I want to take you into my world of soap making. I am still fairly new at soap making (1 Yr in July 2008). I started making my soaps from scratch in July 2007 so I am still fairly new at this new found talent. I so love it and hopefully as the years go on, I can get better and better at it. Not only do I love it to sell, but I love it because I love creating my own soaps from scratch. I get such a kick out of seeing my last soap being unmolded and testing it under water and seeing how it foams and lather right in my hand just from making it 24 hours ago. It is a amazing feeling to know you created something from your very own hands. PLEASE BARE WITH ME AS THIS IS MY FIRST ATTEMPT AT SHOWING YOU HOW I MAKE MY SOAPS.
Ok lets start. Where do I start? I start by collecting all the things I need to begin my soap making quest.
I need my:
Oils, sodium hydroxide, goggles, apron, gloves, jacket (to protect my arms from splatter), scale, pitcher, thermometers, color that will be used (if any), other ingredients (if any is needed),fragrance, plastic liner for mold and the mold. Ok did I leave anything out? Yes and my hand blender. I know you are probably saying to yourself OMG that is a lot of stuff. It takes me approx. 20-30 to get all this gathered up and prepared. Of course this can be done the night before but I never do. LOL. I also have a check list on my fridge to make sure I have everything. I get great exercise going up and down the stairs when I forget something. :-)
Ok step one for me:
I put my goggles, rubber gloves, apron and jacket on first
1. I measure how much sodium hydroxide that will be needed in the recipe and this info is in my base recipe which I have already calculated from a lye calculator.
2. Get the plastic pitcher and measure water that will be used in the recipe. I use distilled water 99% of the time and if I don't I use spring water.
Now once these are all weighed correctly on my scale, I then (CAREFULLY) add the sodium hydroxide to the water. NEVER the other way around because it can cause a eruption. Ok YES this still scares the HELL out of me when I do this. It never goes away no matter how many times I mix this concoction. Then I mix it under my exhaust fan so I don't inhale the fumes. Yes there is a lot of fumes if you are not careful. And yes I have inhaled some of the fumes before and that wasn't fun either but you learn from your mistakes. Some people do it outside but during the winter months, its very cold out. So I found a better way to inhale the fumes and thats under my exhaust fan on my stove.
3. Once the mixture is mixed well, and the fumes have subsided, I then put it in a cold bath to cool it down. At this point the container is very hot!
Ok what do I do next?
Ok while the lye solution is cooling down, I start weighing my oils (amount of oils is in the recipe). I always start with the solid oils since they take longer to melt down. This is 76 degree coconut. oil. It is hard at room temperature so I melt this down first along with any other solid oils that will be used.
Now I measure the liquid oils and add it to the solid oils that have melted down. I have to keep the heat very low so it doesn't get too hot. I use the thermometer to check to see how hot the oil is. I usually want it at 100-110 degrees.
Ok now lets go check on the Lye solution. Right at this point which has only been a few minutes, the lye solution is still pretty hot. I want it down to 100-110 degrees. I add more cold water to the sink and start to stir, the solution is beginning to cool down.
Ok now we are at the point where we have both the oils and lye solution at the right temps and we are ready to add the lye solution to the melted oils. So exciting! The start of creating your very own soap
Once the lye solution and oils have been mixed together. We start to blend using a hand held mixer. I bought this mixer at a thrift store long time ago in perfect condition. Never thought I would be using in to make soap with. LMAO
Now after a few pulses and at a very light trace, I start to add in my fragrance oils or essential oils. I may separate the oils into separate containers if I am adding more than 1 color. This is where the creative part comes into play. After that is added I pulse the soap to get to trace. This is when the soap gets to a custard consistency, but being careful not to over mix the soap.
Here is what the soap batch looks like when I got it into the mold and after all the colors were added and other ingredients added. I have to say my swirling techniques have improve. Sorry I don't have photos me adding the fragrance and other ingredients, I was trying to concentrate on getting this done quickly and into the mold. Sometimes the soaps starts to get a little warm and very thick if I am taking my sweet time. LOL I am not very creative in the looks of my soaps but it will improve in time.
This was suppose to be Jasmine Rose but the fragrance oil smells more of Rose than the Jasmine and Rose together. I hate when that happens. My Coconut LIme Verbena smells more of lime then the mixture. And here is the soap after 18 hours. This will feel like soft mozzerella cheese but a little sticky. I cut them and left to dry on a drying rack for 4 weeks. This to get rid of excess water and the bars can harden.
Thank you for taking the time to see how my soaps are made. This is all new for me and never shown photos of me making my soaps. I hope you enjoyed my little tutorial.