Continuing the thankfulness thing, yesterday I was grateful that my soap worked.
Awhile ago I ordered some amazing soap from Bubbles Bubble Soap (Click the link, like the page, but know she’s not making new orders until fall.) Among the order was some lovely coffee soap. I’ve been careful and dragged out my bars of Coffee Soap (which I use only on my face) and so have just enough to last me until she starts making them again-
Or I did.
Then hubby inadvertently tried my coffee soap and found out that it takes all the carbon off of him from work. In a week he’s used almost half a bar.
Oh heeeeeeeaaaaaaal no!
So I checked online to buy some from someone else (to give to HIM) but it’s like 5$ a bar plus S&H and as fast as he is going through mine… yeah. That could add up fast. So I looked into making it myself. The idea of messing with lye scared me a bit. I’m not a careful, exacting person. I’m a chef, not a baker. I slop things, I don’t measure, you get the idea.
Then I found the remelt method wherein you’re not making soap, but just personalizing it. It looked a lot cheaper (2$ worth of soap from the dollar store) and a lot safe (no explosions) so that’s what I tried.
I got the initial instructions from Whole New Mom, though her instructions are for any kind of soap, not just coffee. She also calls for unscented, natural, blah, blah soap. Did I mention I got two bars from the dollar store? I just went for the least scented that they had, since we don’t care about making it a certain scent.
So how does this work, exactly? First, if you want coffee soap, you need coffee grounds. I saved them for a few days, because I’m the only one who drinks coffee in my house.
You want used coffee grounds, so the internet tells me, because new ones will “leech”.
On the day if, you’ll want to prepare whatever you’re molding in. The article suggested a loaf pan, but mine are huge, so I ended up using two mini loaf pans lined in wax paper.I tried pressing coffee grounds into the bottom to make the soap look pretty – and it did sort of work, but I don’t know that I’d bother again. Oh, I might.
Now, before you can melt your soap, you have to shave it. The site suggested a cheese grater. This worked well, but it took awhile and left some little chunks. You could probably just chop your soap up, though those chunks didn’t melt as well as the flakes did.
Some time later….
You can see the chunks I mentioned in the photo. Anyway, then you put the soap flakes in a double boiler to melt. If you’re like me, you don’t have a double boiler, so it means you have to put a smaller sauce pan inside a bigger one. Be careful – the water pops up around the edges a bit and could burn you.
Add 2 oz of liquid (I used coffee, of course!), then heat this over low/medium heat (depending on how hot your stove is (mine is super hot). Stir this for awhile and it will start to melt.
Keep stirring and eventually it will totally melt. The article said you’d have a lumpy, translucent substance. I had a creamy, pudding-like texture instead (probably because I melted a different soap than they suggested using). Anyway, when it was all melted I dumped in about three tablespoons of coffee grounds:
Stirred well, and divided between my two loaf pans:
I did sprinkle the last of the grounds on top, but it wasn’t very thick.
In about half an hour the soap had hardened enough I could pull it out of the pan and it held its shape.
It was pretty moist, so I let it sit overnight (as several “real soap making” articles talked about letting the moisture evaporate out, i assumed this is along the same lines, but very truncated.) Then, today, I cut it up:
I wrapped all but one up in individual pieces of wax paper and stuck them in a ziplock baggy for storage.
So, how does it work?
I have no idea. Hubby had to call in today because the truck wouldn’t start and he had to fix it. That means he didn’t get any carbon on him to test it with. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow.
And now I suppose I should post this and head to bed. I got some photos edited the last two days that I will share tomorrow or the day after. Tomorrow is actually Blogophilia night, though I want to showcase my cool new art dolls, so we’ll see what ends up where.
Have a melty soap kinda day!
PS – Last night’s axe murder house photo is worth sharing (note the cool blue glow – there were people staying the night):
And the brother has a magician vibe going: