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sscpsoap - Newest pictures

How to Make Soap

How to Make Soap - Prepare Your Soap Making Workspace, Ingredients, & Lye

So you want to make soap at home - but aren't quite sure where to start.Making soapis actually a pretty straightforward process - that uses a lot of tools and ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen.
The most basic way of making soap from scratch is called "cold process" - because no heat is added to the soap during the process other than what is needed to melt the oils.
The first thing you'll need to start making soap is a recipe. Either get one from this site, a soap making book or Create Your Own Soap Recipe.
Next, assemble all of your equipment, materials and ingredients, your recipe, and organize your workspace.
Because it takes time to cool, make your lye solutionfirst, and set it aside in a safe place.
The Soap Making OilsPut your soap pot or glass pitcher onto the scale and zero out the weight.
Following your recipe carefully, weigh the oils one by one into the pot or pitcher. Be sure to zero out the weight after you've measured each oil.
Pour slowly. You can always add a tad more...but once the oil has been added, it's part of the mix, and can't be backed out.
Tip: Weigh your solid soap making oils like Coconut, Palm, Cocoa Butter or Shortening into your soap pot. Weigh the liquid oils like olive, sunflower, canola or castorseparately into the glass pitcher or pot.
Heating and Mixing the Soapmaking OilsPlace your soap making pot with the solid oils onto the stove over medium heat. Slowly melt the oils while stirring gently. Monitor the temperature. Turn off the heat when the oils get to about 110 degrees. Keep stirring until all of the solid oils are melted.
Once the solid oils are melted, add the (room temperature) liquid oils to the soap pot. This will bring the overall temperature down. You want the oils to be at about 100 degrees when you add the lye-water.
The Actual Soap Making Process BeginsHere's where things really start "cooking!"
Make sure all of your soap making additives, color, and fragrance are ready to go, and readily at hand. Make sure you've got all of the spoons, measuring cups, spatulas and whisks you're going to need nearby.
Grab your handy stick blender, and let's roll.
Slowlyadd the lye-water mixture to the soap pot. The oils will immediately start to turn cloudy. Using the stick blender as a spoon (not turning it on,) blend the lye-water into the oils. This is the true beginning of the saponificationprocess.
Set the lye pitcher aside (in a safe place,) and we'll begin blending.
Saponificationin your Soap PotOnce the lye is added to the oils, the soap making chemical reaction begins, and you'll need to move steadily.
While stirring the lye-water-oil mixture with the stick blender, turn on the blender in short bursts. To start with, blend for 3-5 seconds and then stir some more. Once you start using the stick blender, you will immediately see the soap mixture begin to come together. Keep blending in short bursts until the oils and lye-water are completely mixed together. Once they are completely mixed together, you are nearing trace.
If you were to hand-stir the pot of soap, like soap makersusedto do, it might take an hour or more to reach trace.With the advent of stick blenders to soap making, tracecan be reached in under a minute.
Adding Fragrance or Essential Oils to Your SoapOnce the soap mixture is completely blended, but before it begins to get too thick, slowly add your fragrance or essential oils to the mixture. Stop stick blending the mixture and just use the end of the stick blender like a spoon.
For this recipe, I'm using an original essential oil blendof lavender, patchouli, and orange essential oils.This is one of the most fun steps - where your soap making becomes fragrant - and you start to get a real preview of what your homemade soap is going to smell like.
Customizing Your Soap Recipe with AdditivesIf your soap making recipe calls for any additives like spices, natural exfoliants, flower petals, or special moisturizing oils (as your superfatoil), now is the time to add them.
As you did with the fragrance, gently stir them into the pot using the stick blender as a spoon.
Before you move on to adding the colorant, give the mixture a brief blend with the stick blender to make sure that the fragrance oil and additives are well blended in.
For this soap recipe, I'm adding some lavender buds to the soap. The saponification processwill make them turn brown, but, even brown, they add a nice texture and interest to the soap.
Color for Your SoapIf you want to add color to your soap, now is the time.
If you want the soap to all be one unified color, add the colorant to the pot and stir. If you want to achieve more of a swirl effect:
1.Ladle about 1/2 to 1 cup of the soap mixture into a measuring cup.
2.Add the colorant to that bit of soap.
3.Holding the measuring cup several inches above the pot, slowly pour the colored soap into one corner of your soap pot.
4.Then, using a rubber spatula, swirl the colored soap through the pot. Don't stir too much or you'll end up just blending the color in with the entire batch.
Color is one of those variations where soap making becomes truly an art - and where you can really create your own custom homemade soaps.
The Homemade Soap Takes ShapeYou're almost done making your soap!
By now the soap will have thickened quite a bit. Pour the raw soap into your mold using a back and forth motion to make sure that the soap evenly spreads out. Scrape the last, thick bits of soap out of the pot with a rubber spatula.
If the top of the soap in the mold is uneven, smooth it out with the spatula.
Pick the mold up and gently tap it on the counter top to dislodge and air bubbles that may have been trapped.
Set the soap in awarm, safe place to set up and begin curing.
The soap mixture will begin to get hot as the saponificationprocess starts. Depending on the temperature of the room, it often helps to lay a towel around or over the mold to help keep it warm, and keep the reaction going strong.
After your soap has set for about 24 hours, it should be hard enough to unmold and slice. Pop or slide the soap out of the mold. Slice it into whatever size bars you like, and set it aside to cure. While the saponificationprocess will have stopped in several days and the soap will technically be safe to use, it really needs to curefor approximately four weeks until it's ready to use.

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