Well, dear reader, as much as I hate to admit it, I am back to the drawing board today. Our brief and premature victory of conquering the liquid soap is over. Yes, it is creamy. Yes, it is cleansing. Yes, it has the desired lather. However, after washing our hands with it all day, both my hands and The Bibbed Wonders hands are dry. I’m talking dry like even my fingertips are dry. Sigh.
My recipe was 60% coconut oil. Coconut oil is cleansing, and the goal for hand soap is to cleanse. However, coconut oil is also drying. I used a mere 10% olive oil, a conditioning oil, and 30% lard, which creates bubbles and lather, and my calculation is unbalanced. Last night, we both reluctantly admitted defeat. Eric tried to add aloe vera to the dilution water, but alas, I fear anything that is not saponified will spoil. I could add a preservative to the mix, but why add a preservative if I can go back and rework the formulation?
So, dear reader, we hang our heads in defeat today. There are no more happy dances, clapping, or squealing. Today, I will create several formulations, take notes, label, and document. After I get to a gel phase, the gel will then have to sit for two weeks and cure. It will be two weeks of waiting, hoping, and praying I can achieve the desired results. It’s going to be a long two weeks. Sigh.
It will be two weeks of my beautiful bottles sitting empty, a physical reminder of my failure. All I see is empty overhead and loss when I look at them. Do I have a propensity for the dramatic? Absolutely. It is difficult to go from flying high to Bom-Bom-Bom…FAILURE. In reality, I knew my recipe would have to be tweaked. I just had unrealistic expectations for my first go of liquid soap.
On the positive, I have the process figured out. It’s not as scary or intimidating as I once believed. I spent months reading, researching, and troubleshooting before making my first batch when I began making bar soap. Once I made my first batch, figured out the process, and became more comfortable, I was able to take the time to tweak my recipe. It took me several tries before I achieved the bar soap I envisioned. Liquid soap is going to be the same.
The difference is now I feel more pressure to get this correct. Now, I have the weight of money hanging over my head in inventory that isn’t being used...that is a heavyweight. I also have one bib overall wearing wonder buns chomping at the bit to get this process rolling. When I began soap-making in earnest, my goal was to not have any overhead and cost our household any money. Thus far, my plan has worked. However, I think I was premature in purchasing my packaging. Perhaps, I should have waited until my formula was figured out before pulling the trigger on the packaging. My greatest concern with packaging is availability. It’s a bit of a conundrum in these uncertain times. Do I order and have money hanging out there, or do I wait and risk not being able to get what I need? Sigh.
You, dear reader, are experiencing my over-thinking brain with this blog post. I walk around in a constant state of second-guessing my choices. In everything I do, I try to think about all possible scenarios. I do this as a mom, a farmer, and a small business owner. Sigh, it gets to be exhausting trying to be ten steps ahead of the game. I know it will work itself out, and all will be well. It’s just a big letdown after the initial excitement of success.
I will spend my day in front of the computer running formulations through the lye calculator, mixing up several variations for testing, and taking detailed notes of my work. It is a process and a process I enjoy. I do love a research project. In the end, I hope to have a formula that will be cleansing, nourishing, and feel lovely to use. I am sorry to disappoint you, my soap family. This is probably my most significant concern. I fear I promise something I can’t deliver. Please have patience. I will produce a product worthy of your praise with hard work, time, and patience. Just don’t uncross all those crossable body parts just yet. Sigh.
As always, dear reader, stay safe, be smart, please be patient, and keep washing your hands. It’s going to be longer than I had hoped to offer you a stellar liquid soap.