightly brown blob after one or two uses.

Ah, well.

But the majority of my dabblings into the world of saponification were a success, and I thought that we would be using my home made bars for years. Which we did. Two years, in fact.

So now there's a bar of commercially made Ivory soap sitting in our shower, and even though it's advertised as pure and simple, it leaves my skin dry and itchy. I think it's time to turn soapy scientist again and whip up a few more batches.

That, or I could buy home made soap for about four bucks a bar. Snort. NOT.

I'll keep y'all posted. Now where did I put my rubber gloves, goggles, and lye?


Betsi said...

Ivory is actually a very harsh soap, I had to stop using it years ago because of irritation -- it's very alkaline. If you have to use commercially made soap for now, Dove for sensitive skin is very mild. My husband likes it too.

Sue said...

Ivory doesn't agree with me either. Now I use a goat's milk soap. It is very nice on the skin.

annie said...

I can attest to the goat's milk soap. After my Mom had her chemo, this was the only soap she was able to use and still uses today. I do not use any soaps, only bath gels, as they are less drying for me.

Julia Oleinik said...

Sue -- I may be courageous this soapy go-around and try making goats milk soap. From what I have read, though, it's kind of tricky. But I think worth a try!

cargillwitch said...

please tell WHERE you were able to access the lye! You would think it was a controlled substance- I can't find it anywhere.

Julia Oleinik said...

cargillwitch: It took some serious detective work to find the lye! Years ago, I used to be able to buy pure lye as a drain opener in the grocery store but now Drano has all sorts of other chemicals in it and shouldn't be used for soap making. I found mine at a little mom and pop hardware store. At least I did two years ago -- I sure hope they still have it!

AnnaDe said...

My skin reacts to so many types of soap, I'd almost given up until I found Clearly Natural. It's a glycerine soap which might not be to everyone's liking--not a lot of lather, especially in hard water. But, it's inexpensive and readily available in the local grocery store. Check out the bottom shelves. I can't always find the unscented, but the aloe vera works a wonder for me.

Kelly said...

Everyone around here made serious fun of me when I made soap. I had a always starts with a book around here...and followed the recipe and got some soap. But it was very harsh and I didn't like working with lye so my soap-making adventure was a one-off and the book went to the library book sale with The Chicken Tractor and a few other select titles.

I salute you for being brave enough to make soap more than once, brave Julia! Beware the lye!

Newport Sea Foam Trading Co said...

That's what I love about making my own soaps. You're in control of what's in them so you know what effects it has on your skin. Hope to see you back on the soap-making wagon and that you'd share some recipes. :) -Melinda @ Newport Sea Foam Trading Co