I have posted some pictures to my facebook in regards to my soap making, but have never really shared the process. It has taken me a while to create the recipe that I really love so I won’t be posting my recipe. Got to keep some trade secrets, but the process is something anyone can learn.
I am very picky about the ingredients I use. I do not use anything premade, glycerin, colorant powders, etc. My soaps are 100% homemade by me, this way I can control everything that goes into my soap instead of trusting some factory somewhere to make my ingredients for me. I do not use anything synthetic such as fragrances and colorants. I use 100% pure essential oils and all natural colorants (herbs) to create my soaps.
This batch of soap is a color test. I have an order for some soap grapefruit scented and pink in color. I am working on getting that pink color.
I start with the oils that I am using, this batch has olive, coconut and palm oils in it. Once the oils are completely melted. I mix the water and lye together to create the lye solution.
This requires gloves and a mask so please do not try this until you know what you are doing. Raw lye is very caustic and can burn your skin, the fumes are also very powerful.
Then I mix the two together. I use a stick blender to mix the solution rapidly without beating it. The process that is taking place is called saponification. It is the reaction of the lye mixture with the oils coming together to create the soap.
Once the saponification process starts the soap mixture begins to thicken. This is called trace. At trace you can add your fragrances and colorants.
You do need to be careful as synthetics can ignite. Pure essential oils and herb colorants can with stand the heat. Another reason to spend a little more money and go all natural.
I use the hot process method, so I then let the soap cook. This forces the soap into a gel quicker than the cold process method and reduces cure time.
The gel form is easy to spot, the mixture darkens in color.
Once the soap mixture is in its gel form, you can put it into the mold. You need to work quickly as the soap is rapidly starting to harden at this point.
Once the mixture is in its mold, I cover it to keep it warm and allow it to finish cooking. It will set up in its mold for 24 hours. Then it can be cut into bars. Because I use the hot process and force the soap into its gel form, the soap is usable once it is cut into bars. I still allow mine soap to cure for two week, this will make a harder bar and make it more mild.
The final color is hard to determine until it is cut into bars. However, I think this is not the color pink I was looking for. I think this soap will have more of a salmon color, which means I will sell this soap in my shop instead of using it for the custom order. So look for this soap in about two week.
I will post the cuting the curing process tomorrow.