Soap Making

Well, I did it, I made soap! It took quite a while for me to move past the fear of the Lye (Caustic Soda) ingredient, but now that I have made my first batch, my fears have passed and I am so excited to make more!! I referred to the soap making process on Rhonda’s blog and followed her steps. I got everything ready first, put all the materials out on the newspaper covered counter top. I measured out everything and wore my safety goggles and rubber gloves and off I went. My wonderful friend Heidi is a mine of information and she has been guiding me through the process and helping me with lots of my questions. She also suggested a recipe to use that was calculated on Soap Calc, you just put in your ingredients and out pops the correct amounts to use.

I used:
 olive oil pomice
 coconut oil
 distilled water

You can refer to Rhonda’s blog for the weights.
It is very important to work in weight rather that mls.
First, I measured out the oils and put them in my pot on the stove, put my candy thermometer on the side of the pot and started heating the oils up to 70 degrees C slowly.

Then I weighed out the Lye, (this was nerve wrecking, well, because it was Lye I suppose!)

Ok, so now it was time to add the Lye to the water, it is very important to add the Lye to the water and not the other way around or you will have a bad reaction! So this was the MOST scary part, but I did it and guess what? It was absolutely fine:) I placed another candy thermometer into the jug with the mixed Lye / water solution and watched as the temperature rose. It is amazing to see the temperature go up as high as 80 deg C all on its own. The oils were heating and the Lye was heating and then they both started to cool and needed to reach 50 deg C at the same time.

Yes, safety gear, I didn’t take these goggles off until my soap was in the moulds:)

Once my oils and Lye had reached 50 deg C at the same time, I poured the oils into a stainless steel bowl and then slowly added the Lye / water solution. Then I started to mix with a spoon, I mixed and I mixed and I mixed… for and hour and 20 minutes and I still hadn’t reached trace yet. Well, I then found a whisk and I reached trace in no time, thank goodness! So next time, I will be using a metal whisk and soon I will buy a stainless steel hand blender with a slow setting. Trace is when the mixture becomes a little rippled on top, or makes small waves that stay there and don’t fall back into the mixture.

Then I carefully scooped my soap mixture into my moulds and covered them to cure.

The following day, I popped the little soap blocks out of their moulds and they are still curing. So there it is, soap! I am so pleased with my first experience of the process of soap making, please do refer to Rhonda’s blog as it is very detailed and she has been making soap for years and she has blogged step by step instructions for soap making. This is my first attempt and I just wanted to blog my experience and share it with you, I have not blogged the entire process here that you would need to make your own soap.
Wishing you a wonderful day,

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21 Responses to Soap Making

  1. Heidi October 11, 2011 at 1:36 pm #

    L♥VE it! You are a soap rockstar 🙂

  2. Evi October 11, 2011 at 1:41 pm #

    I fully understand your Lye fears and thats the reason I’ve never made soap either! You make it sound quite un-scary so I might have another think about soap…!

  3. Hinterland Mama October 11, 2011 at 2:00 pm #

    Yay, you did it! And they look just wonderful. Now for adding oils and dried flowers and dyes?
    I bet it could become quite addictive! ღ

  4. del October 11, 2011 at 3:03 pm #

    Lye scares me too. I’d probably have to stick to glycerin or castile for my first soaps. Yours came out so cute!

  5. charlotte October 11, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

    so utterly fantstic! Soap is on my to do list, but I have been abit unsure about getting lots of ingredients and tools and it not turing out well. But you are an inspiration!!

  6. pinkundine October 11, 2011 at 3:13 pm #

    Cool 🙂 They look great. It’s the whole Lye concept that is holding me back too, maybe I should bite the bullet and have a go!

