After returning from the Kenya trip last August, I made several batches of soap so that I could give gift baskets to my mom, sister and sisters-in-law for Christmas. They were well-received. But by the time I got through with those batches, I got busy and hadn’t made any soap since.
I made a batch today. I meant to stop by Hobby Lobby when I was in Murfreesboro on Thursday and buy some color chips (intended for candle-making, but useful for soap-making as well). During the day on Thursday, my father suggested I check the craft department at Wal-Mart. That sounded like a good idea and I never made it to Hobby Lobby Thursday night. Well, the craft department at Wal-Mart did not have them (at least not that I could find). So I bought a box of crayons.
Adding color and fragrance to soap is a tricky affair; when the soap is still liquid, it is also quite alkaline, and the lye can kill or change fragrances and colors so that the final product is not at all what you were expecting. Some soapmakers have gotten good results with the cerulean blue crayon, but other colors are a hit-and-miss affair. And I discovered today that the box of crayons I bought did not have a cereulean blue crayon. So, I tried a purplish-red crayon; we’ll see what happens. I also tried a swirled pattern for the first time, coloring part of the soap but not the rest and then trying to swirl the two colors together in each mold. That didn’t work out as well as I expected either. I should have poured the two colors side-by-side instead of drizzling one on top of the other. Live and learn.
Anyway, I was so preoccupied with the color that I forgot to add any scent to the soap. That’s not a major disaster — some people like unscented soap. In any case, I was not using lard today so I didn’t have the lard smell to overcome. The soap is 39 percent palm oil, 39 percent olive oil and 22 percent coconut oil.
Anyway, we’ll see how this batch turns out.
I still have plenty of now-discontinued Red Devil Lye for my sporadic soap-making. When I do run out, I understand there’s another brand which is carried by Lowe’s.