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Today, we make soap

(Did you know 60% of anything you put in your skin will go into your bloodstream?)

Today was my Soap Alchemy class. We made cold process soap with palm oil, coconut oil, and olive pomace oil. One batch we put in lavender, the other peppermint. Right now, the soap looks like this:

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In 48 hours it will harden and I’ll take it out of the mold (paper cup). Then, in 30 days, the lye will have completed mixing with the oils and I’ll have soap.

Here are the recipes Suzanne gave us:

Cold Process Soap Materials: -Stainless steel pot (8-12 qt, no aluminum) -Scale (measuring in ounces preferred) -Glass jar (gallon size — check for cracks before use) or 4-8qt stainless steel pot -Wooden spoon (used for soap only) -Soap molds - no aluminum, cast iron, or teflon -Soap base oils, lye, water, herbs, spices, essential oils.

Directions -Measure lye and place into glass jar or small stainless steel pot. Add cold water and stir until lye is dissolved. You may choose to wear eye protection and rubber gloves. The water will get very hot (180F). Be careful of the rising steam, as it is caustic and irritating to the throat and lungs. Set aside to cool to room temperature (may put container in tub of cold water). -Melt oils together on high heat in stainless steel pot. Remove from heat (do not let smoke), set aside to cool to room temperature (may put pot in tub of cold water). -Pour lye solution slowly into oils when the lye solution and fats are room temperature. -Stir constantly until mixture is thick and creamy with a “pea soup” consistency: approx 15-20 minutes -Stir in essential oils (1/2~1 1/2 oz) and dried herbs and spices with the amounts to your preference. -Pour into molds. -Cover and keep warm. Place in a draft free warm area for 48 hours. -Remove the soap from the molds. If there is any difficulty removing the soap from the molds, place them in your freezer for 24 hours. Run warm water over the bottom of the molds, the soap will slide out easily. -Cut and let cure in the open air for 30 days.

2 Basic Soap Recipes Recipe #1 40 oz. Palm Oil 25 oz. Coconut Oil 20 oz. Olive Pomace Oil 32 oz. Cold Water 10 1/2 oz. Lye

Recipe #2 40 oz. Coconut Oil 45 oz. Olive Pomace Oil 32 oz. Cold Water 10 1/2 oz. Lye

The above is for cold process soap. Hot process soap — which we didn’t make in my class today — takes a little more effort up front, but is usable in a few hours, instead of 30 days.

The recipes will make about 25 bars of soap.

It’s important that you acquire Olive Pomace Oil — not just Olive Oil or Pomace Oil. This is the third pressing of the olive.

Suzanne, my instructor, uses an oak mold which she first lines with parchment paper.

Lye, contrary to Fight Club, will not burn you. It dries your skin, which will cause itching. Simply rinse it off with water and pat dry.

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