by: Jen Hopkins
There are a variety of methods which can be used for soap making. The central process for creating bars of solid soap is the same for each technique, but there are disparities depending on the method used by the soap-maker. In all courses, the oil or fat is heated, lye and water are mixed, and then the lye-water mixture is joined with the oils. The blend then has to be stirred until it attains the trace stage, at which point it is poured into a mold, and permitted to set, usually for 24-48 hours.
The fats are usually in solid form first and should be melted before use like shea butter and cocoa which are examples of fats that are saturated. Most vegetable oils which are in liquid form are unsaturated fats and are usually used to compose liquid soap. In utilizing these fats in making bar soap, saturated fat should be mixed; a harder bar results when a greater amount of saturated fat is used. Traditionally, lye is hand-extracted from the ashes of wood as it is generally found in most grocery stores or hardware. In soap making, lye is the component that hydrolyzes fats or oils, and transforms into soap.
Though, it is still a good scheme for soap making to treat the soap, it may still be soft or spongy, and may not foam properly or last as long. The warm process system is somewhere between the cold-process and hot-process methods. As a substitute for insulating the soap with blankets while it is in the molding stage or boiling it to achieve faster outcome, the filled soap molds are heated in an oven.
Bars of fragrance and dye-free soap base can be bought from many craft and soap supply stores for soap making. You could also attempt to locate some variety of unscented, additive-free soap in a grocery or health and beauty store. The fresher the soap is, the better, because the longer it cures, the less moisture it contains, and the harder it is to melt in the process of making soap.
Re-batching refers to the procedure of melting soap scraps, or chunks of soap base, and remolding them. Re-batching is functional if you have soaps that are warped, or otherwise aesthetically blemished, but still usable; it also helps to bring out the full medicinal or beautifying advantages from any herbs you have added for soap making.
| About The Author |
Jen Hopkins has worked in the skin care industry for years. She maintains websites about hot process soap making, and melt and pour soap making (http://www.naturalsoapmakingsecrets.com/soap-making-secrets/). If you want to contact her, you can use the contact form at one of her sites.