Directions to make cold process soap.
(before you actually start the process)
1. Get all materials and safety equipment together. (pots, measuring cups, scale)
2. Make sure that you are fully clothed (that includes socks with shoes that cover your feet).
3. Make sure that you have adequate ventilation.
4. Now you are ready to begin.
The first step is to measure out the water, the Lye (either Na OH or KOH) And the fats/oils. This goes into 2 different vessels. (one pot on the stove for the fats/oils to melt and one bowl for Lye/water)
Please start out with a recipe that you have the mold capacity for. Make sure you line the mold with either waxed paper, or a plastic lining material. This actually makes loaf molds last longer. (I usually use a clean trash bag that will later go into my garbage can cause hey that’s recycling)
Second step, Melt the fats/oils together, I usually put this on low medium on my stove. Let cool to 110 degrees.
Third step, mix water and lye *Caution… Always mix the lye into the water, and not the other way around, because in some cases you can cause an explosion of sorts.
* Make sure you use your Goggles and your mask as well as your gloves for this part.
*have some vinegar on standby incase you splash any of the lye water on you.
Lye is a caustic material and you will need something to take the burn out if it gets on your skin. Vinegar is an acid and Lye is alkaline. So a vinegar wash will terminate the chemical burn.
Now you get to wait until the lye is at 110 degrees as well, because if you do not wait until it cools down you can have a boil over. And that is no fun at all.. When both the Lye and the fats are at 110 degrees F. You can now pour the lye water into the fats.
When you do this, you will see that the clear fats will start turning a milky color. That means the saponification is starting. This is when you mix. You can use your stick blender to speed up the process. Or if you want to do this the old fashion way, just keep stirring until the “goop” in the pot starts to light trace (looks like very thin vanilla pudding). When you hit trace is when you add your colorant and scent. I suggest about 1 oz per pound of oils. Go ahead and incorporate everything into the soap so that it is back at trace. Then pour in to your prepared mold. Your soap is now going to go through several different stages. You can peek if you would like, but this is a method that requires insulation for at least 48 hours so it can go through the stages. Then you can cut the soap and leave it in the mold and let it cure. Cure time for cold process soap is approximately 1 month.
*hints and tips* If you want to add botanicals/pumice/ other things please do this at trace unless otherwise noted in the recipe, before you put it in the mold, but note that any green thing you add to the soap will eventually end up “cooked” so that it will turn brown.