Easy Basic Beginner Soap
Prep Time 20 minutes
Curing time 30 days
Servings 10 3 oz. bars of soap (more or less)
Mix your lye into your water (Not the other way around!!!). Do this in a recipient that can handle heat; I used to use a thick glass bowl, but have now switched to stainless steel after hearing stories of people having the container break from the heat given off when you mix the lye with water. (Avoid other metals as they may react with the lye.) It is best to do this step outside so that you don't fill your house with the fumes. Try not to breathe them in! Once the lye has dissolved, leave the mix to cool in an area where no kids or pets have access to it while you go measure out your oils!
Meanwhile, you can weigh and mix your olive and coconut oils. I mixed them in a large, glass bowl with room for adding and mixing the other ingredients.If your coconut oil is in a solid state, it will make things easier for you to melt the coconut oil first. Otherwise, there is no need to heat your oils. After the lye mixture has cooled a bit (enough to easily handle the container), bring it back inside and pour the lye solution into your oil mix. (Or, you can continue outside, of course. ;) ) Mix them together gently at first.Note: You do not need to wait very long. The residual heat of the lye solution reaction can help speed the process along. I normally just have it cooling while I measure out the oils and then immediately proceed to mix everything together.
Once your lye mix has been incorporated into your oils, you can start to blend them with a hand blender. Be careful not to spray the mixture all over!! I blended mine in the bottom of my sink, and distanced myself as much as the blender would allow, just in case!! You can do this step by hand, but it supposedly will take a very long time. (I'm not patient enough to have ever tried myself.)
When your mixture starts to thicken like mayonnaise, after a few minutes, you are at the stage that is called "trace." That is what you want!
Mix in your essential oils or any other fun ingredients like fragrances, colorants, exfoliants, etc.
Pour into soap molds. (I used a silicone pan and some plastic containers. It's a good idea to oil the plastic containers beforehand to help prevent sticking.)
Set aside for at least 24 hours. It will probably get warm.
After 24 hours, uncover and gently press on it to determine if you can easily unmold it. If it is too soft, wait a few more hours/days and unmold. You can put it in a cold place to help shrink it a little to help the process out. Don't wait too long or it will be too hard to easily cut into bars.
Cut into bars. I like the look of big, chunky square-ish bars. The nice thing about making your own, is that you can decide how you want to cut them.
Let cure/set for around a month, turning every day or two at first, and then every week later on. This is to let your soap dry out and harden.
Enjoy your soap!!