Here are the ingredients and supplies you will need:
1. A Stainless Steel stock pot to mix your soap
2. 2.8oz Lye
3. Scale to weigh all ingredients & spoon or stick blender to mix.
4. 5.0oz Distilled Water, you can get this at any grocery store
5. 0.3oz Coconut Oil for superfatting, melted (optional) and/or fragrance oil or essential oil, half to one ounce.
6. 16oz Coconut Oil for soapmaking.
7. Safety Goggles, rubber gloves (the big yellow ones that you scrub the tub with will work) and wear long sleeves, too!
8. Thermometer that measures between 80-200 degrees (candy thermometer works)
9. glass or stainless steel stirring rod or spoon to mix the lye
10. Stainless Steel, ceramic or glass container to mix the lye. I know some people who use plastic but I personally do not recommend that.
11. Soap Mold or any container to pour soap in. You can use anything really… I’ve used tupperware, drawer organizers, you name it!
12. White Vinegar, in case you spill lye on yourself you should pour vinegar over it to neutralize it, not water.
13. old towels or blankets to insulate your soap
NOTE: Lye can be hard to find in some areas. You can get it on ebay or from soap supply websites. It doesn’t take much to make soap but if you plan to make your own soap regularly it pays to order in bulk.
Instructions: (ALWAYS WEAR SAFETY GEAR WHEN WORKING WITH LYE)
Step One: Weigh the Coconut Oil and place in your mixing container and set in on the stove. Leave the heat off for now.
Step two: DO THIS IN THE SINK
Put the water into your lye mixing container, put on your gloves and safety goggles, now gently pour the solid lye into the water and mix. There will be fumes so hold your breath, wear a mask or pull your shirt collar over your nose. Mix, the fumes shouldn’t last too long but if they become overpowering, step away and then come back. When the grittiness on the bottom is gone and the lye is completely dissolved into the water, let it sit and cool off.
While your lye is mixed and cooling, go to your oils that are on the stove. Turn on the stove burner for a minute or two. If you have gas, you can turn it on and off so as not to overheat your oils (they take forever to cool down so you want to keep a close eye on the temp to avoid overheating). By the time the coconut oil melts, you should be about ready. The coconut oil melts at 76 degrees but since you have been giving it heat, chances are that it will get hotter than that. Use your thermometer and get the oils to be about 90-110 degrees F. When you get there, take the oils off the stove. The heat that the pot is holding in addition to the heat from the lye will be more than enough to keep the correct temperature. NOTE: I wouldn’t mess around with temps past 130.
Pour the lye mixture into the oils and start mixing slowly. If you are using a stick blender, use the lowest setting.
After a minute or two, you can turn it up. Stir until the soap reaches trace.
Trace is when the soap starts to thicken. Check out my youtube video here that will show trace. You will know its at trace when you can lift your blender or spoon out like that and see it lift. You can also drizzle the soap over the surface and see it sit on the top.
OPTIONAL: When your soap is at trace you can mix in some essential oil, fragrance oil or superfatting oils. I recommend adding the superfatting oils first. When the superfatting oil is mixed in thoroughly you may add in fragrance or essential oil to give your soap a scent. Be careful that you use only fragrance or essential oils that are meant for cold process soap making. The supplier you purchase from can tell you if the oils are okay for soapmaking. Brambleberry has a great reputation for their soap making fragrances which all go through testing.
Superfatting is when we leave unsaponified oils in the final bars for a less harsh, more moisturizing bar of soap. Adding too much superfatting oils can reduce the shelf life of your bars so be sure to measure carefully. This recipe is already superfatted at 5% which makes a nice mild bar with a long shelf life. If you add the optional superfatting oil you change the bar to 7% which is better for dry skin.
Step Five: After your soap traces and your optional fragrance or oils have been thoroughly mixed in, you can pour the soap into your mold or container. Have some kind of lid or if you don’t you can put the mold or container with soap into a cardboard box and close the lid. Throw towels or blankets on top. Just enough to keep the heat in. 1 or 2 bath towels is sufficient. Leave it for 24 hours.
Step Six: after 24 hours you can take the towels off and check out your soap but it probably will not be ready to come out of the mold yet. After sitting in the mold for about 3 days it should be ready for you to get it out. If you have problems getting it out, stick it in the freezer for about a half hour and try again.
Step Seven: Cut the soap into bars. You should be able to get 4 or 5 decent size bars out of this recipe. Then let them sit out for 4-6 weeks to air out and “cure”.
Step Eight: Enjoy your soap! If you followed the directions and measured everything by weight like I said then you should have a nice mild bar of soap.
TIP: Remember that handmade soap makes a great gift!