When I really started to think seriously about this whole soap-making endeavor, I thought that taking a class was not only a good idea, but necessary to up my legit factor. I really imagined that I would have some breakthroughs and have tons to talk about here on the blog.
Alas, I did not and I do not.
OK, let me try not sound too defeatist. We all know I’ll be able to talk about something. There were definitely interesting things that I learned. Like how to soap at room temperature instead of heating up oils and mixing lye separately. (We used a method where we measured our solid oils, mixed our lye solution and added that to the oils to melt them. We then added in our liquid oil (olive oil) and hand-mixed a bit before stick blending.) I never knew about this method and it definitely seems like it would be a time saver, so I’ll keep that info in my back pocket.
I also really appreciated someone sitting down with me and doing the calculations for recipes. You see, soap making is 1/3 math (yuck!), 1/3 science (cool!), and 1/3 creativity (my juices are flowing!). And, as someone who barely passed geometry, it was helpful to do calculations with a group and get my “middle school” on.
But there were some annoying things about being in a soap-making class with 12 other women. First off, Sunday was one of the nicest February days on record and I was stuck in a room with a bunch of people. Some of those people were super nice, while others made me give an eye-roll or two. But, I digress.
Here’s play-by-play of my Soaping Sunday.
7:30: wake up, get coffee, workout, shower. Load bag full of goggles and spatulas and aprons (thanks Alisha!), pop the address in my phone and start my journey to the middle of nowhere. (Literally. I wound up somewhere down by the docks of Newark and was honestly a little uneasy about the secluded location.)
9:45: text my boyfriend and send him my maps location just incase I die. Then I realize the workspace is actually really cool. For being in a creepy local, the building is pretty awesome. Sleek and modern and full of startups and small businesses, I breathe a sigh of relief and find my way to the room where the class would be held.
10:15: we start by going around the room, sharing our love of soaps and fragrances and essential oils and natural remedies. I have never felt like more of a basic bitch.
11:00: we get into the nitty gritty. We learn the history and science behind soap making. Did you know that soap making has been around since 2300 B.C.?! A lot of it is just a refresher for me, but it’s good to hear the information in person. After going through the fact-learning and algebra equations, t’s time to make some soap! And this is where the annoying part begins…
1:00: we are asked to break into groups of five, and I learn that I really like to have control over my product. Leaving the measuring and mixing to other team members proves to be tough for me, but I try to give up the reigns a little bit. We start out by making a swirl soap with lavender, orange and peppermint essential oils. It looks funky and cool and I’m happy with our teamwork!
3:00: some bitch steals my fragrance and uses it all.
3:45: the frozen milk for our goat’s milk soap won’t melt.
4:30: we are just now starting our final soap. We were supposed to be done at 5. That ain’t happening.
5:00: this recipe calls for some beer. I wish I could drink it.
5:45: we want to take a group picture, but we can’t find two of the girls so we stand around for 15 minutes.
6:00: we finally take the picture, clean up and say our goodbye’s.I end up leaving with three plastic containers of soap. I would share the pictures, but the soaps are still too soft to unmold because we used plastic containers (unmolding from wood or silicone can be done a bit sooner than plastic).
Overall, I enjoyed the experience and it really got me psyched to start making my own recipes. As soon as I got home, I started jotting down ideas for my soap line’s first 3-5 soaps and I’m so excited to share them with everyone. However, these things take time and you all need to simmer down! (hehe, just playing)
Anyway, my shopping cart of soap making supplies is full and I’m about to hit “checkout,” so I’m sure I’ll have some yummy soaps coming soon enough! Until then, I’m headed to a friend’s house to work on an upcoming blog post about essential oils. SO KEEP CHECKING BACK HERE! Better yet, follow the blog! Just pop your email address in and you can get these lovely posts right to your inbox. Fun times, yes? OK, I must run.