  7. Valery October 11, 2011 at 4:13 pm #

    I know exactly what you mean about the lye, I had all my ingredients for probably at least a month and was so intimated by the lye, but like you once I did it, it was like all over and have been making soap ever since, it’s very addicting too so be very very careful!! lol

  8. Lynnette October 11, 2011 at 4:33 pm #

    I understand your hesitation with making soap..because that is me too! I have had it on my “to do” list for a long time but have been hesitant, maybe because I can’t find a good time when my kids are sleeping so I can keep them away. At least for my first batch. =D

  9. Lori ann October 11, 2011 at 4:56 pm #

    that’s wonderful linda, how exciting to have your very own hand made soap. did the overall process take much longer than you’d thought? and is there a way to make it and not use lye?
    your bars look fantastic. congratulations. 🙂

  10. Linda October 11, 2011 at 5:25 pm #

    You helped me so much, thank you my friend you are amazing!

    It is a little scary in the beginning and then you will see it is an amazing experience as long as you are careful:)

  11. Sunshine Mama October 11, 2011 at 6:46 pm #

    I’ve always wanted to try making soap, but I already have so many hobbies and things I made and do, I’m keeping this for some other time. I imagine it would be very satisfying to make your own though!

  12. NinnyNoodleNoo October 11, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

    Oh wow! Well done! The lye bit has always rather scared me too, so you did great to get over that and actually make some soap and I’d’ve worn goggles and quite possibly a face mask *rolls eyes* too!

  13. Terri Sue October 11, 2011 at 10:44 pm #

    maybe you did this too, as you said you couldn’t put every step, or photo in your blog. don’t ever put lye into your water without wearing a mask over your nose and mouth. it puts off noxious fumes the first couple of minutes that you do not want to breath. the water is cloudy during this time. it quickly turns clear, and the odor goes away. i keep my mask on the whole time as the first book i read on soap making really went into the safety aspect. because she did, i felt completely confident
    when i did my first batch as long as i followed her directions.
    to del, castile soap is made with lye. it is just made from one oil.
    olive oil,but it is made from lye just the same as almost every soap.
    lye is not something to be scared of, it is something to be respected, and treated carefully. if it would help you, it is very hard to buy lye at the grocery store these days. red devil and the like now add other things to their lye. now you want to look for sodium hydroxide. now doesn’t that sound like you are about to do something big and important, than something scarey with lye. i hope you try it. it’s a lot of fun and addictive. if you start now you’ve got Christmas presents you made ready to go. soap only takes a month to cure. give it a try.

  14. Cat October 11, 2011 at 10:59 pm #

    oh me oh my so glad you’ve made soap but ooohhhh I’m so scared of the entire process (lye) that I think I’ll just support people who make soap and buy it off them LOL

  15. karen October 11, 2011 at 10:59 pm #

    I was just looking at this on Rhondas blog last night! Yours look great. Hopefully ill have a go at making some soon too

  16. Jen from SewnNatural October 12, 2011 at 2:19 am #

    fabulous!! i last made soap as a high school science fair project… i’ve wanted to do it again for a long time 🙂 i think you’ve just inspired me! thanks for sharing

  17. earthboysblog October 12, 2011 at 2:38 am #

    Look at those pretty little cupcake soaps. Something I would like to try to but can’t get the ingredients here.. some day. I do make my own face creams and lip balms,, that is easier of course. I love the photo of you with all your gear. xxx

  18. Baa-Me Kniits October 12, 2011 at 11:33 am #

    Fantastic Linda, your soap looks amazing! Loved the photo of your goggles too 🙂

  19. no spring chicken October 12, 2011 at 5:00 pm #

    Wonderful! I too have wanted to try soap making because of Rhonda. 🙂
    Her tutorial is very good and I love seeing YOU progress through the steps. Very encouraging!

    Blessings, Debbie

  20. Linda October 12, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

    Thank you so much for visiting everyone, it is always so lovely to hear from you:)

  21. K October 31, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    I remember reading this one – but only on the fly. Obviously I made no comment. I hate to do that. Not that I think you are lonely for feedback – you have so many good and wonderful friends. Still – to take joy from something and give no response – it just feels so wrong. My only soap experience was with glycerin. As in all things, I still have all the tools and molds and things, but haven’t done it again for years. When I was first married, I was determined to make real soap and saved drippings from all our cooking in cans under the sink toward that end. In the end, though, I was afraid of the lye and never did it. Maybe some day-

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