Sweet Geek brought me a set of fantastic metal shelves yesterday that will be perfect to cure soap on! Also a microwave (no idea there...but the warehouse was tossing it, so....we took it.) He goes back today for the last of the stuffs.
Books: Got my Amazon order in. Let's see....4 books. I've read 1, and flipped thru 1. So far:
"Milk Soapmaking" by Anne Watson. Short book. Relatively cheap. If you don't buy any other soapmaking books, buy her 2. Seriously - they may be short, but they are CHOCK full of good, practical info. This one is just as good as her first, and hey - there's some cool ideas in there! Like, to keep milk soaps as white as possible, pop the mold in the freezer for 30 minutes after pouring, then move it to the fridge for a few hours. The cooler you keep the soap, the lighter in color. Since I make mostly milk-based soaps, this was a good investment.
"Soap Naturally" by P. Garzena and M. Tadiello. This one I've flippd thru......it looks good, but the authors have let some of their biases show. (Example? Sure - they mention tallow - beef fat - and say "The best reason to NOT use it is vegan" or some such. Ummm...ok, but traditionally tallow/lard was the main ingredient. And, *I* think it's best to use as much of the animal as possible - not using tallow/lard won't keep an animal from being slaughtered, know what I mean?) They have a decent section on oil properties - but look, the book was $20+. You can find a lot of this info online, for free - not all in one spot, granted, but still.....It looks like a good book, but...unless you're a dedicated book collector :innocent eyes: you could pass on it and surf the web, instead. (I'm NOT knocking the book, by any means! It's just a bit expensive when most of the info is freely available, KWIM?)
The other 2 I got were "The Natural Soap Book" and "The Soapmaker's Companion", both by Susan M. Cavitch. I had "The Natural Soap Book" years ago, but was never brave enough to use the lye....from what I remember it's a good book. Both of these come highly recommended on the soap forums.....but honestly? If I could only own 1 or 2 books, I'd buy Anne Watson's 2. She doesn't overload you on the science and chemistry behind it (which...OK, it's a good idea to understand the science and chemistry, but let's be honest - it's not necessary to get a Ph.D just to make soap.)
My tallow soap is hard and bright white. Smells nice - I'm going to let it cure another few days before trying it in the shower. Yes, it's intended for laundry use...but hey! I wanna see how it works! :lol:
The whey soap needs to cure a bit longer, I think. According to A. Watson, milk soaps stay soft and slimy before they're fully cured. OK...I can wait to test another bar. :nods:
Gotta get the bills done!