There are many reasons to make your own soap. It can save the family money. It ensures you know exactly what chemicals and ingredients are going into the product. Homemade soap can be a great gift for friends and family. Or it can be made simply because you are a craft individual. Whatever the reason, learning how to make soap is useful and fun.
The first way to make soap is by cold process. Cold process soap is made from oils, lye, and water. When combined at the right temperature, they harden into soap in a process called saponification.
Ingredients include 24 ounces of coconut oil, 38 ounces of vegetable shortening, 24 ounces of olive oil, 12 ounces of sodium hydroxide or lye, 32 ounces of spring or distilled water, and 4 ounces of your favourite essential oil. This could be lavender, rose, lemon, or peppermint.
Clear a space in the kitchen and spread a newspaper over a table to assemble the equipment. To start, you will need safety goggles and rubber gloves, a scale to weigh ingredients, a large stainless steel or enamel kettle (not aluminium or a non-stick kettle), glass or plastic wide mouthed pitcher, two-cup measuring cup, and plastic or wooden spoons.
Next you will need a stick or immersion blender and two glass thermometers registering between 80 and 100 degrees, such as the ones used for candy making. Plastic moulds suitable for cold press soap making are recommended, but you can also use a shoebox or wooden mould lined with parchment paper. Multiple towels for cleanup should be prepared.
Put on safety goggles and gloves and keep them on at all times. All measurements should be exact. Measure out 12 ounces of lye in the two-cup measuring cup. Measure 32 ounces of cold water and pour into a stainless steel pot or glass bowl. Place the pot of water under the stove's running exhaust fan. Pour the lye very slowly into the water, stirring gently until completely dissolved.
Turn your face away to avoid fumes. Set the mixture aside, letting it cool and fumes dissipate. Put a stainless steel pot on the stove over low-medium heat. Add the coconut oil and vegetable shortening, stirring frequently until melted. Add olive oil and stir completely until melted and combined. Remove the pot from heat.
Put one thermometer in the lye and monitor until the temperature reaches 95 to 98 degrees. Put the second thermometer in the oils and measure until they are the same or lower temperature. Add the lye in a slow, steady stream to the oils. Stir with a wooden spoon or the stick blender.
Continue to mix for 10 to 15 minutes until tracing occurs. A stick blender will see this result in five minutes. If no mixture occurs, let it sit for fifteen minutes then try again. Add the essential oil, and be ready to immediately pour the soap into the mould. Hold the mould an inch or two above the table and drop it. Do this a few times to work out air bubbles.
Cover the mould with a lid and several towels. Leave it covered, undisturbed, and out of air drafts for 24 hours. Uncover and let it sit for 12 hours. The soap should have a light layer of white ash-like substance on top. If there is a deep oily film, if it did not set, or if it has white or clear pockets, it cannot be used.
There is also a convenient, shortcut way to make soap that involves the highest quality of ingredients. Natural skincare sites often offer make your own soap kits that involve completely natural and luxury ingredients.
These kits allow people to make their own Shea butter soap, natural body cream or lotion, and lip balm. They come with measured ingredients and can also come with learning DVDs. Sometimes these sites will saw raw blocks of high quality, natural ingredients for purchase if you prefer other methods of soap making, but want the best ingredients.