Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ok, so I'm making soap...

Said I would, even wrote it down for everyone to see, so I had to do it.
I used a mix of the frugal kiwi  and Rhonda's at Down to Earth. But I reduced the ingredients to half of what FG had, as this is a first attempt and more than likely I'll mess it up.

Here's what I used

500ml olive oil
200ml coconut oil ( cos I wanted it to foam)
3oz sodium hydroxide/lye
7oz water
5ml lavender oil 

things you'll need
I used 2 wooden spoons
A large stainless steel pan
measuring jug
mixing jug
stick blender

and protective clothing...I find a bit of Cath K never goes wrong... and goggles

Can't say too much about the dangers of lye and water. Suffice to say protect yourself and lock any jumpy uppy animals (e.g our dogs) in the bedroom, same goes for children! But perhaps give them some cake or something.

So here goes
Get your protective gear on

Measure everything out 
Put your oils into a sauce pan 
Water in a jug
Lye into a bowl

I did the next bit outside on the deck
pour lye into water and stir it so that its all dissolved. It will get very hot and fumy so don't breathe in too much.
You then need to wait until the temperature goes down to 50c
Meanwhile start gently heating the oil up to 50c

When both reach 50c pour the LYE into the OIL.

Using the stick blender blend gently. Don't splash it around ~ it's still caustic.

What you're looking for now is TRACE. To begin with the liquid will be smooth and runny, as you blend it gets thicker. It's ready when there are ripples that stay on the top. I think I made mine a bit too thick.


Not Smooth

Now you're ready to pour into your moulds

This is where I'm a bit worried - there were various things to do with the moulds. Some places said line them with paper and others said grease. I went for the grease method. I hope they don't stick.
The 'bits' are lavender. It might look nice, it might look rubbish.

Finally leave it somewhere to set for around 15 hours. Wrap it in a towel so it doesn't cool too quickly.

This is the stage I've got to now.
Tomorrow I need to get it out of the moulds ( fingers crossed) and cut it to the shapes I want. After that is the process of letting it cure. You need to wait 3-6 weeks before you can use it. Store it somewhere safe and warm and turn once a day for the first 2 weeks.Then once a week for the rest of the time.
You should also really check the Ph of your soap. It needs to be around 9.5 and never more than 10.


  1. It looks good!!

  2. Can't wait to see how it turns out! I added mine together when they were both 38C - I'm figuring it doesn't matter too much as long as they are the same?

  3. Dang....and lye is caustic but safe to use on one's skin? LOL If you say so! I am anxious to see if it comes out of the molds.

    I may have to try it ... and that's no "lye"! Sorry, it was just too good...


  4. That looks like way too much bother to do - I had no idea how much effort went into making a bar of soap - WOW and good on you for doing it Laura.

  5. I'm going to be brave and give it a go - wonder where I'll get 'lye' from in the to find out.

    Looking forward to seeing what happens next!


  6. So how did it come out? I'm dying to know!

  7. well...I've checked it this morning and it still seems a little soft - put it this way it's not budging from the mould! I'm going to leave it till lunchtime then perhaps put it in the freezer for an hour or so. Who knows!! Looks and smalls really nice. :)


I love it when you leave me comments, it lets me know there are folk out there reading my ramblings! Thank you, I appreciate them loads and loads
Laura x