Introduction to Soap Making – Day 8
|Another day, another soap. How exciting! Before we get too far into the Blog Kitchen, I want to ask, “what recipe has been your favorite so far?” I think the one I have liked the most has been the one containing lanolin but todays soap just might beat it. Come find out why!
For today’s soap, our luxury oil will be Meadowfoam! This wonderful oil contributes to the emoliency of the final soap. We know what that means. Happier skin! It will also contribute a warmer toned color to the soap. You will not get a natural white bar when working with Meadowfoam Oil.
Now some of you may be wondering why I chose such an expensive oil to be in a wash off product. At that price, it is clearly cost effective to put it in other products such as lip balms, lotions and creams, right? Yes, but before you dismiss Meadowfoam, I ask that you give it a chance.
While putting Meadowfoam into every single soap may be cost prohibitive, it does make a great, silky bar. How silky do you ask? So silky, and creamy that my garden roughened hands sighed with pleasure when I washed my hands with this soap. I would reserve bars with Meadowfoam for people whose skin needs a little extra love and care.
For my 6-5-4 oils, I used my standard Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Coconut Oil and Olive Oil. Do you just love the 6-5-4-1 formula? It is so simple. I love that I don’t have to worry about complicated formulas or rules. We just keep it simple.
Weigh the oils into a microwave safe container. Place into the microwave and heat. While the oils are heating, weigh the lye. Slowly add the lye to your container of water. DO NOT add water to your container of lye. The two chemicals reacting can cause a dangerous volcano. It is best to create good safety habits before you make a batch of soap that is 20 lbs in size.
For most soaps, you will want to mix your oils and lye solution when both are somewhere between 110°F to 130°F. In the winter when your soaping area is cooler, you will want to soap at higher temperatures. In the summer when your soaping area is warmer, you will want to soap at cooler temperatures.
When your lye solution and oils are within the ideal temperature range, slowly pour the lye solution into the oils. Using either an immersion or a soap spoon, mix until you reach trace. Trace is when the raw soap has been mixed enough that oil will no longer rise to the surface when mixing is stopped. If you aren’t sure if you have achieve trace then stop mixing, go get a glass, fill it with water, do not drink it. Come back to your soap. Is oil floating on the surface?
Once trace is reached, you can pour the soap into a mold. Allow the soap to sit undisturbed for 12-24 hours. After the soap has been allowed to sit for up to 24 hours, you can unmold the soap and cut it. Arrange the cut bars of soap in an area where there is good air flow but they will not be in the way. I like to put them on a sheet of cardboard. You are now ready for the curing process. The curing process is just allow the soap to dry out, giving you a nice hard bar. You can use your soap immediately after cutting but it will not last as long as a fully cured bar.
A great way to determine if your bar has cured all the way is to use our Cure Cards! Did you know you can get them free in qualifying orders? How cool!