Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Soap Making Process

I get people asking me all the time, "Is soap making difficult?"
I don't think so, however when i first started the whole process seemed SO daunting and difficult. But once i gave it a shot and actually tried it (okay, i tried it 4 times before my soap turned out right. True story.) it didn't seem so bad! You just need to get into a habit of doing things a certain way. It takes a lot of time and practice but eventually you can easily make soap without a problem. It's fun and you create a useful and practical product for yourself!

Here are some photos and i'll explain the process!

The first thing I do is put on gloves and protective eyewear. I didn't even think to take that photo until just now.. anyway, after I do this i pour my Lye into a container to measure it out.
I then measure my water out in a different container, and add the lye to this water. When I'm adding the lye, it's very important that i do not inhale and of the fumes from the lye. I usually cover my face with a bandana, then cover my face as i mix the lye mixture in a very airy area. I like to turn a fan on as well to try and get air circulation out a window when i'm making soap.

This is the mixture of lye and water cooling down.

I measure out my liquid oils into my mixing container.

Then i put solid oils in a separate container. Here are butters such as shea, cocoa butter, or mango butter.

Coconut oil as well.

After these oils have been melted i add them to the container with my liquid oils

After everything is at room temperature i add my cooled down lye water to the oil mixture. I do this slowly while mixing.

After all the lye water has been added and mixed into the soap i use a stick blender to mix it up well. When this happens the soap goes into a stage called "trace" where it thickens and starts to look like pudding. This photo shows the first signs of trace, or a Light Trace. I add scent to this soap usually at about this stage, and mix some more.

After all the mixing has been done i pour the soap into my lined mold with a bit left on the sides. I color the soap on the side 2 different colors then combine them into the main soap mold and swirl it around.

This is what a finished batch of soap looks like in the mold.

Unfortunately i messed up on this batch and the soap got weird spots in it, i didn't notice my lye had crystallized so the batch was off. :( Thats what you get for focusing on taking photos while making soap! Doh.

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rose AKA Walk in the Woods - she/her said...

For years I had wanted to make my own soap, but was daunted by all that I had read - even from soap-makers! So I continued to buy handcrafted soaps that met my standards ... until last year ... when my friend kim *showed* me her process and suddenly I say just how simple it was! Now, I love making my own soaps!

Thanks for sharing!

Cori said...

Sorry the batch didn't come out right. Your soaps are always so beautiful!

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for your kind comments! :)
and thank you Cori, you're so sweet!

Patrice-The Soap Seduction said...

I see I'm not the only one who gets her supplies from WSP! Nice colors:)