Learning to Make Soap: Part 3

Mar 25, 2021

Abandoned soap making plans

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As I mentioned in my last post I am in the process of designing the soaps for Small Kindness. Taking what I had learnt from Kevin Dunn’s book on Scientific Soapmaking, I have come up with a number of recipes to trial in small batches. 

I was super excited to try them out and had set aside the time to make two of my recipes. As with everyone who starts out soapmaking I am doing this in my kitchen, so I prepped the kitchen, making sure everything was put away, surfaces were clear and was finally ready to start. All my soaping equipment is currently in boxes under or in the sideboard in the kitchen (called Bobby – yes I have named the sideboard). I got everything I needed out, something to protect the table, distilled water, containers and Pyrex jugs, spoons & spatulas, oils and butters and the stick blender. 

Luckily before I measured anything out I checked all my oils and to my absolute horror there was something floating in my castor oil! Following a closer inspection it looked suspiciously like a (very dead) spider. I looked at it in disbelief – the castor oil was in a bottle with a flip lid that was screwed on tightly. So it seemed highly unlikely it would have been able to just crawl in there – but I hadn’t noticed it when I had made soap before. I was in such shock I had to go and show my other half and he confirmed it was a spider and was equally puzzled as to how it had got in there.

I did seriously consider using the castor oil anyway as I had been really looking forward to my soapmaking. But I am not a massive fan of spiders (I even have quite a specific spider scream) and the thought of it was making me feel quite peculiar so I decided against it. I was also frantically trying not to think about when the spider had got in the bottle as it potentially could mean we had been using spider soap!  

I put everything away and ordered another bottle of Castor oil. I was just going to have to be patient and wait a couple of days before I could try out the new Small Kindness soap recipes. 

Although I was frustrated by the whole experience, it had told me one thing, that I really enjoy soap making as I was really gutted I was going to have to wait. Oh and that spiders must really love Castor oil!

Has anyone else had to abandon their soaping plans for an unexpected reason? I would really love to hear about them in the comments below.

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I am Kelly Townsend and this is the Small Kindness Blog. I am a scientist, a bee lover, a rewilding obsessive, and I want to spread Small Kindnesses through the medium of soap. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for your daily dose of kindness (as well as to see how the soap making is going!)