Thursday, September 24, 2009

I Make Soap

Back when we lived in our house, I made soap for my family. Now, in this limited space, it isn't so easy. But I have just enough ingredients for this batch and one more, so I thought I'd go ahead and make some.

Always wear protective gear. In addition to the goggles and gloves, I wore an apron. I had a close call awhile back with lye in my eye. I was fine, but really scared. Now I always take a moment to "gear up."

I put 16 oz. of Great Value (WalMart brand) Olive Oil and 16 oz. of Coconut Oil (found some for cheap at in a pot and heated it until the coconut oil melted. Then I set it aside to cool.

I measured 12 oz of water into the big white bowl and 5 oz of lye (Sodium Hydroxide) into the little plastic bowl.

Then I grabbed the water, lye, and wooden spoon and went outside to mix it. Always add the lye to the water, stirring gently and constantly. Never add water to lye.

And leave it outside or in a windowsill to cool. The fumes are toxic, but, more than that-- they stink!

When the oils and lye-water cool enough that you can hold your hand to the outside of the pot/plastic bowl without getting burned, they are ready to mix.
I put a towel on my washing machine and pour the oils into the food processor. Then I turn it on and add the lye water through the spout. It takes about ten minutes for it to "trace."

This is the best photo of a "trace" I could get. Basically, if you take your wooden spoon and drag it through the mixture, it should leave a lumpy trail behind it. If not, the soap isn't ready. Keep mixing.

When it traces, you can pour the soap into molds. I got these at Michael's, but I saw some cheaper ones in Hobby Lobby the other day. (I pour some soap into a small sauce-pot with pour spouts, then use the small pot to pour into the molds. Trying to maneuver the huge bowl is too tiring and difficult to control.)

And here is my finished product! I let them sit in the molds overnight, then wrap in plastic wrap. They need to cure for about two weeks, then they are ready to use. And it smells SO good!

1 comment:

  1. DH makes our soap. He actually started because of his skin and now we'd never go back. He also makes shave bars which work WAY better than shaving cream. TY for sharing this!!!