While there are a few soap-making methods floating about, we’ve tracked down the easiest one for you – The Cold Process Soap! Not only is this method the easiest, it’s the most common used for creating homemade soaps.
Follow our handy step-by-step guide, and you’ll be able to make your own personalised bars in no time. Use them yourself or dish them out as personalised gifts!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
- 130g Caustic Soda (Sodium Hydroxide or Lye)
- 330g water
- 20ml (4 Teaspoons) Essential Oils or Fragrant Oil
- 300g Coconut Oil
- 400g Olive Oil
- 200g Palm Oil
- Stainless steel thermometer
- Rubber gloves/protective eyewear
- Plastic buckets
- Old stainless steel pot
- Old spatulas
- Soap moulds (empty butter containers and milk cartons are suitable)
- Stainless steel stick blender
- Old blanket or towel
IMPORTANT SAFETY MESSAGE!
Making soap should be taken seriously and therefore a few steps in safety are paramount.
- Keep a bucket of cold water nearby in case any solution makes contact with your skin. If any solution splashes up, rinse the area thoroughly.
- The Lye Water mixture will become very hot, so take care when making the mixture.
- Try your best to avoid breathing in the fumes.
- Safety goggles and gloves on!
STEP 1: MAKING THE LYE WATER MIXTURE
Weigh the water and caustic soda in separate containers/buckets. Once the containers/buckets are full to the appropriate weight, take them out to an open and well-ventilated area.
Pour the caustic soda into the water and stir carefully with an old spatula (making sure all the soda has dissolved). This will create the Lye Water.
STEP 2: HEATING THE OILS
While the mixture is cooling, measure/weight the oils and pour them into your large stainless steel pot. Melt the mixture on a low heat.
Monitor the temperature of the Lye Water mixture and the melted oils. Once both are sitting on 30-40 degrees, carefully pour the water mixture into the pot of oils.
Using the stick blender, mix the soap mixture until it becomes thick. Once the mixture is thick, add any additives you wish – colour, fragrances, etc. Mix it well.
STEP 3: POURING THE MOULDS
Let the mixture sit for a few minutes and begin filling your moulds. Once the moulds are full, cover each one with a piece of cling wrap.
Set aside to another room for 24-36 hours to allow the moulds to set. For best results insulate with an old blanket or towel.
STEP 4: TESTING THE MOULDS
Once 24-36 hours have passed, test each mould. If the soap is still very soft, leave it for another day, monitoring it occasionally. If the mixture has hardened well, slowly remove it from the container and set each bar on a surface that’s damp and in direct light. This will allow each bar to cure.
Again, monitor daily and within a few days, you’ll have homemade soap ready to test out in the shower!