On October 17 I did a little soap making demonstration for the Great Plains Church Women's Ministry. I told them I'd leave directions on my blog. So here it is!
Before I start with any directions, I need to do a little safety warning. We will use lye to convert the oils into soap molecules. Lye needs to be treated with respect. If it gets into your eyes, you might go blind. Wear your safety goggles when handling lye.
Step 1: Collect your materials.
12-14 oz filtered water
7 oz lye
15 oz olive oil
15 oz coconut oil
15 oz vegetable shortening
3 oz cocoa butter
1-2 oz fragrance or essential oil
10 capsules vitamin E oil
0.5 oz additional olive oil
silicon or enamelware pots, pitchers, and bowls. Use silicon, enamel, or wooden utensils because metal ones can chemically react with the lye.
rinsed cardboard milk carton
Step 2: Mix up lye solution.
I prefer to weigh out the ingredients instead of measuring them with cups. Remember to zero or tare the scale after you put the bowl/pitcher on it. Measure out 12 oz of filtered water. The dissolved minerals in regular tap water will make the lye solution cloudy. Use filtered water to avoid this.
lye calculator to determine the exact amount necessary for any mixture of oils. Wear the safety equipment while you work with the lye. You can find lye in the plumbing supply section of your local hardware store.
Step 3: Mix up the oils.
Weigh out 15 oz of olive oil. Remember to zero out your scale after you put the bowl on it.
Step 4: Prepare for the emulsion.
The oil mixture and the lye mixture both need to be at 100-110 degrees Fahrenheit before you can mix the two together. If necessary, cool the lye mixture by adding a couple of ice cubes.
Step 5: Reaching trace and pouring.
Wear your safety great! Pour the lye solution into the mixture of oils. To create an emulsion, you will need to stir a lot. You can stir by hand with a wooden spoon for about an hour OR you can use an immersion blender for about a minute. Mix until you reach trace. What is that? Well, it's easier to show than tell. Check out this awesome video that I did not make. When you reach trace, quickly mix in the 'goodies'. Then pour the mixture into the milk carton mold. I'm using a special soap mold, but when I started, I used a milk carton. Use a spatula to get the soap out of the pot and smooth the mixture into the mold.