Here is a list of equipment that you will need to make soap.
Soap Making Supplies Needed:
Distilled Water or Rain Water
Safety Glasses or Goggles
Rubber or Plastic Gloves
1 Lye Pitcher plastic is best
Long-handled Wooden or Plastic Spoon
1 Thermometers (a candy thermometer works best, you can use one for both oils and lye)
Stainless Steel Soap Pot or plastic bucket if you are going to microwave your hard oils
Mold, Plastic or Wooden Container, you can also use various items like milk carton on its side
Insulating Materials, blankets, towels, cardboard box
Plastic garbage bag to line your wooden box with
Fragrance or Essential Oils
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
It is a must to weigh out the required amount of lye into the glass jar (or old hard plastic cup). Do this by placing the empty cup on the scale and adjust the scale back to zero to prevent weighing the cup then add the required amount of lye. Set the cup full of lye aside. DO NOT USE ANY OF THIS SOAP MAKING EQUIPMENT IN YOUR DAILY USE. It is important to store your lye in a safe place away from children and pets!
The next step requires you to cover the surrounding area, your counter or work space with newspaper. This will protect the area and make for easy clean up. When cleaning up I wipe all of my equipment first with paper towel, always wearing rubber gloves in order to ensure I do not burn myself with the lye.
Tuesday, 28 June 2011
Monday, 27 June 2011
Very carefully, pour the lye from the cup into the pitcher of rain water (if you do not have rain water you can use distilled water). Never pour water into lye as this can cause the solution to splash up and out of the pitcher. If the lye and water solution does come into contact with the skin, rinse the area with vinegar and then running water. If the lye splashes into the eyes, immediately follow the manufacturer's directions on the lye container. Lye is a caustic soda and can be fatal if swallowed! Always keep lye out of the reach of children and pets. I store it in a high cupboard where children can not reach it. At al times when working with lye make sure to wear protective eye wear and clothing. Be careful not to breathe in any lye crystals as they can cause serious burns, I mix my lye and water on the stove and run the exhaust fan to clear the fumes out of the house. On a nice day I mix it outside on the deck.
Sunday, 26 June 2011
While you are waiting for the lye solution cooled to 100 degrees F, the fats will need to be prepared. Place all measured hard fats (measured the same way as the lye) into a stainless steel melting pot and heat over low until the fats are melted. I place my hard fats into a hard white plastic pail rather than a pot, I put in the microwave until melted, due to the fact that all microwaves are slightly different you may have to play with the settings until you find the one that works for you. I then add the liquid fats like my olive oil and grapeseed oil. You then have to wait until the fats cool to 100 degrees F.
Friday, 24 June 2011
Now that your oil and water/lye mixture have cooled to room temperature you slowly pour your lye mixture into your oils, stir slowly with plastic spatula. Take your stick blender and give it a blast for 30 seconds. You must be careful not to over blend as you will warm your oils and slow trace. Trace means that the mixture is thick enough that when drizzled from the plastic spatula onto the surface, that it will leave a visible trail before it disappears or when you lift the blender out of the soap mixture you can see the outline of the blender in the soap
I usually line my soap mold while I am waiting for my lye and water solution to cool. If using a wooden soap mold, line the mold with butcher paper from your local grocer, making sure there are as few wrinkles as possible to prevent creases from forming on the soap. If using a plastic soap mold, spray with vegetable oil, if you don't have spray oil, rub with a paper towel and oil. Myself I use a wooden soap mold. I line it with a plastic garbage bag. I have found that if you pour water into your wooden mold, ensure all sides are wet, then place your plastic bag into the mold and gently smooth out the wrinkles, the water will help the garbage bag to stick to the sides and bottom. You can wash the pieces of plastic garbage bag and reuse them several times.
Thursday, 23 June 2011
Now that you have trace you can add scents and colorants to the mixture (do not add before it starts to trace). Using the plastic spatula, gently stir, you can also give a quick blast with the stick blender. The use of a stick blender works well for mixing colorants or clays, but it can speed up the amount of time it takes for the mixture to reach trace.
Wednesday, 22 June 2011
You can now pour your soap into your soap box, creating swirls and layers or what every your style leads you. When you are finished, cover your soap tightly with plastic to stop it from producing ash on top. Also cover with a blanket to hold in the heat. This will keep your heat nice and even encouraging the soap process to happen. Leave covered for 24 to 48 hours. Uncover and cut into bars.