Making an all-natural soap is quite easy and beneficial at the same time. The differences between store-bought and handmade soaps are quite vast. For making homemade soap safely, the specific proportions of these soap ingredients must be followed that a soap making machine manufacturer describes.
I highly recommend it that you use specialized software to calculate the proportions for each ingredient and to run it every time I try a new recipe. There are many types of software for this purpose. There are even iPhones apps.
Soap Making Tools
I must use some basic equipment when preparing soap ingredients and making soap:
– An accurate scale;
– An accurate, quick reading thermometer;
– A few small measuring cups; a stick blender to blend the oils with the lye mixture and start the saponification process;
– Soap molds.
The proportion of Soap Making Ingredients
Here is an example of the proportions for the various soap ingredients:
– 450 grams of vegetable fat;
– 170 milliliters of water
– 60 grams of caustic soda
The Soap Making Process
– Preparation of soap ingredients
– Soap making requires water, caustic alkali and fats or oils.
It is very important that caustic soda is gently poured into water, and NEVER the opposite, which will cause a kind of explosion and splash corrosive product on your body. The temperature of the water and soda mixture naturally rises to around 190°F or 90°C.
Therefore, a glass (Pyrex) or a stainless steel container is to be used. Do not use a plastic container as it would melt because of high temperature. Please remember that aluminum is corroded by soda. Always use wooden spoons to stir soda.
Mixing the Soap Ingredients
Soda temperature must lower down to 95-105°F (35-40°C) and oil must be heated to 130°F (55°C). After checking those temperatures with an accurate, quick reading thermometer, drizzle caustic soda into the heated oil. As soon as the two ingredients are mixed, you can use a stick blender to blend the oil with the lye mixture. While stirring the lye-water-oil mixture with the stick blender, you turn on the blender in short bursts. Take 3-5 seconds for blending and stir more.
Once you use the stick blender, you may see the oil turn cloudy and the soap mixture comes. Keep blending in short bursts until the oil and lye-water are completely mixed. This should not take over 30-40 seconds.
Now you are nearing the stage called trace. Using the stick blender enables you to reach trace in under a minute whereas if you use a wooden or a plastic spoon it will take 10 to 75 minutes for the same result.
The secret to Successful Soap Making
Trace is the term to describe the consistency or thickness, and the stage where the handmade soap mixture is ready to be poured into molds. I easily recognize tracing.
Take a plastic spatula and drizzle a paltry amount over the top of your soap mixture. If a trail or mark remains there for seconds before disappearing, the soap has got traced. The mixture should have the consistency of liquid honey or pudding.
Personal Touch in Your Homemade Soap
It is now the right time for you to add your own additives (essential oils, honey, milk, etc.) Before pouring the mixture into the soap molds, which you would have lubricated already with Vaseline.
You may now cover the molds with a cloth and let them rest for 24 to 36 hours before getting hold of the soap. Also, saponification takes at least 24 hours to complete and, during this period, soap is still corrosive. You should be specifically careful to keep children away from it during this period.
Post Soap Making
After this time, you can take the soaps off the molds and rinse them. However, soaps are still rather soft, and you need to allocate around 6 weeks for them to be completely dry and hard.
Example of soap recipe
I can find various soap recipes on websites about soap. For example, here is a very simple recipe:
– 450 grams of coconut oil;
– 700 grams of olive oil;
– 450 grams of vegetable fat;
– 600 milliliters of water;
– 223 grams of caustic soda.
I was searching for a method of making natural handmade soap, and it was a discovery for me. The peppermint soap was so sweet on my skin and so refreshing! I had never felt such a thing. This started my passion for natural handmade, homemade soaps.
I began searching what were soaps made of and was terrified when I learned what they put in commercially produced soaps! Straight away I decided I had the mission to inform people about the risks with soaps bought at the supermarket and to promote natural homemade soaps. It was not a big deal for me, as I was already a definite user of natural medicine with essential oils. I hope you enjoyed reading and learning the techniques of bar or liquid soap making, and start making your own natural homemade soap!