Easy CP soap making
Pitcher (that you will never use again except for lye or soap)
Wooden Spoon (that you will never use again except for lye or soap)
Non -Aluminum Pot
Glass or Metal Bowl
Chopstick or Skewer
Blanket or towel for wrapping the soap
Optional: Stick Blender, Gloves
Please note that you can use metal pots, spoons and glass containers for soap making without sacrificing them. They clean up just fine. Aluminum will react with the lye and cannot be used under any circumstance. Plastic will absorb fragrance and can’t be used for food after making soap.
Dried Parsley (ground, if possible)
Fragrance Oil (optional)
Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
My shoe box measures 12.75 x 7.5”. I want to use it as a mini slab mold, making bars that are 1.25” width (as a slab, 1.25 equals the height).
I multiply 12.75 x 7.5 x 1.25 x.4 = 47.81,(round up to a whole number) so 48 ounces will fill my mold. My recipe will be based on 48 ounces. Formula is length x width x height x .4.
We will be using http://www.soapcalc.com/calc/SoapCalc.asp. If you want to change the size enter your amount under total oil weight.
Here is my recipe:
10% Castor Oil (3.8 oz)
20% Coconut Oil (76 degree) -- (7.7 oz)
35% Lard -- (13.4 oz)
35% Olive Oil (13.4 oz)
Optional: .75 oz per lb of Fragrance Oil.
At the top right on SoapCalc, I have set the lye concentration at 33%.
I have plugged in 48 ounces as my oil weight and entered the percentages that I posted.
This is the result on SoapCalc
I will need:
13.6 oz Water
6.7 oz Lye
4.8 oz Castor Oil
9.6 oz Coconut Oil
16.8 oz Lard
16.8 oz Olive Oil (less 3 TBS, 3 TBS = 1 oz of Olive Oil) If you are not going to color your soap with oil infused herbs, use the full 16.8 oz of Olive Oil.
2.25 oz Fragrance Oil
3 TBS Olive Oil, 3 tsp dried parsley (ground if possible)
We will be making RTCP (Room Temperature Cold Process) soap as I find that it’s the easiest method of all.
Weigh your oils and butters. Put them in the pot and melt on low on the stovetop. Watch them carefully and turn off as soon as they are melted. Stir well and cover.
You may wish to wear goggles and gloves for this next step. Definitely open a window or use a fan. You need good air circulation. The lye will give off fumes.
I use a pitcher from the dollar store that I have marked “LYE” in permanent marker.
Weigh your water. Pour the weighed water into your pitcher.
Weigh your lye in some sort of container or vessel. I use disposable cups or bowls.
Carefully add the weighed lye to the water in the pitcher.
You have to pour the lye into the water. Water poured on lye can volcano and may burn if it splashes on you. Caution: If lye gets on you rinse the area with lots of cold water.
Stir with the wooden spoon (that will get eaten by the lye). The solution will get very hot. Give the lye water a stir now and then as it cools, then put it away in a safe spot.
Take a small bowl and add 3 TBS of olive oil. Microwave until warm, a minute or less. Add 3 tsp of dried parsley. If you have a food processor or grinder, you can grind it first. Stir, cover and place in a sunny window until tomorrow. We will be using the parsley oil to color our soap.
NOTE: The cocoa powder can give chocolate lather, but it will rinse off and won't stain. Infuse is to put the herbs in oil. The oil becomes "stained" with the herb and you use the colored oil to color your soap.
Cocoa powder can be added in powdered form tomorrow. If using the cocoa powder, just use the full oil amount for the olive oil. Those using the herb infused oil will subtract one ounce from the base amount. The one ounce will be used to infuse the herb.
Get all your materials ready.
You will need your box, your melted oils, your colored oil and your lye water.
Weigh your fragrance and pour into your oils. Stir with a whisk.
Put your goggles on and gloves if using. Remember that both lye and raw soap will burn your skin. Should you accidentally get either on yourself, rinse immediately with water.
Pour your lye into the pot of oils.
Start stirring with a whisk.
I chose this recipe on purpose as I know that it will trace with a whisk.
When the oils go from clear to opaque (the soap will be thin), pour some into a measuring cup or bowl for coloring. I poured about one third of the soap into a measuring cup after about 5 minutes of the whisk. If you want to, you can use the stick blender if you feel you are not making progress. I did not. If you do, use it in short blasts, hand stirring with the stick blender in between.
Pour your colored oil into the soap and whisk some more.
(Grab both photos in post 64 and 65)
When the soap starts to thicken a bit you will be able to see it by watching the top. Stop at this point. You can use a stick blender; I did not.
In the last two close ups, I'm hoping that you can see how thick the soap got with a whisk. It actually got a bit thicker than I wanted it to. Swirling is better with thinner soap but I wanted you to get the feel of what trace actually is.
When your colored soap starts to thicken, it’s time to go back to your main soap pot. Realize that as soon as saponification starts, it keeps on going, even if you are not doing a thing. While I was messing with the colored soap, the plain soap got thicker on it’s own. Whisk a bit, then stop.
Pour a small amount into your box, enough to cover the bottom of the box.
and shake it so the bottom of the box is covered.
Pour some colored soap over the plain soap. You can see that mine was pretty thick. I try to pour in a S type of pattern. shake the box.
Pour more plain soap,
then more colored
Keep it up until all the soap is in the box.
Shake the box. Take a skewer and drag in loops horizontally across the box, from side to side, making sure that you go all the way through the soap to the bottom of the box.
You can add some chopstick swirls.
Take a deep breath. We’re almost done. From start to finish, this process took about 20-25 minutes for me.
Spread your blanket or towel out.
Put your box in the middle.
Put the cover on.
Wrap that baby up! I use an old baby quilt. Wrapping is key as the soap needs to be insulated during the saponification process. The wrapping helps to keep the heat in, especially since we are using a box. A wooden mold will retain more heat.
Put all the stuff you used into the soap pot and let it sit for a day. At this point, it will be an oily mess. Tomorrow it will be soap and you will have a big smile on your face as you see all the bubbles when you fill that pot with water and start washing everything.
After 24 hours, it's time to unwrap the soap. Peel the tape and lift the soap from the box.
Put your soap on a cutting board and lift the paper away from the soap.
My typical bars are 3.5 x 2.5 inches so I will mark the soap on each side before I cut.
Line your cutting tool (mine is a taping knife) up with the little marks you cut and cut the soap.
Cut the other direction, again lining up the marks.
Here is the finished soap. Put it on a rack to cure. You can use a baking rack (like for cooling cookies) or anything that will let the air circulate