Monday, October 12, 2009

How to Make Handmade Soap that Doesnt Burn Your Skin off.

Boxes of Frangipani Coconut Oil Soap.
I used to make soap the lazy,impatient way. I followed a recipe. But with lots of creative license. I threw in things as the fancy took me. A scatter here. A pinch of this and a pinch of that. I'd eat something and be struck with inspiration...oatmeal cinnamon cookies yummy - that would make yummy soap! Which was how glorious soaps like the 'Oatmeal Cookie Bar' was born. And quite by accident my friends would rave that soap inspired by a batch of cookies was healing their eczema. Which would send me scurrying to the internet ( the fountain of all knowledge and wisdom.) where i would read about how oatmeal soothes irritated skin. And cinnamon was anti fungal. And a muscle soother. And coconut oil was wonderful for eczema. And I would be amazed with my creative genius. And create some more.
Most times I would end up with beautiful, luxurious soap. All-natural, all-good for you. And such a delight to bathe with. But i would also end up with lots of creative 'failures'. Lumpy soap. Exploding soap. Bubbly soap. Soap that never got hard. Soap that sludged. And fudged. Soap only good for scrubbing my floors. And some nucelar meltdowns that went straight into the rubbish bin. Double sealed in plastic. To protect the rats from mutation.
So yes, in the beginning, i made soap MY way. It was thrilling living on the edge, never sure what you would make next. Or what part of my body i would burn skin off that day. But then my wonderful husband stepped in. He revolutionized the soapmaking operation. He built a workroom. With two tubs for scrubbing equipment. And miles of benchtop space. And shelving for storing soap while it 'cured'. And best of all, he replaced my little blender which made 12 soap at a time - with a power drill set up that made 40+ soap at a time. Where once i had slaved for hours making lots of maybe good and almost perfect soaps - he used engineering precision and science to make buckets of brilliant soap in minutes. I was in awe. I was worshipful. I appointed him Director of Soapmaking for Coconut Queen Products. (and gave him lots of kisses for his end of yr bonus.) What was his first act as Director of Soapmaking? He fired me. Condemned my creative fluffheadness to outer darkness.
I was bereft. And a little miffed. How could i make 'Chocolate Rum Fantasy' soap confections now? (the idea came to me while watching a movie set in Jamaica...rum cocktails, sweet treats on a moonlit beach) Darren refused to allow me to indulge in anymore wild fanciful soap ideas. No. From now on we make soap that sells. Soap that people actually want to buy. Soap that works. (So if you were one of the two people on the planet who was dreaming of bathing with choc rum fantasies...Im sorry)
But because Im not a total idiot I have slowly but surely been won over by efficiency and precision. And i must admit its soooooo nice to sit and watch HIM make soap. And only have to worry about what labels to make. And what words to use on the brochures. And breathe deeply of boxes of perfect handmade soap. No more sludge soap. Fudge soap. Exploding soap. Coconut Queen Products makes guaranteed WONDERFUL soap everytime now. Only problem is - now theres no dud soap to scrub my floors with.

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