|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.
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 consumable beverage.
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 a 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.
2.2 ounces Sodium Hydroxide
Weighing time: 8 minutes
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!