While Mom was quilting I decided to make more soap. Soapmaking seems to be going around. My friend, Gene, made some this week too. One batch of soap is about 2 pounds. I like to make 4 batches at a time. I figured it takes about an our to make 1 batch, about 1.5 hours to make 2 batches and 3.5 hours to make 4. I can't make more than that because I don't have enough molds! Well, I didn't until recently. The real reason I don't make more than 4 batches is that I'm tired after 3 and a half hours and 9 pounds of soap is a LOT of soap.
If you think you might like to make soap I have instructions and recipes here on the blog. There are also lotion and laundry detergent instructions. Go to the beginning of the category and you will find the soap recipes.
You can use almost anything for soap molds. People make soap in molds like this one, in plastic drawer organizers, PVC pipes (for round soap), lined cardboard boxes. Really, you can use almost anything. Some things, like this mold that I've been using, have to be lined with a plastic bag. But about a year ago I found a great solution for a soap mold.
These silicone molds are perfect. They are easy to use because they don't require lining. The soap doesn't have to be cut and the soap comes out in fun shapes. YOu can get these anywhere. The most recent ones that I ordered came from this Etsy seller.
They are kind of wimpy so when I fill them I place the mold on a plastic bin lid to provide some support.
The soap making process generates a lot of heat and you have to cover the soap in the mold in blankets for 24 hours. I cover my mold with a plastic lid or plastic wrapped cardboard. Then I cover all of the molds with 3 layers of blankets. After 24 hours I remove the blankets but leave the soap in the mold for another couple of days. The soaps pop right out of the molds. They are placed on trays and left to cure for at least 3 weeks.
After these are cured I will have enough soap to last me a very long time. But I'll give a lot of it away because I'll be in the soap making mood again in a few months.