Friday, February 24, 2012

Candles and soaps

I have a new respect for soapmakers.

I'd assumed that soapmaking would be similar to candlemaking. You heat up the ingredients, mix them together, pour them in to a mould of some sort, leave them to set, and if things go wrong then you just have a funny looking candle or bar of soap.

I was sort of right. Only, there's one very important difference (which I learned about while reading the lessons for the "Handmade Soapmaking" course); if you go wrong with the soaps, they could potentially be dangerous to use.

Unfortunately for me, the signs are only visible signs, and you need to be able to read ph test strips, which you use to determine the degree of alkalinity (7 to 14) or acidity (1 to 7) of a substance, and doing this is how you will know if the soap is safe to use. If the soap's ph level is too high or low, the soap could be harmful.

So, I guess I wont be making any soap; it's too much of a visual process.

I'll just have to stick to candles.

14 comments:

Autumn said...

Could you have better luck with glycerin soaps rather than ones with lye? I know nothing about either.

Celticspirit said...

Hi Tori,
Sorry to hear that your soapmaking was difficult. Do you think that Kelly could help you with it if you gave it another try? I've never made soap but have made candles and I did not realize it would be so different.

AliceKay said...

I never thought of that, but it sounds logical now that you wrote about it. :\

Serena Lewis said...

I've never made soap before either but I have watched the process on TV. It looks like fun but, you're right, it can be dangerous. To be honest, I've never made candles either so kudos to you, Tori!! xo

Toriz said...

Barb:
The main reason it's so different is because of how dangerous the lie is (lie being the chemical involved in encouraging soaponification). And, yes, Kelly would help. Except that he'd have to do pretty much all of it, so it would "technically" be me helping him, which kind of defeats the object of me making the soaps.

AK:
Don't feel bad; I never thought about it either... Not until I read it in the course material. Ah well, at least the course was free! ;)

Serena:
Thanks! :)

Deanna said...

Soap making is a lot of work. What a shame if it turned harmful! You do so many things, dropping soap making makes sense.

Toriz said...

Deanna:
Yeah, it's not like I'm short of things to do, after all. LOL!

The Coexist Cafe said...

Very interesting that the two are so dissimilar! I was going to ask if you could get Kelly's help on it, too, but I see your dilemma. Hm! Maybe it'd be a fun bonding thing, anyway, even if he is doing a good part of it. :)

Toriz said...

Stephanie:
Maybe, but I think with so many other activities it wont hurt to give it a miss. Besides, I have more interest in this kind of thing than him. I'll hold on to the lessons though, so if anyone decides to do some and just wants someone to lend a hand a little then I'll be available. :)

Rita said...

I've read a little bit on soapmaking and it can be tricky. I think the candlemaking is just fine. At least you learned some new things. :)

Toriz said...

Rita:
Very true! :)

Intense Guy said...

Somewhere out there is a talking pH meter looking for a good home...

Toriz said...

Iggy:
When you find it, tell it to come and live with me! :)

Toriz said...

Autumn:
Sorry, I never saw your comment before, and just found it when I was checking the spam folder (where it ended up for some unknown reason). Anyway...

I have no idea; I'd know better if I could find instructions for using alternatives to lie. I'd definitely check it out if I had the chance though!