Friday, May 14, 2010

Soaping part I

About a year ago I promised I would post me making soap and finally, here we go! Since I can only post 4 pictures at a time, I have to do this in parts. I hope you don't mind!

To start soaping, you will need all of the equipment in this picture and then some; it will cost you about $50-$75 to get the equipment and ingredients. It may sound like a lot BUT... once you have everything, you can make LOTS of soap. This is what you'll need:

2 glass or stainless steel bowls
1 Stainless steel spoon
Lickey thingy
Neoprene gloves
Stick blender
Smaller plastic container
Candy thermometer
Mold (picture to follow) I got mine at Walmart. It is a drawer organizer and works well for this.
Freezer or wax paper
A digital scale (sorry, forgot from picture!)

As far as ingredients go, you will need:
Fragrance which can be ordered from Save on Scents. You can choose either fragrance oils or pure essential oils.
Fats & oils. Go to Walmart.
Lye (Sodium Hydroxide or Potassium Hydroxide. I used sodium in this recipe) This can be ordered from Texas Natural Supply. It is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS so keep it under lock and key. Do not make soap in your kitchen where Lye can get into food stuff, plates, forks etc. Take it outside or use your laundry room! PLEASE!
Cooking spray

Basic recipe for 24oz batch of soap:

5 oz Coconut oil (I buy LouAna at Walmart)
3 oz Olive oil
16oz Lard (Walmart)
2 oz Fragrance
3.3 oz Lye
9 oz Filtered water (could probably use tap water too...)

*If you ever change anything about this recipe, please go to to use their lye calculator to make sure you are in acceptable ranges of fats, oils & lye!*

First you'll need to lightly spray your mold with cooking spray and cover the bottom with freezer or wax paper. This is to ensure that you can get your soap bar out.

Put on goggles and gloves. Take 3.3 oz of Lye and add it to 9 oz of water.
Stir until completely dissolved. Because of the chemical reaction going on, it will get hot and will send up fumes. Let the mixture cool to about 100F. Once again, please do not do this in your kitchen with your children and pets running around!

Melt lard, coconut and olive oils on the stove or in the microwave. You can see from the picture that I use a glass measuring cup that I normally use for cooking. Since these are oils that you can eat, you can use your kitchen bowl or pitcher for this but only this part. All the other equipment needs to be used for soaping only. Once melted, pour into a large glass or stainless steel bowl.

Once the fats & oils have cooled down to about the same temp as the lye, you can start carefully pouring the lye solution into the fats & oils. I used my stick blender while pouring but you can pour first and stick blend after. Your choice. You need to have the blender ready, no dilly dallying here. (Please note: the gloves I'm wearing are NOT neoprene. I just have to make it to Home Depot to buy them... You make sure you have yours before starting!)

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