Friday, October 23, 2009

Taste it!

People often smell my soap and say, "It smells good enough to eat." Others see it from a distance and wonder if it's cheese. I say, "Smells better, tastes worse." But, I've never tasted my own soap. I'm just going on my childhood experience(s) of having my mouth washed out with soap when I say it tastes worse.

This week, I was presented with a bar of my soap that had a wet film on it. There are many reasons this could happen and my mind jumped to the worst: Failed batch! Leaking essential oil! Leaking lye!!! Poison!!!!!

If I'd been calm, I would have rememberd that the rest of the batch is fine so this must have been a storage issue. But, I could easily test to see if it was essential oil. Just wipe off the wet film and smell it. It didn't smell. Phew. But, did that mean it was lye?!?!?!

In soapmaking, there is a thing called "the zap test". It is used to test if your soap is lye heavy or leaking lye. You touch your tongue to the soap and if you get a "zap" it's lye and that's bad. Ew. I had never tried this. I have never licked a battery, why would I voluntarily lick soap? But, on this day, I had to figure out what was going on, so I licked the film that was on my hand. Ew. Very soap. No lye. The film was plain water from the air, regular old condensation. The soap was being stored in a cold place and it's been raining a lot.

Phew! And, ew!!! Pass the gum!

I made chocolate soap once. It was really nice soap - very rich, made with cocoa butter, cocoa powder and chocolate. It looked like a brownie. Didn't taste like one, just ask my friend's son. :)


  1. actually, handmade soap without FO doesn't taste bad at all. I use mine to clean my teeth !! The FOs do have a nasty taste but certain EOs are good for tooth soap. If you want to try it, use the oldest soap you have, as they get milder and sweeter with age.

  2. I've heard about tooth soap. I might try it with some unscented soap, or peppermint.

    This had lavender EO in it and had been rolling around in a potter's studio. Who knows what was on it. It wasn't as bad as the Palmolive of my youth, but it wasn't tasty. :)