Sunday, July 11, 2010

Crafty Sunday : Cold Process Soap

Today's Crafty Sunday documents my first experience with cold process soap making. A lot of ingedients are required, as well as some safety precautions. The recipe we used was pretty basic, and was enough to make 6.5 pounds of soap.

5 oz. Sweet Almond Oil
5 oz. Castor Oil
32 oz. Coconut Oil
32 oz. Palm Oil
11 oz. Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
24.4 oz. Distilled Water

I also used some Plumeria and Red Apple fragrance oil and Flamingo Pink Colorant which I purchased (along with most of the other ingredients) from BrambleBerry. Additional supplies you are going to want to have on hand are 2 candy thermometers, towels, a large iron or steel pot (NO ALLUMINUM!), hand mixer, scale, spatula, wooden spoons, molds for your soap, and SAFETY GOGGLES, GLOVES, AND MASKS. You will want to be sure to remove any jewelery and wear long sleeves and pants since the Lye is a highly corrosive material. Let's begin with the process of soap making....

After organizing your workspace, the first thing you want to do is measure out your lye + water mixture. It heats up quickly and takes a while to cool, so be sure to set it somewhere safe.

Next, you want to mix your oils together and melt on the stove. Once both the lye + water mixture and your oil mixture have reached the same temperature (around 120 degrees F) add the lye mixture to the oil pot.

Stir the ingredients together in short bursts with a hand mixture. Trace will begin to take place at this time and the mixture will start to thicken. Now is the time to add your fragrance in. A little goes a long way. I only added about 10cc to the pot and the smell was fantastic. After you have mixed in the fragrance oil, you can add in your colorant to your liking.

Now you are ready to pour your raw soap into molds. After you have finished pouring your soap into the molds, tap on the table to remove any air bubbles. You will now want to wrap the molds in towels to keep them warm and allow the saponification process to continue.

After 24 hours, you can remove the soap from the molds and cut them into bars. It takes a full 4 to 6 weeks for the soap to finish curing before it is ready to be used. Once the time has passed and your bars are fully cured, they are ready for use. Enjoy!

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