Over the weekend I got around to mixing up another batch of soap.
this basic castile recipe, which has worked really well so far. Previously I have added in lavender oil, but this time I left it pure, just the olive oil and lye. The reason for this is that I want to hand-mill the soap to add in other things, such as botanicals like the calendula petals I added to the round soaps in the photo. The soap on the left is the pure castile, and I used a silicone loaf pan and roughly cut it into slices since it will be grated and melted in the near future.
Hand milling involves grating the soap then adding water and melting it before adding in additional ingredients. With this method since you are using pre-made soap, you don't need to take all the precautions you would when making soap adding lye (caustic soda), such as protective eye wear and clothing, also I usually put newspaper everywhere just in case of spills.
This was my first try at hand milling and I am quite pleased with the result, although have not yet tried the soap, it still needs to dry a little more. I didn't use any colourants, it just looks this colour from adding the calendula petals.
I want to experiment a little more with hand milling, on my list is rosemary soap (with rosemary leaves) and a citrus soap (maybe lime and coconut). I also want to get some better soap molds so will be on the look out for these on my next trip to the shops.
Does anyone have any good soap recipes/tips?