Friday, January 11, 2013

A Little Clean Fun

The other day, we had a minor kitchen mishap. SOMEONE in our house, who would like to remain nameless, (while *I* would like to mention that just this once... it WASN'T me,) accidentally added a zero to the baking time of a few potatoes in our nearly-dead microwave. Because of this accident, we learned that over-microwaved potatoes will catch fire... and that the resulting smell with fill the WHOLE house with an odor very similar to burning cigars.

We all decided that we desperately wanted to go grocery shopping. That evening. Immediately. I'm pretty sure Olympic speed records were set in the coat & shoe-donning categories.

The next morning I opened the microwave to clean things out, and discovered that more than a little of the odor was still lingering. I figured that a little vinegar & lemon juice would help clean things out, but the kids asked if we could try microwaving another bar of Ivory soap. I figured it sure couldn't hurt anything & it might make the smell a bit more liveable, so why not. Then they brought me BOTH bars and asked if we could nuke them both to see how much of the microwave it would fill.

For those of you who know about our popcorn experiment, or our setting the tent up in the living room in February this probably won't surprise you at all, but the little voice in my head immediately started shouting "DO IT! You know you want to!!!" And... yeah, I listened.

The answer is - two bars of soap fill a microwave to about 3/4 full - UNTIL you open the door & let out the warm air. Immediately upon opening the door, the soap pile deflates quite a bit, and this is what you're left with.
It's pretty cool, because what looks like a pile of foam is actually a dry squidgy foamy texture that's fun to play with. For anyone recreating this, it also sheds powdery soap "dust" EVERYWHERE so make sure you're ready to clean soap up from wherever you choose to play with this.

Once we'd had our fun, we needed to find something we could do with the soap since we don't believe in wasting. First we picked it up to crumble into the blender... and discovered something rather amusing that none of us remember seeing from the last time we did this.

Do you see it? Yeah, we all thought that was VERY cool! I think our next Ivory soap experiment will be to try two bars at once again, with one face-up & one face-down to try and figure out why this happened.

Once run through the blender, we discovered that two bars of soap makes NEARLY a quart of soap "snow." The kids then tried to add food coloring to it, and found out that you just can't color dry soap flakes - the color balls up & won't incorporate through shaking.

I thought we would be leaving the soap in this form & using it as a dry soap, but the kids had another idea. After a few minutes search online, we found a recipe for liquid soap and boiled a gallon of water on the stove. Once the water had boiled, we slowly stirred the soap flakes in, (it was at this point I found out exactly HOW MUCH food coloring the kids had tried to add!) and then transferred the whole lot to our stand mixer.

It took about four hours for the soap to finish setting, but what we ended up with was nearly a full gallon of bright blue cherry-cola scented (we added some of the oils from my apothecary; back before I decided to exclusively essential oils) soft soap. We poured as much as we could into a bottle saved from one purchase or another, and the rest into an old juice pitcher.
This soap does NOT foam up well, but it sure smells nice! And we have enough liquid soap for several MONTHS now... all thanks to a "happy little accident."


Bobbi-Lynn said...

Ha ha, that's pretty cool! My kids would love to do all that, but I think the voice in my head is different than your voice LOL

Anne said...

I agree with Bobbi-Lynn. Of course if my microwave was on it's last leg, instead of being brand new, I may let them have a little fun.

Flo said...

That is cool, I've seen that on Pinterest and wondered if it was as good as it seemed. Your end result turned out great though!