Monday, April 02, 2012

How Not To Do Crafts

Decide you want to make glycerin soap!   Research, read, find a recipe.  Painstakingly grate your soap up.  Add the ethanol and put on the stove. 

Child demands milk.  You dump everything else in and go downstairs; soap pot burns.  Spouse takes it off the heat and everyone goes to bed.

Next day, persevere!  Put it in the oven on low and add more ethanol.  What's the flashpoint again?    Turn down the oven.

Soap overflows the pot and drips all over the bottom of the stove.  Did you know that burning soap smells... like soap, but ON FIRE?  Open all the windows.  Scrape incinerated soap off oven floor, racks, and door.  Go to bed again.

Next day, put it in the oven on low again.  Baby nurses until 11 PM. Go to bed.

Soap sits on the counter, and sits and sits and sits.  Spouse gives it baleful looks every morning.

Once again, put it in the oven on low.  Soap overflows again.  Spouse swears extensively and scrapes the soap off the oven bottom.  Again. 

Come up from nursing the baby.  Put it back in the oven, which smokes.  It's 10:30 already, so put the bread in.  Will the bread taste like burnt soap?  Who knows. Turn the oven up and open all the windows.  Again. 

Add some more ethanol.  Look up the autoignition temperature of 95% ethanol.  Turn the oven down. 

Look dubiously at the soggy mess, and add some more water.  Decide to follow the !@#$ recipe next time.  Turn the oven back up. 

Stay up until almost midnight dealing with the accursed soap.  Regret the impulse.  Vow to wait until the children go to college before you try again.

The End.


  1. That could so have happened to me... I hardly ever follow the recipe. At least not the first time.
    Similarly, I could have figured out that "snow/rain and wind" isn't the best forecast for a one-day ski trip. Sigh.

  2. Stinking glycerin soap, who likes it anyway? I have to admit, I haven't made soap since before Child #1 was born. I have all the ingredients to make nice bars of soap since I used to make it once a year, I have just been lacking the ambition. Hmm, perhaps once my garden projects are done this spring, I'll consider it again.

  3. Hilarious! I can't believe how many times you tried! I'm all about giving up after the first failure.

  4. for a good time, do a google image search on my real name. you will likely find at the top of the results the castille soap i made for a "final" for a SUPER-gut class i took in college. (serious gut -- that was a 2-person project final.)

    it was a very interesting class, even if it was easy, and the prof. was amazing at attracting grant money and so on, so our "museum" of inventions keeps showing up in weird places, like the desk calendar for an international geology firm (read: oil company) and the like.

    anyway, our soap misadventure is that castille soap takes a few days to set, and my partner's roommate was...not a genius...and did not take seriously our telling her not to touch it while it was liquid. NB: until it sets, it's rather on the caustic side.

    1. I have seen your soap, and it is a thing of wonder!

    2. My first time making soap was a few weeks before Christmas, and it needed to cure for about a month. Of course, I wanted to give it away as presents, so I just told my family not to use it until Februrary. My uncle never listens, so he used it around New Years after he'd finished painting something. "It took the paint off great, and then came a layer of skin too!" He never accepted soap from me again...
      My soap improved a lot in the next ten years, though.


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