Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Soap Journey - The curing and cured

For a few months now, I have started making soap. Real soap! The last few batches, I have stepped out of the norm and tried something new. Room Temperature Method. No heating oils and using thermometers. I use the heat of the lye to melt the hard oils. Worked perfectly.

My Citrus Honey Beer Soap is ready and cured.

My utility room has been smelling good while this soap was curing. It has citrus, citrus peel, touch of sandalwood, honey, and dark Guinness Beer in it. I wondered how much of the beer you would be able to smell once it cured. It doesn't smell like bathing in beer. The beer is good for your skin. If anyone wants the recipe, I will post it. I had to trim this soap because I had ash form on it. 

This last weekend, I made a new batch of soap. It seems to be around 4 pounds. I used a 5 pound mold from SoapMolds.com. It was a Shea Butter and Coconut Milk soap with a great light fragrance of Oatmeal, Milk, and Honey. This has Calendula petals mixed in.

I unmolded the soap after 24 hours. I then let it sit on the counter for another 24 hours before I cut it.

It will sit for 4 weeks and cure. It will lighten in color and shrink as the water evaporates from it.

My next adventure is that I am going to make soap in PVC pipes instead of the wooden mold. It should make nice round bars of soap. I plan on making Lavender Oatmeal Goat Milk Soap. I am going to grind up lavender and oatmeal to put in the soap. I am going to use 3 inch pipes and cut them down to around 12 inches. They are thick enough to withstand the heat during saponification.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent

My HE machine (which is a total piece of moldy crap, don't buy one) handles powdered better than liquid. So, I made Powdered Laundry Detergent. You can, too!

This is what the finished product looks like. Beautiful and Cheap! It made more than this. I had been using it for over a month before I decided to take a a picture. A Tablespoon at a time. It will last.

Ingredients (In the laundry section at Walmart):
  • 1 grated bar of Fels Naptha Laundry Soap (grated with cheese grater), some may say 1/2 bar
  • 1 cup baking soda (this is probably optional but I think it is good)
  • 1 cup washing soda 
  • 1 cup Borax
  • Optional Essential Oils. I put in after it was mixed up. I used some Peppermint, Bergamot, and Tangerine. I am still working on what would be a great scent. The Fels Naptha bar also has a bit of a smell.
How? Pulse grated soap and dry ingredients in a blender or food processor. I did it in a Ninja! I put a combination of about 45 drops of essential oil in mine. Keep in mind that the Fels Naptha laundry soap bar has its own smell so make sure your smell and its smell will blend. You can also use Ivory if you want. Stir. It is done.

How much to use? I use a small wooden scoop for my HE machine. That is 1 Tablespoon. Supposedly, you just use half of what you normally use for a HE Machine. I think that 1 Tablespoon works good for my loads. Homemade Laundry Detergent is low suds anyway. I would suggest to use at least 1 Tablespoon for no matter what kind of washer you have.

Why these ingredients? Fels Naptha laundry soap is good at fighting stains. Baking soda is good for fighting smells and removing stains. Washing soda is also good for removing odors and removing dirt. Borax cleans, disinfects, softens water, and deodorizes. There you go.

Lesson Along the Way. One thing you will notice when making your own laundry detergent is smell. We think store bought laundry detergent is good when it leaves your clothes smelling a certain fragrance. That is not true. By putting 45 drops of essential oil in my detergent, it has a fragrance. Once the clothes are clean and dried, it does not still smell very strong of that fragrance. That lets you know just how much fragrance is in store bought detergent. That can't be that good for you.

Home School Stuff for Sale

I have recently listed a few things on Ebay. Attention: Home Schoolers. Going August 25th!

*SOLD* Teaching TextBooks Grade 7 Math

RocaWear Size 8 Boys Shorts

Nike Air Jordan Flight 23 Boys 6Y

I have a whole set of 7th Grade Moving Beyond the Page I will be listing in the next few days.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Snowdrop clawhammer banjo

Finally, after 2 years, I have recorded another banjo video. I just got back from Acoustic Music Camp in Arlington, TX. It was my third time to take from Dan Levenson, otherwise known as ClawDan. He is amazing and my banjo hero. I have quite a few bad playing habits so just know I didn't learn those from Dan. :)

This song is called SnowDrop. Tuning GCGCE. It is a tune that i first heard Mary Z Cox play. It was the song that made me want to learn the clawhammer style. It took me a few years to play it up to speed, but here it goes.

I realize I make some funny faces playing. Ha! It was 100 degrees on the back porch so I guess I was allowed.