Soap Making For Beginners
Our Soap Making For Beginners guide, does exactly what it says on the tin. Learn how to make your own handmade soaps with this easy walkthrough.
Soap Making Ingredients (Makes 2 batches of soap)
50g coconut oil
250g olive oil
5g your choice of essential oils
40g sodium hydroxide (also known as caustic soda or lye) (Measure in a separate container)
97.50g water (Measure in a separate container)
Before continuing, it is important that you take all safety precautions as you’ll be using sodium hydroxide (lye). There’s no need to worry, but you should understand that lye is a strong chemical base and like other corrosive acids, can burn your skin and damage your eyes.
So for obvious reasons, we strongly recommended that you take the following safety precautions:
- Wear Safety Glasses to protect your eyes. If your eyes were to come in contact with the lye then you should flush your eyes with lukewarm water for at least 20 minutes. Do not rub your eyes and seek immediate medical assistance.
- Wear Rubber Gloves and any other necessary safety clothing to cover your skin, such as long sleeves and trousers. If your skin is exposed to the lye then you should rinse it off with plenty of clean and cool water. This should be done of at lease 15 to 20 minutes.
- Work in a well Ventilated area and if possible, working outside when mixing the lye would be ideal. This will reduce the chances of inhaling the fumes given off, which can prove harmful. We recommend that you seek immediate medical assistance if you feel unwell from and direct or indirect exposure to the lye.
- Ensure The Entire Process Is Out Of Reach Of Children And Pets for obvious reasons. Its also a good idea to ensure that you have a nice clear work space so that theres no chance of you tripping over or bumping into anything while you’re making your soap.
This is all common sense and we know you probably already know this, but safety first and all that 🙂
Ok so now that you’re all kitted up, lets get started…………
Start by mixing your lye into the water (Do NOT mix the water into the lye as this can cause an undesired and potentially dangerous reaction) . Now, lye is mildly corrosive to glass so its best to use a heat resistant, solid plastic container with high edges. Steer away from using metal containers too as some metals may react to the lye.
Remember what we said earlier about doing this bit outside to avoid the build up of fumes? Alternatively (if its a bit too chilly outside) you could do this inside with a few windows open.
Once the lye has dissolved, leave the mix to cool, somewhere out of the way where it wont be disturbed.
If you’ve no yet weighed out your oils then now is the time to do it. Once you’ve done this, mix them together into a large plastic bowl and make sure you leave plenty of room for your other ingredients.
Once your lye solution has cooled, pour it into your oils and start mixing it all together, slowly to start with. This starts a reaction that begins the creation of your new soap molecules and is know as the saponification process. the mixture will still be harmful to your skin, right up until all of the lye molecules have been transformed into soap (So remember to keep all of your protective gear on).
Continue to blend the mixture either by hand or with a hand whisk until it begins to thicken to a consistency similar to mayonnaise (this is called trace). If you do use a hand blender then remember to be very carful not to spray any of the mixture, and to thoroughly wash the whisk and all other equipment once you have finished.
Now its time to mix in your essential oils.
Next step is to pour your mixture into your soap moulds. If you don’t have any soap moulds then you could use small plastic containers, but ensure they are oiled to prevent sticking.
Cover your filled soap moulds for a minimum of 24 hours with a cloth. After which, see if you can remove the soap from its mould. If it is still too soft you may have to wait a few more hours, but don’t leave it too long or it will be too hard to cut into bars.
Once removed from the moulds, cut your soap into whatever size bars you like.
Now for the hard part. Allow the soap to cure for 4 to 6 weeks, turning them over once a week. This will give the water plenty of time to evaporate, making the soap firmer. This will help the soap last a lot longer once you start using it in the shower. Be sure to scrape off any white powder that forms during this process as this can have a drying effect on your skin.
Before using the soap, its always a good idea to test the PH levels. It should be at 9 to 10.
Enjoy your soap 🙂
Oh, and if you want to look at all of our great resources to help you with your projects, Click Here
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