Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Love the way you lye...

Before you go and thank me (hopefully not in the form of a punch to the throat) for getting the Eminem and Rihanna song stuck in your head after reading the title of this blog entry, let me share the original version of the song with you.  Shout out to my friends Victoria for introducting me to this song and to Christie (R.I.P., sweet lady) for introducing me to her "Coming Home" song.  Feast your ears on the hauntingly gorgeous song below:

I'll give you a moment to collect yourself after listening to the song.  Here's a Kleenex, my soggy-eyed friend!

So, back to soap.  You need two ingredients to make soap:  oil and lye.  Lye is the part that scares people away from making soap from scratch.  Wimps.  I scoff in their general direction.  ;)  Lye is the part of soapmaking that I find most thrilling, to be honest (*insert cheezy lie/lye joke here*)  :P  It blows my nerdy mind how such a caustic material becomes such a gentle one as soon as it meets oil.  Kind of like "When Harry Met Sally"...  you take two completely different things, bring 'em together, and viola, you've got magic because together they balance each other out and create something completely new and awesome.  Whouldathunk science could be romantic?

I get a secret thrill whenever I go to the hardware store to buy lye.  I don't know if it's because it makes me feel tough (I can just hear the clerks thinking to themselves "Oooh, look at that badass chick over there buying all that scary lye!  Don't mess with her!")  or because I'm afraid that I'll get tackled by some undercover cop who thinks I'm using it to make meth.  Either way, it's terribly exciting! 

Here's the thing about lye:  it will eat your face!!  (...or whatever part of your body it happens to land on.)

Are you terrified yet?  You should be.  Just imagine that this big, bad, fuzzy wuzzy bunny is a face-thirsty batch of lye just dying to get at you.  The only way to save yourself from its reign of terror is to wear protection:  gloves, long sleeves, a face mask to protect yourself from the fumes, and goggles so that you don't end up creating your own literal version of "She Blinded Me with Science!" as you're whipping up a batch of soap. 

Now this is where the broke-ass soaper in me gets to whine and complain.  The price of lye has really gone up, plus it's a lot harder to find nowadays.  Thanks a LOT, meth addicts, for messing up the good clean fun that us soapers were having.  *shakes fist angrily*  I buy my lye from a certain major retail home improvement store geared towards chicks (...tough chicks who strike fear in the hearts of the clerks with all the lye that they're buying up.  Humor me, people!!!)   Unfortunately, there's no way I can make soap without lye and there's no way I can save money on lye unless I buy it in 50 pounds sacks, but that kind of defeats the purpose if you don't have the moola to pay for said ridiculously huge sack of lye in the first place.  *sigh*  What can ya do?