|Today I won’t go into depth on the hows and whys of our soap recipe, but I will give you one. I want to cover the basics of how to get ready as our primary focus.
If you have long hair please pull it up in a clip or bun or something. The worst thing to happen is to have your hair fall into your work.
Please wear closed toe shoes. If you spill during your soapmaking session then washing a pair of sneakers is easy, trying to clean up toes in flip-flops is dangerous.
Wear a long sleeved shirt. Long sleeves keeps your skin protected, and when a large splash occurs you are more likely to remove the wet clothing than if you are wearing a tank top. Don’t wear overly loose clothing, comfortable is best. Excess fabric can easily get in the way.
Long pants please. For the same reasons as the shirt.
Wear goggles. Anti fog is the most helpful. You do not want to get a splash of lye in your eye. If you wear eyeglasses get a pair of goggles that will fit OVER your vision correction gear. Don’t forgo the goggles and claim your eye glasses are sufficient. If you do get splashed in the eye, flush with adequate amounts of water (about 15 minutes) and seek immediate medical attention. Don’t think you should wait until the soap is finished. Just GO!
Make sure you are wearing sturdy gloves. Don’t get cheap dishwashing gloves, use real chemical protection Nitrile gloves. Fold a small cuff at the top. If you need to reach for something, or raise your arm, drips will be caught in the cuff instead of flowing straight to
your elbow. Or worse, flowing up to your armpit!
Now that we have covered our clothing and protective gear, let’s move on to mixing lye. Lye mixing isn’t hard. Start with cool water. Never stir lye granules into hot water. You will notice the water gets very hot after the addition of the lye.
I am using tap water so the mixture will remain cloudy in my beaker. If you use distilled water expect it to clear just like drinking water. Notice, we are NOT mixing the lye solution in a
drinking cup. If you are using containers that look like drinking cups, erase the words/print from the outside of the cup with nail polish remover long before you start your soapmaking project. We don’t want any kitchen guests thinking your drinking cup has a
Once I start adding the lye crystals it only takes about 5 seconds of pouring time to get all the crystals into the water, of course this is for today’s recipe. I then stir gently with a spoon. Try very hard to not let any lye clump at the bottom of your mixing vessel. Once I have the lye mixed I melt the oils in the microwave. These winter chilled oils took about 2 minutes in my microwave. As you can see there are small clumps of fat remaining. A quick push of the button on my immersion blender (also known as: stick blender) and the
fat lumps are gone.
I now pour my lye solution into the fats and turn on my immersion blender. Note from the photos that I have started with the immersion blender in an upright position, then I have tilted the blender to the side. This leaning technique causes the oils and lye to be forced
through the blades, then up and around again. If I left the immersion blender in an upright position I would only swirl the mixture around and around, leaving fat to rise to the surface and not mix with the lye solution.
6 ounces weight Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
5 ounces weight Coconut Oil
4 ounces weight Olive Oil
1 ounce weight Shea Butter
2.2 ounces Sodium Hydroxide
6 fluid ounces cool water
Weighing time: 8 minutes
Adding lye to water: 5 seconds, followed by 60 seconds of stirring
Heating of oils time: 2 minutes
Pouring lye solution into the fat mixture: 5 seconds
Using immersion blender to mix soap solution: 90 seconds
Pour into mold: 10 seconds
Allow soap to rest: 24 hours
As you can see I haven’t spent a lot of time. I also haven’t talked about temperature. The temperature is tomorrow’s discussion. Send comments to us through the blog or through our Contact Us link. See you tomorrow!
Feel free to e-mail us any questions you have.