The supplies you will need for making bar soap include:
- Food or postal scale
- Candy thermometer
- Pot (for oil/soap mixture)
- Heat resistant glass jar or pot (for lye/water solution)
- Soap mold (storebought or ANY kind of non-metalic container)
- Rubber scraper or wooden spoons (I used a wooden paint stirrer that I got for free at the hardware store)
- Safety goggles, gloves, and other desired (apron, surgical mask, etc.)
- 6 ounces sodium hydroxide lye crystals
- 12.5 ounces cold water
*Slowly add the lye crystals to the cold water (NEVER the other way around). Set it aside in a safe place away from kids and animals and allow it to cool to a temperature of 100-120 degree's F.
- 12 ounces Coconut Oil
- 12 ounces Olive Oil
- 9 ounces Canola or Soybean Oil
- 8 ounces Palm Oil
*Carefully weigh solid oils in a pot and stir/heat over stove just until melted. Add the carefully weighed liquid oils. Allow the oils to cool to 100 degree's F before adding lye solution.
Carefully add the lye solution to the oil mixture. The oils will turn cloudy right away. Stir until lye solution and oils are blended. Using short bursts (less than 1 minute at a time), use the stick blender to mix the soap until it reaches trace.
To see if the soap has reached trace, pull the stick blender straight out and watch for beads of the solution to drip back into the pot. If the beads are very slow to drip (or they don't drip at all), you've reached trace (I know it doesn't sound helpful now, but you will know it when you see it!). If you continue mixing beyond this point, the oils will start to separate from the soap mixture.Pour the soap into a mold (anything but metal or aluminum). For my soap, I pulled a greeting card box out of my recyling. Put the soap in a safe place away from children and animals and allow it to set. After 24 hours, pull the soap out and cut it (it is still very soft at this stage and it's easier to cut and there is less waste than if you wait the 3-4 weeks for the soap to finish curing). Put the soap back in a safe place and let it continue to cure for 3-4 weeks (I lined a non-aluminum baking sheet with waxed paper to finish curing my soap on).
What a great process, right?! After 3-4 weeks your soap is ready for use and you are slightly cooler than you were before you started this process ;)
*By the way, my soap has "character" because I had to rebatch it. Normally, you would get a creamy uniform color soap with this recipe.
SAFETY: While making soap and cleaning up your work area/supplies afterwards, you should ALWAYS wear gloves and goggles (I also wore a heavy apron and a surgical mask). Keep white vinegar handy - if your skin comes in contact with the lye or the soap solution, the vinegar will neutralize the reaction and prevent it from burning your skin. Do NOT reuse utensils and containers for food. Do not allow children or animals access to any of your soap making supplies or, when you are batching, your work area. Thoroughly clean your work area with white vinegar when you are done making soap. Always add the lye crystals to cold water - do NOT add the water to the lye crystals. It's not as horrible as it sounds - the lye just demands a little respect.