Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Drying Soap

In spring we noticed that the bars of my home-made soap lasted so much longer than store-bought soap. But when I made another batch in May and began using it in August, the soap was dissolving quicker than it had been. Eventually we noticed that a fresh bar of soap would lather and smell soapy, but as it was used and we worked our way further toward the middle of the bar, the soap wouldn't bubble so well, and it smelled more piggy from the lard. Apparently it hadn't had time enough to get good and dry all the way through the bar, but just on the outside.

The theory now is to rotate the bars. I can use the outside of all the bars, and then let them sit and dry some more. That should solve part of the problem.

The bigger problem, though, is making the soap far enough ahead of time that it can sit for at least half a year, preferably a year, drying thoroughly. That takes discipline. And forethought. And making something a priority even though you won't benefit from it for a full year. Yikesy!

In other words, I should be making another batch. Or two. Or three. I haven't yet found a place to buy tallow and lard (other than where I used to buy it, which is now an 80-minute drive one-way). So I tried making soap from Crisco. I used one bar to see if my skin had an adverse reaction ... and so far, so good. I guess I'd better head to Aldi for some more shortening.

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