Made soap! | Tien Chiu's Blog
Mike and I went down to Los Gatos over the weekend to make soap with one of Mike's friends. It was fun! We brought vegetable shortening, lard, and some cocoa butter I had purchased on general principles and never actually used. It turns out lard doesn't make good soap, so we borrowed a bit of palm oil from Mike's friend, and made: Cinnamon-scented oatmeal cocoa butter-vegetable-shortening soap Floral (gardenia and musk rose) scented cocoa-butter-vegetable-shortening-palm-oil soap About eight bars of the first and five of the second. Vegetable shortening is soy and cottonseed oil and thus likely to make a softish soap (the hydrogenation doesn't make much difference in the saponifying properties of soap, so we might as well have started with liquid oil), but cocoa butter apparently makes hard-as-rock soap if you add too much of it, so I'm hoping the two balance each other out. Palm oil is somewhere in between. Anyway, the soap needs to air cure for two weeks before we can use it, so