Spent the day yesterday having a “soap making 101” with my sister. Made two batches; one, a Castile (olive oil) soap and the other the Beef Tallow recipe I have made before. The Castile is supposedly low lather and good for sensitive skin, therefore I left it unscented. The Beef Tallow option is a decently frothy one that I add scent to.
Didn’t take a single picture, even though I had an available photographer…we were busy gabbing as sisters do.
The instructions are straight forward.
- Measure the water, the lye and combine. Always add lye to water in a well ventilated area, the fumes will take your breath away, not in a good way. Wear long sleeves and gloves, a splash will burn (dilute with vinegar if you spill/splash).Let it rest to come down in heat to the required temperature for your recipe. Toss it in the fridge or outside if you have to more aggressively cool it.
- Measure your oils and heat slowly, probably have to let these cool a bit too.
- Add lye to oils, stir/blend with an emulsion blender until trace is reached. You should be able to scrape across the top with the blender and the indent stays
defined (thick pudding). This is when you add any fragrance you want.
- Pour into molds, wrap in a towel to slow down the cooling process. Let sit undisturbed for 18-24 hours.
- Remove from molds and cut.
- Let sit on edge with air space between for 4-8 weeks to cure.
Each batch took about an hour to get to the mold stage.
Obviously anything can be used as a mold. Milk cartons are reusable and make a nice 3 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch bar. Line any mold with wax or parchment paper for easy removal.
The oils can be as simple as olive, coconut, shortening, tallow(lard) all available at any grocery store. You can find others on-line or in health food/specialty shops.
My favorite Lemon Grass scent is just an essential oil found at Bulk Barn. I also love a rosemary/mint mix.
I am not into artificial colors so leave my soap the color of soap.
These are sites I have found useful:
This one is great for reducing any recipes you find. I like to take mine down to about 24 oz of oils as that fits perfectly in one milk carton mold. You can name your adjusted recipe, write notes and print it for your records.
This one has great step by step instructions and tips.
There are tonnes of recipe sites and videos, take your pick and give it a shot.
Sharing what we learn is fun and I learned how to make yogurt in return…we are all teachers.