Soapmaking On My Own

Today I made another 6 batches of soap using the same recipe as Monday. I did these batches completely on my own without assistance. I felt a little more confident in my skills and took my time. Soap making requires more patience than making a batch of lotion or lip balm. There are more variables involved where you can go wrong such as not dissolving the lye completely or not mixing the lye and soap completely.

I have an update on the soap I made on Monday, October 22nd. One of the 4 bars of soap that seemed to turn out well looks a little questionable. When I cut the loaves this morning there was a lot of moisture on the bottom of the bar and it looked extremely splotchy. This comes from an incomplete mixture of the lye and soap. Oops. Patience is key here! I got a little impatient mixing the soap on my first round and this is what happened!

I am keeping notes on the loaves of soap I am making so that I know when they are done curing. I am weighing the leader bar (first in the row) of soap from each loaf everyday. When the bar stops losing weight I know that it will be done curing. Since this is my first time making soap I want to know exactly how many days it takes to cure the soap. This is kind of like how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. There is only one way to find out!

Ingredients
Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
Coconut Oil
Olive Oil
Sodium Hydroxide
Distilled Water
Equipment
Scale
Microwave Safe Container
Spoons
Pipettes

Recipe:

Recipe in Grams
170 grams Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
141.75 grams Coconut Oil
141.75 grams Olive Oil
62.37 grams Sodium Hydroxide
Q.S. Distilled Water
Recipe in Ounces
6 ounces Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
5 ounces Coconut Oil
5 ounces Olive Oil
2.2 ounces Sodium Hydroxide
Q.S. Distilled Water
Recipe in Percentages
37.5 % Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
31.25 % Coconut Oil
31.25 % Olive Oil
Q.S. Sodium Hydroxide
Q.S. Distilled Water

Instructions:
Safety first! Use proper safety equipment (gloves, goggles, mask if desired). Measure the oils into a microwave-safe container. Heat until just melted. The temperature should be around 125 degrees Farenheit. Fill another container with water sufficient to dissolve lye. Pour lye particles into the water and stir well until all lye is dissolved. Pour dissolved lye into the oil container. Mix well with immersion blender (1-2 minutes at least). Pour soap into molds.

Notes: Did you notice that I used a thermometer today? Hurray! Today I felt a lot more prepared. I used a plate lined with a paper towel to set my immersion blender on between batches, I had a paper towel to set the spoon that was used to dissolve the lye in water, and I laid out all of my Saran Wrap properly in the molds. I like to be prepared and set myself up for success. All of my oils and lye were measured out, waiting to be used. I carefully inspected the soap as I was mixing it to make sure that the oils were mixed properly.

I remember when I was making my first few batches of lotion it felt really foreign to me. It was a new process and I was unsure of myself. I bought some materials, took them home, and made a whole lot of batches of lotion to get comfortable with it. My family and friends are very grateful for this, as they are the recipients of many, many jars of lotion.

My process is much the same with beginning lotion making. I am making a lot of batches this week to get the hang of it and practice, practice, practice. Today my mentor left me alone so I could think for myself instead of asking her, “Is it done? Does it look right?” I figured this out on my own today and tomorrow when I cut the soap I will know the official results. Stay tuned!

Joy

Cut bars from 10/22

Today’s finished loaves

Preparing the soap molds

Dissolving lye in distilled water

Lye and oils before mixing

Mixing soap. Can you see the oil line?

Soap completely blended

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Soapmaking On My Own, 5.0 out of 5 based on 3 ratings

18 Comments

  • Madea says:

    Good post. I am learning a lot from your experiences. That is what I will do when I cook anything. I have to get all my ingredients and tools out so I know I have everything I need before beginning. If making a new recipe I have to take notes, so that later if I want to I can change it up. But the first few times I follow the recipe exactly. Good to know I will be able to do the same with soapmaking.

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  • Madea says:

    Ooops, clicked too fast. In today’s finished loaves. The loaf on the bottom right looks like it hit gel. (heehee, lurking on soap boards has given me the terminology). Is that because that batch got hotter or did all of them get that way?

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    • Joy says:

      This is just the first batch that I poured. The others had not caught up yet.

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  • Kinky Witch says:

    Wow, you’re really diving right in! Good job and can’t wait to see the results tomorrow ^.^

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  • Petr Ruda says:

    Quick question! Q.S. abreviation for distilled water, what does that mean! Thanks!

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    • Joy says:

      Q.S. means quantity sufficient. We are just adding enough water here to dissolve the lye. I used about 1 cup in my formula.

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  • My first six batches of soap were spread out over weeks or months… so this is fun to see you doing so many batches together… as you probably are learning more quickly from your mistakes. It is very addicting… and waiting 4-6 weeks for the cure can be very difficult!

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  • caren says:

    Joy, you seem to be enjoying the soap making process. I envy you that you get a whole kitchen dedicated to making stuff at your disposal, I think I would feel like I was dreaming to just be able to make soap all day and have all the additives too. Keep up the good work, and always have fun!!!

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  • stella says:

    Notes will save your bacon on future batches and is a great learning and teaching tool. Great job!

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  • Xenia says:

    Making soap is addictive! Did you add any essential oils?

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    • Joy says:

      I am not adding anything scented to this recipe. I am just doing the basics. Later on I will play with different soap recipes using a fragrance of some type.

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  • Mesha says:

    Some of those bars look pretty darn good though! Keep plugging at it and you will have it in no time :)

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  • Karen Harvey says:

    I love making soap. What kinds did you make?

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    • Joy says:

      So far I have only made soap from one recipe using olive oil, coconut oil, and hydrogenated soybean oil. I would like to experiment with different oils on future blogs.

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  • Lucretia says:

    I’ll admit it, I’m kinda jealous that you get to make soap all week. Sounds like a lot of fun! I hope you are enjoying it! I make a batch here and there when I feel like staying up really late after the kiddos go to bed. What is your favorite thing about soapmaking so far?

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    • Joy says:

      So far my favorite thing is the part where I cut the bars. This sounds so silly but I take my time and smell the soap while I cut it. I also like watching the color of the soap change once the lye and fats have mixed together.

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  • andrea says:

    Hi Ladies! Fast question :) For some reason I am not getting your great posts on my facebook feed anymore. Is anyone else having this problem? Do you know if it is a setting issue?? Hate to miss a single post!!! Have a super day!
    DRIA

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