When we started making soap, the first thing we did, of course, was search the web. We found plenty
of sites with instructions on how to make natural soap of all sorts. However, when we got down to the
nitty gritty, we found that the instructions were not quite accurate, or perhaps we didn't understand them.
The thing is that it took us a few attempts before we actually managed to succeed. The main problem was the
time the liquid takes to trace, either the times given were wrong or we were not using the right liquidizer.
Anyhow, after some perseverance and a few arguments, and when we actually thought that the thing was like making mahonaise,
we managed to see it happening: we made soap.
You can make it in your own kitchen, but no children should be allowed to be around. Make sure you protect the work surface
Before making the soap, you have to think of what sort of soap you want to make, ingredients, quantities,
then of making the lye solution and finally get down to it.
You need the following utensils:
- measuring jug
- a plastic jug with a lead for the lye solution
- a large metal spoon
- protective mask
- mold: we use boxes of pringles, juice carton, etc.
The following ingredients make 1100 gr of basic natural soap (about 1 litre):
- Olive Oil (extra virgin): 800 gr
- Distilled Water: 300 gr
- Lye: 100 gr
Make the lye solution
- Put on the gloves, goggles and protective mask
- Pour the water onto the jug and carefully add the lye to the water
- Gently stir with the metal spoon until completely disolved
- The solution will get very hot, may bubble and steam
- Cover the jug & put aside in a safe place
- When the solution reaches 38° C is ready to mix with the oil
- The solution can be made the day before. It can be cold.
- Heat the oil for for a short time, it heats up very quickly. Don't let it over heat above 66° C
- When it reaches 49° C to 55° C, slowly add the lye solution
- The oil will start to turn cloudy. Use the blender to mix together, but don't turn it on just yet
- Move steadily always in one direction.
- Turn the blender on in short bursts
- Once the color is more or less homogeneous, start the blender continuosly and moving always around in the same direction
- Keep doing so for quite a while. 20 mins, 30 mins, until it starts to trace
- Don't let the thing fool you. When you think it ready, it is not
- The tracing is obvious, you will know when it is tracing: it leaves the trace behind the blender as you stir
- Once you are sure it is tracing, keep going until you are happy with the consistency.
- Stop the blender and pour into the mold
Smooth down the surface to remove bubbles. The soap mixture will begin to get hot as the saponification process
starts. Lay a towel over the mold to keep it warm
You won't be able to cut the soaps for a day or two, sometimes even 3 days. After this time, cut the soaps
and leave them for a few days to harden
The soaps will be ready to use in over a month.