Michigan family brings craft from the past to public

BURTON — Rachel Sadowski and her mother, Arlynn Sadowski, will offer a Basic Soap Making class at 2 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 3, at the Burton Memorial Library.

“It’s a more fun version of chemistry class,” Rachel Sadowski said.

In addition to learning to make soap, participants will get a little lesson on the history of soap-making.

Long ago, people made soap when they butchered animals, using some of the fat along with wood ash.

“It was not scientific,” Rachel Sadowski said. “If you thought you had the proportions right, an egg would be dropped in the pot of fat and wood ash. If the egg floated, the solution was considered strong enough to make soap. If the egg dropped to the bottom, more wood ash would be added. Now we have the soap calculators online that allow you to plug in the amount of oils and fats you are using, and it gives you the correct amount of lye and liquid to make your soap.”

Sadowski has been making soap for 10 years; her mother has been involved in the craft for six years.

“I first wanted to make soap because I was tired of turning over labels of commercially made soap and not being able to pronounce or understand what was in the majority of the soap,” Rachel Sadowski said. “A friend of mine taught me to make soap and I fell in love with the process.”

She said the soap people purchase in the stores have detergents in them, and they strip the skin of natural oils. Handmade soaps, she said, do not have any chemicals or preservatives in them, and they will not strip your skin.

In addition to soaps, she makes several other products, including bath salts, lip balms, body scrubs, lotions and salves.

“I use ingredients that are natural, but some FDA regulations require that certain preservatives are in our lotions and scrubs for us to sell them,” she said.

Overall, Rachel Sadowski said making soap is just a lot of fun.

The recommended age for the Basic Soap Making class is a minimum of 12-13 years old.

Safety goggles, aprons and nitrile gloves will be provided.

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