So yesterday, I decided to try and make soap. I’d just been to a car boot sale/farmers market and discovered that a stall there only cost £14 which set me off on one of my wild tangents. Instead of sitting down and trying to figure how much I would need in terms of investment capital, stock and man-hours, I just nipped out to Sainsbury, bought some rapeseed oil and set about creating my wares.

I’ve made soap once before, a la the Kirstie Allsop Homemade Homes recipe. It worked beautifully and everyone got bars of camomile and oat soap for Christmas. This time, I decided I wanted to make my own recipe. Not because there was anything wrong with the one I’d used, but because it meant ordering coconut oil meaning that I couldn’t just get started right that second.

Anyway, I decided to just input my oil of choice on The Lye Calculator so that I would know how much caustic soda/sodium hydroxide/lye I needed to use.

Armed with this handy information, I set to it.

To make this "soap" I used 750g of rapeseed oil, 100g of lye and 200ml of Lady Grey tea.

I stirred it all around in a bucket.

Then I poured it into moulds.

Only, I hadn’t read all of the instructions properly and added the tea and oil to the lye, rather than adding the lye to the tea, then waiting until it was all dissolved before adding the oil.

Essentially, by not holding off until the reaction between lye and tea was complete, I have created gritty caustic snot. The consistency is like nothing I’ve ever seen before, with a layer of fat and a layer of browny liquid, all on top of a gritty jelly. And what stings the most is that I wasted perfectly good tea making this abomination! Tea I could have drunk!

Well, I guess it isn’t a total loss. Lessons learned and all that. Patience. Virtue. I get it.

Until next time.

 

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