Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Shampoo Making Adventure

So, here's the deal. A few, or 12 months ago, I was sitting standing in my bathroom, pondering the meaning of life when I noticed the massive amounts of bottles, bars, razors, and sponges that had accumulated in the shower. Since I have the luxury of having my very own shower (hubby uses the guest bathroom so he can have his own little luxurious space without the flowery scent of the reed diffuser), I found the quantity of all that was there disturbing at best.

Because I had no one but myself to blame it on.

Sad, but true.

I had Costco-sized bottles of shampoo and conditioner, a large bottle of castile soap (for shaving~awesome!), face soap for everyday use, blemish soap for those embarrassing-because-I'm-in-my-mid-forties pimples, body wash that reminded me that somewhere, someone was enjoying some sunshine and it sure wasn't me, a condiment bottle of vinegar/water for clarifying (my hair, not my memory), a razor for my underarms and a razor for my legs (I may be a little OCD~jury's still out on that one), a loofah sponge, a big fluffy sponge, and a sponge for cleaning the shower, and a 7 yr. old, never-been-used bottle of bath salts, just in case I ever had time to soak in the tub. It may come as a surprise, but my mobility in the shower was limited at best.

Some might call that an "aha" moment. In actuality, it was my Mister who had been nagging encouraging me to rid myself of all the different bottles of crapola product that were slowly pushing me in the direction of his shower. Looking back, it was most likely his self-preservation mode kicking in. Too bad for him that his teenage daughters have now moved into his bathroom (while we're remodeling another one), so my bottles seem mild compared to theirs. They have different shampoos & conditioners to match whatever mood they're in! Freaks.

After I had a talking-myself-down-from-the-ledge moment (with myself), I decided which bottles I could live without. There were tears. There was gnashing of teeth. There was frantic rooting around in the garbage can moments that are better left forgotten. (Not that anyone in this house ever will.) But then I realized that I'm a lot stronger than I give myself credit for. I could do this. What, I didn't know yet, but the possibilities were endless. I would be the writer of my own shower-taking destiny.

Fast forward a few, or 12 months, and I now know what those possibilities are. I have finally realized my true potential. I was born for greater things than to be a slave to the shampoo & conditioner companies of the world.

I was born to make soap. Specifically shampoo bars of soap.

First, I gathered the supplies, which in my area wasn't easy. It seems that the soap-making craze has only hit the rural areas. Or maybe just my house.

Besides the ingredients, a digital scale is a must as everything is measured by weight.

Then I donned my rather fashion forward attire of goggles, gloves, and a face mask. Once I was properly suited up, the measuring commenced.

Pouring the lye~I had taken off the mask because it was interfering with my ability to breathe...then I realized I was just anxious about the lye, so I put it back on!

Here's where I should point out that we have really good health insurance, and my Mister, who is an emergency room nurse, was working that day. Safety first!

The lye mixture was set under the vent hood fan...the duck nostrils are courtesy of one of my boys. Nice, huh? I should also mention that under this mask, I was smiling like a Cheshire cat while saying, "Cheese". Blame it on the fumes...

The kids wanted to know how much my life insurance policy was worth. I replied, "A lot, but I'm taking you all out of the will."

That'll teach 'em.
The lye mixture gets hot so it's important to have it on a hot pad, not the counter.

After the caustic materials were mixed, I enlisted the help of my beautiful daughter, Kelsie.

She also has tremendous patience to slowly melt the oils and beeswax.

After all, she is the mother of these little cutie-patooties.

Bathtime for Emmie & Maddie.

Can't have her blowing her face off...not that I want mine blown off either, but it would save me thousands of dollars in botox treatments later...if I didn't already have an aversion to needles...or vanity.

A coconut oil greased bread pan worked great!

After achieving what is known as a "false trace" (apparently that is NOT what we were striving for!)we had to remelt it all and try to salvage our first botched shampoo making endeavor.

10 bars of homemade Coconut Lime Shampoo Bars

In a couple of weeks, when we're certain (or mostly certain) the lye is inactive, we'll be offering the kids a reward to the first one brave enough to use our homemade shampoo bars.

We're also currently taking donations for hair replacement therapy, just in case...☺

For the recipe, go here.

This post is linked to The Homestead Barn Hop.


Kathy Felsted Usher said...

Good post! I haven't tried making any type of soap yet but here's hoping your batch turns out great!

Valerie said...

Kim, you crack me up! Making soap is a fun and addicting activity! I make goats milk soap and have shampoo bars on my list of ones to try. You are right, finding soap making supplies in our area is not easy...but I generally order mine from a couple of different places...Bramble Berry and Mountain Rose Herb.

Have fun with your next soap adventure! :)

Candy C. said...

You are a brave girl!! Dealing with the lye is EXACTLY why I have not yet tried soap making.

Jacinda @ Growing Home said...

Just found your blog through the Barn Hop. You've got me inspired to try my hand at this! Will you be posting the results after you've tried them? I'll be back soon!

Kim said...

Kathy~I hope so too!

Valerie~Yeah! Another PNW'er! I've checked out Mountain Rose Herbs but have never heard of Bramble Berry...I think an afternoon of internet browsing might be in order! :) Ruehl Bee Supply in Milwaukee also has a few supplies too...if I can just stay out of the candle-making area.

Candy~I figure that the worst that can happen will be that I won't have to pluck my eyebrows for a bit, which wouldn't necessarily be a "bad" thing! It's was scarier thinking about it than actually mixing the lye...easy peasy!

Jacinda~Thanks for stopping by! And yes, I will definitely be sharing the results!

Treasures Evermore said...

Okay, this post cracked me up..literally. Wow, my first visit to your blog...awesome.

Can't wit to hear the results. Made soap once...never did it again...I guess the fear of blowing up my kitchen. Maybe outdoors would be better LOL.