and I was amazed at how it motivated him to wash his hands after every bathroom use. He took it in the bathtub once, but for the rest just used it for hand washing. Well, the car is now excavated, so I thought I'd make him another one. And the rest of the nieces and nephews too. After all, how hard could it be?
Turns out, it could be pretty hard if one doesn't know what they are doing.
I picked up some soap with glycerin as one of the ingredients, thinking that 'this'll be a cinch! just melt it down, pour it in a container and there you go!' I had read somewhere that you can melt down soap in the microwave. One bar got burnt that way. Burnt soap, who knew? Alright then, no microwave. I'll just grate it down and melt it on the stove like I do when making laundry detergent. Not as much water though, we want it to still be solid. Nope. After gingerly adding more and more water, I wasn't getting any melting, just lumpy chunks (or is it chunky lumps?).
Hmm...this is going to take some googling. So after coming to grip with the fact that this might take a bit more effort than first thought, I began my search. Found a couple great websites on soap making, learnt some soap making terms, and I was back on track. (The websites I found most helpful for this project are here and here.)
Okay, since I live in hicksville central, there's no way I could get my hands on some 'melt and pour' soap supplies, and I wanted to get this done since we were going to visit some of the clan the next week, I visited the local Rexall and picked up some REAL glycerin soap. The stuff that actually looks clear and can easily be scored with a fingernail. Then a stop to the liquor store for some vodka (to use instead of water - although it could be used to ease frustrations too ;) I'm thankful that I had read something about melting down in a crockpot instead of on the gas stove, because it probably wouldn't even have crossed my mind that the alcohol fumes would ignite. I cut the soap into cubes, added a bit of vodka, and set the crockpot on low, stirring occasionally. When I saw how easily this soap melted, I realized I probably could have gotten away without the vodka, but no chances were taken this time around!
Here's a pic of the supplies beforehand, minus the soap:
Lego men for the boys, little ponies for the girls and cheap dollar store containers for the moulds.
I poured a small amount of soap into the moulds and let it harden before adding the toys so they wouldn't sink to the bottom. When that had solidified I placed the toys, and poured the soap to cover them. A couple hours later I could push the bottom of the containers and the soap just slid out!
Some of them are a little bubbly since I was almost running out of soap so I had to remelt the trimmed edges a few times. Here's a side view, I don't like the definite line from the first pour, but what do you do?
I hope all the kids enjoy them! The kids that we visited last weekend seemed to, although the boys are a little older, so didn't have the patience to wait for their Lego men. They decided to take a bath and dig them out instead! (And to tell you the truth, I kinda expected that :)