The Dirt on Soap, Continued

So, we left off at ‘the bars are finally cured and I’m ready to turn it into liquid dishsoap.’ Because someone mentioned in a comment, do you really have to wait three weeks if you’re going to grate it up anyway? I ought to mention that I did in fact do a little experiment at about 1 and 2 weeks. I just grated some directly into my dishwater and whisked it about, until it sort of dissolved. At one week, it was still much too raw. The dishwater was at the same time slippery from the lye (wreaked havoc on my hands too, and I do not have remotely sensitive skin) and greasy from the oil not yet sapponified. At two weeks, less so. By three it seemed pretty good. But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Back to my uproarious recipe un-follower science experiment.

Classic Calamity, I vaguely remembered the directions for making bar soap into liquid soap, and didn’t seem to think I needed to look it up again. Grate soap, check. What next? Hmm, don’t remember. Well, I’ll just dump it into the food processor with, oh, say how about 1 qt of water. Turn it on and OH MY GOD! A riotously alive looking goo suddenly sprang forth, the texture of which I can only describe as science fiction. You know, the semi-opaque gel/goo substance I’m sure I’ve seen in movies with bodies suspended in it? Unfortunately, it did not resemble dish soap.

More water was clearly in order. But my food processor was full. The scene that unfolded before me that fine day was quite hilarious. Good thing my sense of humor was intact. The life form I had birthed slowly usurped all of my mixing bowls, several spatulas and bottles and a large section of my counter-top. After some time I was able to tame it into a semi-pourable form, though it still had a viscousness to it that I found mildly alarming.

So. More words to the wise. Here’s the actual technique. Simple, straightforward, not remotely humorous. Grate soap. Put in a big pot with water. Melt over low heat, stirring occasionally, until it melts and becomes liquid soap. A third grader could handle that.To bad there weren’t any third graders in the house. But then, what story would I entertain you with? How would I earn the keep for my (pseudo)nim?

A large part of the hilarity of my “method” was that– duh!– I was creating lather! I had three quarts of creamy, opaque, ivory colored soap when I was done, but after it sat long enough to seperate, and the lather died down, it was barely more than 2 quarts, and a translucent pale yellowish color.

Yesterday, after finally using up all the first batch of liquid soap, I finally got to try it the regular, boring way. Sure was easy. Not many dishes involved. I grated about half a bar of soap, and added just a few cups of water at first. It was easy to add more as necessary. Eventually I used about 1 qt of water.

And now I’m going to leave you hanging again. I like to tease.

Next up, the question on everyone’s lips, how does it work?

One thought on “The Dirt on Soap, Continued

  1. Hi CJ.

    Katja here from Central Australia. Thought I’d share a bin bag story with you. In your happy snap, in the background in fact, I can see your bin with a bag in it. The fella and I had a running debate about being green and being sane (I’m green, he’s sane, who wins?). Anyhow, I refused to buy bin liners, finding that with no food scraps (chooks, compost, next doors dog, cloth nappies etc) and recycling, there was rarely any goo going in there to cause a fuss. The whole lot would slide easily into the street bin. He on the other hand thought they were essential to clean living. UNtill I was ill for a bit and he had to be in charge, including kitchen and shoping duties. Amazing how the realities, both in effort and dollars, lets the sun shine in. And GREEN WINS! Cheerio – Katja

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