Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Funny Soap Story, or There's a Reason Why These Pumpkins are Green!

When I started sewing, I put making soap on the back burner.  I guess I can only handle one hobby at a time!  I haven't sewn lately, and the other day I had a desire to make soap again.  I was really excited to make some green Christmas trees and had planned on using thyme for a rustic green look.  I had saved bacon drippings and wanted to put my cheap lard to use.  Everything was going well, I was using 50% lard, 25% coconut oil, and 12.5% each of olive oil and almond oil.  I decided to discount the lye by 8% and the soap was actually looking really good.  (I should have known something was about to go wrong.)

Just after thin trace I started putting in my color.  I started with about a teaspoon of thyme.  It made no perceptible difference.  So I tried adding another teaspoon and then another.  If possible, it almost looked orange now.  So I decided to pull out the big guns.  Food coloring.  Surprisingly the more green food coloring I added, the more orange my soap looked.  This was strange, but I decided to make the best of it.  Since orange Christmas trees sounded less than ideal, I decided to use my pumpkin molds instead, thinking it was too bad I never got around to this in October like I had planned.  So Christmas trees were out and pumpkins were in, along with some autumn leaves (though I missed this season, too), a few gingerbread men (orange didn't seem too far from ginger) and a white pvc pipe for some round soaps.

Pleased with the result, despite having to go to plan B, I set my soap in the pantry to cure.  Guess what?  When I checked on my soap a few days later, it was green.  My pumpkins and gingerbread men were green.  Figures. 

Maybe I'll try sewing again.


  1. This is hilarious! I am so sorry your beautiful soaps didn't turn out quite like you had planned. Isn't that what happens in our lives sometimes? Then the Lord comes by and says, "Hey! I can still use this." And something wonderful happens in spite of how we thought things should have went. I hope as you use these soaps you will think of how God can use things even though we don't think it is all perfect. Not sure if I am getting my point across, but this is what struck me as I read your story.

  2. Getting colorant just right...seems like I know someone else who struggles with this. :) The soap queen has good info on how colorants morph in lye soap.



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I'm an on-the-run mom to 6 kids who studied and taught exercise science in a previous life. I love all things running, nutrition, and health-related. I usually run at zero dark thirty in the morning and am often quite hungry before, during, and after my run, but I live a rich, full, blessed life with my children, family, and friends. My faith in God is my anchor, and looking to Him and His promises allows me to live fully even when life circumstances are difficult. While running gives me an appetite, my desire is to hunger and thirst for righteousness more than for physical food.