The following procedures are vital when preparing and making soap.
HEALTH AND SAFETY FIRST. MAKING SOAP IS ABOUT HEALTH AND SAFETY. THE PROCESS IS NOT FOR THE FASHION OR MAKE-UP CONSCIOUS
FOR PERSONAL SAFETY:
- WEAR PROTECTIVE CLOTHING
- EYE WEAR
- MASK TO PROTECT FROM LYE FUMES
I purchased Galactic Delux Safety Goggles from ebay £6.99, adjustable and safe. NOSE and Mouth…..You should also protect your mouth and nose from the fumes of the lye. (I will explain ways to reduce the temperature during soap making).
CLOTHING….i wear an old shirt and jeans and an old pair of toe covered slippers that cover my feet.
WORKING WITH LYE. The above protective clothing is essential when working with lye. Lye is dangerous. Spillage from lye can burn through clothes onto skin. It can be fatal if not handled appropriately.
- Lye mixes with oil and spoonifies, or becomes soap. At first, you have lye, water, and oil. Then the curing process begins and after a few days the lye, water, and oil is transformed into soap. At the end of the curing process, perhaps 3-4 weeks (sometimes more), there is no lye left in the soap, no oil, and no water. What is left behind is pure soap with nothing of the original ingredients left behind.
- in the event of lye burning. Apply white vinegar to the spot of skin. I always keep a bottle on the counter during soap making.
NEW soap makers. Always follow a recipe from professional soap makers. It is important not to second guess the measurements and hard and soft oils and lye. Oils whether hard or soft have different affects on soap.
For example two hard soaps may come from the same plant but they don’t go together. Oils are combined with the Lye that makes the soap. Lye is a dangerous substance and must be used appropriately. A good recipe is also about health and safety which I will discuss in detail.
The following recipe consists of two main ingredients. I chose it because it is simple but mainly because I had ran out of coconut oil. I emailed ‘making soap in your own kitchen’ and asked if I could replace coconut oil with palm oil. According to the oil chart I can replace hard oil with hard oil. But ‘making soap in your own kitchen’ advised me not to replace any recipe as it is made to suit the measurements of oils and lye. https://www.facebook.com/makingsoap/
- Olive Oil
- Distilled Water
- Jasmine scented fragrance (optional)
- Mica Lemon Drop colouring (beautiful colour but did not work well in this recipe. I should leave colouring out in future)
Olive Oil (regular). Soap made from a high percentages of olive oil is soft upon un-molding but will cure to be a really hard bar of soap. Hard oils , fats and butters that are solid but scoopable at room temperature such as palm oil, lard, tallow, coconut oil, mango butter and shea butter. … Brittle oils make a hard bar of soap
Lye mixes with oil and saponifies, or becomes soap. At first, you have lye, water, and oil. Then the curing process begins and after a few days the lye, water, and oil is transformed into soap. At the end of the curing process, perhaps 3-4 weeks (sometimes more), there is no lye left in the soap, no oil, and no water. What is left behind is pure soap with nothing of the original ingredients left behind.
(more about lye later)
Distilled water is highly recommended by professional soap makers.
Is softer water than tap water. Applying tap (hard water) to a recipe risks crystallization of the soap. Tap water can cause soap “scum” to form –(more information about the chemistry of soap scum here), but you’re going to have that problem with any real bar of soap. (Less so with detergent bars.) Your water would have to be really hard to cause so much trouble as to not be able to use it in your soap recipes – and the rinsing problem comes with really soft water, not hard.
Fragrance and colouring
My initial plan was to add scented lemon to the recipe. But I ran out of Lemon fragrance and opted for Jasmine. As Jasmine has a pale yellow I applied a touch of the Lemon drop. I am happy with the scent but unhappy with the outcome of the colour. i would recommend when making Olive Oil soap to stick to natural colour and add a fragrance if preferred.
Accurate measurement of weight and temperature is vital for a successful soap. For this CP soap I only had the temperature of the lye to worry about. I used Salta weighing scales for the oils and a smaller scale for the fragrances. I froze half of the distilled water and added the rest at room temperature. This reduced the fumes of the Lye
The blender brings soap to trace more quickly than stirring by hand. What is trace? Simply put, trace is a point in the soap making process when oils and lye water have emulsified. Once the soap has reached thin trace, it will continue to thicken over time. The picture below shows when the liquid thickens a trace can be made. In CP soap it often resembles custard.
I used a large pot to mix my trace. The outcome was still the same
ADDING LYLE TO OIL
- Dry powered lye can be measured in a glass pitcher AND should only be mixed with distilled water in a plastic pitcher. The temperature of the lye could break the glass pitcher. Lye must always be added to water DO not add water to lye. Adding water to lye will lead to an explosion and it can be fatal.
- Adding lye to room temperature water results in high temperatures up to 200 ° F. This creates fumes that should not be inhaled (ensure you wear your mask)
- TIP, TIP, TIP (I froze half my distilled water quantity and added the remainder at room temperature. The temperatures was just under 100 ° F). Always ensure you get your temperature in accordance with your recipe.
- The lye will be misty until it sets. The added ice quickens the cooling clearing stage.
The lie must be cool and clear before it can be applied to the oils. I used this time to prepare my oil, fragrance and colouring
- Prepare soup silicon soup mold. You can use a water proof carton or container. I have only used the soap mold.
- Place the stick blender into the liquid and swoosh it around before switching on mixer
- Turn on stick blender and blend towards a trace
- When liquid reaches the appearance of a custard you know you are the trace stage.
- Use a plastic spatula to empty the liquid into the mold
- Tap on mold onto kitchen counter for smoothness.
- Apply alcohol spray on liquid to clear bubbles
- Place a piece of cling film on the inside of the mold on top of the liquid. This helps to set and keep the liquid smooth.
- In the above example I forgot the alcohol spray. I removed the cling film and applied the spray and made a mess.
- Place the mold in a cool area for twenty-four hours. I placed the soap in a cool store cupboard. I later transferred it to underneath my kitchen window. My window is always open and at night kitchen is cold as the temperature drops.
- After 24 hours remove the soap from the mold. it should be cut into cubes or blocks and allowed three to five weeks to set.
- Store the soap in a dark cool area. In the past I covered a tray with baking paper and allowed the soap to sit for another twenty-four hours. (I will update with photos later)
- On the one occasion I made CP soap the next day I placed the soap in a small box covered with baking paper and stored it inside a dark cupboard.
- Allow CP soap 4-6 weeks to cure. This is how long it takes for the water to completely evaporate, resulting in a harder, longer lasting bar of soap. One misconception about CP cure time is that the soap is unsafe to use within the 4-6 week time frame because the lye has not had time to “saponify”.
This is my second attempt at CP soap. Some say it’s difficult. I believe it was easy because I only had two ingredients. I will attempt bigger batches of CP soap later in the week. I find HP soap easier. I use a crock pot and that saponifies the soap within twenty-four hours. I prefer to leave HP soap for a week before using. I will make some later in the week.
UPDATE: The outcome of the soap was better than I expected for this first cold process attempt. The only trouble was that it was a bit rough around the top because I disturbed the wrapping with the alcohols spray. But there are no bubbles just a few crumbs. I was unhappy with the colour but now cut it is a pale yellow the colour of Jasmine