Written by Carol Pincione • Posted on October 1 2021
You have had an intro on methods of soapmaking, you now know how the handmade soaps are different from the commercial ones, .. but what are all the steps?
I am sure you are curious to know how the product you use on the skin was actually made.
Today I will start showing you in detail the initial steps to take in order to make the soaps you are using. We will look at the cold process method. This is the soapmaking method I prefer and use, out of the three methods .. I will later then explain to you why...
First things first. Once we gather all the tools, the first important thing to have is safety gear, even when we deal with a small batch like the one I am working on in the photo. When I weigh and then mix sodium hydroxide powder with water, I am always super focused to make sure no accidents happen as sodium hydroxide is very caustic. It's very important to be fully covered during this phase and use safety glasses, mask, gloves while being in a ventilated area. When adding lye powder to water, the solution becomes extremely hot and it's necessary to wait some time that it gets cooler before starting the saponification process.
While I wait for the lye solution to cool down, I work on weighing all the oils and butters based on the recipe and working on melting the hard ones. A digital scale is preferred as we need exact weight for all ingredients in order to make sure the chemical reaction occurs. I work with virgin oils and butters, here in this picture I am melting at low heat coconut oil and raw shea butter. Once the hard oils and butters are melted, they are added to the soft oils. During this phase I keep checking the temperature for both lye solution and oils to make sure they are staying within a safe temperature range).
To be continued in the next post.....
Retrieve my prior posts here