Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tea Time

 It's finally time to cut the terrible tea soap.

 Gloves are still a must. The lye is still active for several weeks. I need to get some test strips to check the safety of it. Thank you Valerie for reminding me of that. I don't want to burn the skin off my bones.

 It popped out of the mold pretty easily but I can see that the ground tea I added to the soap batter has bled all over the place. I used way too much and I forgot that the hot lye would continue to cook the leaves as it sat in the mold heating up for several hours. Ugh. At first I thought it was something called Dreaded Orange Spot but it's not, thank goodness. That's a whole other issue. The real problem here is me not doing my homework before getting too creative. I should have steeped it first and then added it in. Instead I cooked my tea leaves in the hot lye while it sat and processed. You live and learn.

At least I remembered to put it in the soap cutter upside down so the whole tea leaves on top wouldn't leave drag marks.

It's not too soft or too hard and it didn't crumble. I think I made soap. Ugly soap but soap.

 I also don't see any evidence that I swirled the colors. I poured green on one side and white on the other then had at them with the knitting needle but you can't see any evidence of that except for the dragging of the burnt tea leaves. At least it smells good.

Now it has to sit on my new drying rack and cure for 4-6 weeks while that lye works its way out and it hardens. It didn't turn out as I had hoped but it wasn't a complete fail if I take into consideration how much I learned about what NOT to do. Thank goodness I played it safe with my last two batches. I can't wait to cut them.


  1. Congratulations! It's an awesome first bar of soap! ( Does she start by making a beginner bar of plain lye soap? No, she starts with artisan bars! Gotta love your gumption!)

  2. Sometimes learning what NOT to do is more important than learning what to do. Be careful with that lye....you are a brave one!

  3. I feel so ignorant, because I don't see the bad in "bleeding" tea. The soap looks nice to me. Looking forward to the post curing review :)

  4. Ha - don't worry too much about repeating my escapade... I'm a menace with anything that requires exact measurements.... I really prefer things that are more "art" than "science"