Wow. Three posts in one day. I must have a lot to tell the world.
After seeing that plastic soap molds weren’t the best to use, my husband offered to make a wooden loaf mold and round PVC pipe mold for my soap bars. After being that couple at The Home Depot (you know, the couple that stands in front of the 2x4s arguing about the dimensions of the molds), we set out to get this soap business started. But first, I still had to successfully make a batch a soap without messing up. Good grief…
Chris made me a beautiful loaf mold out of Poplar. It was great– it had two sides that could be removed as well as several holes so that I could make different batch sizes. Anxious to put the mold to use, we haphazardly lined it with freezer paper (problem 1) and got to the soap making. I paid close attention to the amount of oils used (8 oz of castor oil!!) and anxiously waited for the oils and the lye water to reach the necessary temperatures. Still a bit nervous from my first go-around with solo soapmaking, I quickly added the lye water into the melted oils and began using the stick blender to reach trace. I was too anxious. Remembering that my first batch seized, I moved too quickly with this batch (problem 2). I poured the batter into the new wooden mold before checking to see that it had reached trace. I actually thought the batter looked a bit strange in the mold (it looked like the oils and lye water were separating a bit), but I convinced myself that I was over-thinking things and that it would turn out fine. I put the lid on the mold and went on to cleaning up the kitchen.
About half an hour later, I checked on the mold and saw that oils were completely leaking out! Luckily, we had placed the mold on freezer paper, saving our dear kitchen table from a huge mess. I removed the lid from the mold to find that the oils were definitely separated form the lye water. BUMMER! Since we were unable to retain all of the rogue oils (some had soaked into the mold), we had to throw the whole batch out. I was so disappointed. Luckily, we were able to save the newly-made mold. It now looks worn in!
We let the wood dry overnight and decided to give it a go the next day. Starting your own business is hard!